Madeline: One Month Update
Ok, I have been promising you guys a post about the baby for almost a month now. If you are already a parent, you can probably understand why it’s taken me so long. I knew having a baby would totally throw my life into complete chaos. Everyone said it would, but you don’t really understand what they mean until you are there. I can barely grab a shower without her screaming! And now here we are with Madeline (pronounced Madelyn for those of you who have asked) at just one day shy of already being 1 month old!
I ended up getting induced the night before my due date. We had gone in earlier that day for an ultrasound and a check up. We were told a few weeks earlier that the baby was measuring small. It wasn’t too surprising since small babies run on both sides of our family, but we were still a little worried. At the last ultrasound, we were told she had not gained any weight from the last estimate. I was also starting to have issues with my blood pressure creeping up and swelling. So with all these concerns, the doctor decided it was best to just get her out! After waiting a good 8 hours to finally get in a room, I was given the first dose of medicine and 25 hours later, Maddie was here! I learned a few things through this process: 1. Inductions suck as they can take forever to get going. 2. I have what I at least think is a low pain tolerance. Contractions also suck., and 3. Epidurals definitely do not suck. Though despite having an epidural, that intense pressure to push at the end was the most insane thing ever. Both our moms were there and I was shocked my mom was able to make it in time coming all the way from Florida. There were also 10 nurses running around the room. It was a nuthouse, but getting to see my baby girl for the first time is a feeling I will never forget! She was such a tiny and perfect little peanut at 5lbs, 12oz, and 18.5 inches long of her!
Weeks 1 & 2
We didn’t have to stay in the hospital very long since it was an uncomplicated birth. I would sum up our hospital stay by saying that we had to ring for a nurse constantly for help with getting the baby to latch and also to help with swaddling. Another thing I have learned? Having a Ph.D. doesn’t help you with swaddling. I still don’t understand and never will. I also think Maddie hates it.
I loved having family in town. It’s so so so necessary. The thought of cooking dinner or cleaning when you first get home is just impossible. As is sleep. I was so thankful that my mom was staying in the next room because our first night home was really rough. Maddie wanted to nurse constantly. I was so exhausted from not sleeping for so many days, I just broke down. It was nice to be able to go sit in the room with my mom to get some help. My husband is also the best husband and daddy ever. I would be lost without him right now, but he was also getting frustrated a lot because he felt helpless, but there was little he could do since he obviously couldn’t nurse her.
Weeks 3 & 4
I want to sum up the last two weeks with one word: Gas. Oh good God, the gas. If Maddie goes more than 24 hours without going #2, she is miserable and in pain. She’s super fussy and squirmy. She fights sleep. She wants to nurse constantly, even up to 10 hours at a time. It’s been really hard. I know it’s normal for babies to be gassy, but we keep feeling like ours is particularly bad. She screams in pain and it hurts my heart. We have tried gas drops, gripe water, bicycle legs, etc. and I’m not sure if they really help her.
Lack of sleep is hard to deal with. It’s really a struggle to stay awake some nights, no matter what I put on TV. I will nurse her for a long time and wait until she seems like she is really asleep, put her down as carefully as possible and one minute later, she’s awake. It makes me crazy! And it’s much worse when she’s gassy. My dad came in from Ohio to spend a few days with us and then we begged my mother-in-law to come back this past weekend to help so we could run errands and she was so sweet to help take the baby off our hands to catch a little sleep at night. Even when I can get a good 4 hours of sleep, I still wake up feeling like I have a horrible hangover.
Breastfeeding should almost get its own section. I was warned by many that this would be the most difficult part of dealing with a newborn and all I can say is that I have found this to be so true. Initially it didn’t seem so bad, but once we were home and Maddie started her cluster feeding, I lost it. Having to nurse on and off almost constantly for so many hours on end drives me crazy (up to 10-12 hours sometimes!). During the day it’s hard because I can’t stand to sit in the same spot for so many hours without barely moving when I want to do other things around the house or even sneak in a nap for myself! And at night, I can barely keep my eyes open. I’ve been worried that I am not giving her enough milk and have questioned my supply constantly. Pumping has also been really challenging. I’m worried what is going to happen when I have to return to work in a few weeks.
On a more positive note, we have been noticing that Maddie is a little more alert this week. She really stares at us. She’s starting to make more adorable little noises that melt our hearts. She’s pretty much the cutest baby ever.
Things Maddie loves: Mommy and Daddy, eating, and being naked on the changing table (which then results in her peeing everywhere, but whatevs).
Things Maddie hates: Not pooping and having to wait more than one second to be fed.