Monday, March 18, 2013

Our First Week... (and how I barely survived)

We've survived our first week as a family of four. 

If I could sum it up in one word for myself... it would be EMOTIONAL. 

Monday was great. Brecklyn was born at 7:32 that morning and the nurses took great care of us. 

My mom and Everett stopped by around 9:30 and every time "baby sister" was mentioned Everett would come over to me at pat my belly. I don't think he understood that "baby sister" was an actual person until they came back to visit us again that night. 

And even then he didn't want to get too close. 

My mom was amazing and brought me homemade pumpkin bread and a mango smoothie. And she took our first 'family of four' picture. I look like death because I still hadn't slept since I woke up Sunday morning at 2:30 am anticipating labor.

I slept a little that night while Jake hung out with Brecklyn but she ended up sleeping right next to me in the hospital bed for the rest of the night. 

We came home Tuesday afternoon and Brecklyn brought her big brother a gift. 

It was the most genius piece of advice we received because for three days he would excitedly tell us (in he own way) that baby sister gave him these cars and then would cross his arms and kind-of hug himself and say "ohhhhh" as if he were saying he loved baby sister. 

We received gifts and cards from neighbors and coworkers...

... and Jake gave me a little gift and card. Lol.  

Thursday morning Brecklyn had her first Dr. visit. In 3 days the poor little thing had lost an entire pound. She was 6 lbs 15 oz which put her in the 20th percentile. So we went home with some formula to supplement but I was still very determined that I was going to nurse her.

Everett has been itching his right ear for longer than I would like to admit. My mom thought it would be a good idea for the pediatrician to look in his ears at Brecklyn's appointment... and a double ear infection was discovered. 

I am confident that I may not have been able to survive without my mom's help. She played with Everett, picked up the prescription for him, made us amazing food, and gave us the piece of mind that everything was okay at home while we were at the hospital. What would we do without moms!

My mom left Friday morning. I still hadn't slept for more than 10 hours collectively all week. And it's noone's fault but my own. I have the worst insomnia ever and I am so afraid that if I start taking sleeping pills that I'll get addicted to them... so I just suffer all night.

Friday afternoon while Everett was napping I decided to finish writing Brecklyn's birth story and finally look at the pictures from the hospital. I sat at my computer and bawled my eyes out. I just sat here and sobbed. It was so emotional for me to re-live those moments. I was overcome with such emotion and love for my doctor and nurses. Nurse Kevin voluntarily grabbed our camera and started taking pictures and captured perhaps the most amazing day of my life and he did it as a friend. He wasn't even technically my nurse at that point as his shift had ended.

I cry every time I look at those pictures.

When Jake got home from work I was pretty exhausted. In every way. Since Brecklyn had been supplementing with formula I told Jake I was going to take some Unisom, sleep on the guest bed, and that I wasn't going to wake up until morning.

He had the worst night of his life... but I slept for the first time in days.

Saturday and Sunday my world came crashing down on me as I realized that we were going to have another formula baby. I don't know why, but not being able to effectively nurse my babies makes me feel like a total and complete failure in that department. I want what is best for my babies and with them it's formula so I shouldn't feel so bad... but it's still hard when breastfeeding is put on such a high pedestal and formula is pretty much frowned upon by so many.

So on Saturday I went to Target and picked up more bottles. On the way home I passed my doctor's office and was overcome with such great love for that man.

Saturday night I took Brecklyn and let Jake sleep on the guest bed. I literally slept for two hours all night while Brecklyn was a champ and slept great. My insomnia is going to kill me one way or another. I just laid in bed and re-played Brecklyn's birth over and over. It was such a memorable experience for me and I can't describe the amount of love I feel for everyone involved.

Sunday morning I couldn't stop crying. I was mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted from the week and I couldn't keep it together.

I was a mess.

I was still struggling with the breastfeeding issue and told Jake that I wanted him to tell me that it was okay I couldn't nurse her. I just needed some support in the other direction from breastfeeding.

Jake is always willing to support me in whatever I want to do but sometimes he just needs me to tell him what I want him to support. In the hospital I wasn't sure if I would be able to deliver naturally so he never supported me one way or another. He just kept quiet because he didn't even know what I wanted. That's why nurse Kevin was so amazing because he believed I could do it and he knew that's what I wanted even before I did.

So Jake and I sat on the couch Sunday morning while I sobbed about how I wish I could do natural things naturally. Like nurse my children and sleep at night. I want to be able to do those things without help.

While Jake and Everett were at church, Brecklyn and I sat at the desk and wrote Thank You letters to nurse Kevin and Dr. Watters. It was my attempt to let them know that they are the most amazing people  ever and amazing at their jobs. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep at night now that they know how grateful I am for them.

