Saturday, July 24, 2010

We Interrupt This Birth Story With A Current Update

It's been a busy few days here in the World of Two Kids.

Emma has jaundice. Will had jaundice as well, but we were able to avoid the phototherapy. Not so this time. Right now, she is in her little "sun bed." It's great that we can do it at home and not be readmitted, but it is hard to keep in her that contraption all of the time. The home health nurse that came last night also has me paranoid about my milk supply, so I am fighting the urge to supplement with formula right now. I have no problem with formula! Will had formula at this age and he is just fine today, but I just don't think she really needs it.

She isn't losing weight, she is audibly swallowing when she eats, and she is making plenty of wet and poopy diapers each day. She does want to eat pretty frequently, but I think that's just how she is. She loves to be held close and snuggled, just like her brother did. I am hoping she has gained a bit more when they weigh her today so that I can rest a bit easier. She is still at her discharge weight, which is also part of why the nurse thinks she isn't getting enough to eat. This is the one part of breastfeeding that I really don't like - that you can't see what is going into their bodies and it's easy to start losing your confidence that you are feeding your baby enough.

Will is doing. . . well, 90% of the time, he is doing great. He seems his normal little self. He is interested in Emma and when she cries he will ask her, "Emma, you okay?" or "Emma, why you crying?" He seems to be a bit confused about the fact that she is not in my belly anymore. He will hug my belly or pat it and say, "Hi, Emma" and I tell him that she isn't in my belly anymore and then point her out to him. He will spontaneously ask to hold or hug her. He will bring her toys. He is generally a very sweet big brother.

Then, there is that 10% of the time. He is still good with his sister, but he is clearly testing his limits with M and me. He is throwing more tantrums and he definitely has more attitude. I will freely admit here that I was exhausted in the final weeks of my pregnancy. I let a lot of things slide. I was not as firm with if he could have special treats (chocolate milk for example) or how often. Bedtime started sliding backward and I got to the point where it seemed pointless to re-train him when he would just be spending four or five days with my MIL, who usually doesn't get him into bed until almost 10. So, I think we are dealing with the trifecta of new baby sister, having to re-train some bad habits, and the fact that he is about to turn two and a lot of his would have happened developmentally anyway.

I feel a lot of guilt towards him. I know that this is silly. He is loved, well-taken-care-of, and given more attention that a lot of only kids, but his little world has still been rocked. I want to be as patient as I can be with this transition, but I also don't want to overcompensate and turn him into a brat. Last night, when he fought bedtime until almost 10, I was almost as distraught as he was, crying right along with him.

Speaking of which. . . ah, the hormonal crash. My hormones are all over the board. Generally speaking, I think I am handling this post partum period much better than I did last time. However, I definitely have my moments when Crazy Post Partum Lady takes full residence in me. I have moments where I tell M I can't wait to have another baby (he doesn't even respond to that) and other moments where I am in tears because I don't know where I will get the time/energy/arms to give both of my children what they need and I almost get panicky. I am trying to just ride the rollercoaster. When we were in the hospital, one of the pediatricians that checked Emma out asked me if I wanted to get any resources on post partum depression. I am still not sure if she asked me this out of routine or if there was something that I said or did that flagged me as a high risk for the depression, but I never turn down a resource.

Well, the resource was a visit from a social worker who sat down with M and me and talked about the risks and warning signs and what to do if I experience any issues again this time. It was a good reminder for both of us and then it went into my file that she visited with us and my OB will follow up with me about it, so I feel as if we have an extra little check point later on. Right now, I feel that my feelings about things are very normal. I mostly feel very in control and like myself, with just moments of "woah, I want off this roller coaster" thrown in for good measure.

I am also in the "sweat it out" phase where I wake up with soaked bedsheets and night gown every time I lay down. I had this will Will, too. It's annoying, but the payoff is in the scale. I have lost 19 pounds today (1 week post surgery). I gained 30 pounds altogether, so I am well on my way to pre-pregnancy weight. That being said, I lost 25 pounds really quickly with Will, too, and then had a devil of a time with the final five while I was breastfeeding. But hey, a girl can celebrate a major weight loss any time!

I also have feet bones again! My legs and feet were so puffy for so long that I am admiring my "skinny" legs again (for the record, I have always hated my legs and called them my stumps, but I am in love with them right now).

So, that's where we are right now. Lots of yellow baby, tantrums, sweating, and crying. I didn't make it sound very fun in this post, but I also have to say, there are moments when it's all wonderful and those moments are worth everything.


Ms. J said...

Normal, normal, NORMAL! You are doing fabulous, my friend. Even the roller coaster sounds about right ... My best advice is to acknowledge it, keep talking about, ask for help (bloggers, friends, MIL, a counselor).

Pick your battles with Will right now ... Wait until week 4 for serious Boot Camp Re-Training.

LP said she missed "Mummy's big belly." Lol. She was the only one!

Email me if you need to talk or text me ANYTIME!!!

HereWeGoAJen said...

I'm glad to get the update. Trust yourself with the supplements, if you think she doesn't need them, don't do it! And if you think she does, go for it.

I'm actually impressed that Will is only having a 10% of the time problem. Let little things slide, as long as it isn't making things harder in the short term. It will all even out soon. You can do it!

Beth said...

Definitely NORMAL! You're doing great, Mama!!!!

Just go with your gut on everything right now - regarding jaundice, supplementing, Will's routine, etc. You're all adjusting to the new normal.

Nathaniel (youngest) was in the Pediatric unit for 3 days following his birth for jaundice. Stupid too, b/c he was just on a bili-blanket which could have been done @ home.. ggrrr... Anyway, I gave in an gave him formula a time or two, and I don't think it made that much of a difference for his bilirubin levels. And it definitely didn't affect my milk supply. Just do whatever works, and don't let anyone talk you into anything you don't think is right.
The gift of #2 is that you have experience on your side!

LOVE the pic of Will & Emma together - so sweet!

And I so can relate - I HATE the night-sweat part, ughhhh. Hang in there, Katie.

Love & hugs!

Jen said...

#1 - I hate the hormone crash. Hate it, hate it, hate it!

#2 - I bet your supply is just fine. Emma is what a couple weeks old? So to be at her birth weight is fine. I'm sort of surprised by the nurse. And I don't have anything against formula either...both of mine were almost exclusively formula fed. You should do what you want to do and not worry about it (easier said than done).

#3 - it is a tough transition. That first week home Jillian was teething and running a fever. She'd melt down over anything. It will get better as you are more comfortable with 2 and the routine returns.

Hang in there!!!

Anonymous said...

It is not giving in if you give your baby formula. If the nurse thinks Emma needs it, please give it to her. It will not hurt her and it does not make you a failure.You are doing great.

Anonymous said...

You do what's best for your baby. I Lovvvvvveeeeeee the name Emma and boy is she a cutie. Congratulations!

Stacey said...

Love reading your updates! I sure hope that Emma's jaundice will soon clear up. I think you're already doing an awesome job as a mom of 2!

P.S. Had to snicker at your comment about your legs. I ALWAYS refer to my legs as tree stumps! :)

Searching said...

Awwww, shoot!! I was w/my sis all weekend. I'm a home health nurse and do bili beds all the time! Please, email me if you need ANYTHING or have any questions or need any pep talks about the BF or anything like that!!! Wish I was close enough to you to pop by myself. But def email me:!!!