Monday, August 26, 2013

Settling In

Anna is now two weeks old, and I should try to finish the rest of the story before I forget.

The hospital protocol has changed since Ella was born, so she was placed on my chest the moment she was born, instead of being cleaned up first. She nursed right away. Those first moments of looking into the eyes of your child are so incredibly precious.

I had a good amount of tearing again that required some stitches. You may remember that I ended back in the hospital after Ella for a really bad hematoma. I don't know if it was somehow related to a resident doing my sutures or not, but I appreciated that my doctor did them herself this time. We later learned that the first-year resident who was learning and helping with our delivery (we chose a teaching hospital because I value education) is actually an ER doctor, so I'm glad that he was able to observe, but glad that he wasn't actually the one with the needle. Stitches "down there" are never comfortable, even from the best doctor.

By the time they were able to clean Anna up, I was able to walk around, which made me so glad that I had persisted without the epidural. I also got a lot of praise and admiration from the nursing staff because I was able to wheel Anna down to the recovery room myself instead of by wheelchair. I was a little tender from the stitches, but it sure felt good to be up and walking around!

Anna nursed well in the afternoon and evening, but wasn't interested at 12:30 am when I woke her up at the 3-hour mark. We did an hour of skin-to-skin, but she still wasn't interested. The nurse did a heal prick to test her blood sugar levels, which were fine, and in doing so, Anna took a little "comfort nurse". But when she finished, she spit up, and there was some nasty blood mixed in, which freaked me out a bit. We called the nurse back, and she explained that Anna had probably swallowed some vaginal blood, and while it looks alarming, that it's actually fine, and perhaps even "good" for her gut. My very-dear friend further explained that the blood could be upsetting her stomach, thus explaining why she wasn't interested in nursing. She nursed and spit up more blood throughout the morning, but it seemed to work it's way out, from both directions, in time.

My parents arrived the next morning, and my husband went with my dad to pick up Ella while my mom watched Anna and I took a shower. It was one of the smallest showers with the worst water pressure ever, but it still felt good (we had gotten to the recovery room so late the night before that we just went straight to sleep).

Here is the video of my first baby meeting our newest baby:

As she was getting ready to leave to go out to lunch and then back to our house, Ella asked if we could name the baby "Tutu" instead of "Anna Victoria", but we had to explain that we had already signed all the paperwork and we were sticking with her original suggestion.

A couple more screenings and a dozen or so papers to sign, and we were released to head home pretty much exactly 24 hours after she was born. By the way, we learned with Ella that there would be lots of paperwork, so we brought a binder with pocket inserts so that we could keep track of everything. If you're headed to have a baby anytime soon, I'd recommend that you do the same. It helps you keep everything in place, and will totally impress the staff!

Ella screamed the whole way home from the hospital. Anna didn't make a peep (in fact, she's a really good traveler, at least so far--she's only made one little grunt noise in last two weeks while in her carseat). Ella screamed that whole first night at home, impatient for my milk to come in. Anna did the same--though this time, we knew to expect it. After nursing her the best I could, I gave her to my dad to soothe so that my husband and I could get a good "base" sleep of 2-3 hours. I nursed her the best I could ever two hours or so after that, and gave my husband the in-between shifts. Unlike with Ella, when I was petrified of causing nipple confusion, we opted to offer Anna a pacifier that first night, which seemed to help. The second night was a little better, and she was on a good cycle of waking up to eat approximately every three hours after that.

We went back to the hospital the next day for a weight check, and weren't surprised that she had dipped a bit (as is expected). They asked us to come back two days later, and her weight took another tiny dip. That resident gave us the "doom and gloom" speech, and my husband and I were not impressed. But when the attending came in, the first thing she asked was how long I had breastfed Ella. When I responded that we had breastfed for 15 months, and had exclusively breastfed for six months, and went on to explain that her poops were indeed transitioning from meconium to the expected stooling pattern, the attending waved off the resident's concerns and agreed that we were doing everything right. We went back the following Tuesday for another weight check, and we were only two ounces off from her original birth weight--so my milk did indeed come in sometime over the weekend. Unfortunately, we had to see that resident again (and had to wait an hour to do so!), but I really hope that we don't run into her again.

Anna continues to be a pretty content baby--or perhaps we just know what we're doing this time around! Ella wasn't necessarily a "colicky" baby, per se, but she was rather "demanding". But I'm sure that I was probably also a nervous new mom, and there's something to be said for having a calming and confident presence this time around. And I know I made little "mistakes" with Ella--even things like nursing for 15 minutes on each side, instead of letting her drain one breast before offering the other. I look back and wonder if she perhaps cried because she had an upset stomach because of how I was nursing her. I also started pumping as soon as we got home this time around instead of waiting so long with Ella--pumping continues to suck, literally, but at least I feel more confident about my internal and external supplies; and perhaps Anna even has a fuller tummy, thus adding to her behavior. Or even little things like how to create a good, tight swaddle--I remember asking our pediatrician for instructions on how to make it really snug and tight with Ella--now I know. Lastly, I wonder if the happy endorphins that I got from running are somehow built into her personality. I realize that her mood can change, but for now, I'm just happy that she's so happy. Whatever it may be, she's so easy to love.

Today's blessing is Ella's little friend's mom, who has been bringing Ella into school with her every day since my parents left. Ella's school is in town, about a half-hour drive. But they live about five miles away, so I've been bringing Ella to their house in the morning, and she's been dropping her off at home in the afternoons. I want Ella to be able to have some consistency, and I selfishly want to be able to sleep and relax, and yet also be productive, while I'm on leave. I love Ella too, but I do want some time just with Anna at this stage.


  1. Ahh, I'm glad Ella gets to be with her friends at school, and that you and Anna get some one on one time. Both are precious little girls.
    Your video didn't come through on my computer. But I got to be there. Can't wait to see you soon.

  2. The video didn't come through for me, either.

    So glad you're doing well!

    Another anonymous blog stalker :)


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