Post-Partum Update: The First Two Weeks

Hi, friends! Sorry I disappeared there for a bit, but with a newborn to care for, blogging is a bit less of a priority at the moment. As she gets bigger and we can go longer stretches between feedings, I hope to get back on a more regular Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. But for now, I’ll just be popping in where I can. As promised, I will be doing regular(ish) updates on how I’m healing and adapting post-baby. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Physical Stuff
My delivery was fairly straightforward, and I only had minor tearing, so physically I’ve been feeling remarkably good. I’m honestly WAY less sore than I expected to be. There’s also been a lot less bleeding than I anticipated, which is a nice surprise. I’ve been feeling so good, in fact, that it’s easy to forget the grueling physical trial I just went through and overdo it. I have to keep reminding myself that I need to take it easy and rest.

For the first 5 or 6 days, my feet and ankles were still VERY swollen from being pumped full of IV fluids during labor. Thankfully, they’re now back to normal, but it was a very uncomfortable few days, and even my Crocs were too tight!

My pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel is slowly improving. I’m honestly disappointed with how numb my fingers still are. I really had hoped that having the baby would bring immediate relief, but not so much. Still, some improvement is better than none. But my fingers are also still just swollen enough that I haven’t been able to get my rings back on, which makes me sad.

I made the mistake of hopping on the bathroom scale at 5 days postpartum and seeing that I’d only lost 6 of the 30 pounds I gained. My immediate reaction was shock and disbelief. Seriously? After getting the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid out I only lost 6 freaking pounds?? And then I gave myself a strong reality check. Five days postpartum is nothing. I have all the time in the world to lose baby weight, and that’s so not my focus right now. I REALLY don’t want to obsess over numbers, and it’s way too early to worry about that anyway, so I’m planning to avoid the scale entirely until I’m at least 6 weeks out, and go from there.

Breastfeeding
I am so, so happy to report that breastfeeding seems to be going well. We are blessed in that the Mother-Baby nurses at UVM Medical Center are all well-versed in breastfeeding, and we saw not one, but TWO lactation consultants while we were at the hospital. We also had a follow up home visit on our first Sunday at home and Vera was already up from her birth weight, which is fairly rare; breastfed babies usually lose weight in the first week or so while mom and baby figure stuff out.

I was very sore the first few days, but once my milk came in it got much better. Vera has a good latch and good suck and I have an abundant supply, so it’s going as well as it possibly could. It’s endlessly amazing to me that my body can produce food for my baby! As a very well-endowed woman, I’ve always had such mixed feelings about my breasts, and it’s so nice to feel like they have a purpose other than as sexual objects.

Also, I have already become pretty fearless about pulling out a breast and feeding wherever and whenever necessary, which is pretty freeing. If I can BF in front of my dad and father in law, I can do it anywhere, haha! The process of giving birth really broke down the remainder of my modesty, which as a theatre person, was pretty low to begin with!

Emotional Stuff
Thankfully, my emotions/hormones haven’t been running too, too wild. The first few nights home from the hospital were very difficult. I basically went without more than an hour or two of sleep per night from Monday through Friday, and between the hormones and exhaustion, I had a couple of small meltdowns. Thankfully, Ben has the patience and calm of a saint, so he was able to continue caring for Vera while I pulled my stuff together.

I’m definitely more prone to crying now than I was during pregnancy. I played Billy Joel’s “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)” for Vera before going to bed recently and I started to cry thinking about how I used to listen to that song with my parents when I was little. Also, we’ve been watching season six of Game of Thrones, and I’m finding I’m a lot less tolerant of violence than I used to be, particularly when children are involved. I spent a lot of time with my eyes averted from the screen.

Relationship Stuff
Bringing a baby into a relationship will undeniably change things, and I think most expecting parents worry about how things will be between them once the baby arrives. Ben and I weren’t worried at all, and so far, we’re proving ourselves right.

If anything, we have become infinitely more appreciative of each other since bringing Vera home. Every day, multiple times a day, we verbally express our love and appreciation for each other. Ben is an amazing partner and dad. He does the majority of diaper changes, and is a swaddling champ. He has taken over a lot of the household stuff so that I can sit and rest and feed the baby as needed.

