Entries Tagged as 'postpartum'

baby’s second night

31.03.14

Surviving Baby's Second Night @ohbotherblog

As tonight will mark the one-week anniversary of my second night in the hospital with Gatsby, I wanted to share another oh, bother. PSA™ with ya’ll while the horror is still fresh in my mind. You see, in addition to the postpartum recovery/pad sandwich situation that no one (but me!) warns you about, no one warns new moms about Night #2, or Quite Possibly the Worst Night of Your Life.

You may congratulate yourself the morning after that first night with your new baby—even with the nurses in and out of your room all night, you’re still kind of running on adrenaline so the sleeplessness doesn’t bother you too much. You may think, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad. I totally got this.” But… you don’t know. You. don’t. know what awaits.

When I had Holden, a lactation consultant visited my room specifically to warn me about Night #2. There was even a special page dedicated to Night #2 in the “Your Newborn for Dummies (aka You)” manual the hospital gives you. Do not brush off these warnings; be prepared because Night #2 is coming.

This time, I don’t know if I was blocking out my memories of that night in a survivor/PTSD-type situation, or if I was thrown off by the nurse telling me that my little boy would be really sleepy after his circumcision (it’s a trap! Don’t believe it!) but once again, I found myself unprepared for Night #2.

It starts in the evening as visiting hours are winding down and you find yourself alone with your new baby (and possibly your partner if you’ve decided to enlist their support for the night). You feed your bebe one last time before a few hours of sleep… or so you think. But no: this is Night #2, aka New Mom Hazing Night, aka The Cluster Feeding Night aka Nurse All Night Night.

There will be no sleep. There will only be nursing. Every time you take the kid off your nip, he will cry and the only thing that will soothe him will be more nip. Forget about him sleeping in the tupperware hospital bassinet; he will only sleep on your chest with your nip in his mouth… therefore you will not sleep, as the nurses make damn well sure you don’t fall asleep in bed with the baby. You will still fall asleep with the baby in bed with you at least once this night, against your best efforts. This sleep will be fleeting. Your partner will be useless. You will cry. Your nipples will hurt. All the nursing will require frequent changing of your pad sandwich. Your baby will cry while you’re in the bathroom and you will shout, “Okay! Okay! Yes, Mommy will be right there!” out the bathroom door. You may try to make it through the night by watching TV, or reading Twitter on your phone, or ordering little flowered headbands on Etsy at 3am.

You will doubt yourself. But don’t let that baby break you.

Because soon it will be 5am, then 6am, and you’ve survived. They’ll be bringing your shriveled scrambled eggs and blueberry Yoplait soon. You’ll probably be going home today. Your kid is worn out from hazing you and there’s most likely a nap in your future… unless your nesting instinct waits until the day you get home from the hospital to kick in, like mine does. But that’s a different story.

And that, my new-mom friends, is Night #2.

I highly recommend that you check out “Baby’s Second Night” on KellyMom.com for the legit info on why Night #2 is a thing (spoiler alert: it’s because the baby is out of their coming-through-the-birth-canal fog and is all like “WTF?!?” and needs some comfort; and also because cluster feeding helps to build your milk supply) and for some helpful suggestions on how to get through it with your dignity (somewhat) intact. I’m pretty sure that information is what was shared in my hospital manual.

The good news is that it gets better (…and then it usually gets worse for a while, but it’ll get better again. Maybe. Hopefully. Definitely). You got this.

Bottle-feeding moms: how do you get through the terror that is Night #2?

first day flying solo as a mom of two

31.03.14

Yesterday was my first day home alone with two kids under the age of two. Here was my day:

First day as a SAHM with two kids @ohbotherblog

7:30am: got a shower while G screamed at me from his infant seat. Guess I’m not shaving today.

  • (Technically I guess I could mention 12am, 1:30am, 4:00am, 6:30am: nursed G)

8am: G back to sleep after pretending to nurse for a bit. I slap on some face, dry my bangs (if I don’t, my hair will look ridiculous for the next two days) and go downstairs to gulp down some coffee before…

First day as a SAHM with two kids @ohbotherblog

8:45am: The Holdy Monster wakes up. To my relief, she’s pleasant. We change her diaper, brush her teeth, go downstairs for milk and a “manana,” eat some waffles, dance to Yo Gabba Gabba, all before G Man wakes up.

9:45am: Gatsby is awake. We go upstairs and I change his diaper and clothes while Holdy throws every washcloth, bib and blanket in the drawer of the changing table onto the floor.

