Tuesday, September 3, 2013
So it's been a little over two weeks since Charlie made his way into the world and it feels like time has gone by so, so quickly but at the same time, in a weird way, it feels like it's ticking by slowly in our little cocoon at home. The little guy is so sweet; from the get go he's been really relaxed and mellow, hardly crying and really enjoying his sleep. It's hard to even know where to begin when trying to cover the past couple of weeks, so I'll start in the hospital and catch up from there.
Like I said in Charlie's birth story (thank you so much, by the way, for all of the congrats and kind words), the c-section and those first days of recovery went really well. I did have one complication though, and that came the day after surgery. I started to have a strange pain in my right shoulder, which I originally thought was from breastfeeding with my arm in a weird position the night before, but the pain got worse and worse as the day progressed. I asked the nurse on duty what it was- I was seriously worried I was having heart trouble since the pain was on one side/arm- and she just said I was probably just sore from surgery. But the next nurse on duty knew what it was right away, and thank goodness, because the pain was SO bad when I moved in the slightest, or even breathed and I was getting kind of nervous about it. Apparently when you have abdominal surgery air can become trapped in your body and you will feel it in your shoulders; a sort of displaced gas pain. And oh my god was it PAINFUL. It's so ironic to me that my c-section was no biggie, but that was the big problem. It did go away in about 24 hours though, but when the pain peaked for a good 4 or 5 hours it was really terrible.
But other than that it was smooth sailing. I loved my nurses and we were able to go home on Sunday afternoon after having the surgery on Friday morning. My family was waiting at home with Henry, and when we pulled up he came running out, so, so excited. He had already met Charlie at the hospital but now being at home his excitement was through the roof. Henry "helped" Hank carry the carseat in, then showed us the drawings he had made for C. So, so sweet.
The rest of that first day was spent saying "oh my gosh, I can't believe we have two kids" a million times, and just settling back in. My Mom had prepared a bunch of healthy food for us and stocked the fridge, and that was really helpful. Everyone went home around 4, and then it was just Hank, the boys and me, for the first time.
Hank took off that first week, and then my Mom came back Thursday and Friday, so it was nice having someone there every minute. From the get-go Charlie took right to nursing and slept in little 2-3 hour blocks so it wasn't that bad, even at night. On my second day home I had a pretty hard day emotionally, and cried at anything and everything. But just like with Henry, that surge of hormones passed and besides the normal ups and downs, I haven't had a day as tough as that one since.
I think one of the huge things we realized after making it through those first few weeks with Henry was that it's imperative to figure out what works as soon as possible, if you can. With Henry I feel like we were trying everything we could think of to get him to stay asleep comfortably, stop crying, etc. and it wasn't until a couple weeks in that it all clicked. With Charlie we were lucky enough to figure him out almost right away, and now almost 3 weeks later it's been (dare I say) a much easier time. And interestingly enough we had this particular velcro swaddler in a drawer the entire time Henry was an infant and never used it. I don't even remember if we knew we had it. Instead, we struggled through swaddling him with regular blankets, only to have him pop out minutes later. Had we used this swaddler, it may have been a whole different ballgame! So with Charlie we just swaddle him up in the velcro swaddler, put him in the co-sleeper and he's out. That blanket is a serious game changer. He wakes up every 2-3 hours to eat, but at night I'll just feed him and put him back down, and for the most part it's no problem.
I've been on my own for over a week now and it's a HUGE adjustment, but we're doing it! I managed to go to Trader Joe's on my own last week and I swear, I felt like I just won the lottery when the three of us got home with no issue. The next day I had to take both boys to my 2-week checkup and it was a little more difficult because Henry wasn't in the most cooperative of moods, but I did that too, and afterward I thought to myself, "okay, that wasn't too bad." I'm starting to realize that yes, it will get easier and easier...it's just all about getting out there and getting over my anxiety that things won't go exactly as planned. Because guess what? They won't. Some days like today I feel like a bad parent because Charlie was a little fussy and I wasn't sure how to keep Henry entertained while I fed C all morning, resulting in three hours of PBS...but I keep reminding myself to cut myself some slack during these first weeks. It's hard though, when I feel like Henry's bored or isn't getting to do the normal, fun stuff we always do. He's been so patient and sweet, but I'm sure you know how it goes with the Mom guilt. Ugh! So to counteract all of that I've planned a couple of fun activities we can all do outside tomorrow (my Solly Wrap has been a lifesaver- C loves it), and I know I'll feel like it's a more successful day.
Most of all it's still so crazy to me to look at our Charlie and know that he was just inside of my body. That I grew him for almost a year, and now he's just out, growing more everyday. I can't even explain what a joy this sweet baby is; I wasn't sure what it would feel like to love someone just as much as I love Henry, or to feel my heart double in size, but it feels better than I could have ever imagined.
Here's to the next two weeks, and figuring it all out day by day!