I had good intentions to post before this but things get away from you. Everything here is going really well. My parents leave today to return home after a long stay and they will be sorely missed by all of us.
Ben has turned out to be a pretty delightful little guy. I am happy to say that my hospital experience this time around was really wonderful. We changed hospitals for this delivery since neither of us were happy where we were before and it was a great decision. Physically, my recovery has been ahundred times easier and that’s with a preschooler! I think a lot of it was that (1) the hospital got us in/out quickly–we checked in at 7 AM Wednesday morning and we were home by 4 PM the next day.
And now it’s five days later. Time gets away from you! In any case, the labor was great. And when I say great, I mean GREAT. Since I didn’t have a long stay prior to Ben’s delivery, I wasn’t exhausted to start as I was last time. Also, the “been there done that”-ednness of the situation helped quite a lot, I’m sure. I think the MAIN thing that helped with this experience over last time really boils down to one BIG thing that I realized with this labor and delivery and here it is:
MY EPIDURAL WITH ELI DID NOT WORK.
I never realized that. I knew it took the edge off the contractions but I could still feel a lot. The staff this time kept remarking I must have a high pain tolerance (I don’t think I do) but the epidural this time vs. last time were like night and day. Or like work and didn’t work. Judging by this one, I would say the one with Eli wore off about an hour before I delivered him. I wasn’t stoic about being in pain either–I pretty much sobbed and begged for help throughout the last hour or two with Eli because I hurt so much. Although things progressed very quickly with Ben (I went from a 3 to an 8 in about 45 minutes and was pushing within an hour and a half), nothing ever hurt. The contractions prior to the epidural hurt as much as I remember. But the pushing part and the actual delivery? Totally pain free! I remember when they said that they could see his head and he’s almost here and I just looked at Andy, totally shocked about what was happening because I felt stinking great! Then he was here and I was on cloud nine–although I was trying not to think about it too much, I had a little corner of my mind that was really dreading L&D this whole time and now it was over!
If I think about it too much, I get pretty mad at the staff of the previous hospital for never asking me about my pain level or checking things out with me once it was pretty clear that I was in a lot of pain. Maybe they couldn’t have redone my epidural but even the knowledge that it wasn’t working would have been helpful to me since I kind of thought after that that I must be pretty wimpy to have lost it like that during delivery since I never really hear of other people just completely breaking down like that. In any case, it’s all over and done so no point in dwelling on it.
We’re giving breastfeeding a go again and although it’s going better than it did with Eli, it’s not going great. There were supply issues and concern over Ben’s 1 week weight gain that have been resolved by pretty much 24/7 constant nursing, then pumping, then bottle feeding. During that period there have also been blisters, searing latch pain, and now the main problem is that my supply is fine but his latch is bad so he’s not actually transferring any milk, even after nursing for an hour or so. We’ve had one lactation consultant come to the house, four follow up phone calls with her, and now I’m going to a group tomorrow where another consultant is supposed to help me fix his latch. If they can’t fix it during group, we have to have the first consultant come back to the house for an individual meeting. During all of this I have to nurse on demand, then once Ben’s done feeding I have to pump and then give him a bottle since he’s always hungry after he nurses.
Needless to say, I’m pretty pooped. I’m getting plenty of sleep thanks to Andy and he’s been as great as ever about taking his fair share (and then some) of baby duty to allow me rest so even though it’s been hard, I feel pretty good about things. We had a long talk and agreed I will give this a go until we get to a month and then if things aren’t going better with nursing (mostly meaning I’m not hurting all the time AND having to pump constantly) then I will decide whether or not to quit. I think if I give things a month then I will feel like I gave it a fair shot and will be making an educated decision. I would like for it to work out but I’m also ready to just enjoy my baby already and all of this kind of interferes with that! It’ll work out one way or another, I have one awesome kid who was formula fed as proof of that.
Eli is adjusting pretty well. The first day home was rough but now he mostly seems back to normal. At least it seems that way–3 1/2 is such a rough age behavior-wise as it is, it’s hard to say if any acting out is baby related or just general 3 1/2 related stuff. He certainly doesn’t ever seem to have a problem with Ben and usually will ask to hold him or he’ll come give him a kiss. He likes helping me out when I’m nursing (mostly–every once in a while I get an “I’m busy!” when I ask him to grab something for me but they don’t happen too often) and he takes great pride in being a champion back patter for burping Ben. He likes tickling Ben’s toes and stroking his cheek and thinks it’s pretty darn cool that now he is a big brother just like Bubba.
Will got home from his OC summer tour a few days ago and seems about the same although much tanner and thin. We’re working on fattening him back up a little. He plans to go to the community college to enroll in their 2 yr UW transfer program and go back to work PT at the lab as soon as he can. That’s about all I know about Will, you’ll have to check with Andy for the details. It seems like he had a really great time on tour–we took him to Azteca his first night back and let him stuff himself silly and I think that was appreciated.
I did put up new pictures last week. I am going to try to get better about those. Andy is home with me until Friday then he works 4 days through the weekend so I’ll have my first dose of Eli and Ben from Saturday-Monday (I’m picking up the extra Friday at Berry Patch because I’m scared!) and then he’s off with us through Labor Day when Eli starts Small Faces. I’m so thankful he’s been able to be home with me, it has made a HUGE HUGE difference in how well I have been able to adjust to this both mentally and physically.
I’ll be happy once we are out of the newborn stage. Ben is super cute and a sweetie but man, I do not ever miss the whole “will he or won’t he and if he does, how long?” stage of newborn sleep. He’s been great so far, a decent enough fellow to take mostly longish naps of 2-4 hours in duration with some curveball one hour naps here and there for interest. We’re working on transitioning him out of his nocturnal nature into a day creature like the rest of us and we’ll get there eventually. Again, having been through this once makes it all easier to bear since I know eventually he will sleep longer and the rest of my life won’t revolve around sleep deprivation and feedings. I remind myself frequently that this will pass all too quickly and since Ben is it for us, I try to enjoy all the newborn things since I’ll never have one again. Still won’t miss the sleep stuff, though 🙂
Only three more weeks until I can start running! So excited!