What a whirlwind first week! This post is a little late since Kyler turned one week on Friday, but I’ve been just a little busy 🙂 Here is how mom and baby are doing and a recap of week 1!
Kyler is in a word… easy. I know it’s still early to say that, but it’s already very apparent that he has a different, more laid-back personality than Kevin did. He rarely cries, and when he does it’s very easy to figure out what he needs- which is usually just the boob or a diaper change. Other than that he’s either sleeping or wide awake and alert. At this point with Kevin it was already very obvious that he was a higher maintenance baby and was dealing with some bad reflux. Thankfully we haven’t seen any signs of that yet… fingers crossed it stays that way!
We were busy this week running around to a bunch of different appointments. First up was his first visit to the pediatrician when he was a little over 12 hours old. Since he was not born in a hospital he needed to be seen within 24-48 hours, and our amazing new pediatrician (since our old one refused to agree to see him after a home birth) opened up especially for us on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. She gave him a very thorough check-up and we discussed a few things, like the murmur she heard when she listened to his heart. She said it’s common though because there’s a valve in the heart that doesn’t close until the baby is about 24 hours old. We also talked about how he was born with hypospadias that will need to be surgically corrected by a pediatric urologist when he’s a little older. We also need to get a kidney ultrasound because sometimes hypospadias comes with associated kidney issues. We received a referral to get that done next week, so we’ll see what comes out of that. I’m trying not to stress or worry about it in the meantime.
We went back to the pediatrician on Tuesday for a weight check. He was almost back to birth weight at 7 lb. 7 oz., and she no longer heard the murmur so the valve has officially closed. Good news! She also did his hearing test that normally gets done in the hospital, and he passed in one ear but not the other due to fluid inside it. She said that’s normal in the first week of life, especially after a fast birth like mine. He also had a little bit of jaundice that had come out but was beginning to go away. Our next appointment will be at 2 weeks, where he will get weighed again and also get his first vaccine. She’ll also repeat the hearing test at that time. After our appointment on Tuesday we had to go to get his newborn screening blood work done on him at another office. Whew! Such a busy couple of days!
As far as sleeping and eating goes, this kid is a champ! Since he was born he gives us sleep stretches of 2-3.5 hours at night, and shorter catnaps during the day. He didn’t really have much day/night confusion like Kevin did. He wants to eat about every 2-3 hours and usually will feed off both sides, which is really helping me get off to a good start with my supply. Because of all this eating he’s been producing a TON of diapers. He passed his meconium pretty quickly and was already having regular poops by day 2. Go Kyler!! I don’t think we’ll be in newborn clothes for long- which is crazy because Kevin wore them for 3 months!
A few other firsts that happened this week: baby’s first bath when he was one week old after his cord fell off, and first smiles! Ahh!
Recovering from this birth has been challenging, I’m not going to lie. I felt pretty miserable the first couple of days and didn’t feel like myself until a full week had passed. Everything hurt for a little while, more than with my first birth. My midwife told me it was most likely because of how fast it all went and I believe it. It felt like he had been ripped out of me leaving a whole mess of damage behind. Thankfully, I’m feeling a lot better after a week and a LOT of rest!
One of the main sources of my discomfort came from the intense contractions I felt while nursing. I had heard they get worse with your second baby, and that was definitely true for me. It was so uncomfortable and would give me hot flashes, and make me feel sick to my stomach every time I nursed. Not to mention the contractions would cause me to bleed more- which is good in a way because it means my uterus is going back to it’s normal size and getting rid of all the clots that may be left in there- but not pretty to say the least. Other than that though, my bleeding did subside and got pretty light fairly quickly, which was awesome!
Another source of discomfort was my boobs. My milk came in really quickly and I was so, so engorged until day 5. It was so painful that I needed to pump to take the edge off, and ended up getting a lot of colostrum and milk that went straight to the freezer. The engorgement combined with sore nipples, the contractions in the first couple of days, and a sore upper back/neck from sitting up and nursing made breastfeeding difficult at first, but we made it through. I also had a lot of soreness in my pelvis, lower abdomen, and where my stitches were… ouch. Basically I hurt all over! I also had some scary moments trying to go the bathroom for the first couple of times. That was almost as painful as childbirth itself… LOL. Sorry for all the TMI, but that’s just life when you’ve just had a baby!