Jake commented that I wasn't this emotional after Everett was born. I told him it was because I didn't feel it. Yes, he was born and I pushed him out and people were there to help... but I didn't FEEL it. With Brecklyn I was so closely connected to heaven in those moments and truly felt so much love for her and for the people around me. I'll never forget it.

Everett has never acted more rotten than he has this past weekend. Jake and I were about to die a few times when both of our kids were screaming. But I'm confident we'll survive!

So that was our first week as a family of four. Good, bad, ugly, but as beautiful as ever!


  1. I LOVE the cupcake buns. And you WILL survive. And everyone has something they are dealing with so don't feel so disappointed in yourself. Do you pump to supplement the formula? I don't know your situation but I do know some people have been able to get their supply up to par with the help of certain diets/supplements and pumping or using the shield things after a few still might be able to if you stick to it and find the right lactation consultant if it means so much that you nurse. I don't judge though, I formula feed right off the bat and think both ways are good ways to feed baby :)

  2. Have you ever tried doing yoga? I know you work out like crazy. But I have done a few classes and gone from needing 9-10 hours of sleep and still feeling exhausted to 7-8 and sleeping so well. There is just something mind body spirit about a yoga work out for me that is so good so thats maybe a though if you dont?

    Also, I agree and love the cupcake butt. If I ever have a girl, everything she wears is going to have cupcakes on it

  3. After Brooke was born, I was doing really well emotion-wise in the hospital (compared to the giant meltdown I was with Avery), and then we got home with her and I lost it. I cried all day every day, and when Russ went back to work I cried all the time he was gone. I cried when he walked out the door and I cried even harder when he got back home from work. It's so much harder with the second one, because you don't have that same amount of time to devote to them as you did with the first. But it gets better. It's never as easy as just one, but it gets better. I formula fed Avery after about 2 1/2 to 3 months of trying to breastfeed, and I felt like such a failure every day. Even up until she was 3! There is such a horrible stigma around formula, and there does not need to be. Kids turn out great either way. If you can nurse, awesome. If you can't, no big deal. I used a shield with Avery, and it did really help her to latch, we used one the entire time I nursed. I used one for a day or two with Brooke to help her get a good latch, and that really helped her. I honestly think the thing that helped me the most was the lactation nurse that came in to help at the hospital. With Avery she was rough and felt very rushed. And I was not successful. I happened to get the same lady with Brooke, but this time she took her time and helped me out for almost 2 hours and Brooke is still nursing. If you have access to a lactation clinic, I would strongly recommend going there. But, know that nursing is a HUGE commitment. It's so hard to not have any help at night, or to be able to leave your baby for more than an hour or two without worrying about having a bottle pumped. If I hadn't been so determined to succeed this time around I would have switched to formula by the second week. :) I hope everything calms down for you, and I hope your emotions start to level out ;)

  4. I can't nurse either which makes me sad.... I feel like I should be able too.. but sometimes our bodies just can't or don't. She will be perfectly healthy and wonderful with or withour breast milk

  5. Congrats on surviving! It gets easier. . . oh wait no it doesn't :) All I can think when I see your pictures is I'm so jealous of the sunshine. And also Brecklyn is a cutie!

  6. This is a very emotional time after giving birth. Give yourself a break. It's ok. I will say, that if you want to nurse, you can. My first daughter was born at 7 pounds and after a week she still had not regained back to her birth weight. The doctor was concerned, but she gave me the best advice which was, if you want to nurse you have to wake her up every 2 hours around the clock and make her nurse. This will increase your milk supply. I did it. I set my alarm clock on my phone and every two hours we nursed. The next week we knocked it out of the park, she had gained a huge amount of weight. Your insomnia could really help with this as you won't be getting a lot of sleep. :) The other best advice someone gave me was that nursing hurts (a lot) for the first 2 or 3 weeks. If you can make it past that it gets easier and shouldn't hurt anymore. And everyday after that gets easier and easier. If you want to nurse, try nursing every two hours and then giving formula. Nursing first, formula second. If you don't, that's ok too, babies do fine either way (I was formula raised myself). Don't beat yourself up about it, but if you want to try, it's not too late. If it seems like Brecklyn is hungry all the time, that doesn't mean that you are not producing enough milk, it means that you have a baby and that's how babies eat. Also, a good lactation consultant and maybe a nursing mother's group might be good to look into. Either way, be proud of yourself, you are a great Mom!

  7. The best thing I ever did was quit trying to nurse the twins. Better for me, better for the girls. My advice is to only worry about what you can change. The rest - why bother? It'll only you make you crazy. Formula is great these days. :) She's beautiful - congratulations on adding to your sweet family.