Nipple cream and other musings

Remember when I shared with you Amelie’s magical/flatulent birth story? I’m doing the classy thing by following up with gory details from our hospital stay. This is going to be an uncomfortable post for all of us.

After surgery, I was wheeled into our hospital room…a room I would spend the next four days in, mostly naked. Hubs and Amelie joined me soon after and we had our very first breastfeeding session when Amelie was less than an hour old. I say that as if I had any idea how to do it but how hard could it be? (Really hard). With the help of a nurse, we got Amelie to suckle for a while and then she snoozed on me – skin to skin. It was the best.

It was a busy time. The first day melted by because we were checking in with family, taking an obscene amount of photos of Lil Bit and her blonde-tipped hair, getting checked out by the nurses, doctors, pediatrician, and anesthesiologist, sending out the email birth announcement to anyone that would listen, and breastfeeding again and again and again (and so on). I sat in bed the entire day and filled my catheter bag like a champ.Aren’t you just a tiny bit impressed?

Then night time rolled around. The anesthesia started to wear off. Blech. I itched everywhere, even inside my nose (that’s hard to get to). Between the Mom-Diaper (because even with a c-section, it’s scary down there), the IVs (I had three), the catheter, bloating in my bowels, my temperature fluctuating wildly from sweaty to clammy, the itching, and oh-hey-you’ve-been-sliced-open-and-a-human-taken-out-of-you, I was incredibly uncomfortable. It was the total yucks. At one point I had to ask the nurse for an extra diaper change and it wasn’t for Amelie. To add to the unpleasantness of it all, two women labored on both sides of us (with generous amounts of wailing and screaming) and Amelie cried all night between feeds. It was brutal. How can one sleep anyway worrying over the miracle stirring next to them?

But, we survived – all three of us! I was so stoked.

The next morning (Day 2), I felt energized. I was a Mom! We got flowers and loads of well wishes from friends and family. They took my catheter out (which felt like a strong “pinch”), I slapped on makeup, made a few phone calls, caught up on Facebook, and we even got out for a walk to show off, of course.

But in truth, I was really hurting. That lap around the hospital floor was almost the end of me. I could not get in and out of bed without Hubs help. The incision was not what hurt the most – it was my belly. My abdomen was swollen and my skin was ridiculously tender. I couldn’t twist to grab my phone off the bedside table. I couldn’t lift my jug of water. I couldn’t lift Amelie – she was always handed to me. So I sat in bed. Like an idiot, I had turned down Percoset (for seemingly rational reasons at the time) and was surviving on Ibuprofen alone. My bowels were still massively bloated. My butt hurt from being propped in bed (I feared my booty poppin’ days were over!). Between that and the breastfeeding (OWIE) it was an exceptionally rough day. I ditched that stupid hospital muumuu (so nothing could rub against my sore boobs) and waddled around in only my Mom-Diaper and hospital underwear.

I WAS A MESS.I’m so sorry, did that just happen? I heard you gasp. I should have warned you.

(I had Hubs take a picture of how high the Mom-Diaper went up the back too but I think I’ve shared enough for one day/lifetime.)

Let’s all take a deep breath and try to move on? This will help.

My entire day was completely consumed with breastfeeding (which took an army of help each time) and slathering on nipple cream in between feeds. Little Miss Amelie and I were so frustrated with it all. It was hard.

Amelie was covered in a newborn rash and her eyes were swollen shut from the drops they gave her at birth. Poor thing.

The nurse shift changed at 7pm. I was in a lot of pain and very tired. Our new nurse, Jody, surprised me with a very special gift…a butt donut!

A reenactment of how I felt:It was the best donut I’ve ever had!

As evening set, Hubs handed Amelie over for another feed. While I tried to get her situated, her skinny arms started to flail, her face contorted and her eyes froze with panic. I realized soon enough, my baby was choking and couldn’t breathe! Her little body was fighting. She was fighting for air right in front of me and I couldn’t save her. I have never ever felt so helpless. (Thinking back on this moment still makes me weep.)

