I can’t believe it! One week already since the home birth of Grace May! I’m going to give an over view of this first postpartum week and how we are all adjusting to our newest member of our family.
I think one of the hardest things about having a baby is the pain immediately following the delivery. The first 24 hours is always the hardest for me and this time was no different. To manage my pain, I used a combination of a heating pad, Ibuprofen, and uterine massage. That worked fairly well for the most part, but the pain was still a challenge to deal with. After I finally shook the cramps loose, I began to experience a lot of pain in my pelvis and hips. Any walking up and down the stairs increased the pain and pressure. I spoke to my midwife about this and she said that it was because of the hormones, causing all my joints to soften up. Since I had been on bed rest for ten week, my muscles had also atrophied enough that I had nothing supporting my ligaments and joints. Pretty much, I have to rebuild my core from scratch because of all my bed rest. Grrrrr
Grace pretty much nurses on demand which works out to be right around every two hours. However, sometimes she nurses more since her nursing sessions are only like 5 minutes long. She tends to fall asleep while she nurses and then wakes up a few minutes later and nurses again. That whole process can take a good 30-40 minutes until I feel like she has finally eaten enough. I have had some soreness associated with some latching issues. We think that it has to do with her very small mouth and not the lip tie that she has. We are just waiting and seeing if it improves with time or if we will need to do something surgical with her lip tie. At night, she has been getting up about three times in the night. I would like to transition her to her bassinet at some point, but right now, she is nursing in bed next to me. She seems to sleep wonderfully when she is extremely warm and cuddly. And honestly, I need some sleep so I can deal with the other kids in the morning.
Since walking up and down the stairs is practically non-existent, school has not been happening. I had planned on taking at least a week off from school when Grace was born. That was to give me time to recover and attempt to get back to normal. Art has been home with the kids and I haven’t asked him to teach school since right now we are just in survival mode. It isn’t like a new baby comes to our house all the time, so I’m just rolling with the punches for the time being. Hopefully, I can get a few days of teaching in during the next week.
Adjusting to a new baby has not been that huge of an adjustment. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I just had another baby less than two years ago. Whatever the case is, the kids have been doing very well with the adjustment of baby Grace. I was more concerned about how Mary was going to react to not having as much mommy time. She has done GREAT and has accepted Grace. I haven’t sensed any jealousy or resentment and Mary’s overall demeanor has been a very sweet, love towards her sister. I hope it stays this way!!! The big kids are adjusting just fine since they have gone through it several times before.
Emotionally, I have felt great! Other than being tied down by the amount of pain that I have been experiencing, my brain is just roaring to go. I can’t wait to get back on my feet! Both my midwife and her assistant has stressed to me that I need to slow down and allow my body to heal. That has been hard since I have been cooped up for ten weeks! I keep waiting for the emotional low to hit and for me to turn into a mess, but it hasn’t yet. I often wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I had such an emotional low last year when my grandma died that this feels easy to me?!?! Whatever the case is, I’m thrilled to not be feeling like this crazy, crying woman. Maybe that will change over the next week!!! We will see…
Grace was weighed when she was three days old. She had lost 6oz during the first three days. Then she was weighed at a week old and she had gained 4oz. So she isn’t quite back up to her birth weight, but she is gaining. My midwife will be coming back when she is two weeks old to weigh her again to make sure that she made it back up to her birth weight. She has been nursing very well so I suspect that she will surpass her birth weight at her next check. Grace also has a slight touch of jaundice. All of my children have had it in some form or another. Thankfully, Grace’s jaundice seems to be very mild. She hasn’t acted overly sleepy and is still waking up for all of her normal feedings. I have had children where all they do is sleep and it makes it very hard to overcome the jaundice when the baby has no desire to eat. Overall, I think we are all doing very well considering the circumstances. The next big hurdle will be to getting Art back to work to almost full time hours and resuming school and a normal routine. The overall pregnancy certainly presented itself with many challenges on all fronts so now it’s time to find our groove as a family and try to thrive once again.