Random thoughts... things I wanted to jot down before I forgot but wouldn't until the labour story was done. Part three is done. Yay!
I was SO COMPLETELY SWOLLEN from all the IV fluids. My huge cankles from an earlier post? They looked dainty compared to what I came home with (and never got around to taking a picture of). My wedding rings were impossible to wear. My face? Huge. It took about 3 days for the face and hands to go down. About 5 before I saw my ankles again. And now? Normal. However, my once size 9 feet are now about 9.5-10. Anyone want a slightly used shoe collection? I need all new shoes... And clothes are a fun challenge. Pregnancy clothes don't fit right anymore but I am too nervous to try on my old clothes, knowing they won't fit. I am in limbo, waiting for weight to disappear. And with the way I have been eating? I have awhile to wait... *grin*
I weighed myself a few days ago - once the swelling had gone down. I was 20-ish pounds lighter than I was at the last doctor's visit before the labour. And about 14 pounds heavier than my scale, the day after I peed on the stick. Only 7 pounds heavier than the recorded weight on my first pre-natal doctor's appointment. Woot! I want to get the my pre-pregnancy weight and then drop another 20. But despite the fact I didn't gain THAT much? My body, she not be the same anymore. Things are softer and saggier and... different. It's a little disconcerting, but things are getting better daily. My always tactful mom made the comment a few night's ago "your belly is so much larger than I thought it would be, by now". Ouch. Neil went into damage control mode (he knows the hormones are here). But I just had to laugh and tease her for her tactlessness. Tonight when she came by? She said I looked so much slimmer, and complimented me. Much better, mom!
Maddy still loves to be held - and just can't sleep alone in her crib for any length of time. But Kathleen, again, saved the day and lent us a Moses basket bassinet and Maddy has been sleeping there. And as long as she's next to us, she will sleep. Although I still wake frequently to check on her, make sure there are no blankets near her mouth and that she's still breathing. Another thing I thought was silly before being a parent - that fear your child will stop breathing. Everything changes, once there is a child in your arms.
Neil is the most loving and supportive and involved husband and father a woman could ask for. Everything seems doable, with his support. Even when I am hormonal and overwhelmed - he's there. He's my rock. And to see how much he loves his daughter... that look of awe on his face when they are together makes my chest explode with happiness.
Really, everything to date has been good with Maddy. There have been no real issues - except one. Breastfeeding. It's a long drawn out story... but the Reader's Digest version is I don't have much milk. Despite the size of my girls, they are not producers. Again, following the same path as my mother did with my birth - we both had forceps deliveries and both have breastfeeding challenges. Maddy was born 7lbs, 10 oz and almost a week after her birth, her weight was 7lbs 1oz (it should have been back to birth weight). Although today, on day 8, she's up to 7lbs almost 4 oz. Yay!! The Healthy Beginnings nurses have been WONDERFUL in working with me to breastfeed. We are pumping and supplementing to ensure Maddy has enough to eat while still practicing the boob thing. And we have a referral to a breastfeeding clinic (next Wednesday) and a prescription for Motilium (medication for increasing the motility of the digestive system - with a side effect of increasing lactation). We are going to give it our all the next few weeks, to see if we can get me working at full steam. But if that is not meant to be, that is ok too. The last few days have been hard. There is so much pressure to breastfeed. "Breast is best" is what they say - although the message often comes across as "Breast is the only option, otherwise you already fail as a mother". And then add hormones? Much crying and feelings of despair on my part. But the hormones are diminishing and sanity returning. I have realized that I could become obsessed with breastfeeding and pumping and schedules and all that. Or? I could focus on my beautiful daughter and take the time to watch her grow and change and learn. And I think the latter is much healthier, for me. But we're not giving up on the jugs just yet! But if the jugs fail, that's ok too.
Maddy's lack of enough food the first week has made her a very sleepy baby. She sleeps for 3-4 hours a stretch at night, will not fuss often - even with a dirty diaper- and is often hard to wake. But now that she's getting enough to eat and is putting more weight on, she's getting more and more alert. The doctor saw her today and said otherwise she's a very healthy little girl. We just need to get her weight up (we go back next week to be assessed) and that will perk her up more.
But I am sure she's already longer than she was when she was born. Her sleepers fit so much better, in length. And she's stretching so much more - instead of holding her legs up in a fetal position she'll often stretch out as long as she can get. And the smell of her! There is something about the smell of baby that I have always loved. But when that baby if your child? It's the sweetest smell in the world. Even her (considerable) gas? Completely bearable. There was a stretch of time where Maddy did not have a bowel movement. Again, working with the nurses, we figured out it was likely due to lack of food and started the supplementing. That first poo after the long break? It' SMELLED but it was glorious! Neil and I actually danced a little in her room, when we saw it. The poo-dance... how parenthood changes everything!
I can spend hours looking at her. Asleep, awake... it doesn't matter. And as I watch her, I sometimes see my dad in her, sometimes my mom, sometimes Neil, sometimes me. Tonight Neil said he saw his mother in her face. Our little one is perfectly her, but also obviously parts of all of us.
So much writing tonight - so many thoughts I don't want to lose to time and hormones. But Maddy-bear is starting to show the signs of wanting food soon - she's rooting and starting to make sucking motions. Which is my cue to feed! I am a slave to my new boss and I wouldn't change a thing.