Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One week: A reflection

Levi is one week old today!!!

Thought I'd take some time and reflect on everything that's happened this week and pass along some things that have worked for us and our little one!

Hospital stay:
This is going to sound STRANGE but I LOVED being in the hospital. Mr. Free...not so much. For me, the reassurance of knowing that there are nurses there 24 hours to help me recover from surgery and Levi to make sure he is on track was so nice. I also loved the hospital bed, solely for being able to easily sit up with it while recovering from a c section. Getting out of our bed at home is NOT so easy. At our hospital they had a huge menu and room service all day. If I wanted oreos and milk at 2? Not a problem. Yeah...that was AWESOME. I also loved the constant stream of visitors to see Levi. It was such a huge blessing. We stayed in the hospital from Tuesday night til Saturday afternoon. Mr. Free was itching to get home, but I could've stayed just a little bit longer...

Breast feeding:
Well, this hasn't quite gone according to plan. I just assumed I would breast feed, that it would hurt and be difficult, but I'd do it. Well, right after Levi was born I was SO out of it from all the meds that we just had them give him formula til the next morning when I would be coherent enough to try breast feeding. The next day we tried and he latched pretty well and we went from there. The lactation consultant at the hospital worked with us, and we have GREAT family friend who is the lactation consultant at our pediatrician's office, who came and helped as well. When we were discharged from the hospital, Levi had lost some weight, but well within the normal range. We thought we were good! But the first 24 hours at home, we noticed Levi hadn't had any poopy diapers and only 2 wet diapers. Dr. Google confirmed this to be not normal. I texted for Lactation Friend (as I will call her) and she said he should be getting at least 4 wets a day. We had a pediatrician appointment the next day and we'd come up with a game plan. We decided to nurse every 3 hours and supplement with an ounce of formula afterwards. This seemed to help, but at his week weight check he had lost even more weight. Our Lactation Friend asked about how I was feeling with nursing and I told her how it didn't really hurt, I never felt "heavy or achy". She said she thinks I have supply issue (extremely common in diabetics...our hormones are so screwed up!) So Levi has lost 10% of his birth weight and our new plan is to try a hormonal supplement to try and increase my supply, 20 minutes of nursing followed by as much formula as he would like. I hate that we are having to do that, and feel like a failure of sorts, but know he is getting SOME breast milk and that will give him many of the good things he needs and the main thing is that he is getting all the nourishment he needs to grow. If that means formula, so be it. We tried it out tonight and the little guy chugged 2.5 ounces of formula after nursing! Poor little guy has been hungry! We will see if the supplements work. No matter what, it's important he is fed.

I'm getting used to the whole "sleep in 2 hour chunks" thing. I've had a few breakdowns (I'm a SLEEPER) but it's getting better! I look forward to that snuggly time with him...but that darn 4 am feeding is hard to get up for! But he is well worth it!

My recovery has been going really well. I'm still on some pain meds and can't over do it, but overall I feel really "normal". I had my staples out yesterday (which is nothing, by the way! I totally freaked myself out about it!) and the Dr and nurses kept commenting on how perfect my incision looked! That made me feel good! Diabetics tend to not heal as well, so I was proud that I've done so well! Overall, having experienced labor and a c-section, I'm mostly Team C Section. Recovery is no walk in the park, but it hasn't been that bad! The most important thing is that Baby gets out safe and sound!

Weight Loss:
Immediately after leaving the hospital I had only lost 5 pounds. How could I only lose 5 pounds?! He was 7 pounds?! Plus all the other gunk that was in there with him! Well, once I got home I noticed my feet and hands swelling up. I had NO swelling in pregnancy at all, so did NOT care to see it now! I talked with the Dr and they said from all the IV fluids and pitocin, it is very normal. So just drink water and it'll eventually come out. So yesterday, I chugged water and peed like crazy and lost 10 pounds in 24 hours! My feet are still swollen so I know I still have water weight, but they are better, my hands are better and my belly better. So all in all I'm down 15 lbs the first week and I had gained 25 with pregnancy. With my milk supply issues, the pediatrician wants to make sure I get enough calories, so I'm not counting on being down to my pre-pregnancy weight anytime soon...

