Mom & Baby: Week 1

Our first week with baby was such a whirlwind! It was filled with a lot of visitors, a lot of doctors appointments, so much love, and yes, some tears too. Let’s start where I left off at the end of Baby Kevin’s birth story

After we were all wheeled upstairs to our recovery room our family had a chance to hold Baby Kevin for the first time after being at the hospital all night long.

After only about 15 minutes a nurse came in and said she had to take the baby for his first bath and blood work. I was so sad to see him go, but Kevin was able to go with him at least. I missed him so much while he was gone that my heart was literally aching. It’s true what they say about feeling attached to your baby immediately. When they brought him back I decided to try to feed him again. Our family left to give us some privacy and I was able to get him to latch on after a few tries. Afterwards the nurse came to help me use the bathroom for the first time and teach me how to take care of that area. I really wanted to shower, but they told me I couldn’t until I peed twice and then they could take my IV out and let me.

By this point it was dinnertime and I was really hungry for a real meal, so Kevin left for about 30 minutes to get me my favorite- Chipotle! It has never tasted so good!

After eating we had some more visitors. Our family came back and our friends Mike and Alicia came too. Once they left I was finally allowed to shower. It felt so good to be clean again!

The next morning we hung out at the hospital for a while and began the discharge process. Since I had an uncomplicated labor and delivery I only had to stay one night. I couldn’t wait to get out of there and go home!

Right before we left my friend Ashley came to meet Baby K. She was the first person that I told I was pregnant way back in January!

Baby did so well on his first car ride! I sat in the back with him because it is kind of a long trip (about 40 minutes) and I wanted to stare at him the entire time 🙂

Once we were home we experienced a whole lot of fun firsts…

First milk coma

First bath at home

First night at home with us. We were so terrified!

First walk in the BOB at 5 days old!

Mommy’s first glass of wine since New Years Eve!

First time being peed on!

First time being rocked to sleep in the glider

First time in the Moby Wrap. He loved it!

First photo shoot

First Steelers game

First nap with daddy

We also had more visitors that were excited to meet him. He is already so loved by so many people!

Kevin Spaulding Sr., Kevin Spaulding II, and Kevin Spaulding III

So that is how we spent our first week with Baby Kevin! Now let’s get into the details of how baby and mom are doing 1 week post partum.

Baby

It has been so much fun getting to know our little man. It hasn’t always been easy, but we are slowly learning his personality and who he is. I feel very lucky because he has been pretty low-maintenance so far. He loves to be held but is content laying in his newborn lounger or in the bouncer on his own. He will cry when he gets his diaper changed and when he’s getting a bath, but he doesn’t really scream much besides that. Sometimes he will get fussy after he eats and I think he’s having some gas issues that make him uncomfortable. He spit up a lot the first few days and had a lot of mucus in his throat that he would gag on which would cause me to freak out, thinking that he was choking. The doctor told me that since I had such a quick delivery (only pushing for 30 minutes) the mucus didn’t all get squeezed out like it is supposed to during birth. The bulb syringe was our best friend those first few days!

As far as sleeping- he has his days and nights confused big time. He sleeps all day and then around 9:00 p.m. his little eyes pop open and he is wide awake for the night. He will cluster feed all night long which is tough on me, but we make up for it by trying to rest a lot during the day. He is breastfeeding like a champ though, and is almost back to his birth weight! He is a very aggressive eater, and when it’s time he will shake his head around like crazy rooting for the boob and then suck really hard for a few seconds. It’s kind of funny to watch. He’s getting better at finding it more quickly now though.

He did worry us the first few days of his life though because he had jaundice. He had his bilirubin levels tested on Friday at his 2 day appointment because the doctor thought he looked a little yellow. The levels came back at 13, so I put him in the window for a while that day and tried to feed him a ton to flush it out.  They had to go back to the doctors office the next day to get his bilirubin levels tested again, and we got a phone call that evening telling us the results. It was now at 19.5, so the doctor told us to go to the hospital to get him tested that night since brain damage can happen when levels get into the 20s. It was really scary to bring a 3 day old baby to the hospital, and we had to wait around after testing to see if we needed to be admitted so he could go under the lights.  Thankfully his levels had gone back down to 15.5, so we didn’t have to stay. They said it could have been a lab error that made it so high that morning, but we don’t really know. We had to go back to the hospital for a follow-up test on Sunday, and then to the doctor’s for another one on Tuesday. Each time the levels have gone down. He is looking less yellow and is much more awake now, so we are confident that his jaundice is improving. We won’t have to go back to the doctor until his 2 week appointment next Thursday, which is good news! I hated having to go there so often in his first few days of life. Too many germs!

