We made it home!
On Monday (12/17/12), after 6 days in NICU, we finally got to take Coraline home. Her days 4-6 in the NICU were pretty uneventful, which is always a good thing. They kept her as long as they did because of jaundice; poor baby had to get blood tests twice a day, and her levels weren't really going down. She had to wear a UV-light "suit" for 2 days, and eventually they decided she was good enough to go home.
I was released the day before, and so I spent the night at a friend's house near the hospital and spent Monday running errands and hanging out in my car like a homeless person.
|Coraline in the UV "suit" for jaundice.|
|My little Jaundice Astronaut|
|Coraline's last night in the hospital.|
|Coraline's first outfit... before I got to take her home! 12/17/12|
|All ready for her first trip in the car.|
|About to leave the NICU and head home! 12/17/12|
|Yay! She finally made it home to her crib.|
Coraline had her first pediatrician appointment 2 days after coming home, and she gained 2 oz in those 2 days (she left the hospital 6 lb, 4 oz and was up to 6 lb, 6 oz by December 19th.) Everything about her was perfect, except her poor bum... between the antibiotics and pooping out the billirubin, she had a nasty rash that was more like road-burn! But they gave us an rx cream and it was healed in a few days, and now her butt is as good as new. We went for a recheck yesterday, and she had gained another 7 oz in 7 days - she's up to 6 lb, 13 ounces (1 ounce away from her birth weight) and she's 2 weeks old. We go back when she's a month old for a well-check and shots.
So far, she is a super easy/good baby. (Lilian was high maintenance and had colic). She sleeps most of the time, she's a good eater, and she seems pretty comfortable/happy anywhere. We've been home for 9 nights so far, and for at least a week she was a pretty good sleeper and slept in her crib - she wakes up every 2 hours or so at night to eat, but went back to sleep almost right after. But the past two nights, she hasn't wanted to be put back in her crib. She falls asleep in my arms while eating, and as SOON as I put her back, she startles, wakes up, and cries as soon as I walk away. It's pretty frustrating, I haven't gotten much sleep the past two nights. From 3-6am she just isn't a good sleeper. Last night, in desperation, I just brought her bed with me around 5am, and she did sleep in my arms until 8-something in the morning, but I'm not comfortable being a full-time co-sleeper when she's this little. (We did co-sleep with Lily, but not until she was 8 months old - you can read about co-sleeping with Lily here. ) During the day, she sleeps in 4-5 hour blocks, and is awake for 5-10 minutes at a time... and at night she sleeps in 1-2 hour blocks and doesn't want to be put down - so i'm guessing she has days/nights confused at this point, and I'm not quite sure how to change that. But I am SUPER tired. Yesterday AND today I couldn't get up, and wound up being 20 minutes late BOTH days for appointments - which is so unlike me, I'm never late for anything.
On diapering: we are almost through a box of newborn size diapers, and I don't really want to buy another box. She's too small to fit into most of the cloth diapers we have, so I will probably buy some in small sizes, just still deciding what to buy, and I'm a little nervous to "pull the trigger" and spend all that money! I know it's cheaper in the long run, but still nervous to do it. I did pick up 2 gDiapers with a BRU coupon today in size small, which seem to be a decent fit on her. But still deciding...
On Breastfeeding: As it turns out, all my anxiety and fears about breastfeeding came true. Coraline WAS whisked away to NICU, she WAS bottlefed by the nurses and I wasn't even given the chance to TRY to breastfeed her until she was 3 or 4 days old. I started pumping the very first night, and it took 2 days for my colostrum to come in, and not until day 4 did my milk come in. They told me in NICU that anything I could give her was good, so I pumped every 3 hours and brought my few milliliters of milk downstairs and fed it to her, before she was given formula. They needed/wanted her to drink 35ml per feeding, and I was only pumping about 4ml in the first few days, and about 10-15ml in the next few days. On Day 4 or 5, I tried to breastfeed (behind a curtain, in a room with a dozen people), and it was a miserable failure. My breasts are just not designed for feeding - I have flat nipples (which I didn't know was even a "thing" until Lilian was born) - if you're not familiar, you can read about that here: http://jezebel.com/5885739/what-type-of-nipple-are-you and somewhat massive breasts (D/DD). So there isn't a nice "small" nipple part to go in a baby's mouth, instead I just have to grab a pinchful of aereola/nip and stuff it in the baby's mouth... to which Coraline reacted with confusion. She just kinda looked at me like "what are you doing and what is this?" She is also just too small and was too weak to really suck with a mouthful of giant boob. Maybe if we had started off that way, she would have been used to it, but after days of a standard flow bottle with a narrow nipple, it just seemed ridiculous to both of us. So, I guess I am stuck pumping again like I did for Lily. I really don't want to, but I also can't justify stopping just because I "don't like it", when I KNOW that my milk is best for her. She's 2 weeks old, and I'm able to pump 25-75ml at a time now (depending on how frequently I pump). BUT, just like 4 years ago, only one breast makes milk. My right breast pumps about 24-73ml at a time, and my left pumps about 1-3ml at a time. I've read and been told that everyone's are uneven, but this is more than uneven... my left doesn't make more than a few drops, while the right can fill a bottle. Because of this, I can only really pump HALF a supply for her, same as I did for Lily. So she is still getting formula about 40-50% of the time. If my left matched my right, I'd be able to give her only breastmilk... but it's just impossible. (My left is also a full cup size smaller, always has been, so I guess there is some physiological problem going on - a lack of milk ducts or something?) So between the flat nipples and the half-supply, I just think my body isn't meant to breastfeed. That doesn't stop me from trying once a day (usually at night in a desperate moment where she's hungry and i'm too tired to pump), but I get that same confused look from her every time, and she doesn't even suck. Maybe when she is a little bigger/stronger? (Lily started BF from when she was 1.5-3.5 months old.) Or maybe never. The difference between this time and last time though, is ... although I'm totally disappointed that it didn't work out, and I'll never know if it was even possible, had we gotten a good start from Day 1... I'm not really all that sad about it. It's pretty much exactly what I expected and it's exactly the same as what happened with Lily. I'm pretty good at using the pump (after 8 straight months in 2008-2009) and she's getting ALL the breastmilk I can possibly make, so I guess it's as good as we're giong to get. Getting upset, feeling cheated, and crying about it all the time, still didn't make it POSSIBLE with Lily, so I'm just not going to bother getting emotional this time. I know I'm doing the best I can with what I have to work with, and that's all I can do.
