Monday, May 27, 2013

the first week details - a sleeping baby!

Any mother who has just given birth realizes that the first week with a newborn is all about sleep.  Not necessarily you getting any sleep, but the baby sleeping a lot and you figuring out how to try to get some.

The very first night/day after birth you are tricked into thinking all your baby will do is sleep.   Because that is what they do!

My first night with Finola I got no sleep - maybe one or two hours.  Not because she was awake and keeping me up...but because I had just given birth and was SO EXCITED!  I think once the three of us got settled in our recovery suite {term used loosely} all I did all night was hold her, stare at her, and smile a ridiculously goofy smile, daydreaming about my new and unexpected life as a 'girl mama' and going over the details of the birth about a million times in my mind. 

She barely made a peep, except a few squeaks here and there {she squeaks a lot!}  I tried to wake her up to nurse every couple hours as was recommended to me by the nurses, but she was so zonked out from her trip down the birth canal that it was hard to get her all that interested in breastfeeding.  Unlike last time I wasn't too worried about this.  She would eat when she was ready.

she slept the entire first day
 I was totally okay getting zero sleep that night.  I was running high on adrenaline and happy 'birth hormones.' 

I just enjoyed the silence, and, like I said, smiled and stared at her.

The second night was a whole different story - entitled "cluster feeding."  This apparently is when your newly born babe wants to be at the breast ALL. THE. TIME.  So no sleep that night either for this mama.  She would scream every time she left the breast.  She was voracious, even though I didn't have any milk to give her yet and I was sure the colostrom had been gobbled up hours ago.  So I just kept chugging down the water in my "sippy cup" that the nurses kept refilling and putting her to breast.   I got sort of frustrated at one point just because I was feeling bad she wasn't being satisfied.  So after annoying the nurses for a while with my "is this normal?" question I then called in the lactation consultant on duty for more reassurance.  She, like everyone else, assured me that this was typical healthy newborn behavior and that Finola was simply doing her part to get my milk to come in and be of good supply.  That made me feel better.  Team effort.  Then I picked the lactation consultant's brain with any question I could think of.  Even some I knew the answer to but just wanted to hear it again.  I'm sure she loved me.

We went home after 36 hours in the hospital, anxious to get to the comforts of our own house and begin life with the new baby.
mommy's girl
dressed in her 'going home' outfit - and even an open eyelid!

ladies in pink - ready to head home!  felt a lot less scared during this 'wheelchair ride.'
And honestly, the first week has been great.  Newborns sleep a LOT at this point.  And after just having gone through this less than two years ago with Cormac I have been pretty confident and laid back about everything, instead of the bundle of anxiety and nerves and "am I doing this right???" craziness I was with him.

Finola is a very sweet baby so far.  She doesn't cry unless having her diaper changed.  My milk came in after three days and I feed her every 2-3 hours no matter what, so she barely has to cry for food.She eats, poops, and sleeps for hours at a time throughout the day and night.  Very typical newborn.  

She goes through a few hours in the late evening when she is awake for a stretch.  Dada is usually in charge then and he plays with her {um, as much as you can 'play' with a newborn...more like 'interact.'}When she is awake I can set her in the bouncy, or the carseat, or on her tummy time play mat and she might squawk and squeak but doesn't cry.  She is awesome in the car and slept through church like a champ.

She seems easier than Cormac was...but maybe we just know better how to handle things?

I know this will change.  I know around three weeks she will cluster feed again and cry more and have her "witching hours" where nothing will please her and we will wonder what we are doing wrong.

But for now, I will enjoy my peaceful, quiet, squeaking, gassy baby.  

Dada seems to get a lot of sleep. 

The adoring older bro. 
 He has been great with her so far.  Poked her in the ear once...but other than that...

I love this one.  I was like, 
"Okay, everyone pretend to be sleeping!"  
Finola is the most convincing.

"Who is this guy?  He sleeps as much as I do!"  
{just kidding, babe}

This expression pretty much sums up what she thinks of being awake...

All that being said - while she sleeps a lot...I don't, not really.  I still have to wake up every 1-3 hours at night to feed her.  So I'll get about 5-6 hours of very interrupted sleep.  I will maybe sleep a little during Cormac's nap, and I try to at least sit down and take it easy a lot during the day.  Breastfeeding is good for that!

I am not complaining.  I  knew what I signed up for.  This ain't my first rodeo.  :)

The next six-eight weeks we will be in 'survival mode' while her sleep regularizes and hopefully between weeks six and eight she will start sleeping a longer period of time during the night, giving mama and dada some quality sleep.

Til then, I am gonna rock the dark-circles, zombie expression, new-mama look the best I can.

and keep reminding myself how precious this time is,

and how quickly it goes.