Tomorrow

Tomorrow I return to work. I remember what I did on February 22, 2016,  a year ago tomorrow. It was a Monday.

I remember it because one of my friends that I met at the support group I attended in 2014 emailed me to tell me she was pregnant with her second child since her loss.

I remember checking my email as I was out to lunch with two friends at a local Thai restaurant. I remember reading her email and immediately my stomach dropped and mood changed. I remember feeling sadness for myself – all I had gone on to do at that point was to have two more losses since we first met, and she was on her second healthy pregnancy. I remember feeling happy for her, but a bittersweet happiness – I understood her struggle and how she felt after her loss, but I couldn’t understand being a mother and having a healthy pregnancy. For all I understood of her hardships, I couldn’t understand her happiness or anticipation. I remember being distracted the rest of the day at work and to top it off had cramps because “Aunt Flo” was coming.

February 22 is also my Layla’s birthday. I remember writing a post about her that day, because I wasn’t ready to write about my emotions surrounding my friend’s second pregnancy. I felt like a jerk being jealous or envious but couldn’t help myself. I did write about it here though.

I started my cycle that ultimately brought me my rainbow baby, McLovin, the very next day. So I suppose here ends the year or conceiving and bringing McLovin to life – an emotionally gratifying (and at the same time exhausting) year. I didn’t know that this would be my last cycle before I saw the light at the end of the tunnel at the time. I wish I had known and saved myself the heartache. Hindsight is 20/20. Full circle.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Sunday

Today is Sunday, which means I return to work this week.

I return to work this week.

I have been oddly calm and zen about it until tonight. Tonight we were out to dinner at Longhorn (The Husband’s choice after my choice last night for our Valentine’s Day dinner) and as we were driving home I felt the tears. They fell slowly and silently and quickly. A momentary event that lasted as long as the red light we had stopped at during our travels.

He has been my near constant companion for the past 13+ weeks. My bestie. I’ve enjoyed seeing things through his eyes. His babbles and smiles. They make my heart happy. He’s amazing and the best (no, not biased at all! haha.) Of course I’ve had moments away – to go to the gym, for an occasional date night, for a dinner or brunch with a friend. And I certainly did enjoy those times, a breathe of fresh air after being cooped in the house on the short, cold, winter snowy days. I enjoyed not having to go out in the cold or snow, not being forced to do so, but also enjoyed the few hours of being an individual when I did get a solo outing.

I remind myself – I will be out of the house Wednesday. And, as I mentioned in this post, my request to work from home on Thursdays was approved. So I will work from home the day after I return and be with him then. I will be out of the house Friday. So really it’s only two days away this week, with a day home to break it up in between and then the weekend. I can do that. The company also made a corporate wide announcement last week which may lead to some big changes for me and my team later in the year. It will certainly keep things interesting and has provided for much speculation in the (almost) week since it was announced.

I purchased two rings today, one for The Husband and one for McLovin. I wish I would have them here to wear for Wednesday, but that’s my fault for not ordering sooner I guess. I also signed up for my first post-baby 5K. And, Big Little Lies begins on HBO. I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the show – especially since my favorite viking vampire is in it! Alexander Skarsgard is my favorite Swedish import.

keep-calm-and-return-to-work-3

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Sad Doesn’t Cover It

A friend of mine shared this article on Facebook, and I’ve been sick to my stomach every time I think about it. So now I will share it and bring everyone else down too (sorry, misery loves company.)

I feel sick to my stomach, seething with anger and so sad all at the same time.

Addiction is a disease. And yet it was the poor innocent child who suffered the most because of her parents’ disease.

I wish there was a cure for this disease. My brother isn’t an addict. He’s out of rehab, and I hope clean, but an addict for life nonetheless.

I think about McLovin being in hat position –  not with parents who are addicts, but with parents who are incapacitated and can’t help him. It brings me to tears. I never want him to suffer.

I am going to watch The Young Pope now, while McLovin sleeps in his bassinet next to me, and hope that Jude Law’s handsome face distracts me from my fears.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Three Months

My McLovin is three months old in four days. I can’t believe it. Was it really three months ago that I met him for the first time?!? Yet it also feels like I’ve known him my whole life. Strange how that happens. Being his mother is exhausting and at the same time the most wonderful thing ever.

