Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Last 12 Weeks With A New Baby

My Last 12 Weeks With Gabriel

   These last 3 months have been very life changing.   I was concerned about being a disconnected mom because frankly I can be that way with people in real life.  It scared me and my husband assured me he was prepared to step in should that occur or postpartum depression kick in.  Thankfully that wasn't the case.  

Our First Night Home

   The first night was not so bad at all.  Gabriel began sleeping a lot at night in NICU.  I was adjusted to waking up numerous times in the middle of the night to pump anyway. One of our major issues was that Gabriel was allowed to sleep on his tummy in NICU and was never swaddled.  Once we got him home and attempted to swaddle and place him on his back it was a screaming match.  He was very uncomfortable, his startle reflex was very strong, and if he fell asleep on his tummy on one of us, the second we placed him down he would wake up screaming.  I read in numerous places that many other moms had the same problem and just felt it wasn't worth the fight and allowed their children to sleep on their tummy.  Also my ultimate plan was to have him in his crib right away, but while in NICU Gabriel was able to push himself all over the place in his little box, so we were scared of what may happen alone in a large crib.  He has slept in the bassinet beside our bed.  The only reason he's still there is because his room is as cold as the beer walk-in in a gas station.  Back to sleeping......His pediatrician was adimate that gabriel sleep on his back because the doctor had lost 4 babies to SIDS and wanted to prevent it in any way possible.  I was concerned about the screaming and overheating my baby would do when I attemped to let him scream it out.  The doctor said to go 20min rounds of crying then comforting.  So one night I buckled down and had a go at it.  IT WORKED! I felt bad letting him cry that way but it was worth it.  It worked.  We had a relapse here and there and a few nights I placed him in his crib, but I then really got no sleep and watched the monitor on silent because he would just keep screaming.  But we have it down now and thankfully that horrid startle reflex has finally worn off.  I did it because had we had a SIDS incident I would feel as though I did everything possible to prevent it.  I would have never forgiven myself for allowing tummy sleep when it was correctable. 

   Luckily for us Gabriel has been a very easy baby.  He's always very happy and is a major cuddler.  The only time he cries is when he's hungy or just fussy because he's fighting sleep.  He loves bath time.  He is so happy while getting a bath and just smiles and kicks his feet.  We couldn't have asked for a happier baby.  

My Personal Recovery

   My body was very slow to heal.  My pelvis hurt so bad most days that I could hardly walk up right and I had major cramping.  I was really upset because I thought I would heal faster than that, but I think the stress I went through during that first week did me in and I wasn't sleeping.  After my aunt left my eating fell off as well.  My aunt was amazing and cooked every day for me while she was here and left food for me to have for several days after her departure.  I thought that I would be able to get right back on my feet and hit the gym, but I couldn't.  I couldn't do anything.  My body was a wreck and I was in pain daily.  Let us not forget the awful rash that broke out across my back days after I left the hospital.  OMG it was horrible and itched like an S.O.B.  During pregnancy I developed eczema and thankfully the cream I had for that helped to calm the rash, but other than that I was taking benedryl at night because that's when it seemed to itch the most.  It took me about 4 weeks to be able to leave the house.  I remember one outting we went to the mall and I could have swore the bottom of me was going to fall out. The things that go on down there are not so pretty, especially if you've been stitched back up.  Thankfully my tear was minor.               SIDE NOTE - They took so long to stitch me back up because they were being perfectionists that after a while, without any filter on my mouth, and I scremed in my head a little as I let out the biggested annoyed sigh ever!  I couldn't believe I was doing that to people that were taking great care in making sure one of the most precious parts of me was properly back together again.  It was so loud, coupled with a facial expression I'm sure, that everyone looked up at me. In an instant I said, "Wow, you guys are really good at your job.  I'm glad you're perfectionists." (insert big drugged smile)
   Three months later I've not been back to the gym yet.  I've dropped weight each week.  With as much as I'm pumping and breastfeeding I'm sure I'm burning the maximum 500 calories a day.  My eating could be better and I'm trying.  My job doesn't allow for the best eating habits especially if we are slammed with emergencies, critical patients, or I'm stuck in surgery all day.  But the workout will resume again shortly.  I have to.  I can't keep the extra weight on.  I gained 30-35lbs.  Most of it is gone, I just need to tone up and shrink down my legs and tighten my stomach.  It's amazing how your belly can be like jello.  I tighten up my abs, touch, and get grossed out because there's no longer any tone or definition.  