We go downstairs so G can nurse while Holdy watches Dora the Explorer… and poops, which means I can now safely give her a bath to wash off last night’s blue birthday cake icing from my Dad’s birthday dinner without fear of a bathtub surprise… which I definitely experienced two weeks ago.

First day as a SAHM with two kids @ohbotherblog

10:30am: Holdy gets a bath while Gatsby hangs out in an infant seat. Basically I have some sort of infant seat in every room. After the bath, G hangs out in the infant seat in Holdy’s nursery while we get her dressed.

Head downstairs; tummy time while Holden grabs every single shoe out of her shoe basket and displays them in a line.

First day as a SAHM with two kids @ohbotherblog

11:30am: Begin to prep for a walk which requires nursing G, changing his diaper, finding two shoes that match for Holdy, chasing her around the house to put her jacket and hat on, bundling up G.

First day as a SAHM with two kids @ohbotherblog

11:50am: Head out for a walk in our new double stroller, the Joovy Caboose. We’re very lucky to live in a neighborhood that adjoins an amazing park with a really great playground. Unfortunately, despite the 50-something degree weather, that playground is still covered with remnants of last night’s freak snowstorm. Holdy falls down four times before I decide to pull the plug on the playground venture.

Holdy cries the whole walk home, while also saying, “nap,” which I take as a good sign. G has been sleeping the entire walk.

12:30pm: Holdy lies down for a nap. G is still asleep.

1-3pm: I clean up the toy carnage from this morning, which takes all of 3 minutes. I heat up a piece of pizza. G wakes up. My mom shows up to drop off leftover sushi from last night’s birthday dinner. She holds G for about 10 minutes before she has to leave. I nurse him again, then lay him on the Boppy around my waist while I type a blog post, seated in an armchair with my laptop on a TV tray. Grey’s Anatomy reruns play in the background on Lifetime.

I try, unsuccessfully, to nap with G on the couch.

3:15pm: Holdy is up. Diaper change, milk, PBJ sandwich. Grandma comes to take H to her house for a few hours.

4pm: I nurse Gatsby and then put him in the Moby wrap and we go for a walk in the park.

First day as a SAHM with two kids @ohbotherblog

5-7pm: Harry Potter on ABC Family. Gats and I nurse and then chill on the couch. I fall asleep for about 20 minutes (sorry, Harry).

7:30pm: Holdy is home. I get her ready for bed while grandma sits with Gatsby.

8pm: How I Met Your Mother finale. While Gatsby sleeps in the living room bassinet, I laugh. I cry. I scream. I eat leftover sushi. I drink a beer.

9pm-12am: Upstairs to bed with G, cuddling and nursing on and off, while I play around on my phone.

First day as a SAHM with two kids @ohbotherblog

Hey, we survived!

Gatsby’s birth story, or how I live tweeted my labor again

28.03.14


As I shared, I was not particularly loving the final week or two of pregnancy and was trying pretty much everything to get this little guy out.

Stuff that does not work to induce labor:

  • Having the doctor strip your membranes
  • Spicy food: Mexican, curry, triple-chili powder chocolate cupcakes
  • Third trimester tea
  • Pedicures/foot massages
  • Labor Cookies
  • Scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Skipping
  • Bouncing on a large ball
  • Walking miles and miles
  • Running on an elliptical
  • “The thing that got you into trouble in the first place”
  • Anything to do with your nipples
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Jumping off the bottom step
  • Squats and lunges
  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Dancing
  • Full moons
  • Walking miles and miles

What Does Work to Induce Labor: Having a baby that’s ready.

Mommy and daughter bouncing on the labor ball @ohbotherblog

Gatsby’s Birth Story

On his due date, March 23, I woke up to some really mild contractions around 7am, while I was lying in bed. I didn’t think too much of it because I had literally been having contractions for about three weeks at this point. I kept an eye on the clock—they were about 8 minutes apart. As an hour ticked by and the contractions got a bit stronger, I began to realize that this might be it, but I still didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Side note: Having to rely on your own assessment of your discomfort to make that call to the doctor really sucks, especially when you’re a stubborn mule like me who likes to think she’s tough. Having your water break—like mine did with Holden—is at least a clear sign of labor, although, boy, does that make your contractions so much more intense.

Around 8am, I got up and took a shower (I had this weird thing with both pregnancies where I wanted to get myself “ready” to go to the hospital). My contractions were lasting about a minute, were 3-6 minutes apart and were still relatively mild. I called my doctor’s office at 8:36am and my parents at 8:42am. My mom took me to the hospital while my husband stayed at the house with still-sleeping Holden.