His two month appointment and immunizations went well. He cried while he got his shots, but then fell asleep on the car ride home and was pretty drowsy and tired the remainder of the day. He was squarely in the 25th percentile for all measurements – at the time he was 11 1/2 lbs., 23 inches. We recently packed up his newborn clothes and I felt nostalgic – he looked so cute in all of it and he’s growing so fast. Also a little twinge wondering if I should save them or not. Save them for whom? A cousin or friend I guess. Or myself? I can’t even wonder about having a second child right now although people have ALREADY asked about it. Donate them? No, not ready to do that.

I am returning to work next week and have been trying to really enjoy our last few weeks together. It brings me to tears when he sleeps on my chest and I know that, next week, he will have to share me (and I will have to share him!) and my sole job and responsibility won’t be just being his mommy. Some people have said it will make me appreciate the moments we have together even more, and that walking in the door each night and reuniting with him will be the best part of my day. Others grimace and say how they went back, then couldn’t stand it and quit. We aren’t in a position financially where I could quit – I make more than The Husband and all of our insurance and benefits are through my employer. And I’m accustomed to a certain lifestyle, ya know?!? Luckily my employer has agreed that I can work one day a week from home, so I will only be out of the house four days instead of five. I am trying to find a little solace in that. Also my mother in law has agreed to watch him at our house, so I feel better having that resolved and knowing he will be here in our home with all of his own stuff and in a familiar place. And I’m only 15 minutes away. But I just know I am going to miss things, and I hope they aren’t the “big” things. Someone else will be caring for him and I wish it were me.

I suppose I have two competing feelings about my return to work. On one hand I am looking forward to feeling like I am contributing again – doing good work, being successful, hitting goals. I do enjoy my job and I like the company I work for and I like (most of) my coworkers. It will be nice to put my degrees back to work and use my mind the way I am used to. But I think of all I will miss. I love seeing his smile and listening him “chat” with me, and I love when he puts out his pouty lower lip, and seeing him sit in his Sit Me Up Chair, and watching him hold his head up high during tummy time. I love our time together while nursing – sometimes I just stare down at him in amazement. And morning cuddles in bed before I’m ready to face the world. These 14 weeks are most likely the only time in his life where I was off work and dedicated to him (almost) 24/7. And I will have all of the memories, but he won’t. I wish he could remember the talks and the walks outside and the books we’ve read.

We are still going strong with breastfeeding, but we’ve also introduced him to bottles now since my return to work is fast approaching and I won’t be nursing him for all of his feedings. I am  still pumping and all in all it is going well, just a lot of work. Right now he’s getting one bottle a day from The Husband and there hasn’t been any confusion or change in his feeding habits. We’ve been using Dr. Brown’s bottles and our lactation nurse has worked with me to put together a pumping schedule for when I’m at work. I hope it is successful and we can continue on breast milk for at least a year; I don’t want my return to work to hinder that at all. I guess we will take that as it comes.

In other news, I’m ready for winter to be over. We had 12.4 inches of snow dumped on us Thursday, and now more snow tonight/tomorrow morning. One snowstorm each winter is enough, thank you very much.

16708352_862738063867674_3499258132720049416_n

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

The Waiting

It’s been about a year since my last update about the genetic testing results we were waiting on after our third loss. For those of you new here or who have forgotten, we agreed to participate in genetic testing/research through the Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research at Boston Children’s Hospital. You can read my previous posts on this here, here, here and here.

Calling this an update is misleading – the update is that there is no update! The last communication we had was in October. Yes, we are still waiting.

10/3/16 I apologize that this has been such a drawn out process. There was quite a delay this summer at the research lab where the samples have been sent, because they had to obtain proper permissions to process fetal samples. Thankfully this is all worked out and the tissue samples are currently undergoing extraction. I actually checked in last week to see if it was successful and the process was not yet completed. I hope to have an answer from them soon. Assuming they can get enough DNA, all 5 samples will receive whole exome sequencing there.

10/13/16 I just wanted to let you know that I got an update that the lab was successfully able to get DNA from both samples! All samples will now undergo whole exome sequencing, which typically takes a few months, so please feel free to check back in later this winter and I will also reach out if I hear about any results.

I sent our contact at Children’s an email this evening letting her know that our son was born happy and healthy, and asking if there was anything new to report. I suspect there isn’t otherwise I would have heard from them.

Needless to say, we are glad we did not wait for these results before moving trying again for a successful pregnancy – otherwise my little McLovin would not be here today, sleeping safe and sound in his bassinet as I type.

