I’m not sure why I had the inconceivable idea that I could actually blog during Briar’s first 6 weeks of life. Sounds really optimistic, doesn’t it? I did, however, keep a small journal of notes, feelings, emotions, etc. that I experienced during the first 6 weeks so I could relay them here.
As I hope you have read, Briar was born 2 weeks early. It was somewhat expected because my first, Raelynn, was 2 weeks early. So, I am going to pick up exactly where I left off at with my Week 38 post.
Right after I had Briar, they had some small issues delivered the placenta. Not a huge deal. After about 15 minutes of trying to deliver it with no luck, the hospitalist just reached on up in there and proceeded to dig it out. That was interesting. It didn’t hurt, I could just feel her whole hand inside of me. Guess there is a first time for everything. Once it was delivered, she showed Scott and I, and Scott compared it to an uncooked steak. I suppose that’s why some people dehydrate it and eat it or encapsulate it. No judgment at all, that’s just not for me. After that, she started to stitch me up. They numbed me, but I could feel everything. Halfway through, my doctor finally arrived. She finished me up. It was somewhat of a blessing that we had her in the middle of the night because we had her all to ourselves for several hours before we ever had any visitors. When we actually got into our private room, it was about 2:00 a.m. My adrenaline was still pumping from pushing out a child not even 2 hours ago. I knew there was no way that I was going to get any sleep. Scott, on the other hand, snoring his little heart out on the pullaway bed. It’s hard to sleep anyways with all of the nurses and doctors constantly in and out.
The first day, we didn’t have many visitors, just family. The second day, we mainly had friends. Scott and I convinced all of our doctors and nurses that we should go home on the second day since there were no complications with myself or Briar. They all agreed, so we only had to stay one night in the hospital. We got discharged on Monday around 3:00 p.m. It was just enough time to get home and get settled before Scott had to go pick up Raelynn from daycare.
Our first week home…
Monday, as soon as Raelynn got home, I immediately started feeling all out of sorts, in particular, about Raelynn. I just spent the last two days bonding with Briar, and essentially not seeing Raelynn at all. It was just a whirlwind to have them both together and finally be a mother of two. It was a lot to deal with. I hoped these feelings would go away soon. That night, Briar nursed for 5 hours straight. It was terrible.
Tuesday, I was feeling so tired from no sleep at all. We had a doctor appointment for Briar. She weighed 5.13. Since she was under 6 pounds, they wanted her back on Friday for a weight check.
Wednesday, I was feeling better because Briar had slept a little. My nipples were killing me. They were so sore and the pain was toe curling. As a matter of fact, my whole body hurt.
Thursday morning, I woke up to the chills, literally teeth chattering chills. I had a low grade fever, my whole body ached. I had a mild case of mastitis. My right boob was the size of a basketball. Not joking. I called the doctor and they prescribed some medicine, but I ended up not even taking it. I nursed right through all of it and it was extremely painful. I wanted to cry every time it was time to feed her.
Friday, I felt much better. Briar’s appointment went well, she was up to 5.15. I started having night sweats. OMG terrible…..drenched in sweat from head to toe.
I was very anxious about Saturday and Sunday because it was our first full days with both kids. Throughout the week, we still continued to send Raelynn to daycare. We wanted things to stay as normal for Raelynn as possible. The weekend went well though.
The first week was as good as expected I guess. Notable items – night sweats suck, nursing sucks this week, I only had irrational feelings the first day, after that I felt okay, I didn’t get more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time all week, but that is expected with a newborn and breastfeeding. Briar slept in our bed all week. We have other options (bassinet, rock n play) that we are going to try next week
Second week home….
Monday, Scott went back to work. Even though I had done it once before, I was dreading being alone with Briar. Overall, it went well. Briar started cluster feeding again (7-10 day growth spurt) Basically from 5pm – 9pm, nursing every hour, then still getting up every 2-3 hours at night to nurse. Raelynn started acting out today. I don’t think it was because of Briar. I think it’s typical toddler stuff. But, we had lots of spankings and time outs today.
Tuesday, getting really tired. No more than 2 hours of sleep at a time.
Wednesday, I felt like she cluster fed during the day??? I found myself getting really anxious for the first time. I was able to talk myself down though.
Thursday, still no sleep. Up every 2 hours.
Friday, still struggling with sleep at night. She finally goes to sleep around 8pm, then is up at 11pm, 2am, 4am, 6am, 7am, 8am…
Sunday night, getting really frustrated with the 11pm feeding. I feel like she just goes to sleep only to wake up again to eat.
Second week notables – not sleep at all. Still managing to function. Cluster feeding sucks. Being anxious sucks. I JUST WANT SLEEP. She has still been in our bed, by our choice. I’m not sure she liked it though. And she is a very, very loud sleeper. Big grunter
Third week home…
Monday, Tried the bassinet tonight, hated it.
Tuesday, we tried the swaddle and the rock n play for bed time and she slept the first stretch in there and then was back in the bed with us.
