Our first month with Sylas has been quite the ride, filled with snuggles for days, fussy evenings, leaky boobs, and an oversupply of love. Bear with me as there’s a lot to cover, and I’m not very organized.
At the Hospital
After our hour of skin to skin and first clumsy attempt at breastfeeding, we were moved to our new room out of Labor and Delivery. Let me start off by saying, trying to get up and walk after giving birth/epidural is quite the experience. I felt like I had to relearn walking all over again, and to top it off they made me go to the bathroom before moving rooms. I was terrified because all anyone says is the first time you go to the bathroom after giving birth it burns something awful. I am pleased to say, for me it didn’t. Whew! They had me put on those mesh panties, which felt like I had a saggy bum, and gave me a diaper that was an ice pack pad type thing. Literally, a baby diaper that they put something in and froze. Then as soon as I was cleaned up we migrated to our new home for the next 2 and a half days (they kept me from Wednesday to Friday because of anemia).
The nurse told me to keep feeding Sylas on demand, and to tell her when I had to go to the bathroom so she could help. Great. Thankfully after one go they said I was fine to go my myself and didn’t need any supervision. After that Jacob and I were left alone with our chunky bubba.
Every so often the nurse would come in check our vitals, knead my stomach like she was making bread, and ask if we needed anything. Since we were at a university, and I allowed students to be involved with my care, there would sometimes be groups coming in and checking in on us. A lactation consultant checked on me every day as well, check on Sylas and his latch, ask if I had questions. There were also doctors, the midwives, pediatricians, you name it. Of course anytime someone came in, they were like, “this is the big baby!” I guess word got around about his weight compared to my size. It sounds like a lot, but we really were alone about 75% of the time, just hanging out and swooning over Sylas.
A little bit about the start of my recovery that I plan to get more into detail with in a separate post. I probably took about six baths the whole time I was at the hospital and one shower. The bath was so glorious, it helped my whole body relax because I was still tense and sore from pushing. I also went through that mesh underwear as fast as I could so I didn’t feel like I was wasting it, and switched to my own on day two. I went out and specifically bought underwear for the hospital stay during Victoria’s Secret SAS. I wanted to feel somewhat like myself while I was there, plus it was nice wearing underwear that felt like it was actually holding those gargantuan postpartum pads. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy this underwear when I bought it, but they have been my comfort holy grail throughout this whole recovery. I also lived in a halter top type bra that I bought from Aeropostale for $4 and that was magnificently well, until my boobs didn’t fit in it. I got lots of compliments on it while I could wear it, though.
By Friday morning, Jacob and I were packed up and itching to get out of there. It took them FOR-EVER to discharge us. The midwife working ended up in a delivery at the time of our discharge. So, after waiting for about 2 hours, the nurse went and grabbed one of the OB-GYNS. While waiting to be sent home, we got to watch the SIDS and shaken baby syndrome videos, they were a little dated and corny but still scared me. The nurse also went over postpartum recovery and depression with me, and the one thing that stood out to me was when she told me to make sure I change my clothes twice a day. She explained that it really affects your mood and has psychological benefits. So of course, for the first week, once we were home, Jacob was very vigilant and didn’t let me forget. He figured I was okay when I started wanting to wear makeup and brush my hair, shower, get dressed up etc. He is still aware of the warning signs and keeps a look-out, just in case.
It’s no lie that being at the hospital with a newborn is WAY different from being at home. Sylas was calm and easy to breast feed while we were at the hospital and it gave me a false sense of confidence. The first few nights home were undeniably stressful for me, given the risk of SIDS and Sylas not wanting to leave my side. Eventually, after days of research, I was able to relax a little and comfortably bed-share with him.
Jacob stayed home from work about a week and a half, while we figured out a bit of a routine. During the first few days, I spent a lot of time sleeping and in bed with Sylas, while Jacob took care of both of us. The most I really had to do was feed Sylas. I cant say enough how grateful I am that Jacob was able to stay home, because my whole body was sore for about a week after delivery. I would also get really light headed and weak feeling when I stood or sat up totally straight. Overall that was probably the worst part of healing; that and my hair getting tangly and practically matted from spending so much time in bed.
Jacobs mom brought us a bunch of homemade meals as well, and that was most definitely helpful! Especially since Jacob lacks kitchen skills. I read online about people saying they regret not meal prepping and making freezer meals before they had their babies, but if I’m being totally honest, I think it depends on personal preference. I know damn well it would have been convenient for us, but I also know that we buy food and make meals, just to forget we have them. We’re also incredibly lazy when it comes to dishes.
