Friday, January 18, 2013

Two Month Appointment

Despite the crazy weather, we made it to Adara's appointment on time. She weighs just over 11 pounds, and is 22.5 inches long. She's growing right on track :)

I fed Adara while we waited in the room. Adara was happy, awake, and alert.

I asked Samantha Mulder, a.k.a. "Sam", a couple questions. I asker her about the whole co-sleeping thing. She said that she looks at world-wide studies. She said that co-sleeping is fine as long as it is a non-smoking, healthy weight parent of the baby. She said that it can be beneficial, and even encourages breastfeeding. I also asked her about her personal opinion on birth control. She asked when I would want to be fertile again, and I said maybe in about a year. She suggested an IUD, as it would be an easy, no stress year. So we'll see what we end up doing in the long run.

She check Adara from head to toe, showed me growth charts, and said she's perfect. She told me I was free to finish feeding Adara in the room, so I did.

Afterwards I met up with my friend Freya at Whole Foods for lunch. She had a baby boy a month and a half before Adara, and we hadn't seen each other since we had our babies! We had a fun time catching up and sharing experiences.

Up until a couple of nights ago, Adara had been sleeping from 11pm ish to around 5am ish. The past few nights, though, she's started going to sleep around 10:15pm, then waking up around midnight to eat, and then again around 5am to eat, and then around 7:30 am. Adara and I have recently figured out how to breastfeed while laying down, so feeding more frequently at night actually hasn't been that bad! Yay for co-sleeping!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sleeping arrangements

"Is she a good sleeper?" Well, that depends....

I admit it: We let Adara sleep in our bed. She sleeps cuddled up right next to me. Last night, she slept over 6 consecutive hours! She stirred some around 3am, but then fell back asleep. That's the beauty of having her right next to me: She just falls asleep again if she wakes up a little, because I'm her automatic comfort.

A few times we tried putting her in her bed beside us and just comforting her with rocking or my hand touching her. So far, we've slept much better with her right beside me. We decided that  at this time, we  value getting sleep more than trying to get her to sleep in her own bed.

After reading so much before having Adara about SIDS and not having the baby in bed with you, I was surprised to find that  "sleep-sharing" is more common that I'd thought. We have friends who also have a little girl who will only sleep next to Mom, and even Dr. Sears has an article addressing the issue. Dr. Sears was recommended to me by a friend, and I only wish I'd read more before giving birth. It is reassuring to read that it is actually okay (and in some cases, beneficial) to have my baby sleep right next to me.

Someday we do want to have her sleep in her own bed and be on some kind of consistent schedule, but for now, I'm not going to worry about it too much. (Of course, right now she's sleeping beautifully in her bed right next to the closet where she can hear the heater humming away.)

Anyone have similar experiences? What worked/didn't work for you?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Decision changed

I took one of my progestin-only pills before reading the fine print with the medication. After reading the insert, we realized that if I did happen to get pregnant while taking this pill, the risk is slightly higher that it could be an ectopic pregnancy (when the baby is implanted outside the uterus and can't survive). If that were to happen while I was taking the pill, I would be absolutely crushed. I can't imagine knowing that I had a tiny baby inside of me, and he or she couldn't continue living because of the kind of birth control I was taking. It isn't worth the risk. So in case any of y'all wanted to know about our birth control decisions, here's the update.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Recovery Story

First, I want to say that I would not have made it through the birthing process naturally without my support team. Thanks again to Alex, my mom, and Alex's mom who were with me every step of the way. Second, Alex and I would have had a rough time without the support of our family and friends who came the first couple weeks after Adara was born.

The first couple of weeks I couldn't hardly walk. When we first came home from the hospital, Alex carried Adara in her carrier to our apartment, and then helped me up the stairs to our third story apartment. He basically carried me up the steps. I had some pain from my episiotomy, but I'd been given plenty of numbing medication. My abdominal muscles were incredibly sore from pushing. I've never been so sore in my life. I've run a half-marathon, and that was nothing compared to this. Showering was refreshing, but I could barely get in and out of the shower by myself. I walked when I needed to, but it was a struggle. Alex helped me get in and out of our bed to sleep. When I sat down, I stayed there until I needed to get up again. I took acetaminophen or ibuprofen once a day for the first few days when I absolutely needed it.

The first couple of nights were also rough because Adara would cry and cry and we couldn't figure out why. During the second night we realized that she was becoming dehydrated and remedied the problem. I'm saving my thoughts on breastfeeding for a whole different post.

We received a lot of much needed support in the first few weeks. My mom stayed the first few nights with us, and I'm forever grateful for her help. Because of my limited ability to move, someone needed to take care of Adara and also take care of me. She cooked food for us, washed our dishes, did our laundry, and helped out however we needed. She held Adara for a couple of hours so that Alex and I could both get sleep. 

More than once Allison brought us home made food, and also brought us some fast food when we realized last minute that we had no food for dinner. She also brought Alex's work clothes with her to be ironed and then returned. She's also watched Adara a number of times so that Alex and I can both get out of the house. We received many other visitors with meals and words of encouragement. 

During this whole time, I still felt like a mess. By the third or fourth day, I started crying. Alex was wonderful and made me some signs saying things like, "Calista is the best mommy ever! Alex and Adara love her so much!" and put them up around our apartment. They are still up, and I smile every time I see them.

By Thanksgiving, almost a week after having Adara, I was back to my weight when I first found out I was pregnant. I was excited, but also exhausted. I enjoyed being with my in-laws for Thanksgiving lunch. My sis-in-laws looked at me worriedly because I was walking funny and super slow, and I assured them that not everyone's recovery is as rough as mine. I started crying in the early afternoon because I was so tired. I took a nap in my sis-in-law's room, and then Alex took us home for the rest of the day.

By the third week I was still feeling sore, but did see some progress every single day. When Alex and I walked around Walmart to get Christmas decorations, I was the slowest walker in the whole store. I called the doctor's office to see if me being so sore was a problem. The nurse that I talked to said it was pretty normal, and also said that being dehydrated can make me feel worse. After that I drank more water and noticed a significant improvement. I even stopped bleeding by the fourth week.Unfortunately, by Christmas "Aunt Flo" had decided to come visit. I was hoping that breastfeeding would have keep this delayed a bit longer, but it was not to be. Bummer.

My six week appointment was today.  I brought our Christmas card and my doctor put it up on the board with all the other baby pictures. I weighed in at 124 pounds (about ten pounds less than when I first found out I was pregnant), which is how much I usually weigh when I eat healthy and exercise. My temperature and blood pressure are great. Doctor says I'm completely healed! I had a PAP smear and shouldn't need to come back for another year. Because I did start back on my cycle, I am starting the progestin-only pill. Doctor said this is a safe option while breastfeeding. I love having Adara, but I'd like to be able to wait a little while before having another tiny baby.

Tomorrow I'm going to go grocery shopping, and plan to carry up all the jugs of water by myself. I don't have much strength or endurance yet, and want to be able to run around with my child when she gets to that point. I'm so incredibly excited about everything we're experiencing, and what God has for our future!