The Husband will ask once in a while – “Can you imagine if we had waited for those results?”

No, I cannot.

4307959

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 17 Comments

I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words, how wonderful life is while you’re in the world

My little McLovin is two months old tomorrow. I can’t believe it has already been two months! It’s been the shortest, most trying, most amazing two months.

I feel like we just brought him home. But, he is growing and changing all the time. When he first started growing out of his newborn sized clothes I felt nostalgic; already? Isn’t he still a newborn baby? I suppose it’s exactly as they say, he will always be a baby to me.

As fun as it is to see him become more alert and aware, it also makes my heart ache when I see the photos from the hospital and when we first brought him home. So tiny in his swaddle; just a little babe who slept all the time and didn’t move much. Holding him all the time, he looked like a little doll. Now he has his social smile, and he’s found his hand and I’ve caught him sucking his thumb occasionally. He loves his rainforest gym, and I enjoy each morning putting him there after I’ve fed him and he’s alert, and I grab myself a yogurt and some fruit and watch him kick and move and stare at the lights. We are still co-sleeping in our bedroom, with him in his Halo Bassinest. I love having him so close to us. Last night I heard him rustling around and making some grunts, so I sat up to lean over and check on him and was greeted by a smile when he saw my face. I love his smile, but not at midnight when he’s supposed to be sleeping! One thing that has happened occasionally is that I startle myself awake in the middle of the night thinking I fell asleep with him in my arms and now he got squished in bed with us. I think it’s the weight of the dog, as she sleeps on the bed and usually is right up against me, that makes me think it is the baby in the bed. Which is strange as she’s about 75 lbs. and obviously much larger than McLovin. But it’s happened more than once that I think I fell asleep rocking/holding him and that somehow we killed him. It hasn’t been so bad lately though.

img_3264

With an appearance by the cat.

We are still exclusively breastfeeding and I’ve also been pumping so I can start my stash for when I return to work in February. For Christmas my mother even got me this Sarah Wells breast pump bag for when I return to work, as I got only the basic pump without a tote/bag through my insurance so I needed something to carry the pump and supplies back and forth. I also got these Freemie cups. I know I am “lucky,” for maternity leave in this country anyway, in that I’m taking 14 weeks off, 10 of those are paid 100% of my salary. I know many people get much less time, and much less money. But it still feels like it’s not long enough. We’re already making arrangements for child care for when I return and thus far we have four out of five days covered by family. My mother in law, who retired young and no longer works, has offered to watch him two days. My mother works four days a week and is going to watch him on her day off. And one of our aunts, who works part time, has offered one day a week as well. So now we have one day to cover. Part of me wants to ask my boss if I can work one day a week from home going forward; another part of me wants to ask if I can flex my schedule to four long days with one day off instead of five days. But working 7 to 5 seems like a very long day for me, perhaps not so bad in the summer when the days are longer but during the winter that just seems terrible. I like the idea of having a day off but I feel as though I might just be exhausted once I get home. I am glad that, at least for the time being, he will be with family. But my MIL is being difficult (naturally) and wants to watch him at her house rather than come to ours; my mother and the aunt have agreed to come to ours. It’s just irritating because she has NOTHING for him there – no diapers, no swing, no pack ‘n play, no bouncer. Nothing. Are we to buy duplicates to keep there? Are we to bring those items back and forth? I just wish she would come to our house – all of his stuff is here, he is comfortable here, and I work close enough so that I could come home at lunch if I wanted to see him and maybe get in a feeding. Not every day, as I think lunch breaks will now  be my work out breaks, but from time to time. She lives only 15 minutes away so it’s not a big deal to bring him there, but it’s also not a big deal for her to drive here either. Of course she is the most difficult of the three.

We go to the pedi later this week for his two month visit and vaccinations. I’m nervous about how he will react; I hate when it seems he is in pain. But I am curious to know his weight and length now. It’s obvious he’s grown, I just don’t know how much.