Watching him interact with our baby girl with so much love, kindness, and patience is almost overwhelming sometimes. I feel so lucky to have him for a partner and co-parent.

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Kitties
I was very curious/nervous about how the kitties would react when we brought Vera home. Before leaving the hospital, we had my in-laws drop off the hat Vera wore immediately after she was born, so that they could smell her scent and get used to it a bit.

Thus far, the cats have been cautiously curious about her, Rocket more so than Creemee. Rocket spends a lot of time sleeping by my side when I’m nursing or cuddling Vera, and will stare intently at us and meow if she starts crying. He also will sleep by my feet at night. Creemee will approach her bassinet and sniff her, but has taken to sleeping outside our bedroom. I think she finds the constant up and down at night with feeding and changing disruptive.

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Miscellaneous
My sister helped organize a Meal Train website for us, so we’ve been receiving semi-regular deliveries of delicious food from friends and family. This is a HUGE help, as Vera is still very needy, and naps infinitely better while being held, so it can be difficult for one or both of us to get in the kitchen and make food. To say that we are grateful for our wonderful support network would be an understatement. We are also incredibly lucky to have my in-laws living only 15 or so minutes away. They’ve stopped by several times with food, drinks, and gifts for Vera, including a set of Beatrix Potter books, which we LOVE!

Care to share any quick and easy recipes for busy new parents?

 

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9 thoughts on “Post-Partum Update: The First Two Weeks

  1. txa1265 says:

    Great update! Glad things are going well – it is always challenging to figure out the balance of things with a new baby! Good that you have people helping out with food – it can definitely be an added hassle that isn’t much fun to deal with! We did more ‘semi-homemade’ stuff – jars of sauce, pouch/box side-dishes, etc. It can be a bit more expensive and less healthy that fresh/homemade … but who really cares right now, right?

    And definitely don’t step on the scale – it really doesn’t matter! You know all of this in your head – especially as you are breastfeeding, that tends to have your body storing up extra supplies to take care of the baby. It is funny – Lisa has the opposite ‘endowed’ problem, and she liked how she ‘got boobs’ when breastfeeding! Regardless, it is an amazing thing to supply for your baby, and creates a bond that is immeasurable.

    Good luck and keep the updates coming, just don’t stress over regular schedules … eventually you will have time for those.

    • Rae says:

      Thanks, Mike! We are very lucky indeed to have so much help. I’m hungry pretty much all the time due to breastfeeding, so the regular infusions of food are totally necessary.

  2. SuzLyfe says:

    Love this update and I am SO PROUD of you for checking yourself after stepping on the scale. As you said–you had swelling after! Everybody’s body reacts so differently to the crazy process of birth. I lost a ton of weight in the hospital, but that was likely largely due to my body normalizing after the preeclampsia as well as the fluids. For me, it took my blood pressure some time to normalize. We all have our battles!
    Before I forget, PLEASE please get that picture of Ben with the thumbs up framed for him for his first father’s day. You can do the whole “you were great at it from the start” angle but it is AMAZING.
    So so happy for you. You are already a fabulous mama, and you are just getting started!

    • Rae says:

      Thank you SO MUCH, Suz! It’s been so lovely having you to chat with about stuff. I think we’re both doing pretty well with this mom thing so far ❤

  3. dgobs says:

    I’m so happy to hear that everything is going well! It’s funny how giving birth can strip away all your modesty… I’m generally super modest but I was cruising around my recovery room naked for a few days, totally shame-free (minus the mesh diaper of course). I thought I’d been freed from my modesty but it’s slowly crept back. Ah well. Id love to share recipes but we pretty much ate takeout and had meals that our moms cooked for us, so I don’t remember anything good and easy that we did ourselves. It’s so awesome you’ve had a meal train!

    • Rae says:

      I think “cruising around the recovery room naked” is the standard operating procedure for new moms, cause that was me too, haha!

  4. Anna @ Piper's Run says:

    So great to hear everything is going so well. I would make a batch of mini pizzas with lots of veggies and then freeze them. I could take one or two out of the freezer and heat them up. I made these for my new mom friends too when they gave birth. Something small to eat yet filling.

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