My Postpartum Life

Here it is, 12 days out from my c-section.  I have a beautiful baby girl and I could cry from happiness just about every day (not my usual behavior… I blame residual hormones)… could also be from overtiredness.   Sleep has been an issue as my little girl doesn’t always give me a break and most nights I’m lucky to get 3 hours of combined sleep.

But I wouldn’t change a thing.  I’m so happy we made it through and I have a baby girl… something I never thought I’d have (everyone always thought I’d have 2 boys, including me, and with a 7 year break between kids it almost seemed like we’d never have another and I’m sure my in-laws were convinced we were done).
I could never picture my life without her now.  I am overcome with sentimental feelings and gratefulness daily.  I’m sure I might be in a newborn haze and it might wear off, but I’m enjoying it as of now… sleep or no sleep.  I also have had my hubby home with me for now as he took 2 weeks off to help out, but as of Monday that is over and reality may be a cruel beast that day for me.

So for those of you following my blog, I had wanted to try for a VBAC this pregnancy.  My baby girl had other ideas.  Her weight estimate went up over the 90th percentile, so I would have had to sign away my rights to attempt a VBAC and that doesn’t make me comfortable.  Even though the weight estimate could have been wrong, it sure wasn’t.  She was 10 lbs 11oz!  Thank goodness I opted for the c-section.  Not to mention I was getting VERY uncomfortable in the end… don’t know if I could have taken another week.  I basically took the earliest date they’d cut me open which happened to land on Black Friday.

I was hoping for a “first 50 customers get a free baby” deal at the hospital, but the nurses didn’t find that as funny.

I had a very different experience at this hospital compared to the other one I was at seven years ago.  Some differences were good (not needing to be shaved, having my spinal be in effect before they inserted the catheter, not forcing me to walk as soon as I could feel my legs & letting me keep the catheter in overnight the first night, and letting me go home a day early) and some were not so good (having to drink that antacid crap before surgery & I threw up anyway, having to hang out in a recovery room after surgery instead of going straight to my private room, nurses squishing down on my uterus not once but repeatedly for every day I was there instead of letting me bleed at my natural pace, a messy ‘first walk’ experience that seemed highly preventable and unnecessary,  and the requirement for walking the halls afterwards).
My incision is healing so much better this time around, but unfortunately I think I am allergic to the steri-strips they used because they got so itchy and when I took off the rest that hadn’t peeled off on their own, I was red & irritated underneath each one.  I put some anti-itch cream and that’s been working so far, I just have to be careful not to get the cream in my incision.

Other than that, I’ve been on pain meds longer than after any other previous surgery which concerns me, but when I go past the time to take more, I do feel pain come back, so I know I’m not ready to come off them yet.

I was exclusively breastfeeding but was ordered to supplement with formula because baby has jaundice, but it turns out that it is breastfeeding jaundice (only happens in 1-2%, lucky me) so the light therapy isn’t as effective and the only way to lower her bilirubin level is to feed her formula with my breast milk to help flush it out.
Meanwhile, breastfeeding has me starving like all the time!  I don’t remember being *this* hungry seven years ago when I breastfed my son.  And even though I eat & eat, I’ve been dropping a pound or more every day since I came home from the hospital.

Unlike my last pregnancy when I managed a 25 lb weight loss (15 lbs under my conception weight) on my postpartum day 4, this time I got swelling *after* the surgery and it has taken me longer to drop the weight.  But here it is, day 12 and finally I hit my post-pregnancy weight goal of being at least 15 lbs under my conception weight.
I was actually 15.8 lbs down and I’m still losing, but now it’s not so much the swelling/water weight leaving and we’re now into the breastfeeding calorie burn.

My weight is now the lowest it’s been since 2006 when I got down to this weight momentarily for a cruise I went on, but of course gained it all right back, so it was highly momentary.
Not this time!
I am on a mission.  My normal taste buds are back for the healthier foods (with the addition of some Christmas candy & cookies as of late, but apparently I’m burning through those extra calories and that won’t continue past January anyway).
I plan on taking full advantage of this “free” extra calorie burn from the breastfeeding and letting myself keep shrinking as long as this lasts.
I didn’t take advantage seven years ago… I regret that and refuse to do that again.
I want to get myself ahead of the game for the challenge I’m prepared to start January 1st:  ’52 lbs in 52 weeks’.
I love the idea of only trying to lose 1 lb in a week as this was close to what I was able to achieve with my slow but effective method of weight loss in the past 2 years.  Though with this breastfeeding calorie burn, I may get a large head start, but that won’t make me change the goal as I won’t be breastfeeding forever… not really even actually planning to go any longer than a year… maybe less.
I made it 6 months with my son, but I wasn’t having such great weight loss results to have me want to keep going plus I was working a fulltime job and pumping at work was a pain in the ass as I was not given a private room, had to put up a curtain to attempt to privatize my cubicle, was not given any extra time to do the task/was supposed to remain billable and my one male co-worker two cubes away would yell out “moo!” whenever I turned the pump on (all in good fun, but it got annoying).  I cut down to pumping only twice a day and of course that seriously cut down on my supply and I ran short to the point of just giving up.

This time around I am thankfully not working.  I’ve been pumping so I can mix my milk with the needed formula, but in the lovely privacy of my own home.
On the flip side, since I won’t be working, I will not be paying a professional to look after my baby 9 hours a day while I have “adult time” at work for the first 3 years of my child’s life like with my first… it’s all me, all the time this time.  I may pull my hair out one day, I may adore it and revel in it the next… I’m sure I’ll be blogging about it later on.

For now I’m enjoying everything… new mommyhood again, the bonding that comes with breastfeeding, the cooing and squeaks my little girl makes, watching my baby sleep, the helpfulness from my hubby, my son announcing “I like the baby” randomly, the weight loss, the ability to get by on very little sleep… it’s all good.

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About gwenacious

Always a person in progress. On a mission of self-improvement and exploring my artistic side.
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One Response to My Postpartum Life

  1. tlf says:

    Hooray! Glad you’re home with your little pink bundle! Hope the pain and itching go away soon.

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