We also got our newborn photos back, and I ordered birth announcements from Shutterfly. Supposedly they shipped out on January 2nd; haven’t arrived yet. They claim they are lost in transit now and are sending out a new order. I was hoping to have them out by now but I guess there is nothing I can do about it.

tylerprint14

My little bear

tylerprint6

Go Patriots

In random happenings, I was able to get my wedding ring and engagement ring on last night as it seemed the swelling had finally subsided; today I can’t get my engagement ring off. I don’t know what caused my fingers to swell up again in less than 24 hours, but they did and it is really irritating me. It isn’t irritating me in a painful way, my finger doesn’t hurt at all with the rings on, it’s just irritating knowing they are on my finger and I can’t get them off. I’ve tried using oil, I’ve tried putting an icepack on that hand for ten minutes. I haven’t tried the floss yet, but I can’t see how I will get floss under the ring given how tight it is. Sigh.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

A Cliché

I returned to the gym today for the first time since I was 30 weeks pregnant. I exercised (well, walked and practiced yoga) until about 30 weeks, at which point I hit a wall and working out became too tiring and uncomfortable so I just stopped.

I ran today for the first time since April. During my first trimester I tried to run, but it only seemed to exacerbate the nausea so I stopped. When I finally started to feel less nauseous I felt it was not a good idea to start running as too much time had passed and so I stuck to walking.

It felt good to run. I thought back New Year’s Day of this year – January 1st I set out for a run. I picked up some new Under Armour gear for Christmas, and I remember getting suited up in that due to the cold weather and going for my first run of the year. I remember the route I took. I remember wondering if I would ever have a child. If I would get our genetic test results back soon and if so, I wondered of the results. Would they lead us to adoption or surrogacy or donor material? What would we do in the situation that it was too risky to try on our own without intervention? All these heavy thoughts that seemed best teased out in the crisp, cold air with my headphones on and some motivating music in the background.

And today, 365 days later, I set out for a run at the gym, albeit a bit slower. It felt strange to run again after so many months, and with the extra pregnancy weight that I have yet to lose. And with new thoughts in my head, of my miracle baby who was at home with this father.

New Year’s Eve two years ago we stayed in (I can’t recall what we did but it wasn’t celebratory.) Last New Year’s Eve we stayed in and watched Star Wars (RIP CF.) This New Year’s Eve we are in again, but not because we don’t feel like celebrating or are wishing the time away. We have much to be grateful for this year and stayed in for that reason – stayed in to be with our biggest, best present of the year. We were invited to two house parties, but with McLovin being so young we didn’t want to take him out, and being with him is more important to us.

It is a cliché, but tonight I keep thinking – “What a difference a year makes.” I don’t know why we had to suffer so in 2014 and 2015, or why 2016 was different. I don’t know why this is the year we were graced with our healthy child. But I know that at this time last year I was losing hope and wasn’t sure if we would ever have a living child. Wasn’t sure when or if I would ever get to hold my child in my arms. Wasn’t sure why pregnancy loss was following us around (and we still aren’t sure, because our test results still aren’t back yet.) We ran the gamut of emotions – frustration due to delays in receiving our genetic test results to sadness and hopelessness that we may never have an answer or grow our family to hope that maybe one last try would be successful to cautious optimism when we got pregnant to fear and anxiety over the health of the pregnancy and before each ultrasound to surprise when we were told I had to be induced early and the pure adrenaline and elation the night he was born to fatigue due to sleepless nights and awe when I look down at him and realize he is my baby and he is perfect. And so many others. It has been an emotionally fulfilling year, the highs and the lows. A “whole” year. This has been a full year with a range of emotions.. And somehow, for some reason, what I was beginning to think was impossible actually happened this year and the holiday today is totally different. I didn’t think so at the beginning of the year, but now I think I will always be fond of 2016. To me it will be the “Year of McLovin” – his pregnancy and birth.

I hope that anyone who is reading this has a happy, healthy and safe holiday. And if 2016 was rough to you, I hope that 2017 is a bit kinder.

avopix-395179306

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Late Night Thoughts II

  • If a second child is ever in the picture, consider choosing a name that does not end with the letter R. Living in Massachusetts means that everyone will drop the R at the end of the name and this will not cease to annoy you. Just because you enunciate your R’s and consciously make an effort not to drop them does not mean everyone else does. Including family.
  • In-laws have dropped by twice now unannounced, no phone call. If your husband refuses to address this with them so as to not ruin his “Perfect Only Child” facade, then you will eventually have to be the bad guy. Start preparing  for this.
  • I am afraid of being too happy, because The Universe might decide to take it all away from me like it did my first three babies.
  • To the point above, I constantly have it running through the back of my mind that McLovin could be taken from me, some how some way and then too I feel afraid. I am wary of becoming too complacent with this newfound good fortune of having a healthy son.
  • I won the middle name battle.
  •  My mother and father in law must have done something right, as they raised the man I love, but they have been so irritating over the past few months that I’m having trouble reminding myself of that and giving them the benefit of the doubt. This deserves an entry all its own.
  • A ten minute shower can feel like a heavenly getaway.
  • In the epic question of who does McLovin look like, The Husband or me, most people say he looks like me or my brother. We’ve had more people say they think he looks like my brother than say he looks like The Husband. To that I say, I don’t mind if he looks like his uncle as long as he doesn’t act like him.
  • We took the advice of my friend Sondra from A Calm Persistence and The Husband and I each bought McLovin one Christmas gift so there was at least something under the tree for his Christmas.  We opened each other’s gift to him  and neither of us told the other what was purchased, so each of us was surprised.

