The first month with our daughter was a whirl wind. I have notes in my little notebook to share, but they are all over the place because at that time I was almost writing daily about how things were going. I was lucky to have V stay home with me for 3 weeks after she was delivered. It seemed like we had oodles of appointments, with midwives, doctors, doulas and lactation consultants. I really wanted to have some professional newborn photos taken, but alas, my 3 hours of pushing and vacuum delivery resulted in a prolapsed bladder. If you don't know much about bladder prolapses, I'll start by saying that for me, it resulted in major incontinence issues. Therefore, I was too afraid to leave the house in case I peed my pants. Anyway, the prolapse will have its own post because I've been going to physio for it since 8 weeks PP and there's a journey to tell.
From my notes, I can tell you we had a few 'bad' nights during that first month. My midwife had warned us about the 2nd night, because apparently it's common for babies to be really fussy as they wait for your milk to come in. Both V and I were exhausted because we really hadn't slept for 3 days or so throughout the water breaking/labour/delivery etc... and then we got home and were running off of oxytocin (me at least) bliss. But the 2nd night was hard because Story cried for long bouts of time, and I felt slightly useless because I was black and blue, swollen and exhausted, but V was great help and began to find his groove in bouncing on the pilates ball to lull her to sleep.
Before I delivered I remember being nervous about post partum depression, so I had my doula encapsulate my placenta (again... another blog post to come). On day 3 your hormones usually change and 'baby blues' can hit. Fortunately, I felt not too bad. A little weepy sometimes when I thought about Story, but nothing devastating. I will be honest though, and say that I did have two or three moments of upset during the first month. The first was after we had a really bad night with Story. Bad night meaning she cried continually from 10 at night to 5 in the morning. We tried everything, and couldn't make her content. Since we don't believe in the CIO (cry it out) method, we stayed awake the entire time, feeding, changing, swaying, bouncing etc... and in the morning I broke down. This happened twice from what I can remember, and at the time I was so worried that it was going to be like that forever! (It wasn't-it was very temporary, so you can be relieved if you are expecting or have a newborn).
Another frustrating moment occurred during breastfeeding. By day 5 I started to put cream on my nipples for soreness, and by day 8 my nipples were so raw, cracked, bleeding that I dreaded feeding every time. I knew it was time to see a lactation consultant. I actually had 3 visits with lactation consultants to get different opinions on a tongue tie that the first one thought I had. After seeing a very experienced LC who declared she did not feel a tongue tie, and helped me work on different bfing positions (laid back bfing) things started to improve. That happened somewhere around the 3rd week I believe. Story just had a small mouth and shallow latch. I remember a friend telling me to stick bfing out for 6 weeks because it will get better-she was right! My nipples just started to heal around the 2 week mark, and it took a while until they looked scar free. But let me tell you, I can understand how women turn to formula. Breast feeding can be challenging!
I spent a lot of time hibernating in my house during the first month. In fact, I did not get out of my pj's until the end of the second week or so (and that was only because of the visit to see the LC). I wanted to be as low key as possible, because I wanted to spend all my time with Story and V, and also heal properly. It also didn't hurt that it was still freezing out during this time, so the thought of taking a newborn out in the cold was not appealing.
We had plenty of visitors during the first month (and after). Grandparents, friends, cousins etc... I tried to space it out as much as possible so I wasn't overwhelmed. I didn't take Story out of the house until day 12 and 13, and those were small outings to see the grandparents (Story's), my doctor and LC. By the fourth week V had to go back to work, so I set up a bfing station in the living room and spent hours watching old dvd's of 90210 and Jeremiah. Oh, how the days have changed now! (I could only wish to watch an hour or 2 a week of t.v).
Even though only a few months passed, those newborn days already seem long ago!