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Getting There

Posted Oct 21 2012 2:36am
We took Drew into the pediatrician's yesterday. Everyone agreed that he is looking much less yellow. His bilirubin level was 13.2. Anything under 15 is just fine, so he is in the clear. We have a weight check and his PKU on Thursday, so they will do another check then (as they already have to stick him) just to make sure everything is good. Other than that, he is perfectly healthy. No one can give us any further idea as to why he had the "episode", but it appears to have just been something random that won't happen again. The hospitalist pediatrician does think he might have reflux (based on observing a nursing session) but as it doesn't seem to be bothering him, we don't need to to treat it for now.

Thursday night, he was a champ sleeper and went a FIVE HOUR stretch in his bassinet. He made up for that last night, refusing to sleep without me. He is definitely my little buddy and even though M tried his best, Mommy was the only one that would do. He didn't even want anything to eat, he just wanted snuggles. I could get him completely asleep, and then put him down, and within five minutes, he was crying.  I would pick him up, he would snuggle close, and stop crying.  Lather, rinse, repeat. The good news is that after I gave up on making him sleep solo and took him to bed with me, we both slept in until 10 AM. M took Will and Emma to the beach park across the street from our house and then to Burger King for lunch, so the big siblings were happy.
 
Speaking of the big siblings, Will is in LOVE with his baby brother. He loves to hold him, burp him (and he has the magic touch), and shushing anyone who might be noisy around him while he is sleeping. He tells us about every fifteen minutes that he loves his new baby brother and at night, he requests that Baby Drew get in his bed to have stories with him. I am so proud of him, I could burst. He is still same old Will and argues with us a lot and fights with Emma, but he is doing a really nice job of being a big brother for the second time.  Last night, M took Emma to the grocery store and asked Will if he wanted to go. He chose to stay home with me and help with Andrew instead. So sweet.

Emma is. . . a little less enchanted with the whole new baby thing. She does not like it when I nurse him, usually bursting into tears at the sight of it and declaring, "My Mama, Baby Drew!" She then asks to hold him, but that is just a clever ploy so that I can't.  I am just trying to spend some time with her, but it is hard, because Drew loves to eat.  When Emma was a newborn, I could use nursing time as reading and snuggling time with Will, too.  Since she has such a strong aversion to the nursing, that isn't a tactic I can take here.  So instead, I am taking her upstairs for "girl time", which is stories, hair brushing, snuggling, or just watching t.v. in her favorite place - Mama Bed.  On a positive note, she is not mean to the baby and actually seems pretty interested in him, so long as I am not holding him.  Her behavior otherwise doesn't seem to have changed.  She isn't throwing any more tantrums than usual or really acting any differently than she was prior to Drew's arrival.  So, overall, I think she is doing a pretty good job, especially considering how much I have been gone lately and the fact that she was the baby until now. I think she'll adjust pretty quickly and I am going to focus on having just Mommy/Emma time while Will is in preschool and our nanny can watch Drew.
 
As for me, I am still emotional.  I range from feelings of intense happiness to anxiety.  There are moments when I am incredibly happy.  This afternoon, for example, we all snuggled down after nap and cuddled in our bed and it was peaceful and sweet.  The kids were both "playing" with Drew and he was in one of those quietly awake newborn dazes, just kind of looking around, and it was surreal and incredibly amazing to look at our THREE babies.  Less than five years ago, I couldn't imagine one RLB being in my arms, let alone having THREE.  Tonight, I read stories to Will and Emma and then they crawled up in my lap on Emma's rocking chair and I sang songs to them and I felt as if my heart would swell with so much love that my chest would burst from it.
 
The anxiety creeps in, too, however.  M returns to work on Monday.  My parents were planning on coming back up, but due to a lot of extenuating circumstances, it would work best if they didn't.  Now, I have our nanny, and she is incredible.  But M works long days and has a long commute.  We can't expect A to work those long hours.  She usually comes around 8 AM and leaves at 5 PM.  So I will have a few hours each day with them on my own.  It's not a ton of time, but the afternoon after she leaves can be hectic.  I am glad for my frozen meals and my crockpot, so that I hopefully won't be doing too much meal prep and can just focus on them during that window of time. 

I also am already thinking about having to return to work in January.  When Will was a newborn, I had always planned to stay home, but then the enormity of actually quitting my job kept us from making a firm decision throughout much of my five month maternity leave.  This time, there this no option.  We bought a house that we simply cannot afford on M's salary alone and, even though I loved being a SAHM, it just didn't work for us long term.  Also, because of my short tenure with the company, I am fortunate to be getting any sort of maternity leave, but it won't be five months.  I get eight weeks of short term disability to recover from my c-section and then saved up 11 precious vacation and floating holiday days.  My company also gives us the week between Christmas and New Year's off, so I don't have to go back until January 2nd.  This is really a gift and it is fully paid with benefits, but. . . it just doesn't seem long enough.  I know, it is weeks and weeks away, but I also know the time will fly by and it will be January before I know it.
 
Much to my dismay, I am not healing as quickly as I did after Emma's birth.  I realize I am only 9 days post-op and that isn't that long, but with Emma, I had stopped taking all pain pills and felt pretty "normal" ten days out.  I had a lot more pain following the c-section this time.  The nurses told me it was likely due to the tubal that I had at the same time.  In any case, I was pretty miserable for the first three days, and now I would say I am just uncomfortable most of the time, but in actual pain sometimes.  I am only taking Tylenol during the day, but boy howdy, am I ready for the official pain meds by bedtime.  I know that part of this is that I am overdoing it, but with Will and Emma around, it isn't as if I can just take it easy.  The night I stayed with Drew in the hospital also didn't help.  It was a lot of standing by the bili-bed and walking him around.  I was on my feet more than I probably should have been.  That, in combination with sleepless nights, and more than the pain, I am just still really tired.  I will get an occasional burst of energy, but it is quickly sapped, and I am looking forward to feeling normal again.

I have my 2 week post-op visit with my OB on Thursday and I will bring up my feelings with him. I am not ready to get on any sort of medication at this point (I have nothing against it whatsoever), simply because I think it is a bit early to determine whether this is normal post-partum/baby blues or anything more serious.  What I am doing is trying to put in a "check point" of sorts with Dr. S, so he'll ask me about it for sure at my eight week post-op visit and we can make a better determination then.

So, that is where we all are for now.  Mostly, I think we are all doing okay, though I definitely anticipate continued adjustments and growing pains for all of us.  But we'll get there.
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