On a similar note - I am both surprised and thrilled to say, I DON'T have post partum depression this time around!!! Having clinical/chronic depression most of the time anyway, PPD was nearly a given for me and I was hit with it pretty badly last time around, but this time, it seems like most of the insane-hormones have skipped over me. I'm actually in a really good place mentally/mood-wise, and besides being super tired all the time and a little overwhelmed with housework, everything is really going well for me and I'm happy.
And the last update: my recovery.
Truth is, it's not going so well. I'm not a huge baby when it comes to pain, and I've had a LOT in the past 10 years, and live with chronic pain. So by Day 7 or so after the C-section I was starting to feel pretty OK. After I left the hospital, I was only taking Motrin and was doing everything I normally do. But then by Day 9/10 I started having really bad pain on the left side only - a little above the scar, and it felt like a rope/wire was attaching my hip joint to my groin muscle, and every time I moved, I could feel pulling/tearing inside. I was SO tight in my left hip, I couldn't sit/lay down/move/stand, etc. The next day in the shower, I was washing the incision area, and I felt/found "something" inside my abdomen - a lump/mass/object. It totally freaked me out! It was rock hard and big - it felt like a shot glass was inside me. Well, as the days went on, it didn't get any better/smaller and the pain just got WORSE. So I called my OB and I had to go back in today (which is a hassle since it's 1.75 hour away). Well, he could feel the mass and said it wasn't normal, but not dangerous either (i was worried about infection or some sort of dangerous bleed, etc.) He says it's probably either a hematoma (there WAS an internal bleed days ago, and now it's a big collection of blood that needs to be reabsorbed), a collection of fluid, or a rapid growth of scar tissue (which is the worst case scenario, since that means it's permanent!) He said it's too soon to tell, because fluid/blood needs time to reabsorb, so I have to go back in 10 days for a sonogram of the area to see if it's a solid mass or not. By 15 days after the C-section, I should be feeling good, and instead I feel as painful as I did on day 3 or 4. I've been taking a dozen ibuprofen a day, and vicodin/percoset sometimes too. It has me moving in slow motion and being in constant pain is completely exhausting, both physically and emotionally. He told me to "take it easy", but with 2 kids and a messy house (that's driving me nuts, with ALL the new christmas toys everywhere), it's hard. I haven't had a relaxing day... in days. Hopefully this weekend I can get some downtime. But, I'm terrified that it's permanent, and it's going to be one more "pain I have to live with" or one more disfiguring oddity to my body. And I'm also terrified that it's going to mean another surgery to remove it, because after recovering from a major surgery, I'm not too anxious to go back for more. After all the placenta complications I had, then a baby in NICU, to have another complication seems totally unfair. I'm just ready to have my body back and feel GOOD already. It's been months since I've felt normal and not uncomfortable or in pain. I'm also anxious to start a diet/exercise and lose weight, but this obviously has to wait until i'm not in pain and can move without injuring something. (Though I'm 6 pounds BELOW my pre-pregnancy weight right now, and about 25 below the highest weight I reached during the pregnancy.) I'm pretty disappointed that I didn't have an easy recovery like I did after Lilian's birth.
But... I do have an adorable baby and an adorable pre-schooler. So here are some more awesome photos:
|Coraline's first bath - about a week old - she hated it!|
|Wrapped up in a towel after her bath, much happier.|
|Look at the awesome reindeer hat Mary knitted for C!|
|A rare moment with her super-dark eyes open. (About 9 or 10 days old).|
|The ornament our dear friend, Ashley, gave us.|
|Lilian & Coraline - sisters!!!|
|12/23/12 - My Favorite photo so far!|
|(click any of these to see them larger)|
|Coraline on Christmas 12/25/12|
|My first posed photo of my TWO daughters! Christmas Day 2012.|
(A blog post with more Christmas photos to come...)
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