“HELP HER!” I croaked. It took every ounce of strength I had to lift her back to Hubs. He ran around frantically and called our nurse. Nurse Jody scooted in, turned Amelie on her side and suctioned her airway. Amelie gasped a big breath. I know this is dramatic of me but she saved my Amelie. I fell back in my bed and cried.

As an aside: Babies born via c-section often have more amniotic fluid in their lungs because they didn’t take the trip down the birth canal, where much of it gets squeezed out. They can often choke and gag on it and need to be watched carefully.

That night, we opted to let Nurse Jody take Amelie to the nursery so we could get some sleep in between feeds. I felt guilty about it since it was only the second day of Amelie’s life and I was already handing her over. But knowing that Nurse Jody was watching Amelie comforted me. She’d bring her in from the nursery and stand by my bed through each feed, gently nudging Amelie to keep at it.

For me, that night was a breakthrough regarding breastfeeding. When Nurse Jody came to bid farewell at 7am that next morning, I reached out to her from my bed and through snot and tears I thanked her for helping me take care of my baby. She promised she’d be back that night.

Day 3 (omg, are we only on Day 3!?!) came and went all very similar to the day before except for two major differences.

  1. I started taking the Percoset to help with my pain. Wow, that was a game changer. Finally, I could get out of bed!
  2. My milk came in that evening. And that was like, WHOA.

It was so exciting to see milk leaking out onto my feet! I was amazed! Our lady bits are truly magnificent! After a short nap though, I woke up to boobs the size of planets. They were rock hard and as you can imagine, they hurt like hell. As if breastfeeding isn’t already painful enough?

That night, Nurse Jody took Amelie to the nursery again and only popped in for feedings or to dole out my meds. Here’s a crappy picture of the three of us. By then, my boobs had swallowed my neck so Hubs did the right thing and cropped me out.

Day 4 arrived shortly there after (duh). Hubs was stir crazy and exhausted so he headed out to make a Target run and to put the nursery back together. Remember we had started on the quarter round the weekend before? As he waited for the last coat of paint to dry on the quarter round, he fell fast asleep.

Meanwhile at the hospital, I chatted on the phone, loved on Amelie and put on real clothes for the first time in days!

Soon enough, I retreated back to the hospital undies because it hurt way too much.

The night of Day 4, I decided to keep Amelie with us instead of sending her to the nursery. I wanted to try the night feedings by myself. We were planning to go home the next morning so I figured I could use the practice. It went well although I was up all night listening to her every breath. Isn’t it cruel that a newborn’s breathing is erratic? It makes for petrified and sleepless moms.

Although our care was excellent, I was fed up with the shift changes and the constant commotion. We only had one set of visitors during our entire stay but I felt like we were never left alone! I yearned to go home and enjoy THE QUIET.

The sun rose on Day 5, along with a pretty fabulous snowstorm. We got our discharge papers and orders, they pulled out my staples (which was painless) and we got ready to go home. FINALLY.

There have been three pivotal moments in my life:

  • Making/meeting Amelie. Because ZOMG she is my little lady love.
  • Marrying my Hubs. Sappy, I know.
  • My first POSTPARTUM POO. That happened on Day 5.

I’ll spare you the details but there was panting and praying that gravity would do its thing because heaven knows I didn’t have the means to push. I have never felt so relieved (literally) and triumphant in my entire life.

The end, thanks for reading.

A Sunday Extra

Thanks everyone for pretending I didn’t post a repeat picture in my last Friday Tidbits. That’s what I get for scheduling posts ahead of time…

Behold, some adorableness:

I love weekends with my little family. We took walks, worked in the yard and admired the baby. It was the very best. Hope your weekend was too.

Spring Cleaning: PAPER

Ohmergerd, another boring post for you. Sorry.

Our paperwork piles up like nobody’s business. It’s my least favorite task because it’s never ending, you know?

I spent a long nap of Amelie’s sorting, filing, shredding and trashing. WE HAD SO MUCH PAPER.

We had taxes from over 10 years ago, old manuals to phones we don’t own anymore and loads of medical paperwork from my pregnancy and Amelie’s birth (which I filed in those black bins). It was nutty.

Our city composts shredded paper. I put an astounding four bags worth of shredded paper in there this week! Our house feels so much “lighter” now that the paper monster has been tamed momentarily.

