It’s been over a week since we became a family of four. I loved writing my birth story so I can remember it when Connor is older.
I wanted to share a little today in regards to my own postpartum recovery, how Tommy is doing as a big brother and how we’re adjusting.
Postpartum Life For Mom
I was so nervous about needing stitches after labor and I lucked out and did not need anything! Let me tell you, this was a major game changer for me after delivery. After Tommy, I didn’t walk around or leave my room during my entire 3 night hospital stay. With Connor, we were ready to peace out a day early. I do not know what I did differently as the babies were about the same size. Maybe it was the Red Raspberry Leaf tea I drank for a week before delivery or maybe it was the fact that it was my second baby. I also think part of it had to do with the type of epidural that I had. I could feel Connor’s head coming out, I could feel it half way out and had to pause before pushing again and holy hell it hurt. I thought the point of the epidural was to avoid pain but I’m thankful for the experience. The doctor said that waiting for that next push was potentially what helped.
Regardless, I’ll take it. I was sitting cross-legged a few days after delivering Connor, walking around and almost feel back to normal down there 10 days postpartum. The bleeding has almost even completely stopped.
I had the worst stiff neck 4 days after delivery and wasn’t sure if it was from the epidural or related to nursing. It was unbearable and I was living on Advil. I got a massage on Sunday and it returned that night. I applied some ice on a whim on Monday afternoon and it went away! I have no idea what it was, but I am thankful it is gone.
I haven’t weighed myself but feel good about my postpartum body. I’m excited for my milk to regulate so I’m not engorged all the time.
Nursing with Tommy felt like the hardest part of the entire pregnancy process. It felt like shards of glass were being driven into my nipple with each suck. I blogged about my struggles here and here. I developed mastitis a week after delivery and had brutal cracked nipples. It was the worse. I had a heavy let down, was covered in milk always and Tommy kept puking because the flow was too much so I’d have to endure the pain again. I don’t know how I pushed through but I did and this time around it was a whole different experience.
Tommy literally changed my nipples and I was able to nurse Connor from the start without pain. My milk came in a couple of days after delivery and supply hasn’t been an issue. Our only hiccup, as reported on Instagram, is my heavy let down that kind of chokes him. I can hand express 1.5 ounces in about 2 minutes. His tummy is basically big enough for 2 ounces right now. The books say to let them nurse for 10-20 minutes on each side but Connor runs out of room after less than 5 minutes. He doesn’t fall asleep, he just unlatches and loses interest or gets uncomfortable which is when I attempt to burp him. Most of the time it’s just a burp but once/twice a day, it’s a lot of milk. It feels like he wants to nurse every 30 minutes. My boobs are still full after he nurses and he is hungry again shortly after because he isn’t getting the “hind milk” which is fattier and more satiating.
A bunch of people on Insta recommended I buy a Haakaa pump (I bought a generic version on Amazon for $15) and express a little before each feed so Connor wouldn’t get overwhelmed and would get the fatty milk to keep him full until 2-3 hours later when it was time for the next feed.
Connor is gaining weight and already at 9 lbs and has plenty of dirty diapers so I’m not overly concerned but would love to figure out a solution so I’m not a milk maid, who is afraid to leave her child longer than 30 minutes at a time.
With Tommy, we resisted the pacifier for weeks and I find that it does not cause any nipple confusion and it helps soothe Connor to sleep. We will be trying bottles as soon as I find my breast pump!
I was anxious before Connor was born because I feared the end of any sleep for the next year. So far, I’m doing pretty good though. Connor sleeps 3-4 hour stretches at night which is all you can ask for in a healthy newborn. When he wakes up in the night, sometimes we are up for 10-15 minutes, sometimes it’s 2 hours but usually it’s quick. I’m probably averaging 6.5 – 7 total hours a night which I think is great for a new mom.
Nick is going back to work this week and will be in Boston while I’m in the Cape so when Tommy gets up, I will also be getting up regardless if Connor is still asleep. This likely will be a fun transition and the start of a new coffee obsession.
The difference I think now is that I know each phase passes. I know what to do if Connor is fussy when he wakes up. I just have a lot more patience and calmness. I also go to sleep when Connor goes to sleep which is between 9:30 and 11 pm for the first 3-4 hour stretch which I didn’t with Tommy. I’m also used to getting up between 6 and 7 am so it’s not as rough of an adjustment.
Connor sleeps pretty well during the day as well but is definitely leaving the sleepy stage soon…
Oh man does Tommy love his baby brother. He is obsessed and its super cute. The first few days we had a few potty training regression incidents but he has since been doing well using the potty. He just wants to smother Connor with kisses and hold him at all time. I would say he is doing excellent with the transition but we will see how that changes when Nick returns to Boston.
After Tommy, I had the baby blues between 7-10 days postpartum. I have yet to get them but I am expecting them at some point next week when Nick is back at work. Maybe it’s because I’ve stayed busy and spent a lot of time outside, getting fresh air and doing the same things I was doing before Connor arrived!
That’s all for now! Both boys have been taking 2+ hour naps between 1 and 3 pm so Nick and I have been tackling work and one of them is bound to get up soon.