Thursday, January 16, 2014

An Honest Account of the First Week

I didn't get any sleep the night before Oona was born. I was scared. Scared of going through the induction, scared of being a mom to three, scared about how Olive and Silas would do while I was busy at the hospital, scared of bringing a baby home with a sore, tired body and having to still be mom to a rambunctious 4 year old and 21 month old. I was so anxious when we got to the hospital at 7am Thursday morning that my stomach was flipping and my hands were shaking.

As it turned out, the labor and delivery turned out to be the easiest and most relaxed of the three that I've experienced. I started pitocin around 9am, and had steady but mild contractions until noon when my doctor broke my water. Even after having my water broken, my contractions felt easy and I worried my labor was going to stall out because I felt too "comfortable." Matt and I distracted ourselves watching "Once Upon A Time" on Netflix for an hour or two, at which point my nurse convinced me to go ahead and get the epidural before the contractions got any worse. The epidural was easy and effective. I ate lots of jello. The contractions kept coming. Matt and I started a movie around 4:30pm, and 15-20 minutes later I started feeling shaky and had a hunch I might be going through transition. Sure enough, I was declared "complete" at 5pm, and 20 minutes later Oona was wailing on my chest. Three easy pushes was all it took. I couldn't believe how fast it all went. I got to cut her cord myself, and she latched on and started nursing beautifully 5 minutes after being born. It all just felt too good to be true.

We came home Saturday morning, and that's when things got difficult. Oona has been jaundiced, so nursing has become increasingly difficult. She's lethargic a lot, and it's often hard work to get a good latch because she's so sleepy. My "girls" have suffered badly between all the long nursing sessions, incorrect latch ons, engorgement, and milk blisters. Cracks and scabbing. It gets so frustrating because you read and hear everywhere that if you're "doing it right" then "it shouldn't hurt." So I feel like I'm failing constantly, and feeling like a failure + being in a lot of pain makes my hormones take over and I become a weeping machine that doesn't have a "STOP" button. Basically - I'd take going through an induction 100 times over vs. getting through the first week with a jaundiced newborn and sore postpartum body. It's been a very overwhelming week. (Thank God for prescription strength Motrin and chocolate. Amen?)

It's not all bad, though. I know without a doubt that I am married to the most unselfish, patient guy in the world. Matt has taken such good care of all of us. When I even imagine going through any of this without him, the waterworks start flowing and I become a blubbering mess. Oona is a cutie, and adored by the whole family. We live for the moments when she's wide awake and checking us all out. She's my first bald baby, and has the softest, fuzziest head that everyone loves to rub. I thoroughly enjoy the moments where she falls asleep on me while I'm burping her, and we all find the funny "dream" faces she makes in her sleep hilariously entertaining. Our church family has been bringing us hearty meals all week, and girlfriends across the country have been faithful to text me nearly every day to check up on me and let me know they're praying. And I have really felt those prayers. God is good, all the time. I know He will get us through the rest of this challenging adjustment period. 

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