Monday, February 25, 2013

Our first weeks!

After Jackson was born we were just on cloud 9. So much fun to have our sweet baby and all of our family there to celebrate with us. It was pretty great! And really I didn't think the C-section recovery was all that bad. . .at first. And really I can't complain, compared to the pain I was in when we entered the hospital it was so much less when we left!

In the NICU

First family photo

We were at the hospital for the required 4 days for a C-section and that was all! I could walk around the hospital with Jackson, albeit slowly to help start the road to recovery. Breast feeding was going well- my milk came in and Jackson had no trouble figure out what to do! He passed his car seat test- a requirement for preemies to make sure they will continue to breathe normally for 90 minutes when placed in their car seat, we rushed to get the car seat installed in the car! (I had actually scheduled this for Tuesday January 22nd (4.5 weeks before due date!)) But P had to go in on Monday so that the seat would be installed for our discharge on Tuesday. The rest of our hospital stay was really great. I loved all of our nurses especially the two nurses I had most every day I was there. They were fun, sweet and so helpful. I couldn't have asked for better care. They were even conscious about coordinating checking vitals, administering drugs etc so we could sleep for longer stretches! The room was nice, even the food wasn't that bad! I mean, I would give the hospital a 10 for care!

snuggling up and keeping warm

so so tiny. In his newborn sleep sack that matched my pjs. It was WAY too big for him

The morning we were leaving they came to unhook me from all my drugs, antibiotics, etc ( I was on two antibiotics because of my appendectomy) and I was feeling pretty good. I had started to pack up our bags while P had gone to get a few things from the house, and then it happened. I threw up, EVERYWHERE! I was by myself, with P gone and my parents not in yet. It was awful. Let me tell you- throwing up 3 days after a C-section HURTS! I thought my incision was going to come open! I felt awful but thought it was from taking a pain pill without having eaten first.
cuddled up with dad (we had lots of double swaddles and extra blankets because he had trouble regulating his temperature early on

The nurses came in with the cleaning crew to change my sheets, mop the floor, etc and I just started crying sitting there by myself feeling pitiful. Thank goodness for Deborah, my cleaning tech who was so sweet and told me not to worry, everything would be fine. She even helped me into my bed again and got me extra blankets, and later before we left came to see how I was feeling! See- we were very well taken care of!

Even after that and just not feeling well the rest of the day, we were discharged and came home. It was very surreal to go from all of our family and nurses in the hospital to just the three of us at home! Our family had left and P was staying home from work the rest of the week.

so very tiny

We had dinner that night courtesy of our sweet neighbors and I felt okay but not great. But by the next morning everything I ate was coming back up. . . not fun. Called the doctor and they immediately put me on antibiotics for a week. By the second day I was keeping food down but still just not feeling great, and no appetite. Thursday Sam came home to meet his new brother. I was VERY apprehensive about this. I knew Sam wouldn't be aggressive or try to hurt the baby but he's 45 lbs and doesn't have any idea how fragile a baby is. It went amazingly well. He was very curious (as he always is) but very cautious. And he followed the baby around all the time. And anytime Jackson cried, Sam came RUNNING to his side! Especially on the changing table! This was a HUGE relief. by Saturday I was feeling pretty good and my mom was coming back down to stay with us for a week which I was excited about. We also had our newborn photo session this Saturday (January 26th) which was so fun! If you are in the Houston area and need a photographer I highly recommend Kelly Garvey! She's awesome!
getting settled in

Sam to the rescue

Curious curious Sam

The next week was really not too bad. I mean it was hard and exhausting for sure but maybe I had just been been preparing myself for AWFUL! The sleep deprivation was by far what I was most worried about for myself- because I know how much sleep I need and how stressed out I can get without it. But, so far, Jackson has been a relatively easy baby. (KNOCK ON WOOD, PRAISE the LORD!!) At least as of yet he is not a huge crier. Don't get me wrong, he cries! He cries when he's hungry- mainly at night (which is so gut wrenching) and when he's cold but there is always seems to be a reason for his cries and he is usually easily consolable! Let me tell you, consoling him is the best. I love snuggling up with him!  I was having a hard enough time with my recovery from both the C-section and appendectomy and my wild hormones that I don't think I could have handled anything else. The Lord only gives you what you can handle right? I think he knew I couldn't handle much more. And hearing him cry for more than like 30 seconds makes my hormones go crazy. I start sweating and I get crampy in like 10 seconds flat. 

trying out his swing in the sweet preemie outfit his daddy bought him our first week home! We had barely any clothes that fit him since I was expecting him to be big at full term. I think I only had 3 newborn size outfits and all of those were still huge on him at this point. Thank goodness for family and friends (talking to you Caro!) for buying him tons of preemie clothes then coming home, washing and folding them for us! 

getting more and more alert as the weeks go on! 

