Thea is 10 days old today.
I can hardly believe that she's finally here. I have never been more in love - both with her and with John (who, by the way, continues to prove himself to be the most amazing husband and father). I want to hold her pretty much all of the time, and I can't stop staring at her - it's like I need a constant visual reminder that she is finally here.
This post will surely be scattered because there's no other way to describe the state of my brain right now. I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence at least 5 times an hour.
Thea's birth story will follow, but not any time soon, I'm sure. I have a feeling I'll have to write it in bits and pieces.
I'm thankful that John has been keeping everyone updated on Thea through his weblog, because up until now, I just haven't been able to sit down long enough to type a complete post. Even though I live in the same house with him, I'm not quite sure how he manages it.
Thea is great - perfect, in fact. Our first couple of days home went very smoothly, although I continued to question the strict feeding schedule prescribed by the NICU. One good thing about it was that Thea always finished her feedings with an extremely full belly which ensured that she usually slept quite soundly until her next feeding three hours later. As nice as it was to get a bit of sleep, I worried that we were over feeding her and not responding to her natural feeding cues.
Then, last night, she decided that the schedule had to go, and kept me up for almost the whole night. Our baby who had been able to sleep pretty much ANYWHERE for the past 9 days decided that the only suitable place to sleep was curled up against my chest. Which is actually fine with me, except that I didn't feel comfortable falling asleep with her like this, so I was up for pretty much the entire night.
This morning, we made our way to the pediatrician. Thea has gained 2 oz since Friday, and our pedi gave us the green light to quit the "schedule" and formula and to start working off of Thea's cues for feeding. So far, it looks like she's feeding for about 5-10 minutes every hour. I feel like tonight might be another long night. But we've done much better than I expected (although I feel like I'm doing a pretty good job of not having expectations these days). Having Thea in my life makes it much easier to stay in the moment. With a newborn, it seems there's not much else you can do.
As for me, I'm doing well. I'm still taking the pain medicine, much to my dismay, but I'm trying to be patient with myself in my recovery. Surprisingly, my muscle issues have gone back to my pre-pregnancy state, and I am very thankful for that. I'm feeling stronger each day, looking much less anemic, and hoping I can sneak in a haircut sometime in the next couple of weeks. And I've already lost over 10 pounds. I'm sure most of it is water weight - I had tremendous swelling in my legs, ankles, and feet starting right after birth. I guess that's what I get for not having any swelling during my pregnancy. Thankfully, that is subsiding too.
So, for those of you who might be willing to share, I'm curious to know:
-If you had a cesarean birth, how long was your recovery? How long did the pain last for you?
-What was your early breast feeding schedule? How long did your baby feed? How long did your baby go between feedings?
And, without further delay...here's what I know you really came here looking for...