Wednesday, hoping growth spurt (2 week spurt) was over with. She slept for a long stretch during the day. I also had therapy today. I took Briar with me. We mainly just talked about how I was feeling (so far, so good) and how things were going. Nothing monumental to report. I also went into work today to talk to HR about my return. Planning on returning after my 6 weeks, part time only. 2-3 days a week for 6 more weeks and then I will go back full time. Projectile vomited tonight. Completely out of the ordinary for her. Still didn’t think much of it though.
The weekend was not fun. Multiple night wakings. We are trying bedtime between 7pm and 8pm. Waking between 6-7 times a night. I started experiencing some desperate moments as she would not go right back to sleep.
Week three notables – NO SLEEP SUCKS. Projectile vomit worried me. Only did it the one night though.
Week four home…
She is starting to fall into a good daytime routine. I let her lead. she wakes up from 7am-8am and we TRY to follow eat, wake, sleep. It doesn’t always work, but we try. Nighttime is a different story. We cannot find a constant at all. Nothing seems to work for her. Swaddling is hit or miss, the rock n play is hit or miss, the bassinet can suck it, she’s not comfortable in our bed, up to this point, she still hasn’t taken a pacifier. From 5pm – 7pm – she is becoming colicky. Nothing compared to Raelynn, it’s just frustrating for both Scott and I.
I kept Raelynn and Briar home by myself for the first time this Friday. They both had doctor appointments. They both went well. Raelynn weighed 26.8 pounds and Briar weighed 8.6 pounds. Keeping both of them went better than expected. I actually really enjoyed having Raelynn at home with Briar and I.
With a month of no more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time and some nights, no more than 2-3 hours of sleep PERIOD, I needed a break. I told Scott that us two and Raelynn should go have dinner somewhere without Briar. It was nice to just have us three together. Plus, we both want to have times with just Raelynn. We went to dinner and then went and had ice cream. I had mentioned to Scott that I thought when Briar projectile vomited, it could have been because I ate cereal that day (not sure of timing). I am not a big dairy eater so it just kind of stood out to me. I chose to eat the ice cream anyways and see what happened. Well, she projectile vomited everywhere again almost instantly after I had the ice cream. So I quickly came to the conclusion that Briar was allergic to dairy. I do not eat big dairy items, so I decided to do the elimination diet. But I also decided that I would eliminate the hidden dairy as well. From everything I had read it would take 2-3 weeks for the dairy to get completely out of my system and it could also be the reason for Briar’s consistent waking at night. Essentially I decided to follow the paleo diet. I very loosely followed it before I got pregnant, but I figured now is the time to do it hardcore. It also goes hand in hand with CrossFit, so it’s a win win for me.
Week four notables – no consistent sleep for me is killing me. It’s all starting to catch up. Really desperate to find some type of night time routine for Briar with my return to work fastly approaching. I realize it’s not going to happen in a week.
Week five home…my last full week home…
I started the dairy free diet this week. It’s going okay so far, just a lot of meat and vegetables. I feel like I cook vegetables about every 2 days.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I slept on the couch with Briar on my chest. Nothing else is working. I don’t get much sleep, but it’s better than nothing. She completely said FUCK your bed and FUCK the rock n play. A couple of nights she was awake for several hours at a time. I was finally reaching my desperate stage. I was feeling so anxious and overwhelmed. I just needed sleep. I was thinking not so great thoughts. **Disclaimer, no babies were harmed** But, all I really wanted to do was swing her by her feet into the wall. Obviously that solved nothing because then she would just more more awake and cry a lot more, but I was over it. Badly over it. Thursday, I finally got four whole hours of sleep, thanks to Scott. I climbed in bed with Scott around 3am and he cuddled up with me and I just started crying. I missed him and us and sleep and just being normal. I know this newborn stage doesn’t last long, but I am just over it.
This week, we also somewhat successfully got her to take a pacifier. We have been trying for about 2 weeks now with no luck, but she finally took one. And now it’s hit or miss. Sometimes it works for her and sometimes it doesn’t. Why am I not surprised.
It’s now the weekend and I am preparing to go back to work. I am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with everything I have to do. I need to make sure I have enough food for the week, I need to remember my pump, I need to remember my computer, I need clothes that fit; which let’s be honest, isn’t happening, is Briar going to follow the schedule that we started? What if she doesn’t? OMG no sleep and now I have to go back to work.
BUT, I also get to start the gym again which I am super excited about. I need the gym so badly. I do need work also. I need adult interaction and I need to something to get my mind off my kids all day long. I need to feel useful. Work does all that for me. I am only starting back part time. I will be there a full day Monday, a half day Wednesday, and a half day.
Here are some pictures from the first 6 weeks. She looks so sweet and innocent because all she is doing is sleeping….
So that pretty much sums up the first 6 weeks. Pray for us, y’all. This momma needs sleep…..
–The Kentucky Momma