dscn0387

  • For some reason I have been fine getting up through the night for the feedings through four in the morning. The wake ups between four and seven in the morning really seem to be the worst for me. I don’t know why.
  • A thought occurred to me today, and I’m surprised it didn’t sooner. “I wonder if McLovin looks like his siblings, or what they would have looked like.” I can’t believe it took so long for me to think about that.
  • Sometimes I think I will never love another person quite the way I love McLovin. It is all the love inside of me. If you have more than one child does the love grow exponentially? Does it multiply? How can you manage so much intense feeling x 2 or 3?
  • The Husband’s  grandmother was the first to ask if we are going to have another child. On Thanksgiving. I told her McLovin was only a week old and our focus is on enjoying him and navigating our new role as parents. I don’t know how anyone could expect an answer to that so soon, but she said her brother has multiple great-grandchildren, and she has only one (McLovin). Not my problem!!!
  • I love my Baby K’Tan wrap and wearing him. He falls right asleep and doesn’t fuss, and I like feeling him so close. We have a bucket stroller for the car seat which we do use, but I prefer the K’Tan if the situation allows for it. I’m thinking of purchasing either a Solly wrap or a Sakura Bloom sling next. If anyone who is reading this has any experience with either I’d love to hear about it!
  • I look at him swaddled in his Halo swaddle and think he looks like a perfect little angel.
  • Some days I think I am doing everything right and clicking on all cylinders. Other days I hope I don’t screw him up too much. I feel like there isn’t much in between.
  • Even though McLovin is only six weeks old I feel like I’ve known him my whole life.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Late Night Thoughts

Below are some random thoughts that I’ve been writing and saving during late night feedings. Sorry if they are incoherent and all over the place – I guess that’s what happens when I’m up every two or three hours during the night and a little sleep deprived. But I wanted to record them for posterity’s sake. They are not dated so I really don’t remember when each thought came about, but they were all within the past five weeks as McLovin is five weeks old now.

_________________________________________________________________

  • Today was the first time I drove since giving birth, and it felt ODD. It really did, I don’t know why as I didn’t have surgery nor am I on any kind of medications but it felt like driving for the first time. I’m not sure why it felt so strange after only a week of not driving.
  • Today I didn’t get story time in. I try to have story time every day and somehow today it all got away from me. I feel bad about this. We have so many books, I love it – we need to put up more book shelves. I always loved reading so much as a kid and I hope he does too.
  • I didn’t brush my teeth until 8PM today. How did I forget to do that all day? I have a cleaning in two weeks so I need to do a better job staying on top of that.
  • I think I am having an easier time than The Husband right now adjusting to being a mother and these new responsibilities. Not that he is doing a bad job, not by any means, but he is a little more impatient and gets frustrated easier now that he is back to work. It seemed easier for him during the two weeks he was off with us. Now it seems he is having a hard time managing/juggling working full time along with wanting to be a father and helping out around the house. I wonder if I will be the same when I go back in February.
  • I feel like I am constantly covered or trying to avoid being covered in different bodily fluids of my own and McLovin’s and it makes me feel gross sometimes. Breast milk leaking, still spotting, occasional spit up, being peed on  – luckily we seem to have now mastered the timing of changing diapers so that if he does pee during a change we don’t get sprayed.
  • I think The Husband most enjoys doing tummy time with McLovin, more than anything else right now.
  • I’m glad I invested in a good dry shampoo.
  • I can’t believe how lucky I am to be his mom.
  • I woke up a few minutes ago and had breast milk leaking everywhere. I had a nursing pad on too but it was all over the top of my nightgown. I didn’t expect this.
  • So much laundry.
  • I love when he’s wrapped like a burrito, and looks like a peaceful little Gerber baby.
  • The days are long but the weeks are short. Weren’t we just in the hospital? How is he already four weeks old, I feel like it’s been a blur and I missed it even though I’ve spent almost all of my waking hours with him since his birth. I don’t have enough videos of him.
  • I really enjoy breastfeeding, more than I thought I would.
  • However my breasts are also doing crazy things, and not just the leaking.
  • I don’t miss working, but I miss the gossip.
  • Even as tired as I am during the day due to several night time feedings, I am still not as tired as I was the morning after the election. I think there is a difference between tired due to a personally emotionally fulfilling experience/reason, i.e.  caring for and feeding my newborn for whom I’ve been waiting for two+ grief filled years, and tired due to an emotionally draining and agitating evening, i.e. watching the television reports as your country elects a hateful demagogue to lead it for the next four years.
  • Sometimes I feel like I could hold him forever.
  • I wish I had more pictures of us from right after his birth.
  • My mother is going crazy over Christmas gifts. Today she said she has two “surprises” for him. Not sure how  to surprise a one month old. So I guess just The Husband and I will be surprised.
  • I love when he smiles, even if it is only gas.
  • I also love when he scrunches his face up when he has to poo, he looks so concerned and so angry and it’s actually very cute – I just wish it didn’t cause him so much distress.
  • We did newborn photos three weeks ago and I still don’t have the proofs or online gallery available yet. He slept through it so I’m pretty sure we have zero with his eyes open, but oh well. I am anxious to see them but don’t want to email her and seem like a haunt, especially around the holidays. But I really want my pictures!!!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Maternity Unit/Postpartum Recovery