Mr. Free:
He has been amazing!!! I can't state that enough! He is SUCH an incredible Daddy! He loves his son so much and I love getting to see him in this role! He has been invaluable at home. I think he got the "nesting" bug instead of me. He's been managing everything while I recover and feed Levi around the clock. I am DREADING when he has to go back to work! I wish we could win the lottery and both be stay at home parents!

So far, we've found some things we've used for either recovery or Levi that have been invaluable. Here's what has worked well for us:
-Depends. Yup, the old people diapers. After my c section, they gave me the infamous mesh panties and pad as big as a slip and slide. Well, with my "shape", my butt felt like a pot roast with that mesh string. Not comfy. I begged my mom to go out and get me some depends, as I'd read about it on some blogs. Holy cow...amazing! They aren't nearly as "crunchy" as I thought they'd be, felt good around my incision and I don't have to worry about messing them up! They are disposable! So anyone about to have a baby...pick up a pack. Seriously.
- Lactation consultant. Seriously USE THEM!! When in the hospital, use her as much as you can. Find a pediatrician with one in house. Our Lactation Friend has been SO helpful with all our new parent questions (and we have a LOT). She has seriously been our ANGEL.
-Soothee pacifiers. At first we didn't want to use a pacy with Levi, but at the hospital he came back from the nursery for a test with one in his mouth : / We noticed later he was trying to suck on his fingers, so we quickly converted to Team Pacy. When he's a bit older it is MUCH easier to get rid of his pacy than his thumb. Plus a NICU nurse at the perinatologist said they are actually the best pacifiers and help them reduce gas and help stimulate their oral development. Bonus!

-Boppy. We brought the Boppy to the hospital with us, which I'm so glad we did. It made nursing so much more comfy in that hospital bed and visitors used it when holding him so their arms didn't get tired.
- Pampers Swaddlers. We are still planning on cloth diapering, but Levi isn't big enough for them yet. We received a few packages at a baby shower and these are by far the best. The other brands leaked out and these have a strip down the front that turn blue when its wet. Nice.
- Iphone. The iphone has been my best friend in mommyhood. During late night feedings it keeps me entertained. Plus has lots of helpful
-iBaby Log app. This is free and looks SUPER cheesy. Like terribly cheesy. But it is actually a great tool. It helps you keep track of nursing, bottle feeds, diaper changes, feedings, doctor appointment, sleep, etc. Every mom needs this app with a newborn.
- Swaddle Me Swaddle. Levi loves being swaddled so we do this at night while he sleeps and it immediatly calms him down. Plus its easy to use. Just velcro baby up like a burrito!
- Video monitor and Snuza. I'm a nervous first time mom, so we snagged a Motorola Video Monitor on Kids Woot for just $59. It had great reviews and awesome features. We can always peek in on Levi with it (has night vision!) and is a 2 way system, so during the day if Im in there with Levi and Mr Free is elsewhere with the monitor, we can still talk. I can ask him to grab me a bottle, etc. And it always displays the temperature of his room so I can keep track if it's too hot/cold. The Snuza is a movement monitor that clips onto his diaper while sleeping. If it doesn't feel movement for 20 seconds an alarm will go off. Now, this isnt to say it can prevent SIDS, but sometimes baby's get into such a deep sleep they "forget" to breathe, and if the Snuza goes off, we can rush in and wake him up. We actually had a false alarm with it our second night home. It had just turned sideways and wasnt on his stomach anymore. Holy cow...we had never moved so fast! I yelled "SNUZA!!!" and jumped out of bed you would never know I just had abdominal surgery! Luckily all was well. It definitely helps me sleep at night.
- Swing. We bought a little travel swing on clearance at Target before he was born and it has been great! It seems babies either love/hate the swing. Luckily, ours likes it. It gives us a place to put him other than his crib so we can do something with our hands for a few minutes. He's a baby that likes his car seat and car rides too. Just likes movement.

So...that's our week! We had a great Valentine's Day with our new little Valentine. We just relaxed, ordered in some sushi and snuggled with Levi. Definitely memorable.

I can't believe he has already been here for a week!


  1. Congrats! I have been following your journey and just wanted to say I'm so happy that Levi is here and is happy and healthy. Enjoy this time it will pass quickly! :)

  2. Hopefully breast feeding works out. Definetly make sure you are getting enough to eat. I read oats help increase production. I ate a lot of oatmeal and oatmeal muffins when Leland was first born.


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