I have to say, I am feelin' good from my head to my toes. I know that I NEED to complete this post before tomorrow, because tomorrow is the potentially dreadful, Day 3 postpartum. The third day postpartum is commonly the day that a huge hormonal shift happens. Milk production increases, and the pregnant hormones plummet. Typically, it can be the start of the "baby blues". This is certainly not the case in every woman, but right now, with day 3 looming around the corner, I feel I must recognize, and relish in the current "good time" that I am experiencing.
For some odd reason, I have found the first few days after the arrival of this little one to be completely different than the first few days after Harris arrived. With Harris, I was anxiety ridden, sleep deprived, emotional from the get-go, and practically delirious. With Stella, I feel calm, rested, and in love with my family as a whole.
So why is it so different? Well, let’s start with me. From the top down…
1. My Head. I am not sleep deprived. Why? Because I do not lay up all night obsessing about whether or not my baby is still breathing. We go to bed at the same time each night (10pm) like we have done for the last 2 years with a toddler. We have a “normal” schedule, and we stick to it. We have been getting up every 2-3 hours as recommended by the midwives to try and nurse her, but other than that, we actually sleep when we go to bed. I realize that could change, but I am speaking in the present tense. In addition to the lack of complete sleep deprivation, I feel like my skin is super clear and glowy looking. I like that- wouldn’t you?
2. My Boobs. I think my milk is starting to come in- all of a sudden, during my shower, I realized that they mysteriously grew a few cup sizes and they are starting to get hot. I have always had a “glitch in the milk making” due to a breast reduction I had in 2004, but I am not letting myself get worked up about it. We will take it as it comes this time and not hold any expectations. Also, as it stands right now, my nips are not torn to shreds because I took advantage of the power of Lanolin from the get-go, as well as the knowledge of the proper latch.
3. My Belly. I don’t feel like I look as big directly post partum this time, as I did last time. I have no idea if this is really the case, or simply a figment of my imagination. I don’t care which it is, and of you disagree (Mindi) keep it to yourself and let me live in my disillusion. Maybe the knowledge that my tummy tuck fund has been growing and gaining since before Stella’s conception has something to do with my optimism…
4. My Punani. I am happy to report that, despite having a nasty second degree tear during the birth of Harris, my precious lady bits slid by without so much as a rug burn. Heck, I don’t even really recall experiencing a true “ring of fire” this time. Don’t get me wrong, it stung a little, but nothing like last time! Also, I have already graduated from those fancy mesh hospital panties (who here knows what I am talking about?) back to my regular undies. That is something to feel good about! Also, the bleeding is practically over, and I am just barely stepping up to day 3. Shorter than a regular period? Wowsers. My Witch Hazel soaked pads stored in the freezer came in darn handy and really did the trick to ease any soreness. I highly recommend stocking your freezer with a stash of those before your baby is born, ladies. On another, more intimate note- I looked. Yup, you read that right. I got out my good old’ looking glass, got into a crazy yoga pose and looked. I was completely shocked. I still look like a virgin. Yes siree- no swelling and tight as can be ;).
Next up, is my family. Mindi and I have been working hard to keep things realistic and fair. We both realize that since I am the one nursing, I have to be a little more “alert” in the middle of the night. Because I mainly do the nighttime Stella stuff, Mindi wears earplugs so that she can rest more soundly. She does get up in the middle of the night too, but I deal with the whimpering baby stuff. Then, during the day, she takes a nap with Stella while I am with Harris, and then I get a nap all by myself, with just the company of my own earplugs and a blackout mask for about 2 hours while Harris naps and Mindi has the baby. Because I am currently unable to lift and chase 2 year old Harris, He is Mindi’s main focus, while mine is Stella. I feel that Mindi and I are both communicating our needs well, and I really hope that we are able to keep it up. It has been wonderful.
Harris seems to be acclimating far better to his new little sister than we ever would have expected. He asks to hold her (with help), tells us he loves her, and is using wonderful gentle touches with her. He has had a few “hairy moments” but overall, he is being awesome. Only time will tell as we continue on our journey from a family of 3 to a new, and now complete, family of 4.