Day 0- Kaitlyn is born! I’m amazed at how peaceful the day seems. Did we really just have a baby? I was previously worried if I’d remember how to hold a newborn, but it all comes back. Little things like having to use both hands to nurse in the beginning (one to hold the breast and the other to hold the baby’s head) slowly come out of hiding in my memory. OUCH! The cramps that come with nursing are almost as bad as contractions. They seriously hurt. More Motrin please kind nurse! I just hope that means they are doing their job and shrinking my uterus. Shrink, belly, shrink! The nurse fills me in that they get worse with each baby. I mentally rule out having any more babies for the cramp reason alone.
Day 1- The night went fairly well. David and I slept from 12-3 and 4-7, but we remind ourselves that we felt like rock stars the first night with Hailey, too. Usually the baby is pretty tired after delivery and teases parents with a relatively easy first night, so we don’t get overly excited. Kaitlyn spit up twice during the night which had me losing sleep while staring at her to make sure she turned her head. The nurse tells me that since she came so quickly and I didn’t push long that it’s just extra fluid that didn’t squeeze out and would stop soon. She was right. Nana, Papa John, Mema and Grandpa came to visit in short spurts. David leaves for a little bit to go home and I soak up the peaceful cocoon of the dimmed hospital room with my Kaitlyn. I hold her the whole time (you can’t spoil a baby, right??) and we nap together most of the day between nursing. I don’t turn on the tv or music. The silence is perfect. Somehow the peacefulness of drifting in and out of sleep while snuggled up with my baby is just what the doctor ordered. I’m blissful. It feels like time stopped today and I am so grateful to have that peace and quiet time snuggling Kaitlyn and studying her. I love her sleepy yawns and that her lower lip is tucked so far under that it looks like it almost doesn’t exist. Finally the recovery rooms are starting to clear out so we get moved over to the other side by the evening.
Day 2- My milk came in over night. Between that, getting no sleep at all until 2am, then having it choppy after that, the chatty nurses outside our room and the crying babies around us, I finally feel ready to go home. We are discharged around noon and pick up Jimmy Johns on the way home. First deli turkey in 10 months- whoop! Devoured. Hailey is so excited ‘baby Kaitlyn’ is home. She loves her. Kaitlyn cluster feeds in the evening and falls asleep at 9pm. We, exhausted, follow suit.
Day 3- Our first night at home she woke up to eat at 11pm, 1:30am, 2:30am, 4:30am and 6:15am. Somehow I consider this a pretty good night, though my energy levels today say otherwise. I have my first fear-stricken thought of how will I ever do this on my own after Hailey wakes up with a dirty pull up that leaks out onto her bed and Kaitlyn is crying to eat at the same time. I say a quiet prayer that my mom will never leave…then I shackle her to the house. The day is physically tough. My cramps while nursing are terrible and I’m fairly certain one big sneeze ripped out all my stitches. Engorgement makes my boobs ache. The photographer comes and somehow works some serious magic (family photo shoot pictures to come). I’m so glad I booked this months ago. Somehow through the physical pain, I still am in awe with my girls. Kaitlyn seems to be a good baby, only crying when hungry or cold. She’s so tiny that the newborn diapers barely stay on her and I can’t help but kiss her forehead every time she nurses. That oxytocin bond is legit. I decide I want 10 more babies.
Day 4- We wake up realizing that Kaitlyn only got up twice after 9:30pm the night before to eat during the night. David and I high five each other. My pain is easing a little and I’ve stopped using the icepacks from the hospital and the super-diaper pads. However, the mesh undies are still rocking my world. The day is full of many diaper changes and I like seeing proof that all her systems are working like they should. Mom makes deviled eggs and they are pretty much the perfect snack to have around because we all love them. I think she’s made two more batches since then. I feel like I’m getting to know a few more of Kaitlyn’s preferences. She isn’t wild about the paci, but will tolerate it when she is fussy. She loves being near windows or outside. She will probably be a finger sucker because she constantly tries to get hers in her mouth. She gives a real smile or two and my entire world is right.
Day 5- Maybe the two wake ups wasn’t a fluke because somehow we did it again: 1:30 and 5:30am. More high fives. Hailey now has a routine of coming downstairs in the morning and immediately asking to see mama and baby Kaitlyn. She runs to find her and uses one finger to pet her. She grins so big as she tells me ‘I touch her mama!’ Hailey always wants to give Kaitlyn a paci or turn her sound giraffe on for her. She asks to hold her often and tells me she wants to go shopping with her. Melts my heart, though it might be challenging when Nana leaves (just kidding, Nana is never leaving) and I am trying to divide my attention. My cramps are basically gone while nursing now- thank goodness! More Kaitlyn facts- she prefers to be stretched out when possible and sleeps wonderfully when her arms are swaddled. We only swaddle her at night for the time being.
Day 6- What is this?!… only one wake up?! We all went to bed at 10 after an evening of cluster feeding, then Kaitlyn woke up at 2:40am to eat, went right back down until I woke her up at 7:30am. Yes baby girl, I like your style, even if it means my boobs leak a little at night (ouch!). My bleeding is minimal now and I can’t believe how much better I’m feeling by 1 week than I did with Hailey. Kaitlyn has her first pediatrician appointment and weighs in at 6 lbs 13 ounces- 3 ounces OVER birth weight. I’m psyched. Doc says no need to wake her at night and I smile and nod, not telling her I wasn’t doing that to begin with. Wearing clothes and a little make up makes me feel like super woman. Mom and I grab tea and coffee in Davidson to celebrate a healthy baby while Hailey is at her last day of school (I don’t focus on this because I start having heart palpitations…). A dear friend brings over an amazing feast for us for dinner right when we are in the kitchen experimenting with making margaritas in my new Blendtec at 4pm while wearing a baby. Mom of the year, I tell ya! But yes, I figured out how to wear Kaitlyn in the Ergo… kind of. But it’s my only choice right now, as my k’tan is too small. Feeling like super woman fades around 7pm. I realize my body is still healing and I overdid it. Ouch.
Day 7 (today)- Don’t hit me, but I think I have another good sleeper. We all went to bed at 10pm last night. I woke up at 3am staring at Kaitlyn and willing her to wake up. My boobs were killing me. I hear myself say ‘never wake a sleeping baby, never wake a sleeping baby’ then I leak milk onto our sheets and decide to poke her until she wakes up. She goes back down after eating and snoozes until 6:40am, snacks, gets a diaper change and snoozes again. I’m in good spirits… then I realize Nana is leaving today and David is working and I consider making margaritas again. Maybe I’ll wait until lunch. So right now I sit experiencing the calm before the storm. Both my babies are snoozing at the moment and I’m mentally playing eye of the tiger in anticipation of the day ahead. You have to learn sometime, right?
Here we goooooooooooooooooo……… send prayers and good vibes, unless that’s not your thing. Then just send wine.