Thursday, June 9, 2016

Josie's First 2 Weeks

I am going to pick up where I left off with Josie's birth story.  This post will be about our first 2 weeks at home.  We were really lucky this time, Mark got to take 2 weeks off work so that made things SO much better for my recovery!  All things considered I'd say the first couple of weeks went pretty smoothly...

What We've Been Up To: Week 1
Sunday my mom brought Stella back home in the morning.  She did NOT do well at first.  She was excited about Josie and loved her so much (even shared her beloved puppy with her, that's how we knew she was special to Stella!) but she threw a huge fit every time Mark or I picked Josie up.  Ran to her room screaming!  By the end of the two weeks she was over this phase thankfully, but it was rough at first.  Mark went and picked up Kaiser from the vet while my mom was here.  It was so nice to have him back with no cone or cast.  He was happier, plus he was able to stay outside in his kennel now and the fresh air did him good.  He still slept inside with us, and thankfully he didn't get worked up over Josie like he did when Stella was born.  Just used to being a big brother by now!  Mark also was able to mow the yard and run to Wal Mart on Sunday, so we were doing pretty good getting caught up around the house!
Sisterly love.
Josie got Stella a Big Sister gift...Paw Patrol goodies of course!  She already knows her well!

Monday was my due date, and Josie was 5 days old!  We had a doctor appointment, and everything looked great except he thought she looked jaundice, so we had to go to the hospital for a check.  That proved ONCE AGAIN to be a nightmare.  We went to Kewanee Hospital thinking it would be a quick routine test, but we were so wrong!  I wasn't prepared, so I was without my pain meds and therefore very crabby :)  We had to register, which made me mad from the beginning.  Josie's birth hospital, doctor's office and this hospital are all OSF.  We shouldn't have had to do everything all over, but their computers aren't synced.  By the time we got into the room, Stella was super tired and crabby.  The room was freezing so Josie wasn't bleeding very well.  They stuck her heels 6 times before they got enough blood!  I'm usually pretty nice but I wasn't nice to those nurses!  The rest of Monday was a fussy day for Josie and mama!  I couldn't blame her after that experience :( 
Swaddled, Rock-n-Play bed, and music giraffe...sleep essentials for Josie Mae.

Tuesday Mark had to take Kaiser to the vet for his shot.  Jenny came over and hung out with us.  It was a pretty relaxing day and Mark was able to get some stuff done outside while I had help.  Stella didn't nap though, so she was pretty fussy by bedtime!
Kaiser watching over his girls.

On Wednesday morning we went to my friend's house to get Josie's newborn pictures done.  She stayed awake pretty much the whole session, but she wasn't too fussy so it went smoother than I anticipated.  Stella didn't cooperate of course, but we managed to sneak a few in so I was very happy!  When we got home Abby came over to spend the afternoon with us while Mark had some more time outside (he really lucked out this week!)  Stella was so excited to see Abby that she climbed over her bed rail (the one we'd been using to keep her in her toddler bed) for the first time ever!  I was so shocked when I heard that door open and saw her come running down the hall!  It was bad timing with a new baby, but I was so thankful she was strong and determined enough to do it!  The things most parents take for granted, but not when you have a baby with low muscle tone :)  Wednesday evening got pretty rough, both girls were super crabby and I took my last pain meds.  After a few crazy days and no naps for Stella, we decided to just stay home Thursday and get some rest and routine back for Stella.
Some of my favorite shots.

Highlights of Week 1
Mark was very helpful, it was so nice to have him home.  I was glad I had other help too so he could sneak some alone time in outside.  I did very well the first week, little to no pain (except when I got up in the mornings...slept on the couch all week).  I didn't have any postpartum depression, and with Mark helping I even slept decent.  I did get an awful rash from my binder, but other than that everything went great!  Stella had a rough week, between the not napping, no routines, and me not being able to care for her like I normally do.  Everyday was a little better and she's learning to stay in her bed for naps and nighttime.  Josie was a tad fussy, and she had her days and nights mixed up but nothing out of the ordinary.  She had her little period discharge, but I remembered that from Stella so we didn't worry this time :)  She ate about 1.5-2 ounces every few hours.  She didn't take a pacifier, but she didn't have one in the hospital so this didn't surprise me.  We were amazed how well she can lift and hold her head up already, she is very strong!  She loves to be held and snuggled, especially against my chest.  Other than a little chapped chin she was super healthy and beautiful!!  Great first week!!

What We've Been Up To: Week 2
Thursday marked the start of Josie's second week.  We spent the day resting and getting back into a "routine" (the best we could with a newborn!)  Mark took Stella to his parents after nap because his mom made us a bunch of delicious food!  Stella walked around their farm all afternoon, so she came back with a bad diaper rash.  This made for AWFUL diaper changes for the rest of the week.  Good thing she had fun at the farm!

Friday Kaiser had his last surgery shot.  We all went with to show off the new baby, and then we stopped in at Mark's work to show her around there.  That afternoon we did a few chores, and my dad and his girlfriend brought out pizza that evening.
Kaiser trying his best to cheer up Josie!

