Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Here are the numbers. Eila is 2 weeks old (would be 38 weeks). She spent 9 days in the NICU. I spent 3 nights in the hospital. We've had 5 nights at home. I shared the experience of being in the hospital and Eila's stay in the NICU, so this is dedicated to home-life and postpartum updates.

Unless you've been under a social media rock (or don't follow me or have already hidden me due to chronic baby posts), you've met Baby Eila (aka E-Bird, Eila Bird or #EilaChristine). Since birth, she has been called Eela and Ella, which I probably set her up for, but her name is Eila (like Isla, pronounced Eye-Luh).

Whom does she look like? Most people think it is a blend of both Lucas and me, but a lot of people lately think she looks like Lucas. Things I am positive she got from me are her feet and her coloring (dark hair, darker skin). Her eyes are baby gray, so they will have time to decide whether to go blue or brown (we have plenty of each in the gene pool).

Size? At her first pediatrician's appointment she was back up to 6 lbs. She had dropped down to 5lb 10 oz after birth. In her first pictures, you could tell she was puffy and full of fluid, but she slimmed out. She is also quite petite. She was 17.7 inches at birth. We are having a difficult time finding clothes that fit. A lot of her newborn stuff is too long. A lot of the premie stuff is too tight. When we find an outfit that works, we tend to repeat it.

Her personality? She is a very docile baby, especially in the daytime. She sleeps well and often. When she is awake, she is content to just look around, wiggle and coo. She sleeps in her car seat on car rides. She sleeps in her stroller on walks. She sleeps through loud noises. For this, I cannot complain. She makes a ton of facial expressions and moves her arms and legs wildly. Recall that she was Frank breech in utero, so her legs still have a tendency to pull up in the air. She loves to contort her face to make you think she is about to burst into tears, then completely fake you out.

How is she eating? This is still a science experiment. By that, I mean that her pediatrician challenged me to start exclusively breast feeding (every 3 hours during the day, every 4 at night). While I was happy to try that for several reasons (less equipment and fewer dishes, good for her), it was quite a mindset shift from the NICU where they were concerned about her having X-number of mL per feeding. So, before I tried exclusively breastfeeding, we were letting her breastfeed 20 minutes and chasing that with a bottle (if I had pumped enough, she'd get bottled breastmilk. If I had not, we supplemented with formula). Lucas would give her the bottle while I pumped. For example, with her 2AM meal, I'd wake up, change her diaper to wake her up, grab my nursing pillow and nipple shields (sorry TMI but reality) and get her going. I'd wake Lucas up around 2:20 to let him know she was done. While he was preparing the bottle, I'd burp her and hold her until he got back. She'd suck down the bottle pretty quickly, and I'd pump for 15 minutes. Lucas would re-swaddle her and put her back in her bassinet. It might be 2:45, and my next alarm was set for 5:00AM. So, YES, I was glad when the pediatrician said to space out night feedings (more sleep!) and just try breastfeeding. We have a follow up appointment on Friday to check in on her weight. In the meantime, we track how much she is going getting by how satisfied she seems and the number of wet and dirty diapers. She seems to be on track, but I will admit it can be difficult keeping her engaged during a 40-minute nursing session. She tends to get lazy or sleepy, so we are working on that.

How is she sleeping? Um. Like I said, she is a great napper during the day. She can go into some deep, peaceful sleeps. She is more restless at night when we put her in her bassinet. If we are lucky, she falls asleep for or a while. If we are unlucky, she wiggles herself out of her swaddle a little, coos, cries, whimpers, grunts and eventually works herself into a steady cry. Sometimes giving her the pacifier is sufficient to get a few more minutes of quiet. Other times, she spits it right back out and carries on. One of us will usually take her into another room and try to get her calmed. Repeat if necessary. She might be one of those with her days/nights mixed up. Or, what we may learn is she is not eating enough before bedtime and is actually hangry. This won't hurt my feelings. I think breastfeeding is great and all, but I just want her nourished and happy.

What's been harder than expected? Adjusting to sleeping in sprints. Putting an outfit on her. Bath time. She HATES it. HATES it. So, we hate it.

What's been easier than expected? Getting out of the house (this might be because Lucas is here with me). Getting my own showers and food and coffee. Daytime sleep for Eila.

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My postpartum update:

It is hard to believe that it has been 2 weeks since my surgery. Man, while I felt like unreal crap a few days after surgery, I feel like a new woman now. I have been off meds for days now.

How's that scar? I cannot see it when I look down because my belly still looks slightly pregnant. My doctor looked at it yesterday and said it looked awesome, though.

Weight?  I had given myself a pep talk about this for months. Jordan, be gracious with yourself on your post-baby body. I was shocked  the first time I stepped on the scale to discover how much weight came off with the surgery itself. As of today, I am actually one pound lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight. This is not a brag, because if you saw my belly you'd know that weight is one thing, but having tone back is a whole different ballgame and one I probably shouldn't concern myself with until that 6-week recovery mark.

Your Mood? Am I depressed? No. I'd tell you. I wouldn't even say I have the blues (since I've been home). I was a hormonal mess in the hospital, though. Glad I popped out of that. Thankfully, I haven't had anxiety either. Is tired a mood? If so, I'm that. Otherwise, I just take it a day at a time.

What's been harder than expected? Laughing. It still hurts sometimes. My skin is different. Part of my love for pregnancy was that my high-maintenance skin and hair seemed to balance into something very healthy looking. My hair hasn't gotten the memo about the pregnancy being over just yet, but my skin is dry as the arid desert and trying to break out.

What's been easier than expected? Shedding the pregnancy pounds. Letting go of expectations and just focusing on a healthy baby. Falling asleep when baby is asleep without obsessing over her breathing. They assured me that she is a healthy baby, so I try let go of what I cannot control.

Posts to come: hospital bag, most useful baby things

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