First Week Home

On our way home from the hospital we stopped off at Walmart so I could get my pain pill prescription filled. It was going to take about 15 mins, so Dad and Elliott decided to come in. While we waited we also bought a bunch of sleepers for Elliott since we didn’t really have any with feet attached. Beforehand we weren’t sure how big he was going to be so we didn’t want to buy a bunch of newborn clothes that he wasn’t going to fit into. I’m pretty sure we bought every outfit they had haha.

During that first week or so at home we took shifts with feeding Elliott. I would take care of him during the day and then at night his dad would let me sleep (which would get me in trouble later because I wasn’t breastfeeding or pumping for 6-8 hours). But I think this really helped me start feeling better.

Put the baby back in the box.

We barely got home on Friday when I missed a call from the public health nurse. I was feeding my baby when they called so I did not answer. I missed a second call later that night when again I was busy taking care of my baby.

Upon leaving the hospital you are told you have to make a one week follow up appointment for baby and a six week follow up appointment for mom with your respective doctors. Then the public health nurse told me I also have to make a two month appointment for vaccinations. As a first time parent, all these appointments are very over whelming when you are in pain and all you want to do is be in your home adjusting to your new life. I feel like these appointments should be made for you before leaving the hospital. It would be a lot less stressful.

On Saturday morning the public health nurse called again which I was able to answer this time. They wanted us to come in for an appointment to check on baby and see how things were going. They called at 9am and asked if we could be there for 10am…

I was pretty annoyed that I was already being bothered despite just leaving the hospital. I think the follow up appointment should be done at your own home (like they were in the past). Anyway, we made it to the appointment only 15 minutes late.

At the appointment they checked Elliott’s temperature, and checked for Jaundice as well as showed us how to check at home. I kept worrying that he had this for the next couple days because to me he looked yellow, but my boyfriend said he was fine (and he was). I believe they did a few other tests as well but I was out of the room for that.

I went to clean myself up in the bathroom so the nurse could also check my lower region and make sure nothing was infected. I made her check where the bulge I mentioned in my last post was just to double check, but she said everything looked normal.

She also had me feed Elliott to see how he was latching on and talked to me about how breastfeeding was going in general. At this point my milk still hadn’t really come in. We talked about how often I was putting him on the breast and how we were also supplementing with formula.

The nurse told me to go out and buy a breast pump. We set up a schedule for nursing and pumping as well. I was to feed baby on the boob for 15 minutes per side, then feed any pumped milk I may have, feed formula, then pump for 5-10 minutes per side. I was happy to finally have a plan, even though it was going to be pretty time consuming.

After our appointment we stopped off at the grocery store to see if we could find a pump, and also to buy more formula and groceries. I was pretty sore, exhausted, and cranky. All I wanted to do was go home.

This was also the day I had my first crying spell since having the baby. Everything was getting pretty overwhelming. I was struggling with the fact that I couldn’t provide food for my baby. I was worried about the cost of formula. Plus I was tired which didn’t help. I kept thinking that if only I wasn’t so sore and if only I could get this feeding thing under control I would be so much happier.

On Sunday, we finally had a day to ourselves. This was also the day we gave Elliott his first bath. It wasn’t really planned, but during a diaper change he started peeing everywhere. Dad wasn’t fast enough to cover him up so he just kept peeing on himself. I wish we would have gotten some pictures.

During this first week home I was having night sweats. I would wake up in the morning just drenched. It was so gross. I was also losing weight faster than I thought I would. I don’t know if the two were related. I ended my pregnancy weighing about 148lbs – 150lbs, and one week later was already down to 137lbs (at two weeks I am now 134lbs). I honestly don’t think you would even been able to tell I just had a baby if you didn’t already know.

When Elliott was 6 days old I noticed while I was feeding him that his cord clamp was laying beside us on this blanket. That was another thing that I was worried about and I kept thinking, once the cord falls off I will be much more relaxed taking care of my baby (and I was).

I also noticed this day that the swelling in my lady bits was going down. This was the first day I didn’t take a pain pill and it wasn’t as painful to walk. I started to get brave enough to start lightly wiping instead of using the peri bottle which was great for my mental health. Things were starting to look up, for the most part.

I did notice at this time that my milk supply was lower. But I had also gotten lazy with breastfeeding and with drinking liquids. A lot of the time it was a struggle to get Elliott to latch onto me and he would cry for the bottle because it was easier for him to get what he wanted from there. I would get frustrated and give up trying to keep him on the boob and just give him what he wanted. It was easier for me as well and made my boobs less sore.

At the end of the first week, Elliott was already changing his looks. Throughout the first week I swore he looked like my side of the family. I saw a lot of my brother in his face. But by the time he turned one week old, I started to see his dad. Usually when I look at Elliott from far away I see my family, but when he’s close up I see his dad’s side.

Recovery Sucks

Before having a baby I thought that the labor would be the hard part. But honestly, my labor was great. I had barely any pain, thanks to the epidural. I would definitely go through labor again if it was as easy as mine was.

What I was NOT prepared for was the recovery. At the risk of TMI, it felt like I had poop sticking out of my butt all the time. And walking hurt a lot. I had to walk so slow everywhere because of the pain. Even just standing during those first few days was painful.

When using the bathroom I felt like I was trying to poop but I honestly couldn’t tell, so I would have to look in the toilet water reflection to see if anything was hanging out of my butt. And everything was a bloody mess down there so I couldn’t really see what was going on.

Using the peri bottle to clean myself after using the toilet was a pain. I would have to fill up the bottle with water that wasn’t too cold but definitely not too hot. It took me many days to figure out how to regulate the water to the right temperature. Thinking to pour a little on my wrist to check the temperature was a game changer.

But I would have to run the water a while to get it hot enough and I already had to pee pretty badly. Running my hands under water while needing to pee was less than ideal. I would be standing there with my legs crossed telling the water to hurry up so I wouldn’t pee my pants. But there were a couple times where I just couldn’t hold it. Thank goodness for wearing heavy pads during this time…

Sometimes peeing would sting, but usually it wasn’t too bad. And I would feel pressure in multiple areas. When patting myself dry I would feel this large bulge that I have no idea what it was. I think this is the part that was making it so painful to walk. I hated going to the bathroom.

The pain made it hard for me to move around and I mostly just wanted to sit or sleep all day when I was home. But there were things that needed to get done around the house too. Thankfully my boyfriend took care of me for that first week at home.

Blog of a 30-something Canadian.