Monday, May 16, 2016

Rambling thoughts about my newborn and time in the hospital

I'm not one for inspirational quotes or cheesy platitudes. When Dalton was born, I found myself a ball of mush, realizing a lot of those over the top emotional statements were true. Well, here I am again. While I suspected I would probably love kiddo #2 as much as my first, now that he's here and it's actually happening, I can't even believe it. It's true though. Things like "my heart is so full" is not really something you'll generally hear me saying, but I really do feel it. These two beautiful boys are absolute perfection, and I can't even get over my good luck to get to spend all my time with them right now.

First picture as a family of four
After the excitement of finding out it was a boy, I was, naturally, dying to meet him. Eventually, after they got him cleaned up (so probably actually like 5 minutes), they brought him over and then Eric held him while I was being stitched up. Someone in the OR casually mentioned Royce was rooting, and that made me extremely anxious and I was freaking out about getting to feed him as soon as possible. First mom guilt with this kid - laying here like a lazy ass getting stitched up after surgery, withholding food from my child. I kept asking when I could nurse him.

In the recovery room, I got to nurse Royce right away, which was great, because it took hours before I could feel my hands and stop shaking enough to feed Dalton. At the end of my pregnancy, I had started to get really eager to breastfeed again. However, while I was looking forward to it, I was also nervous, because there's so much that can go wrong. Dalton was relatively easy to breastfeed - overall, things went pretty smoothly, even with a tongue tie at birth. While we did have our challenges, the worst ones came later on in the game, so I could deal with them because I was past the insane hormonal postpartum period. While I'd like to say I am realistic about a second child being different and potentially using formula, I'm not truly there. Logically, it makes sense, but I loved breastfeeding Dalton, and I wanted that again.

Recovery.  Beautiful.

While we're certainly not free and clear just yet, Royce latched right on in the recovery room and never looked back. He nursed for something like an hour and a half, and he's probably spent about 96% of his life on the boob since then. I thought I knew what cluster feeding was before. I was wrong. Dalton was actually fairly regular (for a newborn) with feedings every two hours or so. Royce just nurses all day and all night. He honestly rarely even goes an hour in between feedings, although probably some of it is for comfort and I'm not sure if he's really drinking much. I'm thrilled that it's going so well, and I feel it's made the first week pretty easy. He's barely cried, mainly just for diaper changes. He's a happy camper if he's on the boob, and I can provide that, which means we're all staying pretty happy. I'm also really hoping that it's great for my supply. It's forced me to just sit and do nothing, which is exactly what I need for recovery right now. The only downside is that I feel bad, since Eric has gotten very little time with him, but he has his hands full with Dalton and he knows its just temporary.

Royce isn't a big fan of being put down, and wants to be held at all times, as newborns tend to do. At least in my two experiences.

So we pretty much just snuggle nonstop, and I pretty much love it. I appreciate it even more now that I know how fleeting it is. While I can't wait to get to know Royce better and discover his personality, I want to freeze time at this cuddly smushy baby stage.

I'm feeling some weird sadness now that his birth is over. I certainly didn't expect that, since I spent my entire pregnancy anxious about the logistics and emotional impact of leaving Dalton. And I think we can all agree that labor and delivery isn't anyone's favorite part of parenthood. Still, there's something just so special about meeting your child for the first time, and it's obviously such a rare experience.

A special experience that includes this special gift. 

Anyway, all my fears about Dalton were, naturally, unfounded. While he definitely missed us, he had a lot of fun with his grandma and grandpa while we were in the hospital. I didn't worry much about him at all, partially because they kept the pictures of him having fun coming, partially because it's amazing what a distraction giving birth, recovering from surgery, and not sleeping can be.

After I nursed Royce, we hung out in the recovery room for awhile. It was so much better than my first time there. I didn't have the uncontrollable shaking, and they let me have ice chips. Doesn't sound like a huge deal, but it was. They took Royce to have a bath, and us to our room in the Mother/Baby wing at about 11:30pm, which was perfect, because my mom and sister were just arriving from NY. Even better - the night nurse gave me the green light to eat in the morning, AND, more importantly, have coffee. This was huge because last time I wasn't allowed to have anything until the following night at dinner. After everyone met Royce, it was time for bed.

Royce slept for like 4.5 hours in the nursery (rooming in - not for us). Eric actually had his own bed in the room and passed out. I DID NOT SLEEP. Like literally, slept zero. I would doze off, then wake up to the beeping of my machines or the calf sleeves that constantly inflated and deflated on my legs, look at the clock, and every time maybe 5 minutes had passed. I finally did fall asleep after feeding Royce, around 6am, but then by 7:30 nurses were coming to check my vitals, the cafeteria was calling to ask if I needed breakfast, etc. Typical hospital life. Even my iced venti Americano didn't do much for me (but it was delicious). I kept nodding off mid conversation with people.

I tried to get it together for an exciting morning - my two boys meeting! I actually wasn't that excited about it, because I wanted to keep my expectations low and not push things. Of course, I was dying to see Dalton.

It was anticlimatic for sure. I think he was really scared by all the machines I was hooked up to, and wouldn't even look at me at first and just clung to Eric. He did get over that, luckily.

I missed my big boy.

However, he showed no interest in his new baby brother.

New siblings can't compare to new surroundings to be explored.
Until it was diaper change time. That, he found fascinating.

The next day was the hospital day I'd been waiting for. My epidural came out (at least in my experiences, they leave it in for the first day post c-section, which is a GREAT time to be numb), my IV came out, and I was officially unattached to machines and allowed to walk to the bathroom by myself. The epidural made me insanely itchy, which never happened last time. I kept asking for benadryl, which they gave me through my IV. It helped minimally with the itching and not at all with my general exhaustion and lack of intelligence. I took my first post partum shower, which is one of the best experiences in life, painful as it may be. 

This time, Dalton visited after his nap, and things went much better. 

Still no interest in Royce, but at least he wasn't terrified of me. 
I'd been hoping to spend Mother's Day at home, but I had to stay another day. It turned out to be really nice though, I got to cuddle both my boys, and spend time with my own mother. Plus, our hospital prep paid off, and we were prepared to stream Game of Thrones in our room.

Monday morning, we were ready to peace out as soon as we were discharged. Amazing how much less scary it is taking a baby home the second time around. The nurse had to go over basic baby safety with us as a requirement, and then asked if we had any questions about feeding, sleeping, diapering, etc before we left. We couldn't even think of any questions! Crazy. Dalton was playing outside with my mom when we pulled up, and he went crazy when he saw our car. It was the best reunion.

This is certainly not an example of my best writing. I keep thinking of a million things I want to say on the blog, but have no time to type any of it up. I'll never understand how a tiny little creature that sleeps approximately 23.5 hours a day takes up so much time to care for. 

So on a scale of awesome are babies? Definitely a 10 in my book.

If you selected 2 or awesome was Game of Thrones last night? AMAZING, right?


  1. 10. maybe 11. except when they don't sleep, then like 9 1/2.

  2. Haha, babies are a 7-8. Usually awesome, with intermittent bouts of not-awesome (crying) :)

    My coworker just had a baby 2 weeks ago. I went to visit last week and just sat there, holding the baby, for 3 hours. THREE HOURS. Most adorable time-suck ever. :)

    CONGRATULATIONS again! You guys look so happy!

  3. I must still have leftover baby hormones because I almost started tearing up reading this. I cannot WAIT to have another baby and would totally go for it now except I have to save up more vacation time for maternity leave... damn money always getting in the way of my plans! I want all the babies!


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