Saturday was our first big outing.  Our niece graduated from high school so we went to her party.  It was a beautiful day, and Stella had so much fun!  Josie did well too.  We dropped Stella off at my mom's after the party.  She was going to spend a few more days with her while we did a few things around the house and focused on Josie.  She had a rough week and we wanted to give her a little break with the rest of the time my mom took off work. 

Sunday morning we went back into town to take the girls to my Grandma's so my family could meet Josie.  We had coffee and donuts and Stella had a blast playing with her cousins while everyone held Josie.  Then Mark and I took Josie back home to finish up a few things before he went back to work the next day.
Meeting her great-grandmas:  Grandma Norton and Grandma Bomleny.  Her middle name is after Great-Grandma Norton!!

Monday Mark went back to work.  He sleeps in the bedroom on nights he has to work so he can get rest, and I've stayed on the couch with Josie.  I don't mind this, I can always nap if needs be, plus I get to sleep in until the girls wake up :)  I had Josie alone on Monday, which was much easier than both of them as I eased into doing everything alone after my C-section.

Tuesday morning we rode with Mark into town when he went to work.  I couldn't drive yet so he dropped us off at my mom's.  She took us to Josie's 2 week doctor check-up and stayed in the waiting room with Stella.  Her appointment went well, but she still wasn't up to her birth weight so we had to schedule a 1 week follow up just to have her weighed.  She had lumps in her chest that scared the crap out of me, but it was just breast tissue.  He said that is common in newborns, even boys, but Stella didn't have it.  After the appointment my mom brought us home and stayed until Mark got home from work.  We had coffee and just visited that day.

On Wednesday I had my 2 week check-up.  This was just to check my incision, I still have the traditional 6 week postpartum check-up too.  Mark took the morning off to take us.  Everything looked great and I was cleared to drive and use the stairs again, but still minimal lifting and no exercise yet.  The kids were super fussy, so we headed straight home after the appointment (after a Dunkin Donuts pit stop of course!).  Mark went back to work in the afternoon, so I got a small taste of being alone with both girls before I started full on the next day.  It actually went pretty well, they slept and I even got some chores done!  A nice way to wrap up Josie's second week :)
Lots of hair like her sister (yes, even the mini-mullet!)
Stella's obsessed with Paw Patrol.  It's been a lifesaver as we adjust to our growing family.  Here she's playing with the tower (from my mom) and in her Paw Patrol hat.  It's Mark's, but she likes to put it on and say "Come on pups!"  Not sure where that came from but it's adorable!

Highlights of Week 2
Another decent week!  Mark was very helpful again, but I know he was ready to go back to work.  Just a busy time and he felt guilty not being there, but enjoyed his time at home.  My recovery went very well.  I wasn't eating great, but not terrible either.  I lost 20 pounds in the first two weeks, after Stella it took me 4 months to get to this point!  So much better.  Gotta cut back on that coffee though...  Stella was doing better by the end of week 2.  She loves to rock Josie, share her puppy with her, and sing "rock a baby tree fall down" while she rocks her.  So sweet, melts my heart!  Josie was starting to pick up with the fussiness.  It was a few hours at a time by now, and she was starting to spit up and have a harder time latching on to the bottles.  Feedings took much longer this week!  Plus she wouldn't take the pacifier, but I could tell she wanted it, so that was frustrating.  After a few days of only pooping once a day she started going 4-5 times a day, so that helped a little.  Her umbilical cord fell out at 13 days old.  She loves baths, but we only did them every few days because her skin is so dry.  She was fussy in the evenings, but then she would wake every 3 hours in the night to eat, so a little better than every 1.5-2 hours like she did during the day.  I tried to rotate holding her, tummy time, and using the swing, bouncy seat and rocky bed.  Just trying to switch it up and keep her happy!  Kaiser was doing well this week too, although he sure missed sleeping on the couch!  His fur was starting to grow back and he did so well with the girls :)

2 Weeks Postpartum Reflection
Other than the typical adjustments and newborn frustrations (mainly lack of sleep!) the first phase of my postpartum journey went so much smoother this time around.  My pain was minimal, the weather was beautiful, Mark was home, and I had much better medical care.  I also didn't use cloth diapers or breastfeed.  Yes, I believe breastfeeding is "better" than bottle feeding in many ways.  But you know what is worse?  Not being able to breastfeed without being severely stressed and in pain and dreading every time you have to feed your baby.  A bottle given lovingly trumps a forced breastfeed in my book!  The most important thing is that you and your baby are healthy and happy!  I changed a lot during this pregnancy, motherhood will do that to you!  You just have to let go of the picture you had in your head and embrace what is.  Once you do that you will be SO much happier.  I am still a work in progress, it takes time to adjust a Type A mama, but I am getting there!  I am so thankful for my beautiful family, our health, and our happiness.  Life is good!

Up next:  Josie's 1 Month update...coming Saturday since it took me so long to get this post done!  Remembering to embrace what is :)

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