3 days

1 Nov

We’re sorry it’s been so long between posts but I’m sure everyone can imagine that we’ve been a little preoccupied. We were finally discharged from the hospital yesterday around 2:30. Although the hospital tour told us that most people were discharged 24-36 hours after delivery, our pediatrician recommended we stay an extra day to get breastfeeding on track (which it sort of is, I mean, we can see the track and sometimes we’re on it but sometimes we’re just on an access road NEXT to the track, you know?)

Labor and delivery was Not Fun. I’m still waiting for all those memory obliterating hormones to kick in because right now I remember all of it and that HURT. The pitocin made the contractions come one right after the other with no break. I handled it all well at the beginning then after about 2 hours the contractions went from “painful but tolerable” to my newfound familiarity of what 10 really is on the pain scale. Around 9:30 Fentanyl was offered (apparently sobbing in front of nurses will do that) and I was fine for an hour. Everything still hurt but the edge was off and I didn’t care as much. It wore off about 50 minutes later. I think the brief reprieve actually made the return worse and I asked for another shot of Fentanyl about 20 minutes later. Once I knew I had about 30 minutes left on that shot, I asked for the epidural before it wore off.

The epidural was sweet–the absence of pain can be intoxicating even though the epidural doesn’t have any sort of goofy lightheadness or buzz quality that the Fentanyl had. I just felt okay. They ended up having to completely redo the epidural at 10 AM the next morning because there was an area on my lower back about 4 or 5 inches in diameter where feeling came back. After that, I was fine again. Andy documented the rest on the blog. The epidural worked fine right up until about the last 20-30 minutes of pushing but I’ll spare you the description of that. After all, the human race must go on.

Elliott is doing well. I have to say, I am in a bit of shock over how hard these first few days have been. Between the hormones, the sleep deprivation, and getting used to having a newborn, it’s all been a bit much. I don’t think I really expected–or understood–that things that work for Babies might not work for this one and how much this is an Eli-specific learning process. I figured I knew in general what babies liked, how to soothe, etc. but when you’re on your 5th or 6th thing that Babies Like and Eli’s not having it and boy, does he have some lungs to let you know it, it’s really hard. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and it’s hard not to feel like Bad Mom. However, today is better than yesterday and we’re slowly figuring things out and getting to know what makes Eli tick. I just have to remind myself that this is why so many people (1) talk about how hellish the first few weeks are and (2) why nobody ever tells you exactly HOW or WHY they are so hellish. Because the human race must go on.

Despite the hardship of the last few days, it is equally as overwhelming how much I love this little guy. As I told Andy in the hospital, sometimes when I look at him I’m reminded of that scene from Raising Arizona. The scene happens right after Hi and Ed kidnap Nathan Jr and they’re driving back to their trailer–Ed has had Nathan Jr all of 20 seconds and she bursts out into tears about how much she loves him. It feels a lot like that except without trailers, kidnapping, or Nicholas Cage.

Elliott is a swaddle buster. Andy and I have begun to attribute a rather evil personality to his arms and their ability to cause mayhem in our lives. Remember in all the ultrasounds he usually had one hand planted by his face? That wasn’t a sweet little hand. That hand was intentionally HIDING his face from us because it knew we were trying to see. That was the beginning of its evil works. The poor thing gets scared half to death by his arms poking up out of nowhere, socking him in the nose (ok, I admit, I laughed a little when he did that), and scratching his face. His legs are equally as crazy, often kicking him in places boys (and men) don’t like to be kicked but they cause less of a problem than the arms of mayhem. We used the miracle blanket once and he got out of it but we just did it again taking care to follow the instructions this time. He conked out fairly quickly and has been asleep in his swing since.

We’ve got our first ped appt Monday at noon. When we were getting ready to discharge, Andy noted that Eli looked a bit “Oompa Loompa”. The nurse took him to have another routine test done and they noticed his color as well. His two blood draws on Friday showed that his bilirubin level was going down to a normal level but they had us bring him in today for another draw then a follow up with his doc Monday. Andy was an absolute hero and took him on his own so I could sleep in and make up some lost sleep. Andy has the gift of being able to go to sleep pretty much whenever he needs to and I have been having problems sleeping at any time, ever. So even if Eli goes to sleep, it still takes me a while to wind down enough to go to sleep myself. And that means by the time I usually do fall asleep, he wakes up within a half hour or an hour or so. It’s not pretty.

Will has been a trooper. We got home to an apartment that was not destroyed and he has not said one word about baby hogging everyone’s time and has been helpful. He seems to have a sort of detached interest in the baby, I’m not sure if he quite knows what he thinks of Elliott yet. He and I were watching television today while Eli and Andy napped and he filled me in on the news headlines of the last week since I feel like I’ve been on the moon. He’s got a fan in his room for white noise and he said he didn’t hear any crying at all last night. I was really relieved by that because there were a few times Elliott was really hollering. I am hoping that our neighbor in the next apartment uses a fan to sleep. Or if not, if she’s open to it. Because I think I know what she’ll be getting for Christmas. We haven’t heard any complaints yet but the building is designed well and no other bedrooms are next to ours. I’m hoping they can’t hear him so I guess we will see.

Of course we’re going to put up more pictures. Although we’ve been busy, I did intend to put more up before now. Today’s the first day that we’ve both had about 4 or 5 hours of sleep (spread throughout the morning and afternoon but that’s something!) so we’ve been using some time to get things better organized, do some laundry, etc. Andy’s on picture posting duty so I’m going to go ahead and post this before something distracting happens and we’ll get those pictures up tonight as well.

I do want to thank everyone for all the great encouragement and thoughts throughout the last few days. It really has meant a lot to us and it’s great to know we have such awesome family and friends out there watching us!

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3 Responses to “3 days”

  1. Lolly & Pop November 2, 2008 at 4:08 am #

    What awesome pictures, all of you look wonderful. He’s such a big boy!
    fyi–I’ve officially changed my name to Lolly from Mom, that’s Erin’s now.
    Love you guys

  2. wendy November 2, 2008 at 12:54 pm #

    thanks for the post, but please don’t feel obligated. i was really worried about you though, but it sounds like emotionally things are getting better! fwiw, it is all down hill from here. it is pretty darn impressive that you can write a coherent sentence given all the sleep deprivation – let alone the essay you wrote above! πŸ™‚ i think it took me at least a month before i committed my birth story to writing. maybe it was two?

    btw, it isn’t hormones that block out the birth memories, it is sleep deprivation and all the random stuff you never knew you would learn – e.g. the best way to get august to calm down when he was worked was to walk outside or he as far as halloween candy goes, he only eats lollipops and expensive chocolate πŸ˜‰ (i will blog about that later today – pretty funny story).

    oh yeah, and i read a story once that said baby’s cries are much louder for mom than for anyone esp if you gave birth the traditional way. so what you might be thinking are very loud cries, most people won’t even hear. you willl notice that when you get visitors and at your amazement will sleep right through the baby crying while you will hear a baby from a mile away and swear it was elliot πŸ™‚ ahh, the gifts of motherhood πŸ™‚

    anyway… love you a ton! i am a captive audience, so if you want to call and complain or talk about the weather or whatever feel free to do so!

    wen

  3. Jennifer Decker November 3, 2008 at 10:41 am #

    Hey Erin!

    Congratulations on the new addition to your lovely family. Thanks for sharing your pictures and stories. Enjoy the ride.

    Best wishes,
    Jen

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