Sunday, September 06, 2009

The First Ten Days

The first ten days have been... wow. Just wow. I am exhausted, sleep-deprived, elated and thrilled all at once. It's all been quite a blur in fact. Schedules, feedings, changings, walking the floor as we wait for little tummies to process food and digestive systems to get rid of pesky gas... all that sort of thing. And every moment is worth it.

We were in the hospital for two nights after the baby was born, and on Saturday evening, August 29, 2009, we were told we could go home. I couldn't believe that we would be permitted to leave the hospital with a baby. I've read that other infertiles feel much the same thing when they leave the hospital with their children, but you really don't know what that feels like until you experience it yourself. Much like you can read volumes about what it feels like to give birth to a baby, until you are there, you don't know how it will affect you personally and how YOU will feel or what you will do. Understand, I don't mean to belittle emotions or suggest that there is no capacity for empathy among us. However, experiences -- personal experiences -- are what make us who we are. And it is our own personal experiences that permit us to put ourselves in the place of people who've been there or to determine how we relate.

There have been frustrating moments this week. Petite* isn't latching all that well at the breast. With all the issues that I have (PCOS, hypothyroidism, etc.), I expected that milk production would be the biggest issue that we faced. However, my milk has come in (although not yet in spectacular amounts, but we're getting there) and for that I am extremely glad. Now if I could just get Petite to latch on, that would be superb. Once in awhile she'll latch on and feed for a few moments, but all in all, she's not that interested. I expect part of that is because my milk took four or five days to properly come in and of course, in the interest of needing to feed her, we ended up resorting to formula. She is happy with it, and of course, she doesn't have to work at the bottle like she does at the breast so there's that to deal with too. I did see a lactation consultant while in hospital, and since we've come home, the public health nurse has seen us and we've had an appointment with our family doctor too. All three tell us that we're doing all the right things and not to give up. I'm trying to stay hopeful.

Petite's first outing was to visit the doctor. And true to little girl form, her second outing was to the shopping mall with me, her grandmother and her great-aunt. It was successful; she came home with new outfits! Apparently "she has far too much yellow and green in her closet" and my mom and aunt decided to rectify that ASAP. We now have lots of pink items to add to the lot! And given Petite's small size (weighing 7 lbs 2 oz on Thursday when the public health nurse weighed her), much of her clothing is huge on her! My sister saw some photos and proclaimed, "She looks like she's wearing a sack of potatoes! She's so tiny!" Thus, she also received her first parcel from another great-aunt... new sleepers and onesies in 'Newborn' size that actually fit her. She looks terribly cute in them too. While at the mall, there were a number of people who stopped to admire her and at one point, my mother covered her up in an effort to keep gawkers at bay!

Although she had a bath in the hospital, she's had a first bath at home (and a few others now too!). She's not yet got the hang of the whole night and day thing though; she's frequently dozing through the daylight hours and up all night long! I expected that though, given that she was like that in utero. She kept me awake most nights and I rarely felt her move during the day. I expect she'll eventually get the hang of it though. Sometimes it takes awhile for newborns to regulate that; in the meantime, we're all sleeping in shifts. And none of us is sleeping well! That's for sure.

As I keep saying though, it's early days. And we WILL figure it all out. She's learning, as are we. We'll eventually get the hang of it all. Patience and time and we'll figure it all out.

In the meantime, here are some photos to tide you over. Enjoy. And love to you all in blogland.

*As a side note...
We referred to our little one as Petit in utero. Now that we know we have a daughter, she'll be referred to as 'Petite' hereafter.


The Unproductive One said...

Ohhhh Gil she is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

I hope to experience that feeling one day of leaving the hospital with a living breathing baby - totally get that it felt strange!!


Vee said...

I love this post ! I am just so very happy for you guys, little Petite is adorable.

It sounds like we are in the same place re latching on and breast feeding. I have come to the conclusions that Leo just doesn't like the shape of my nipple. I am still expressing to help the milk come in too, he does love the breast milk but wont have a bar of my boob. Good Luck and you do what is best for both of you.

Patti said...

I am in LOVE. She is just so pretty!!

First few weeks can be rough - we had a problem with Jack when it came to breastfeeding, too. And feeding little bits often can be very tiring. It is definitely worth it though, huh? ;)

Glad to "hear" you're so happy, Gil. You and Denis deserve this so very much!

Aurelia said...

She's lovely and I'm very very glad you are happy. I have some ideas about the breastfeeding--specifically, a couple of bloggers in Ottawa who are experienced and could really help you get her latched. I'll email you their addresses.

She's not interested in latching because bottles are easy and are there, but if you switch to a tube feeding system and pump some milk she'd have to latch, and still get lots of milk. If you aren't pumping, your supply will go down a lot soon. So maybe ask your doctor about some Domperidone. It's safe, they prescribe it all the time in Canada.

Dr.Newman's site also has some videos that really show you how to get her latched right.

There are also links there to good breastfeeding resources in Canada. There may be some lactation consultants who can some to your home and help, or a clinic near you.

If you need anything just email. We can chat on the phone and I'm happy to help.

Miriam said...

Mazel tov! She is truly beautiful :) I'm so happy for you! I stopped following the blogosphere for a couple of weeks and missed such exciting news but I've caught up now and just... wow. How wondrous :) Congrats to you both.

Nearlydawn said...

How wonderful - and how beautiful! Sounds like you are in the thick of it!

I love imagining you carrying and cooing a little full tummy'd baby bear. It just sounds soooo right.

Hope more and more good times keep coming your way!

BTW - on the sleeping thing... I found that the standard advice on "putting them down early, around 7" didn't work for my little one - he seemed to wake up more often. Instead I found that if I strung him along after his late afternoon nap and kept him up until 9 - 10 or so I would get more hours in a row of sleep.

You never know what will work - so try some different things until you get something that is passable. :)

Whatever you do, it will all work out over time anyway. :)

ultimatejourney said...

Aww...she's a doll! I remember the stage where everything bigger than 'Newborn' size looks huge. In fact, I remember taking A shopping and looking at the 18 month sizes and thinking they looked ENORMOUS. Well, guess what size she's in now?

I'm glad things are going pretty well. It is hard, when both baby and parents are newbies. But I know you guys will figure it out.

Mick said...

She's gorgeous! I love the ipood t-shirt. Where can I get one of those :-)