We got to the hospital around 9:45am. I wanted to make the walk to Labor & Delivery rather than take a wheelchair, and I could feel my contractions intensifying and coming faster. My OB met me in L&D for my exam: I was 5 cm dilated and still kinda thick by that point, so she wanted to put me on the monitor to see how I progressed before deciding if they would “keep” me… which pissed me off because 1) I knew this was it and 2) the contractions were getting stronger and being strapped to a bed (without meds) is pretty much the last thing you want when you’re in labor.

I was only on the monitor for about 20-30 minutes before they came back to admit me and take me to a room—I guess my moans of pain and the huge peaks of my contractions on the monitor told them this was the real thing. My OB told me then I was a bit too smiley when I first came in and that’s why she didn’t admit me right away… so if there’s a next time, I’ll keep that in mind.

In the middle of a labor contraction @ohbotherblog

Like my labor with Holden, the time from being admitted until receiving the epidural was a blur of pain. Contractions were coming every minute or so and, while they weren’t at the same excruciating level of my first pregnancy (when my water broke), they still felt like I was being eviscerated with a rusty bread knife every 60 seconds. I was still strapped to a bed, receiving IV fluid before they would give me the epidural and still on the monitor. So no walking or ball-bouncing. Just me alone with my pain.

Around 11am (so after about an hour), the doctor gave me the painkiller, Stadol, which doesn’t stop the pain of the contractions but “takes the edge off”—which means makes you kind of high so you can’t focus on the pain as much. It made things a bit better, but the real joy came when my anesthesiologist entered the room around 11:15am.

Getting an epidural @ohbotherblog

I endured one more painful contraction before the sweet, sweet nectar of anesthesia washed through my body and I began the blissful, zen-like ride of no feeling—like, I literally couldn’t even feel my legs. Also, I was still kind of high.

So now that I was feeling good, it was time to let my friends know where I was and to start…

My Labor Live Tweet, Part Deux

(ps – I also live tweeted my labor with Holden, which you can read here.)

In case you don’t feel like scrolling through all the pages, here is the “highly popular” video of me dancing to “Push It,” like I did last time:

Around 1:50pm (so after about 2.5 hours), the doc came in and said I was about 9.5 cm dilated and we’d start pushing within the hour… which came as news to me because I had no idea I had progressed that quickly. I was still feeling nothing. Like, my leg looked and felt like a huge hamhock lying in bed with me.

She came back around 2:20pm and said it was time. So even though I couldn’t feel what I was doing, I was going to push this baby out. They wheeled over the mirror—always a surreal experience—and I watched as, with three pushes that I couldn’t feel, the baby slipped on out. The process took less than four minutes. No drama, no tearing (thank god—guess those padsicles weren’t really necessary).

They put my beautiful baby boy on my chest and I was still in shock that it had all happened so quickly. But here he was, right on time.


And nothing would be the same again.

what’s in the hospital bag?

15.03.14

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

I pretty much had no idea what I was doing when I had Holden. I mean, I seriously had to ask the nurse when I would know to change her diaper. That, coupled with the fact that I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl, meant I really didn’t have a clue as to what to pack for the hospital.

So here’s what’s coming with me this time.

Gatsby’s Bag

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

  • Ridiculous(ly adorable) baby boy sleepers and jammies
  • Teeny baby hats
  • Swaddle blankets and a burp cloth
  • Ridiculous(ly adorable) photo props – hats, “Just Born” onesie sticker and little tie (awww)
  • Wishful thinking?

My Bag

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

packing for the hospital, baby #2 @ohbotherblog

  • The boppy pillow and Hooter Hider for nursing
  • Toiletry stuff
  • My maternity uniform of nursing tanks and black lounge pants
  • Robe and comfy pants
  • Phone charger and Anker portable charger
  • The “Gatsby” charm to add to my necklace

Okay, kid. Let’s do this.

prepping for baby #2: padsicles, part two

12.02.14

In a previous post, I talked about the genius idea that is the padsicle. Now 34 weeks along, I’m getting a bit more serious about delivery and baby prep, so I decided it was time to make these suckers.

I used Tall Mom, Tiny Baby’s “recipe” for these ice-cold relief pads and made a few tweaks. So I present:

The Padsicle

Ingredients:

  • The biggest freaking sanitary or incontinence pads you can find
  • Aloe vera
  • Witch hazel
  • Gallon freezer bags
  • Tall Mom, Tiny Baby recommends jojoba, lavender or tea tree oil. I couldn’t find jojoba or lavender oil at my CVS and I wasn’t into the thought of putting something as minty/eucalyptusy/medicinal-smelling as tea tree oil on my lady parts. And I was impatient and wanted to make these, so I forewent the essential oil on my padsicles.

post-partum padsicles @ohbotherblog

The Process:

  • Open the pads, but keep them on their backing plastic so you can re-wrap them.
  • Pour two tablespoons of witch hazel over the pad
  • Pour one tablespoon or so of aloe vera and mush it all over. I used the actual tablespoon to spread it out.

how to make padsicles: witch hazel and aloe vera @ohbotherblog

A fantastic friend of mine texted me before I made these to warn me that it’s not a more-the-merrier situation when it comes to the padsicle ingredients… meaning that the pad absorbs the ingredients and if you put on too much, the pad is less likely to absorb what you really need it to… if you get my drift.

  • Wrap the pads back up, and pack them inside a freezer bag.
  • Slip those bad boys in the freezer and they’ll be waiting for you after you get home from pushing that watermelon through your hoo-ha and you’ve run out of the ice pack-mesh panties-pad sandwich materials that you stole from the hospital.

Padsicles ready for the freezer @ohbotherblog

Tall Mom, Tiny Baby recommends sitting on a towel when using the padsicles. Duly noted.

Alright, Baby G, one step closer to being ready for you!

prepping for baby #2: padsicles, part one

28.01.14

32 weeks. It’s getting to be about that time—time to start prepping for the G Man’s arrival (I know—already?!).

About 17 months ago, I sent a link to a post I’d found online to a friend who was about to have her second baby. It was called, “A candid list of things to do in the last weeks of pregnancy.” I remember it being full of helpful advice, so I saved it to come back to before I had my second kid. And I saved it for one specific piece of advice in particular.

*If you have no desire to shatter the beautiful illusion of childbirth or femininity, or to hear about post-partum horrors or if you have any intention of wanting to feel any little bit of attraction toward me any time in the near future, please just stop reading now.*

The Padsicle

One of the (many) things no one tells you about childbirth is the havoc that a vaginal delivery will wreak on your lady parts. No one warns you that, after pushing your watermelon-sized bundle of joy through your hooha, followed by the afterbirth (which, spoiler alert: hurts almost as much delivery), you will be accompanied, shell-shocked and delirious, to the bathroom by your nurse, who will introduce you to your new bathroom routine for the next 2-3 weeks (at least).

She will hand you a Peri bottle (a squeeze bottle) that you must fill with water—water that you must squirt into your urine stream to dilute it so that you don’t burn the ever-living-hell out of your freshly-sewn flower every time you pee. “Peri” stands for perineum. Don’t Google it.

You’ll then be given the ingredients to assemble the Dagwood-esque sanitary pad sandwich that will comprise your undergarments for the near future:

post-partum padsicles @ohbotherblog

  1. The largest pad you’ve ever seen
  2. An ice pack
  3. TUCKS Medicated (witch hazel) Pads
  4. Epifoam, a steroidal foam to help with inflammation.

Stacked on top of one another, these items will all be held in place by extremely large, extremely stretchy (and honestly, extremely comfortable) mesh panties. If you care to see the process step-by-step, check out Emily’s post here on Real New Mom. She calls it the Undie Sundae.

Don’t get me wrong—I am by no means throwing shade at this process. Trust me, you will cry for the soothing nature of this pad sandwich when it feels like your vj is hanging down to your knees.

Pro-tip: Steal as many of the pads, ice packs, TUCKS Pads and mesh panties as you can from the hospital. Otherwise, you will find yourself crying to your SO to go to the store and buy the freaking-biggest-pads-you-can-find-I-don’t-care-if-they’re-incontinence-pads-for-old-ladies-dammit, whilst straddling a bag of frozen peas… I’m guessing, anyway.

So that’s why this time, I’m making me some Padsicles.

post-partum padsicles @ohbotherblog

A search for “padsicle” online brings up all sorts of fun articles on these little pieces of frozen heaven. I’m going to be using Mary’s recipe from Tall Mom, Tiny Baby.

I hit up the drug store today to get all the ingredients (plus some bonus epsom salt, cuz why not?). Stay tuned for a future post, in which I make these big mamma-jammas.

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