A couple of days after Jacob had gone back to work, I came down with something that is still a mystery to me (possibly engorgement?) I was EXTREMELY fatigued and a fever that reached 103º at its highest. The fever was up and down for two days, but by the third day I was fine. I asked my midwife about it and she said it sounded like engorgement, I thought mastitis, thankfully it wasn’t.
Majority of our time home is spent nursing, cuddling and getting to know each other, as well as getting through the dreaded fussy times. I’ve only cried twice through those, and only because it makes me so sad when he really cries.
Let’s talk breastfeeding. Who would have thought something that’s supposed to be so natural would be SO difficult. The first three days were great, my milk came in quickly, Sylas was on a semi regular feeding schedule, and I was feeling pretty confident. Then day four hit! My boobs were hard as rocks and on FIRE! I had to take a shower and pump to soften them enough for Sylas to latch and even then he struggled some because they were so full. Of course when I pumped it was only teeny drops coming out, so it was very time consuming. Just from that day alone, my nipples became very cracked and dry, it was so painful I was exclusively pumping one side and feeding Sylas from the other. I was incredibly discouraged and struggling, but Jacob was my much needed support system and I couldn’t have done it without his support and my determination!
Over those next three days I managed to get a tiny stash of 15 ounces. Around this time is also when Sylas became VERY fussy in the evening and continuously wanted to eat for several hours. I worried he wasn’t getting enough milk, but after a quick google search on increasing milk supply I came across this article on KellyMom. Turns out nugget has fussy time and it is very common. Whew! That eased my mind. I felt even better when the pediatrician said his weight gain was great.
About two weeks into breastfeeding, I stumbled across an article about Pink Drink from Starbucks increasing milk supply. I gave it a go so I could try and pump some more and it worked! But I didn’t pump right away. Instead I practically water boarded a very hungry baby and once he finished eating I decided to pump afterwards because my boobs were KILLING ME! This is about when I realized I might have messed up. I developed flu like symptoms, and had my engorgement/mastitis scare. Thankfully it went away quickly! Now I drink the refresher before work in the mornings to help my pumping output, while I’m away from bubb.
I will admit, I definitely considered giving up on breastfeeding our first few nights home. I was feeling incredibly discouraged. I’m glad we didn’t, because after two weeks we were practically pros and after a month I feel like we definitely are. I’ve gotten so good at getting him latched quickly and discreetly in public without even needing a cover, I use the two shirt method and it works wonders for us. People don’t even pay attention or probably don’t even notice! I am very excited to see how far this breastfeeding journey takes us – plus, Sylas loves his milkies!
All About Sylas
At his first doctors appointment he weighed 8 pounds 14 ounces, and grew half an inch. They seemed concerned about his weight gain, so we ended up scheduling another appointment for a two week checkup instead of three. At his next checkup he was back at his birth weight and the pediatrician said he looked great and was perfectly healthy. He does however have a lip tie, and we were referred to an ENT to get a second opinion about possibly clipping it. The pediatrician said his latch was great and wasn’t concerned, however, she said that it could cause a gap in his teeth when they come in, so Jacob and I are still thinking about having someone else look at it.
At his most recent visit, we took him to an urgent care to be checked for thrush, as he had been abnormally fussy, outside of his usual fussy time, and crying like he was in pain when eating. The pediatrician checked him out, said he looked perfectly healthy and that it was either something I ate or he was probably going through a leap or growth spurt. Also, chunky weighs over 12 freaking pounds.
Yes. Sylas has a normal fussy time that usually begins sometime between 7 and 10 pm and lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. I had no clue that this was a thing, but as I mentioned above, according to KellyMom this is totally normal behavior. Regular fussy time usually goes on the first few months of baby’s life. Some nights it’s really hard for me because Sylas has no idea what he wants and a couple of times he was REALLY upset.
I have an app called the Wonder Weeks, that will tell me when Sylas will be going through leaps in development. So far it has been incredibly helpful in preparing us for abnormal fussy times, as well as ways to comfort him.
Outside of his fussy times, he is snuggly and happy. He is also very independent like his mama. He doesn’t appreciate us trying to help him support his head anymore, and jerks away from us so he can look around on his own. We keep our hands nearby and offer support when it bobbles. I’ve found that if I sit him up and let him rest his jaw in between my thumb and pointer finger, he’s much more tolerant. He l loves tummy time, and ‘ve been getting more social smiles out of him this past week as well. Just like any other parent we lose our minds over everything he does and think we have the best baby ever! But seriously, he’s the best baby ever.
I hope to start blogging more frequently once we get into the groove of things, so keep an eye out! Until next time! xx