Thursday, December 4, 2008

Recap of the first 2 weeks

As expected, our lives have changed drastically. What we didn't expect is how hard the adjustment has been. We're going on 3-4 hours of sleep a day now and it's hard, especially since I'm used to at least 8 hours of sleep. Tristan is exactly 2 weeks old today and needs us a lot right now. Being there for him doesn't allow us much time to do things for ourselves. I barely have time to read and reply to emails. There is so much I want to blog about but I have no time to!

Postpartum is tough. I'm still very sore "down there" and am still relying on pain killers for relief. I would cut myself off except that breastfeeding requires me to sit a lot and I can't really. We made a donut out of a big towel and I sit on that, which helps a bit. What surprised me about postpartum is how swollen you can get from all the water retention after birth and being on the IV therapy. My feet were huge the first week, my face was round, my tongue was huge and it felt funny to brush it, my hands huge... I looked so different and I was kind of scared. Another thing that I didn't read about was how sore your body muscles would be from the labour and birth. When you are pushing, you are using all your muscles, especially, your legs and arms. After 9 months of taking it relatively easy and not using much muscle, I was really sore for days. It was like going for a long hard run after taking a break from running for months. My arms were so sore and weak; I was afraid to carry Tristan the first few days. Breastfeeding was a big challenge as a result. Other things I experienced or am experiencing during postpartum include the baby blues, stinging when I urinate, breast engorgement, and sore nipples.

The transition home from the hospital was a bit nerve wrecking.  We could no longer rely on the help of nurses and had to clean up after ourselves.  The day we left the hospital, I remembered my friend telling me that it was so emotional for her and it made her cry.  Not surprisingly, I cried too as we dressed Tristan in his going-home clothes and strapped him in his car seat.  He was asleep and looked like such an angel.  I couldn't believe we were taking him home with us forever.  Luckily, we were not totally alone for our first few days at home.  My parents come over from Victoria and they stayed with us for 2 nights.  They cooked for us, stocked up our fridge and freezer, and watched Tristan while Jean-Louis helped me in the shower.  We were not very good hosts though.  I was easily irritated at the time and I think they sensed it too.

Tristan is a sweetheart.  I can't believe he is mine.  How was it ever possible for this little human being to grow inside me and come out?  Reproduction is so fascinating and I can't believe I got to experience it.  I am very grateful.  The 9 months of pregnancy felt a bit difficult for me with all the nausea, heartburn, rib spasms, leg cramps, and discomfort and then the labour experience was exhausting and such an ordeal.  All of this makes the prize at the end even sweeter :)   Tristan is healthy and I'm so thankful!  Nothing about it was easy and I appreciate that and have even more respect for pregnant woman and moms now.

Tristan cries a lot.  Other parents may disagree with me but I find that he cries a lot.  When he cries and we have checked everything and still can't figure out what's wrong, it's so frustrating :(  Some nights are better than others.  Last night for instance, we couldn't sleep until 6AM since he wouldn't sleep.  He was tired and hungry and I fed him on and off all through the night.  Part of the reason why we think he won't sleep is that he hates his crib.  It's cold, dark and he's alone so I don't blame the guy.  I think we may need to implement a co-sleeping system and have him bed with us for the first little while.  If it works, he will sleep better and so will we.  We need our strength to take care of him and my milk production relies on good rest, which is extremely hard to come by these days.  We certainly don't want him to get used to it though, which is why we are a bit hesitant to do this.

Feed, feed, feed.  We breastfeed 8-10 times a day or every 2-3 hours.  On top of recording how often and how long we feed on each breast, we have to record all his pees and poops.  Trust me we never thought we would be writing all this down.  The healthcare nurse asks for this when she contacts you so you must keep a record of it.  Initially at the hospital, we were told to wake the baby up every 3 hours max and force feed him.  Because my milk did not come in the first few days, we supplemented with ready-to-feed formula using a finger and syringe.  Our routine was to feed on the breasts first, then finger feed with colostrum we pumped in the previous session, and then finally top up with formula from a bottle.  Poor little Tristan was a bit jaundice the first few days too so he was extremely tired.  So were we!  This feeding routine lasted 2 hours and then we would have an hour rest and then it was time to feed again.  On and on this went and we were so pooped!  It was only when the visiting healthcare nurse told us to stop and that we were exhausting ourselves and the baby did we finally change our routine.  We then started to eliminate the finger feeding and breast pumping and cut our feeding time in half.  Thank goodness!

As new parents, we have a lot to learn and much to get used to.  Constantly tending to the baby will take awhile to get used to.  We're so used to being just the two of us.  It's not like you are babysitting and then at the end of the day you get to hand the baby over and tell yourself that you can sleep in the next day.  This is our baby and he is here to stay permanently.  It's pretty scary.  And then there are disasters.  I wasn't aware changing a little boy's diaper was so challenging.  He pees everywhere every time we try to change him!  Urine even sprayed in his mouth one time and he was choking on it.  I felt like a horrible mom :(  I fed him a bit of breast milk to help wash it down but I was upset.  We're getting better and better at dodging his urine now but accidents still frequently occur.

Overall, things have been going pretty well so far.  We've survived 2 weeks with a newborn and that in itself is impressive!  Just taking it one day at a time.  I know they don't stay small for long so we're cherishing every moment of it.  I don't think there has been a day that has gone by without us taking any pictures of him.  Will post more on the blog soon... once our routine is more established.


Related Posts with Thumbnails