Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Postpartum, Baby Moon, Fourth Trimester

 I thought since we give so much attention to the pregnancy and birth that I would take some time to write down memories of my recovery.  I think it is important to know this was my eighth baby. I have birthed all my children naturally.  This was my fifth home birth, my fourth water birth. She is my second girl.  Also, I am a doula and run the Powerful Birth Group.  I add that because no matter how much we know, when we are the mother we are the mother.  We worry and have concerns about everything.  We question ourselves and hope that our baby is okay.

As I write this my baby, Eden, is laying tummy down on my chest.  I hear little baby noises as she breathes, see her soft hair, tiny features, fresh eyelashes,  and smell her baby sweetness.

I felt awesome after she was born.  The birth was amazing and I was so thrilled and happy.  I was looking forward to the time that I could  relax and nurse her.  I was going to enjoy this time and get to know this fresh person.  As we began that journey together, it turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated.

The first time I nursed Eden something felt wrong.  I think I even said, "That's not right."  I hoped she just latched on wrong and that next time would be better.  I kept trying to help her latch correctly.  She was frustrated, swallowing lots of air, and I was in a lot of pain! She would grunt and it seemed like she was really uncomfortable. When she was two days old things were extremely painful.  That night I had an IBCLC (breastfeeding guru) come over to see how to fix things.  She grimaced with me.  She validated the poor situation.  She also told me that Eden needed her tongue and lip released.  She was lip tied and tongue tied.  I know there are worse things in the world, I do, but this was sad news. We each got a blessing that night.

 We called the dentist the following morning and took her in.  They used a laser to fix the problem.  She was wrapped and held down while they did it.  She screamed.  Brian said he saw smoke come from her mouth.  My heart hurt! 

She did not nurse better right away.  In fact, it got really bad.  I had sores and was in so much pain.  Her lip swelled up.  When she tried to nurse, she let off in pain.  It was so sad.  I felt so bad for her. We had to rub and stretch the wound so it would not re-adhere.  She hated it!  So did I and I admit I made my husband do it.   About a week after the procedure, I felt like things were starting to get better.  She is four weeks old today and nursing still needs to improve.  It has gotten better than in the beginning, but we are not completely there.  She still gulps lots of air.  Some feedings go better than others, but she always has lots of large burps and is fussy after she eats.

We have tried lots of things.  I think we have spent $600-$700 trying to help her.  This includes the Dentist, Chiropractor, Cranial Sacral Therapist, and Massage Therapist.  Things will get better.

My recovery physically, as far as the birth, has been very good.  No discomfort or pain in my bottom.  I had after birth pains/cramps that were intense for about 24 hours after the birth. I took 800mg of ib profin, but felt like it didn't touch the pain.  In past births, that totally helped.  Not this time.  After the first 24 hours, they lessened in intensity and I could cope better.  I have had to make an effort during this recovery not do too much.  If I was too active, then my bleeding would increase and I would feel more achy and have pressure in my bottom.

Emotionally I have felt well.  It helps to have the support and help from my husband, kids, parents, in-laws, and my sister.  I have had food brought upstairs to me in my room several times.  I really appreciate that!   I am tiered and frustrated with the nursing struggles, and that can bring me down emotionally.  I feel good for the most part.  I have snapped at kids and feel bad about that.  They have been so patient.  It is hard to get things done.  Eden likes to be held. A LOT. When she is being held, she likes to be held upright and usually is swaddled.  She likes pressure on her tummy. Thank goodness I have big kids who don't mind holding her so I can use the bathroom.  Going outside always helps calm her down.  She loves walks in the evening.  She also loves being in warm water.  Kids have also helped switch loads of laundry.  Dinners that were brought into us were FABULOUS!!  Now I have been making pretty simple meals.  Really, dinner is hard for me to get done.  I can't do a little here and there or let it go if it doesn't get done.  My kids need to eat.

Yesterday I went through all my baby boy clothes.  That was a sad thing for me!  I am thrilled that Eden is here, but sad that I will never need my boy things again.  Plus,  I think I am mourning the fact that I will never have a tiny baby again.  I am good with that and know all is well, but knowing this is my last baby does make me sad.  I took a bath with her tonight and wanted to hold on to the moment.  These are my last baths with a tiny baby.  She is changing so fast and I will never have these tiny moments again.

I am grateful to have Eden here in our family.  I hope she continues to improve her feedings.  I think that will help her and I feel better.  She is cute as can be and I love her so much.  It is fun to see her develop and notice new things about her.  She is beautiful!   Our family is so blessed to have her!!!!

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