I wasn’t going to write this post until I had a better and prettier “system” – but that project begets a hundred more…including redoing our office with shelves, nice filing cabinets and possibly a built-in-desk one day.

That one day is a long time from now so this will have to do, ugly file folders and all.

Doing any organizing or are you enjoying the summertime instead?

Spring Cleaning: my INBOX

Another spring cleaning post. How fun for you!

Last time I chatted, it was all about my desk. Surprisingly that’s still looking pretty good after moving to the new house… Only because I don’t actually use the desk. I spread out my crap on our kitchen bar. Where we eat. Because we don’t have a kitchen table.

(I find it insanely ironic that I’m blogging about spring cleaning when I should be doing real cleaning. Our house is so dirty. But, I’ve got a baby to snuggle and Instagram to peruse so it’ll have to wait, you know?)

I’ve been working on my dreadful inbox for a LONG TIME with this post in mind. Like, long before 2013 showed up to the party. I started out with 243 emails (no lie) which I felt needed some sort of addressing and I’ve been slowly whittling it down.

I’m down to only 16 in my inbox currently! *pats head* This is a big deal, yo. Of course, it’s constantly in flux but I’m trying my best to keep this manageable from here on out.

My goal is to get to “inbox zero” but my computer time is limited and it’s truly hard to stay on top of it. Usually I’m checking my email during night time feeds but am too uninspired to respond anything.

My tactics:

  • Unsubscribe. I was getting emails from Express, JCPennys, Kohls, Old Navy, Gap, American Eagle, Banana Republic, Sierra Trading Company…the list goes on and on. Each morning I’d have to go through and delete 20 emails before I get to anything important! You can always unsubscribe from those at the bottom of their email (it may take a few passes to work). I feel so much better starting my day without being inundated with sales pitches. As a bonus, I’m not suckered into wasting time on their websites. My free time is so scarce as it is – it’s a shame to spend it like that.
  • Archive, delete or file. This helps clear out my inbox but still allows me to hang onto any note I may need later. Wow, aren’t you glad I put that in separate bullet?
  • Respond right away. Admittedly, I’m still pretty awful at this. My biggest problem is putting off long replies until eventually the initial email gets stale. I know it’s best to respond right away, even if only quickly. I’m working on that.

So, yeah, that’s it. Because showing you a picture of my inbox would be the most boring cap to a truly snoozer-rific post, I’ll end with a super self indulgent picture of my “Lil Bit” (as my MIL coined her).

Go on, you can tell me she’s delicious. I don’t mind.

Raves & Faves: MAY

Here is my Top 7 (yes, 7) list of May loves. In other words, another chance to List thing-ys. *claps*

1. Amelie is growing out of her newborn clothes. She wasn’t amused but aren’t those pants hilarious?

I’m trying not to take her growth for granted. Breastfeeding is not a given, expected thing. It’s work and it’s hard and no matter how much you want to breastfeed, it may not pan out. I’m trying to appreciate my body and Amelie because we are lucky that we can do this.

2. MamaP gave me a few of her Essie castoffs and I’m loving one called Mango Bango:

It’s the perfect red-toned orange. Oh, and it was free, which adds to the allure of it.

3. It’s no secret I love P!nk. The girl can SING. So obviously this duet makes my head spin.

4. Let’s not mince words. On May 15th, Hubs bought a baby swing off of Craigslist. IT WAS A GAME CHANGER.

It was only $75 but I would have cashed in my 401k for it.

5. With my birthday money, I grabbed this eye shadow (in Moondust) from Target. It’s only A BUCK and actually a pretty perfect neutral.

The picture makes it look gold but it’s more of a taupey brown. You can sweep it on with a baby in one arm and it’ll still look decent.

6. Coconut oil. I got me some. I have no idea what to do with it but apparently it has a bazillion uses from cooking to body care. I can’t wait to be a Coconut Princess with Pinterest’s help.

7. May was an exceptionally difficult month for me. Because being a baby is hard and babies cry. And being a mommy is hard and mommies cry too. Thank you to those that helped me through. xoxo.

For reminiscing sake: May 2011 and 2012 Raves and Faves.