Time flies. The wee beast is now 9.5 weeks old, and I go back to work on 10/9. His two month appointment is tomorrow, and despite dreading the fact that my sweet baby has to get shots I can’t wait to see how much he’s grown. He weighed 13lbs 12.4 oz when I weighed him on 9/9 so lord only knows. I call him the Hulk for a reason ;)
Moi? I feel good. I think I mentioned getting the Mirena IUD in my last post…so far, no issues there. I did have a week of heavy spotting from week 7-week 8 pp but its hard to say if that was Mirena related, my first postpartum period (though it was awfully early for that) or just a normal reappearance of post delivery bleeding. Either way, it wasn’t anything crazy and was gone in a week. I also want to note that while the Mirena IUD does contain hormones, I have not yet seen an effect one way or the other on my boob juice output so that’s good.
Over the last 9.5 weeks, I’ve found myself pondering things a lot. I mean, what else can do I to keep myself awake during those middle of the night feedings? One of the things I’ve found myself pondering is what I wish I knew/advice I’d give to soon to be/very new moms. So here you have it!
While in the hospital (this includes while in labor and after delivery):
-Birth plans are all well and good, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. The ultimate goal is for both you and baby to emerge from the labor and delivery process healthy, and if you end up opting for an epidural when you were hoping to go drug free, or end up needing a c-section because your labor just isn’t progressing…ITS OKAY. While I ultimately did not need a c-section, it was discussed with my doctors twice and I was thisclose to needing one. Sure, I didn’t want to have to have major surgery but it was looking like that was what would need to be done to ensure both the wee beast and I emerged from the whole thing healthy and in one piece and I was okay with that. (My water had been broken for not quite 24 hours the first time a c/s was brought up and over 24 hours the second time with not much progress in my labor, and we were looking at increased risk of infection)
-If you can, eat something before you get to the hospital. (I don’t think you’re allowed to do this with a scheduled c/s but I’m not sure) Because lord only knows when you’ll be allowed to eat again. In my case, I ate dinner around 7pm Tuesday, water broke around 1:45am Wednesday, and other than ice chips and a couple of the most delicious cherry popsicles ever, I did not get to eat until they brought my breakfast tray the morning AJ was born (Thursday). It was a late breakfast order, so I think I ate around 9am. Looking back, I would have had the hubby take me through the 24 hour McDonalds drive thru on our way to the hospital since despite my water breaking I was having no other signs of labor.
-After delivery, the nurses will give you pain meds and stool softeners regardless if you have a vaginal delivery or c/s. Take them every time they’re given to you. Especially the stool softeners. And if they offer you a prescription before you’re discharged? Take it, fill it, and take the meds as directed until you’re comfortable not doing so. Now is not the time for heroics, especially where there is poop involved. The first post delivery poop is not going to be fun, just take your time and don’t force it.
-In your postpartum room, take whatever medical supplies you can. Mesh panties? Grab ‘em, stuff ‘em in your bag, and ask for more because “you ran out”. The same goes for the ice pads, Dermoplast spray, and Tucks pads. Make sure they give you at least one squirty bottle for your girly bits too. I never thought I’d be so happy to have a squirty bottle…and then I pushed an almost 8 1/2 lb baby out of my vagina.
-The same goes for the stuff in the baby’s crib cart. Diapers, wipes, pacifiers, receiving blankets, those little half robe thingies, the snot sucker bulb…get it all, then ask for more. Since “you ran out” and all. If you’re super nice to your nurses they may load you up with a big ol plastic bag with extra diapers, wipes, etc. Not that I know anything about that.
-Take a shower as soon as they’ll let you once the baby’s out. For me, this was once my final bag of Pitocin was done (they kept me on it after AJ was born to ensure my uterus would do the contracting thing it was supposed to so that the rest of the post delivery yuck would come out). The nurse disconnected my IV, the PCA wrapped my arm in Saran Wrap, and I got to take the most amazing shower ever. It will make you feel better and more like yourself, I promise.
-Don’t overdo it, but don’t be afraid to get up and moving too. Listen to your body-I did a lot of shuffling around my room and found that being up and moving really helped me feel better.
And once you come home (because eventually they ARE going to send you home with your baby, as scary as that sounds)
-Don’t be afraid to put the kibosh on any visitors you don’t want to deal with. For me, this was anyone I felt like I needed to entertain-FIL, SMIL, various aunts/uncles, etc. Thankfully my parents and sisters are great and did not hesitate to send me to bed with the promise they’d come get me if AJ needed to eat…but not everyone is like that. They should be, though.
-Speaking of bed, you know that whole “Sleep when the baby sleeps” mantra you’ve probably heard eight THOUSAND times by now? It’s mostly a crock of shit. Especially if you’ve got visitors (unless they’re my family, or friends that have recently been new moms themselves). After the first few days, I was able to relax a little bit and nap some when AJ did if no one was over but it was in mostly half hour spurts because wanna know what they don’t tell you about the “sleep when the baby sleeps” bullshit? It takes you a bit to wind down enough to fall asleep, and then you do and guess what? The baby’s awake and hungry again!
-Ah feeding the baby. That reminds me. Breastfeeding. It’s a LOT harder than many people, books, etc make it out to be. You go in thinking you put the baby to your boob and voila! Yeah no. I won’t lie, I’ve been lucky-my milk came in with a venegeance less than 24 hours after we came home, I haven’t had supply issues, and the wee beast has latched well. Not only that, he takes bottles like a champ so if I’ve pumped milk then his dad can give him a bottle and I can take a break (more on that in a sec). Utilize every resource you can-your hospital nurses, the lactation consultants, local breastfeeding support groups, La Leche League meetings, Kellymom.com (their FB group can be really informative)…whatever it takes. But at the same time if you need to supplement with formula or god forbid, go to formula completely (that god forbid was meant with a sarcastic tone, I promise)…THAT’S OKAY TOO. The most important thing is for baby to be happy and growing AND for mom to be happy too. And if that means not breastfeeding, then so be it.
-Don’t push getting back into your prepregnancy clothes. Yoga pants are your friend. So are your maternity jeans. I picked up a pair of jeans at Old Navy a couple of weeks ago to accommodate my post baby hips and butt, but only because the Hubs and I were going to a prefootball tailgate that his boss was putting on and I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to wear yoga pants or maternity jeans to his boss’s tailgate.
-Another thing to NOT push? Working out. The day I was discharged from the hospital, my practice’s on call OB stopped in to check on me and in the course of our conversation of course I asked when I could run again. Her suggestion was to overall listen to my body, but that she recommended taking at least 3-4 weeks but take longer if I was still bleeding. I was feeling good and itching to run at 3 weeks but still had some light bleeding, and at 4 weeks the bleeding was gone so I gave it a shot. It was the slowest, strangest feeling 2 miles of my life…but I did it. Keeping the runs short and slow has definitely helped me ease back into things though I’m still nowhere near where I was. For example, I ran 5 miles this morning at 11 min/mile pace. And that’s okay.
I’m sure more randoms will come to mind during one of these upcoming middle of the night feedings…you should see/hear some of the thoughts that wander through my head when I’m half asleep ;)