Since I covered McLovin’s birth story I thought I would also talk a bit about my recovery from a medication free vaginal birth.

I am happy to report that recovery has gone well, and honestly I was expecting it to be worse than it was. The first few days were very uncomfortable, but not painful. Everything was a bloody mess though, literally and figuratively (sorry if TMI!.) The morning after delivery (Thursday) it felt odd to walk around – everything “down there” felt very delicate. And, I had a rather large and awkward ice pack “down there” to help with swelling. It felt good to have the ice, but it was very awkward to maneuver with it and I was waddling like I was still pregnant. I think I used the ice packs for only 24 hours. I was surprised at how uncomfortable and a (little) painful it felt to even move myself around in the bed – up and down or from side to side when the nurses or doctors would come in to check my bottom. Getting to my side was actually very painstaking and I had to move SLOWLY.  That discomfort continued for at least 48 hours but was manageable. By the second day (Friday) I was walking around the maternity floor and going to and from the nourishment station – making myself cups of tea, grabbing some cranberry juice or ginger ale, and just getting a change of scenery. I walked around in my robe and slippers and liked seeing the names of the other babies on each door. I would walk around a couple times a day to check the names of the new arrivals. The nurses encouraged me to get up and walk around and move my legs and I’m glad I did. My mother in law thought it was strange that I was dressed and up and moving around – apparently she was in such pain after delivering The Husband that she was “crawling on all fours” for days after and she claims that’s the reason The Husband is an only child. I don’t know if that’s an exaggeration or not, but my recovery was nothing like that.

After delivery, during skin to skin, we tried to see if McLovin would feed but he wasn’t interested. He actually did not have any interest in feeding until about 24 hours after birth. And once he decided to eat, he awoke with a vengeance- he was very sleepy the first 24 hours, which I was surprised about considering I used no meds that would have affected him, but I guess some babies are just sleepy. Once we did finally figure it out I did get some cramping when I would breastfeed, but it was no worse than typical menstrual cramps.

My feet were a bit swollen while in the hospital but are back to normal now, but my fingers are still a bit swollen (I still can’t fit my engagement ring on my ring finger.) My ring finger is normally 4 and a quarter, but was measuring a 5 yesterday.

During my two night hospital stay I was offered pain medication on several occasions but didn’t need it – not Motrin, not Tylenol. After delivery the pain I was feeling felt very minimal. I guess it’s all about perspective. One of the nurses told me I was the easiest patient she had for her shift.  I started taking this herbal supplement Thursday morning after delivery, per my acupuncturist, and am still taking it today.

As of now I am no longer bleeding, more like occasional light spotting – very very light and very very occasional.