Here is the body after one week. I gained a total of 30 pounds by the time I delivered, and after a week I had lost 16 pounds. I started at 130 pounds, ended at 160, and am now back to 144.
My birth assistant Marilyn came to visit on Monday. She checked over me and the baby and helped with his latch, which made my nipples less sore. Then my midwife Kelly came on Wednesday and gave me and the baby a full exam. She checked me out down there and told me I was healing well, then checked my belly and told me I had about a 2-3 centimeter ab separation. I was a little bummed to hear this because I didn’t have it with Kevin, but I know it’s not a huge deal and will go back together eventually. It definitely explained some of the abdominal soreness I was feeling though, and reaffirmed my need to get a lot of rest, be careful how I get up and down and in and out of bed, and not lift things like my 30 pound son- or else I could risk getting a hernia. Ouch!
I finally felt up to going out for a very short family walk on Friday when Kyler was a week old. I could only handle about 15 minutes before I started feeling sore in my pelvis and lower belly, and also started noticing my stitches below. I’m definitely going to have to take it slow when it comes to being active.
Finally, I have been SO unbelievably hungry – it’s actually insane. I thought my hunger while pregnancy was bad, but I always forget it’s so much more intense while breastfeeding! I’ve pretty much been eating anything I can get my hands on to get in the calories, and they haven’t all been great choices – that’s for sure. Somehow my body is still dropping weight despite eating a ton, but I really need to clean up my diet next week. I know it’s what is best for the baby and for myself.
I’ve definitely had some emotional/hormonal moments this week, but overall I feel pretty good mentally and emotionally. So far the biggest difference between baby #1 and baby #2 is that I’m enjoying the newborn days so much more. I know how quickly time passes and that it won’t be like this for long. Since this is most likely our last baby, I’m really cherishing every snuggle, every nursing session, every nighttime wake up. It sounds crazy especially since I couldn’t wait to get through the newborn days with Kevin, but these little moments are the ones I know I will miss later.
Overall I feel so much less anxious and stressed this time around. I think it’s a combination of this being our second baby so we’ve done it all before, and also Kyler’s laid-back temperament. Even when things get stressful, just looking at my boys reminds me of what’s really important and that this too will pass.
My friend is a doula and a placenta encapsulator, and she came over the day after Kyler was born to dehydrate and encapsulate my placenta. I did this last time and had great results from it so I wanted to do it again. There are so many benefits to it that there’s really no reason not to. I started taking the pills two days after birth and I really do think it helped me stay in good spirits emotionally, reduced my bleeding, and helped my milk come in quickly.
Even though things have been good for the most part, I have been feeling some guilt when it comes to Kevin. I feel so bad that I can’t give him the same type of attention I did before Kyler was born. He is really attached to me and doesn’t always understand why I can’t stop feeding him or stop holding him to come play with him. I’ve been really trying to give him some special attention and one-on-one time, but it was hard to make that happen the first week. It’s definitely a goal of mine for the future though. Overall I think he’s done a really great job. He loves Kyler and always asks to hold him. He calls him “my baby” and loves to give him hugs and kisses. He’s had some regression in behavior when it comes to refusing food and temper tantrums, but we expected that and are working through it. Overall I’m really proud of how he is adjusting. It’s a big change for a 2 1/2 year old!
My husband Kevin has been amazing. He had a week off from work and basically did everything to take care of me, Kevin and Kyler aside from feeding him which was obviously my job! He cleaned, did laundry, changed both boys diapers, made us all food, listened to me complain, helped me with gross post partum things, and more. He is the best! It was also really nice to have a few days to ourselves as a family of 4 before visitors came to town. That was something we felt strongly about and we’re glad we stuck to it.
We were excited to see our families after a few days had passed though! First my dad and sister came down, and then Kevin’s parents came down a couple days later. Everyone helped out a lot with the things that Kevin and I didn’t feel up to in our sleep deprived state… running errands, getting groceries, occupying little Kev, holding the baby so we could shower/nap, etc. It was a little tough to be social when I wasn’t feeling well, but our families understood.
Meanwhile Kevin had the time of his life getting special attention from everyone! From puzzles with his aunt Yaya to playing on the playground with Poppy, to going to get donuts with his Mamaw.
I can’t believe how quickly our first week went by. Since then even more has happened, and I can’t wait to share in my next post! We are definitely learning very quickly how to be flexible and function as a family of 4!