Finally, this little baby is STRONG! He can already lift up his head for about 2 seconds and has a monster grip. He is very aware of his hands and always has them up by his face, in his mouth, or he intertwines his fingers together. It’s so cute! He likes to keep his legs curled up and crossed, I think this is probably what he did inside of me too. But every once in a while he will kick his legs out with crazy strength. He did this inside of me as well- I remember those hard kicks!

Body

I really didn’t know what to expect of my post partum body. I had heard that I would leave the hospital looking like I did when I was about 5 months pregnant. I wasn’t very big at all at 5 months, so I didn’t really believe that. I thought I would be bigger and still need maternity clothes for a while. So  I was shocked when I looked in the mirror after delivery and saw how relatively flat my stomach was! With each day that passes my body looks a little more like it used to. I somehow avoided getting stretch marks which is awesome, but I still have my linea negra and my belly is pretty soft and squishy. I know when I am able to start running again it will firm up. Until then, I will stick to breastfeeding, walking, and taking care of baby as my exercise 🙂

1 day post partum. Please ignore the unattractive nursing bra and those mesh granny panties they give you at the hospital. They are awesome though! I started my pregnancy at 130 pounds and gained a total of 26 pounds. I weighed myself when we got home 2 days post partum and I had lost 13 pounds, putting me back at 143.

      

I week post partum. At 1 week out I had lost 5 more pounds, so I’m currently sitting at 138. I think this is due to constant hunger and thirst from breastfeeding, combined with losing some of the water I was carrying around. I have also been sweating at night like crazy- it is so gross. I read it has something to do with the hormones.

      

It blows my mind that I looked like THIS only a week before! How is that possible?

In other body news, my boobs are ridiculous. I discovered that my milk had come in when I woke up on Friday morning and they were huge and very painful. I was so engorged and I looked like a porn star. It was so uncomfortable, and Baby Kevin was so sleepy because of his jaundice that I couldn’t get him to eat enough at one time to empty them. They just kept getting bigger and more full, and it hurt so much. Finally by day 5 the engorgement went down and now he is eating a lot more so it’s not as extreme. But they do fill up and I can tell when it’s time for him to eat again based on that. They also leak like crazy! Something I didn’t expect while breastfeeding are the contractions that it causes. Sometimes when I’m feeding him I will feel them and it’s so strange, but I read that it helps your uterus shrink down to its normal size again.

The rest of my recovery has been great so far. I was pretty sore the first two days, especially “down there” which made sitting on any kind of surface difficult, but that has since gone away. I also had a lot of popped blood vessels in my face- I guess from pushing so hard? Those have pretty much disappeared by now though. I bled a ton the first week but that’s almost gone as well. I  feel pretty normal at this point! I also feel very lucky to have had such an easy recovery, but I think a lot of it is due to the type of birth I had and the fact that I was really active throughout my pregnancy.

Mind

Wow, I thought I was emotional during my pregnancy, but nothing compares to how I am now 1 week post partum. I have cried so many times- not always because I am sad about anything, but also because I am happy and love him so much, or because I feel overwhelmed, or frustrated, or worried. I got upset on our first night home with him when I was terrified something would happen to him in his sleep, then when we were worried about his jaundice, when I was sleep deprived and he was cluster feeding all night long, when I was hungry because I realized I hadn’t eaten all day since I was so busy taking care of the baby, when I was overwhelmed with visitors, etc.

Pumpkin spice lattes always make me feel better!