Back To Work At 7 Weeks

   I had to get back to work.  I love my baby, but I had run through the money that I'd allowed myself for maternity leave.  Back to work I went and off to daycare Gabriel went.  My husband has a client that runs an in home daycare that had great reviews.  I made a visit one day and I was impressed.  Her daycare was like walking in to kindergarden.  She runs a very structred learning environment.  Children don't just sit in front of the tv and have random playtime all day.  They actually learn.  They learn to develop all of their skills there very quickly and she makes sure that children are meeting their milestones.  They also get one on one time everyday to make sure of this.  I had no anxiety about placing my little bundle of joy in her hands.  He has done well there and recently flipped himself over for the first time.  When I got his midday log I wanted to cry because I'd intended on working on that skill when I got home that night.  He's learning quickly.  He goes to daycare 3 days a week and the rest of the time I'm off of work and have him.  Incase you are wondering I work three 12 hour shifts.  My husband is a personal trainer and is able to set his schedule so that he can drop him off and pick him up.  So things have worked out well.  I'm also glad that she knows how to handle breastmilk.  I was concerned that some places could careless about how to handle it and how long it was good for.  I'm able to drop off a frozen stash to her and she does what's needed.
   My job is thankfully understanding about me pumping and I have no problem being able to pump while at work.  They now also understand the longer I'm held back from pumping the longer it takes me.  Therefore I get to pump on time.  I don't have to pump every 2 hours.  Every 4 hours is my max to go without pumping.  Anything after that and I'm a soggy mess. I'll blog later about that whole pumping and production thing.


The last three months have been okay.  We all adjusted quickly.  We now change diapers and dress Gabriel in record time.  We know what goes in the diaper bag and can prepare it quickly.  Getting buckled in to the car seat is also quick.  Middle of the night cries get old quickly though.  I get 5 hours of broken sleep a night.  I try to get to sleep by 10pm.  That turns in to midnight on a lot of nights.  I'm awake again by 230am in order to pump and without fail the baby wakes up as soon as I'm done.  At that point I wake up dad and tell him to get the bottle because I go back to sleep.  Depending on the night I could then be awake at 430, 530, and finally at 615.  On a regular night I wake up again at 630am to pump before getting dressed for work.  Gabriel wakes up right before I walk out the door and I wake up dad and shove the baby and bottle in his face.   I've also mastered late night breastfeeding and sleeping when I don't feel like making a bottle.  That mainly happens on the nights that my husband works over night security until 5am.  I don't know where the super human power comes from for me to run off of so little sleep and function on such a high level at work.  I do believe now that moms come with super powers.  Numerous nights I've thought about how freaking sick and tired I am of pumping and think of just quitting all together.  Then the cost of formula and the fact that Gabriel has severe upset stomach with formula, we found that out on an attempt to supplement early on in laziness, crosses my mind and I suck it up and hook myself up like a human cow.  I'll continue because it's FREE and mainly because it's healthiest for my baby.
   I have no major complaints.  I think my animal husbandry skills all these years have more than prepared me for taking care of a human baby.  I look at him daily and just think of how incredible it is that we've created such a beautiful baby.  I look at his sleeping face and wonder who he will be one day.  I think back to all I endured to bring him in this world and KNOW that it was all worth it.  He will be 13 weeks old on 10/27/14 and thus far he recognizes me and dad, smiles appropriately, will coo back and forth with you, tracks people and objects, flips over on to his back, prefers to stand, holds his head up, grabs toys and mommy's hair, and is now drooling like crazy, we believe he's starting to teethe.  Everyday is a new adventure with him.  Time is quickly passing by. I find myself in the moment attempting to slow down time as much as possible. 

Feel there's something I haven't discussed in detail?  Have specific questions or something you'd like me to specifically blog?  Pictures you'd like to see?  Please let me know.   Find more pictures and updates on Instagram @alonnajames .

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