***Umm... forewarning, this post may be disjointed; I had to save it and come back several times. There's just so much going on around here.***
I totally didn't even realize that today was New Years Eve. How did this happen? This year has been trying, things haven't been easy, but it sure ended on such a wonderful note.
We came home yesterday, against recommendations. They wanted to keep us one more day, but I honestly just could not do it. I could write a novel about how horrible my hospital experience was, site specific instances, and I might when I complain about it to them... but right now, I don't have the energy. Let me just say my stay was nothing like they told me it would be when we took the maternity tour several months ago. Nothing at all. I had two nurses that were awesome, and my stay might have been a lot better if I'd had them the entire time... but unfortunately, my stints with them were far too brief.
So we came home, and it was time to feed V- again. We immediately had frustrations trying to do so. He took the breast, but he took it too aggressively and it hurt badly because he wasn't latching properly. I tried pumping and nothing came out. Finally between exhaustion, frustration, and physically feeling like crap I gave him another bottle of formula. And I don't regret it at all. After that, we all got a solid 3 hours of sleep for the first time since he was born. When we woke up, we were ready to tackle things fresh... still exhausted, but we are on our way to recovering from the sleep deprivation. I realize full well that sleeping with a baby isn't going to be like before, but it's going to be a hell of a lot better than the every hour interruption from the hospital staff! And so far, it's been heaven.
Sleeping for longer has done us all a lot of good. I feel more up to the challenge of feeding him, V- feels more up to the challenge of my low supply, and A- just feels better. We were having a lot of issues with breastfeeding, especially since my milk hadn't came in yet. V- would wake up aggressively hungry, and he'd take the breast with an overenthusiastic passion- hurting me a lot. Then he'd get frustrated; either because he wasn't getting as much milk as he wanted, or because I had to keep fixing his latch because in his enthusiasm he'd latch improperly. I really just couldn't take it anymore, he broke open both my nipples and my milk still hadn't came in. We supplemented a little bit of formula for one feeding during the night so that we could all be ready for the next day.
I'm hoping we won't have to tonight though. I woke up this morning and I'm starting to get engorged. I've been using warm compresses on my chest, then pumping, giving him what I pump, then offering him the breasts after that. It's helped him to take the breasts, rather than attack them. Once my supply comes in better, and my nipples hurt less, we'll try skipping pumping beforehand and see how he does for straight breast- but for now, this works for us. We're making progress. Yesterday I was only able to pump about 5-10ml from both breasts combined, but today I got 20-50ml from them combined. Not bad at all! V- is much more content now. Hopefully things will keep progressing; maybe in the next day or two we can do just breast and no expressed breast milk beforehand. If not, I'll just have to try pumping exclusively. I'm just going to worry about one thing at a time though- for now, we're working on pumping/healing.
He really is amazing. I can not get over that. It still doesn't feel real that he was inside me. I look at my deflating belly, and I look at him, and it just seems impossible. I keep thinking we're going to wake up, and find out that it's all been a dream. I tried imagining what this would be like so many times, but I never could have imagined just how perfect he would be. I watch him sleeping, and I can not get over how utterly perfect he is... I'm sure I've said it before, but I am so in love with him. When we have cuddle time, I just hold him on my chest until he's fast asleep, breathing him in and rubbing his soft hair. I wouldn't ever put him back in the bassinet if I could get away with it.
Physically, I am beat. I'm so tired that I almost pass out when I'm sitting up, standing, in the middle of doing something, and especially when pumping. My back hurts really bad; whether that's from the epidural, back labor, or being restricted on my activities... who knows. My incision area is sore and getting up/down hurts so bad. Thank goodness for pain medication! Which doesn't always do a lot of good, but it's at least taking the edge off things. Recovering from the c-section is going to be rough, it already is. It makes taking care of the baby that much more complicated, because it's so hard to get up when he cries, to feed him, to change him even... every little movement is hard. I'm hoping that in the coming days I'll start to feel a lot better. As of right now, I'm taking the highest dose of my pain killers allowed- and I guess we'll keep taking it day by day.
I guess I should wrap this up, V- is fussing again! If I save it and come back again, it may end up as a novel instead of a blog post; so I'm calling it a night.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. May 2012 bring you happiness!