Love that face! And seeing how big these pjs are on him in this pic! They are newborn size and fit him well now (at 4 weeks!) 

The biggest frustration I have had came in the beginning of week two. I was full on breastfeeding and pumping without a problem, then out of no where I wasn't pumping nearly as much and Jackson seemed hungry much faster like he wasn't getting enough food. This went on for a few days, probably longer than I should have let it go, before I called a lactation consultant. Yes my milk supply was declining and no we didn't know why but she thought we might have caught the window to get it back to full production. A week and many many many tears later my milk was essentially dried up. I found out through some research and a long discussion with my pediatrician's nurse that antibiotics do this to you. And it's a known fact. Then I cried more, mainly out of frustration. I had to take the medicine for myself but why had no one told me this?! I would have called for help a lot sooner and probably still be able to breastfeed.

filing his nails was a bit confusing, but not upsetting apparently :)

A week later (three weeks old) I was resigned to the fact that he was going to be formula fed. It's hard. It's SO hard. It's hard because people judge SO badly if you aren't breastfeeding. They have no idea the circumstances we are in and that it isn't by choice. And it's hard because the formula is definitely harder on baby's stomach and he was not feeling well for like a week because of it. We have finally gotten onto a formula (Gerber Good Start Gentle) that I love because Jackson isn't in pain all day long, and it uses whey protein and other ingredients to try to mimic breast milk as best man can, even though I think it may be the most expensive formula out there! It was a tough choice but in the end it wasn't really my choice, my body just stopped doing its job after all the drugs and I HATE that. It makes me mad just thinking about it. But after finally admitting that we were going to have a formula fed baby and that that was okay, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and things instantly felt sunnier! Even as I started my first week with Jackson alone! 

The one other thing that's hard is the continued incision pain. Its not major but it's ALWAYS there. I am so impatient; I want to feel great. I WANT to go on a walk longer than 10 or 15 minutes. I've even tried, but I hobbled my way home sore for a day from my efforts. It just takes longer than I want, so I'm learning to be patient but it's hard. Especially with this beautiful Texas winter weather we are having. 50's-60's and sunny makes it very hard to stay inside, but we'll make it with our short walks and quick outings to Walgreen's or Target for now!


  1. Don't worry about the breast feeding. You did the best you could! Antibiotics also dried me up before I was ready to stop, and I cried and agonized over it. But the most important thing is that you and Jackson are both healthy. Who cares what anyone else thinks!

    Motherhood has taught me to relax and be more flexible. Early on, I set all these arbitrary goals for myself, and beat myself up when it failed to be exactly as I had planned. I was going to have a natural birth, breast feed for a year and never ever use a pacifier. And, well, NONE of that happened. I was my own worst critic, and made myself miserable when I should have just been appreciating how awesome my little guy is!

    So, my advice: Just enjoy your new family of three, and stick out your tongue to all the haters.

    (Plus, now you can have that well deserved second glass of wine without all the pumping and dumping!!) ;P

    1. Thanks Dealey! It's really nice to hear all of this! I mean, rationally I know it but its hard sometimes to be rational (at least right now :)!!) I will def be sticking my tongue out some soon, but probably need to work up to two glasses of wine. I had my first beer last weekend and no joke I was tipsy about 2/3rds of the way through!! YIKES!

  2. I agree with Dealey. Just be glad that everyone is healthy and it is ok and home safe.

    1. Thanks Mandy! That's exactly what I should be focusing on right now!! Thanks for the reminder :)

  3. Yea! Thanks for the shout out!! I loved buying Jackson all the new clothes. :) Don't be too hard on yourself. It is easier said than done but you have enough on your plate as it is. Love you!