Thursday, May 14, 2009

4 weeks

In three days our little girl will be four weeks old. My, how time flies when you are zombified and half asleep! It took me about a week to get out of my really thick postpartum funk, during which I'm not entirely sure what happened. I was so glad my mom stayed for a couple of weeks to help us! What a blessing!

What they don't tell you about being a new mom (Do NOT read this section unless you really want to know the awful, terrible, disgusting truth.):

1. You will not feel human again for 1-2 weeks postpartum.

2. You will likely run around in pajama pants and a nursing bra for several days and not even notice.

3. Around day three, you will cry harder than you've ever cried before. You are OK, but you need to cry for some reason. You might receive a phone call, go into the closet to take it, and wake up in the closet 20 minutes later wondering where you are.

4. Your brain will not function properly for awhile. Even the simplest of questions will be too difficult for you to answer. Do not attempt to get any academic work done during this time.

5. You will dream that you are nursing the baby only to be awakened by the baby, who wants to nurse. This will confuse you, but you'll figure it out.

6. Your nipples will hurt like hell for a couple of weeks. Read for helpful hints you didn't get in the hospital. Sleeping through nursing sessions is a bad idea, but sometimes you and the baby will both be unable to help it.

7. For a few days, you will not be completely aware of the passage of time. You need your mommy so you can get at least a little sleep.

8. Nothing goes as planned. Ever.

9. You will bleed like you've never bled before for what seems like forever.

10. Your first post-partum bowel movement will be a long time in coming, will be painful and will be difficult, especially if you've had stitches.

11. Things will be incredibly, painfully wrong for a couple of weeks. At about the two week mark, you get a little better. You will stop wondering "What have we done?" and "What were we thinking?". At three or four weeks, things are really looking up and you start to get into a good groove. You can do this mommy thing!

Do not let the above fool you into thinking I am not totally in love with my little girl. I am so happy to have her. Samantha sure is different four weeks later. She's taller and thinner and her eyes seem to be turning brown, though there is still a hint of dark blue in them. She has more strength in her neck and can lift her head up even more than she did before, though she's always had exceptional head control for a newborn. She has a few more sounds in her vocabulary: some squeaks and a couple of vowel sounds that aren't crying-related. She gives off adorable little single-syllable "warning shot" cries when she's about to get fussy.

She lost her cord just shy of two weeks and the last of the scab came off at the two week mark. She didn't like her first bath, but I made the second one warmer and that seemed to be OK with her. She seems to like having her hair washed.

We started cloth diapers when she was three weeks old and still have her in 'sposies at night because all the CD stuff is upstairs and I don't want to attempt to navigate stairs while half asleep and holding the baby. The CD's are working well and the laundry is not any more trouble than running to the store for a new package of 'sposies. I like it. It's going to save us a lot of money and it's going to save a lot of wear and tear on our homeworld.

Life is good.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Samantha Elise is here!

We did it!

After having increasingly strong Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks, I didn't know it was for real at first. Labor began around 2:45 on Saturday afternoon. I sent Andrew out with his friends since I didn't know whether it was for real and I knew he'd be back in time if it was. I knew it was for real at around 9 pm so I took a bath and called him to come home, then called our doula. Kathy arrived at around 10:30. She sat with us through a couple of contractions, we went for a walk, and decided to try to get some sleep. Kathy went home. We called her to come back at around 2 am when it became perfectly clear that I wasn't going to get any sleep at all as the contractions got stronger, longer, and closer together at about 4 minutes apart. We headed for the hospital at about 3:30 and arrived around 4:00. That car ride was not fun. I was 7 cm when I was first checked. The nursing staff was excellent and already had the copy of my birth plan that my CNM had faxed to them. I got a hep lock instead of a full IV (though it took three people three tries each to get it in), nobody asked about medication, and I was allowed intermittent monitoring so I could move around. Surprisingly, I was happiest in the bed and in the chair. I thought for sure I'd be squatting all over the place.

I labored for several hours and thank God for my doula! She was amazing through the whole thing! I don't think I could have gone unmedicated without her. Andrew was a great coach, though a little woozy at times. He hadn't gotten any sleep for two nights thanks to work and stress. When they say "you'll know when it's real labor" they are NOT kidding! Since I labored at home for so long, it wasn't long before I was 9 cm and then ready to push. Pushing seemed to last forever and I felt like I'd hit the wall. The CNM offered to break the water but I told her to wait and my baby girl broke it soon after. There was meconium so I had to push in a semi-reclining position so the CNM could suction her as soon as her face appeared. I got to touch her head. I felt like I was making no progress and was in so much pain that I thought I might not be able to do it after all, but soon she was halfway out and I had to resist the urge to push her the rest of the way (impossible) while the CNM got her suctioned. Pretty much the only thing that didn't go perfectly was that I had to be cut and I tore, and I know my CNM does not take episiotomy lightly so it really had to be done. It is going to be a long time before I do all that again, but I would do it the same way again for sure.

Our precious little girl was born at 10:22 am on April 19. She weighs 8 lb., 13 oz. and is 21 inches long. She had to have some blood sugar tests because of her size, but everything is fine. She is absolutely beautiful. She loves to look at her daddy and she loves to lay on my chest. She hates to have her diaper changed and she hates to be moved if she's happy where she is. She's not too sure about nursing, but we're working on that. Her grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and of course her parents are all completely in love with this little one.

It took us until the end of her second day to name her. Samantha Elise is home with us now!