I left things off with Ben getting weighed and then us having some quality skin to skin time. I remember while holding Ben that I told the nurses and my midwife that I was already feeling a lot of pain, tenderness and just quite a bit of discomfort with my lady parts. They offered me some Motrin, and I accepted.
We stayed in the delivery room for around 2 hours, and then we were moved down to the Mother Baby suite. Once in there, I had a few stomach “massages,” and then the nurses had me go to the restroom. I tried to pee on three different occasions all within a 15 minute span. I could not figure out what was wrong, and why I couldn’t go. I finally mentioned it to the nurse. I told her that I really needed to pee, that I had a huge urge, but I just couldn’t do it. She then informed me that I needed to be cathed…
I was quite shocked at that, and I was desperately trying to convince the nurse that I just needed more time, but she wasn’t listening to me anymore. They had me lay down on the bed, and she started pressing on my lower abdomen and told me that my bladder was huge. So, they started setting up for the procedure. The problem was that I was so swollen down there, that they couldn’t even find my urethra. Which meant that they really had to spread me apart down there, and that hurt like a bitch. That whole area was so swollen it was closed off. They finally got the catheter in, and they drained a liter of pee out of me. After that I sat on ice packs and the swelling slowly started going down.
I had a lot of trouble getting Ben to latch on in the hospital. I breastfed my first for two years, and wanted to repeat the experience with Ben, but he didn’t make it easy in the hospital. I was really hoping that since I had a natural birth, that breastfeeding would be a breeze this time around, but that wasn’t the case. I had to call a nurse in almost every two hours to help latch him on. I also had visits from lactation consultants each day, but I was frustrated with them because it seemed their only answer was for me to use a nipple shield. I found that dratted thing infuriating. It never stayed on, I always had I crying hungry baby while I was trying to get it on, and then I could never get it positioned right. Luckily, once we got home, we had had enough practice that I could finally stop using the dratted thing.
J and I had wanted to leave the hospital early, instead of staying the traditional 2 days, but we were denied that because of my Group B Strep. I was supposed to receive antibiotics 4 hours before giving birth, but I only had them for less than 2.5 by the time Ben arrived. Therefore, they wanted to monitor Ben for those two days to make sure that he didn’t get it. So, we were chomping at the bit to leave until they finally let us out on Tuesday morning.
Postpartum was harder this time around on me. I’m not sure it’s because of the lip of cervix that I had during labor, or because labor was so much quicker this time, but my pain level was much higher this time around. The cramps (contractions) of my uterus shrinking were worse (although they did warn me that with each subsequent baby it’s more painful), but beyond that, my actual vagina just HURT so much more this time, and seemed like it took forever to lessen. My bleeding lasted for about 2.5 weeks, and then stopped,so at least that was good.
Ever since we were home breastfeeding as been going great. Ben’s gaining weight, pooping and peeing like he should. He’s usually sleeping for about 4 hours straight at night, then wakes up to nurse, eats for 30-45 minutes and then goes back to sleep for 2-3 hours. So, I really can’t complain. Although, when he’s going through a growth spurt, all bets are off.
He also seems to have reflux…..He’s never actually spit up, but you can hear the milk come up, see him swallow, and then he screams in pain. It’s awful to know that my baby hurts and is in pain. He has his one month appointment tomorrow, and I’m hoping the pediatrician can help us make him more comfortable. So far we try to keep him propped up while resting/sleeping, and to burp him often. But, I’m hoping there’s more we can do, especially in the evenings when he just seems to cry the whole time, unless he’s hooked up to my boobs.
Henry’s doing great as a big brother. He’s enamored with Ben, and tries to help us with him so much. He kisses Ben, hugs him and just generally likes to be around him. We couldn’t be prouder of him, and how he’s handling being a big brother.
Life with a newborn is always interesting, but I’m really trying to take it all in and just appreciate this time. It seems to go by even faster the second time around.