The worst was when I finally decided to have a glass of wine for the first time since last New Years Eve. I fed the baby and drank a small glass right with my friends who were visiting immediately afterwards. I knew that I was supposed to wait 2 hours after drinking to feed the baby again, and that was perfect because that’s about how often baby was eating… or so I thought. Literally 20 minutes after finishing my wine he started screaming and rooting around. This was the beginning of our night-time cluster feeding. He had never gotten hungry again so quickly before and I didn’t know what to do. I had alcohol in my system and I read that it builds up and peaks in your bloodstream at 90 minutes so it was best to wait until after that point to breastfeed. I didn’t want to feed him before that point because I couldn’t stand the thought of putting alcohol into my brand new baby’s body. I felt so guilty and selfish for even having a glass of wine in the first place, and listening to him cry made me so upset. Eventually I waited until an hour and 45 minutes had passed and I finally fed him, crying the whole time. I felt like such a bad mother for drinking and then depriving him of his food. I decided I wasn’t going to drink again until I was pumping regularly. Live and learn I guess!

One thing that I think has really helped stabilize my mood are my placenta pills. I talked before about how I planned to keep my placenta and have it dehydrated and put into pill form. There are many benefits to this, including more energy, better milk supply, hormone stabilization, better sleep, and it decreases post-partum depression. The woman that I hired came over on Saturday and Sunday to do this, and I started taking the pills Monday morning. Since then I have felt so much better and more positive overall, and my bleeding has already subsided to almost nothing. Whether this is all really from the placenta pills or it’s a placebo effect, I don’t really care. Either way it’s working and I feel amazing- so I’ll take it 🙂

Placenta Encapsulator using her blender to grind dehydrated placenta… not appetizing, I know!

I really do miss running though, and I know once I am able to get back to it my mood will be more stable too. This is the longest time I have gone without running since I started 8 years ago. It feels strange to take a break, but I know it’s what my body needs right now.

We had a wonderful first week with our sweet baby boy. I am so excited to watch him grow and develop his personality more. Being a mommy is the best feeling in the world and I already don’t remember what life was like without him! Can’t wait to see what week 2 brings 🙂

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36 responses to “Mom & Baby: Week 1

  1. So glad to hear you’re feeling good – especially ‘down there’. The first week is a rollercoaster; I remember feeling the same way.

    As for the drink of wine – DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT!!!! The amount that actually passes to your breastmilk (especially only 30 minutes after) is so miniscule. It’s not like you had a 6-pack!! There are so many things to be anal about and you’ll question “Am I doing the right thing?” A glass of wine that relaxes Mom and makes her feel better, is better for Baby K 🙂

    Best of luck in Week 2! I’ll be on the lookout for some cute baby pictures!!

    • Thanks for the reassurance about the wine! I know I made a bigger deal out of it that I needed to but I just felt so bad! I’ll keep that in mind for next time 🙂

  2. What a cutie! Those first few weeks are hard…emotionally and physically. Hang in there, it always gets better–he’ll start sleeping more and needing to eat less often. You look great!

  3. You look great. New mommy nerves are so normal! I remember waking up every 5 mins during the night if my boys didn’t make a noise or a whimper while they slept. I thought for sure they stopped breathing. So I didn’t sleep if they made noise, and I didn’t sleep if they didn’t make noise.. Crazy!! And It wasn’t just as a new mommy, it was with each new baby!! No matter what age he is, you will continue to learn… I still learn something new about being a mom every day. And I still question whether some of the decisions I make are right or wrong. The hard part is you usually don’t know until after the fact… Kind of like your wine. But it’s all SOOO okay. When I read the part about being a mommy is the best feeling in the whole world, it reminded me of a conversation that you and I recently had in the office. When I was saying how I can never commit to anything because I always have to check my kids schedules. Nothing is ever more important than my commitment to them, ever!! And just imagine, they are 11, 13 and 15.
    Just remember, there’s really no wrong way. There is yours and Kevin’s way and then there are other ways. Enjoy, don’t stress too much and rest/sleep every chance you get!!

    • Aw Darla, this is the best comment ever! You know I think you are an amazing mom and definitely a huge role model for the mom I want to be. It’s good to know that all of these feelings are normal. It has already been such a fun, crazy, overwhelming adventure and we’re only 11 days in. I can’t wait to see what the future brings and I am excited for you to meet our little man!

  4. I love your posts – they are beautifully written. I really appreciate your candor in talking about the most private parts of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. I’m starting to think about having children in the not-so-distant future and I find your approach to the entire process and your experiences inspiring and instructive. Thank you so much for writing!

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