Some other random thoughts on recovery and hospital stay:

  • I’m glad I had some of my own comfortable items from home with me – slippers, robe, and a sleep mask for my eyes. There was always a dim light on in our room, as the nurses would come in during the night to check on me/McLovin a few times, and light would come in when they opened the door. I was glad to have the mask with me so it made the continuous dim light and jarring bright lights when the door opened less so. I delivered McLovin in one of my sports bras and favorite tee shirts and it made me feel less like a “patient” and more like a human to have my own clothes.
  • I’m definitely a fan of the mesh underwear at the hospital. I used those the entire time I was there, and even took a stash home with me. Very comfortable and useful in this situation.
  • Showering that Thursday morning felt heavenly. I was glad I brought my own toiletries, the hospital toiletries left much to be desired.
  • I also loved the little “Perineal Irrigation Bottle“. I can’t explain why I loved it so much but I did. Very convenient. I took one of those for my stash too.
  • I wish I had taken other people’s advice more seriously when they said you should consider limiting visitors the first day. After delivering at 10:30 Wednesday night, not getting to the maternity unit until 1AM Thursday morning, answering all the maternity nurses’s questions, and then getting very little sleep that morning due to the sheer adrenaline and watching McLovin sleep, I was running on fumes through much of the day after lunch. And of course, EVERYONE wants to visit – which is nice and thoughtful, but in hindsight I probably should have said no to the aunts/uncles and kept it to only our parents. Not to mention how many hospital staffers are in and out all day long – pediatrician, OB, nurses, nurse assistants, lactation consultants, cleaning staff, food delivery and tray pick up, etc. That first day it felt like we never had a minute to ourselves.
  • To the point above, for some God-forsaken reason my MIL and FIL decided not to visit until 7 at night the day after delivery (Thursday) and stayed until 8:30. I really don’t know why they thought this was a good idea, considering they knew how late we were up the night before and how little sleep we got, but they did and I was very annoyed. VERY annoyed. This is the one point during our stay that The Husband and I got into a disagreement – I was pissed that they waited so long to show up especially considering my MIL is retired so it’s not like she had to work during the day. All I wanted to do was sleep, and instead they decide to come meet McLovin then when they had all day to do it. I was not happy at all.
  • I got my breast pump at the hospital – they handled getting it approved and covered 100% through my insurance company on Thursday for me, and then gave me a tutorial on Friday when they delivered it. It was nice not to have to worry about it at all and to know it was handled.
  • I brought my breastfeeding pillow to the hospital with me, but I didn’t use it once while we were there. I just used pillows.
  • I’m glad I packed my nursing bras/tank tops in our bags and had them with me. Made it so much easier to breastfeed while we were there and I didn’t feel completely exposed all the time.
  • The hospital food was pretty good, and it was nice to have three delivered meals a day – I didn’t have to worry a bit about it, they would take my order each morning and lunch/dinner were three courses, I definitely indulged in the desserts. My mother also brought me one of my favorite turkey subs the day after delivery, since I had been craving one for those 8+ months.
  • Discharge took longer than they said it would. I was supposed to be out by noon, but didn’t get out until 2PM. I was a little annoyed by this but I got one last lunch and slice of angel food cake.
  • It felt so strange to walk out with McLovin. I remember leaving the maternity unit, and going to the elevator and seeing a pregnant woman getting off the elevator and thinking – “Wow that was just me a few days ago. Now I am leaving with a little person.”
  • Like the Labor and Delivery nurses, the Maternity nurses were top notch. I have no complaints about any of them or the care we received- as soon as I’d hit the call button or call their individual phones they’d answer right away. I never felt like our needs weren’t met or that I had unanswered questions. They were very attentive overall and particularly encouraging about breastfeeding – especially during the first day when he wouldn’t eat and I was getting stressed thinking that something was wrong or that he was starving himself.
  • I wish I had kept a list of the nurses/nursing assistants that we had for each shift. I can only remember a few of their names off the top of my head.
  • McLovin did not have a name until well over 24 hours after birth. I felt bad when the registrar’s office called that first morning asking for a name so they could begin the birth certificate process – and I was like “Nope, sorry not yet!” and they laughed and said they’d check back the next day. We had it narrowed to two and then we started soliciting input from everyone – family who was visiting and nurses. We pulled names out of a hat – first two out of three, then three out of five. Finally on Friday morning we decided and it was a relief to have that done.
  • Getting my leave approval/STD approval from work was easier than I thought it would be. I don’t know why I expected it to be difficult, I guess that’s just the reputation HR has, but it was easy and that was good.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments