>> Monday, June 20, 2016
I'm just about one week out from when I delivered Eloise Joy, and I'm feeling . . . great? I'll backtrack for a moment to explain the question mark. After I delivered Ada, we stayed in the hospital 24 hours and the day we got home, this gloom set over me. I cried, a lot. Over seemingly insignificant things. I felt anxious and angry.
I wanted everyone to go away and to stop holding my baby. I sat on the couch for several weeks, not wanting to get up. I would go to my room and cry sometimes when family was over. Definitely a case of the baby blues that lasted a good three weeks.
This time? We were in the hospital 72 hours total. When we got home, I was bursting with energy. Not in an unnatural way. I was ready to see Ada and hug her tighter than I had in nine long months. I was ready to do things. I was ready (and still am!) to go places. I was just ready to resume everyday life.
I was bracing myself for some conflicted emotions after the whole journey it took to get us to this point. I am still on watch and have asked my family to please tell me ASAP if I show warning signs of PPD to encourage me to get help. I'm not going to make any grand proclamations right now -- but I'm wondering if I'll continue on this up-swing?
Maybe some of this difference has to do with my physical recovery. It, too, has been much better than the first time around. Now, I won't kid you. I tore just as severely with a quick two-push delivery as I did with Ada's grueling 2 hours. Perhaps even a bit worse. That surprised me. But I think less time overall spent pushing treated the rest of my body well. Plus, I knew more of what to expect with all the bleeding, soreness, and other issues, so it wasn't as demoralizing.
That being said, it's summer. I am looking forward to the Mega-Period ending and for everything else to return to normal.
I don't think I wrote about the crazy night sweats I had after delivering Ada. They were downright awful. I'd wake for weeks just drenched. Trying to navigate breastfeeding for the first time while waking in the winter nights completely damp and chilled was terrible. I had one night of some sweating in the hospital but haven't had any sense. I do wonder how my body is ridding itself of the excess fluids from pregnancy, though. Maybe I'm not out of the woods yet.
You guys. I had a mild episode of sleep paralysis the other night. I am really, really, really hoping it won't happen as severely as it did with Ada. Basically, I woke up unable to move with tremendous pressure on my chest feeling like someone was pressing down. I was trying to scream out Stephen's name but nothing would come out of my mouth. And then I woke up gasping.
I have told my midwife about it, but she isn't familiar. I know it has something to do with my body not getting out of REM sleep as I wake up. Not fun. Have any of you experienced this? Thankfully I've had it before so it isn't as frightening this time around . . . but I am trying to get good blocks of sleep to keep it at bay.
Breastfeeding is going well. Eloise has a strong latch and is nursing from each side pretty much every feed. I think an average feed is taking around 20 minutes right now. She does like to comfort-suck. And we're right on with the newborn 10-12 feeds per day right now. She'll nurse about every two hours during the day and maybe space things out to 3 hours on occasion.
Another difference with nursing so far is that my let-down reflex isn't as strong, but my milk production seems to be plentiful. With Ada, I used to get this wave of sadness when my milk would let down . . . and so far, I haven't had that. I am also far less overwhelmed with having to feed Eloise all.the.time because I know it doesn't last forever.
Weight + Exercise
I started pregnancy at 138 pounds and I think I topped off around 162 (the week before she was born). I am down to around 146 right now, but I don't have any major weight goals for anytime soon. Ultimately, I just want to be back around 135, which seems to be my happy weight when I am eating well and running.
This is annoying, though: I am ravenously hungry and trying to limit sugar, which I'll get to in a minute (it isn't dieting, I promise you!). As far as exercise goes, I have started walking a bit. Unlike with Ada, I don't feel like my organs are going to fall out of my body -- but I'm not going to test my luck. I may do a little bit of Barre sometime soon. Mostly stretching. One of the 10-minute videos.
Oh, and funny thing -- Eloise TOTALLY calms down when I do Barre squats.
There's the not-so wonderful news in all this goodness. My urine test before delivery showed both Group B and Group D strep strains. I flipped out momentarily because, I mean, STREP D? WTF? I don't get sick very often. I've never had all these sorts of infections. I am really starting to wonder what is going on with me. My midwife says it is probably just being immunocompromised from pregnancy. It's definitely a source of anxiety for me, so I am hoping we can clear whatever is going on up soon.
I am on antibiotics -- for the 1,000,000th time this year -- to try to kick out the D from my system. They are 4 times a day for 10 days. After just being on hefty IV meds during delivery. Ugh. I am really hoping I can kick these UTIs. I've never, ever had them in my life. I will say that I am worried about developing yeast, thrush, or major digestive issues like C. diff. I am taking probiotics and don't know what else to do. I am trying to limit sugar, but I am SO HUNGRY FOR ALL THE CARBS and can't seem to.
I do think the time of year has something to do with things being better this time around, too. Not only is Stephen off from school basically tomorrow, so I have lots of help transitioning. We are extremely close to the longest day of the year. Seeing the sun start to rise before 5 AM and set after 9 PM makes me dread the long nights far less. It's warm outside, so we're able to get sun and fresh air. I guess I am going to try to stop questioning why I feel so well and, instead, be thankful.
It's been a long stretch of sadness and anxiety and uncertainty, and I'd like to think that maybe -- just maybe -- the clouds are lifting. I'll be back soon with some answers to questions I've received about how we're adjusting to family life. What it's like having an older kid and a newborn (she is so tiny!!!). If Eloise reminds us of Ada. And etc.