Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Days Four and Five

I've written out much of our birth story, but haven't finished it yet. In the meantime... here's what's been going on the last couple of days.

Calliope got picked up at 8 am yesterday by the nanny, which was a blessed relief. Not that she's being so terrible, but just having that much less energy in the house was nice. But once she was, it was nice to have quiet. She came back home at the end of the day and I was glad to see her but it was tiring, too.

My bleary eyed notes from last night:

I'm massively engorged. You could take one of my breasts and swing it over your head to be used as a deadly weapon. I've become a ?temporary convert to co-sleeping. Even though it terrifies me -- I'm so scared of forgetting she's there (it happened once while co-sleeping with Calliope in the early days), it buys me more time and I'm greedy like that. She sleeps pressed up tight against me. But once I woke up and discovered her sleeping on her stomach next to me. And I don't know how she got that way. Scary.

I tried on my sister's sling last night. It put Amelie right to sleep. I'm excited to try the Baby K'Tan I bought when Calliope was an older infant.

What is the ideal feeding schedule to promote sleep and minimize nipple pain? Because it seems like she's eating really frequently -- like practically every hour -- and the pain is really hard to manage. I had some postpartum blues and cried in the shower about my aching nipples and rock hard breasts and the total inability to get a break. It felt like I spent the whole day nursing. My sister leaves tomorrow -- how will I manage alone?

Chris, my midwife, says "she's waking up to her hunger" -- that sometimes when the milk first comes in, babies realize they are hungry and eat extra to make up for the few lean days preceding.

Calliope is coughing and crying and miserable in her bed for two hours now. I've never seen her like this before. Trying to triangulate between her, Amelie, and my breasts is making me miserable. But I've gone in there repeatedly and none of my usual tricks have helped. I wanted to cry, too. I finally threatened her with nose drops and suddenly, after two hours of crying, she went to sleep. Humph.

We are going to the pediatrician tomorrow. I'm concerned she's not peeing enough. I think she's gone 36 hours without.

And today:

Today was a bit better. I got two 2-3 hour stretches of sleep last night. Well, the feedings were three hours apart. So I would say I couldn't have slept more than 2.5 hours at the most. Whatever it was, it helped immensely. I actually woke up a few minutes before everyone else today.

The pediatrician called last night and was very concerned that Amelie had gone 36 hours without peeing. Despite my assertions that Amelie was bright eyed and alert and didn't seem hungry. The doctor wanted me to supplement with either pumped milk or formula. I didn't really see the need but eventually, between Calliope's ceaseless crying and my "exquisitely tender" nipples, I was done with fighting the battle of the breasts. I handed the baby to my sister and asked her to feed Amelie so I could pump and otherwise give my body a break. Amelie took about an ounce and a half. Not so much, which was reassuring. Made me feel like whatever her issue with peeing, it wasn't about my not producing enough milk.

Co-sleeping produced amazing results again. And this morning I tried out the Baby K'Tan and it was amazing. So easy to put on and Amelie just passes out in it. So I'm figuring out the secret trick to infancy, week one, is to keep the baby in physical contact at all times. As long as I do that, I can pretty much control how often she eats and how long she sleeps. Pretty much.

I had to move the car today for street cleaning so we went out for lunch with my sister plus Amy and Baby Leo, then went to the pediatrician for Amelie's first well baby visit afterwards. She did pre- and post-feeding weights (on a not very accurate scale) and determined that Amelie took 2.5 ounces from one nursing. Suddenly her concerns about Amelie's lack of pee were greatly diminished.

Afterwards, walking back to the car, I was exhausted. According to my midwife -- who calls for a daily check-in! I love her! -- I overdid it. I didn't think that lunch plus the pediatrician was too much. Oops. I didn't realize.

I managed to rest for a few minutes this afternoon, which was nice, if too short.

My sister made us dinner and then cleaned up and got ready to get on the road to return to Rhode Island so I asked my downstairs SMC friend (and her almost seven year old) to come help with bath time. My stomach was really hurt and bending is still hard.

Anyway, total disaster. Calliope screamed when I left the bathroom and wailed hysterically through the rest of the bath. Oops.

Poor kiddo. She's having a rough time. It's really unfortunate that she got a cold right when we came home. So she's not been sleeping well.

I'm trying very hard to avoid battles with her while not entirely giving up on our regular rules and schedule. So far, so good. She's more fragile than usual, for sure, but overall doing quite well. For now.

We are just the three of us tonight, post bedtime, and it actually feels quite nice. Peaceful. That could change, if C stops sleeping. Hopefully not.


  1. Oh boy, the early days! "Triangulating" is definitely the term to use with two kids and one parent. Baby wearing totally saved my life in those early months - T was in the mei tai pretty much non-stop for about six months! It was awesome!

  2. Sounds like you're doing really well. It's a lot to adjust to all at once for all three of you. Yeah, you Momma!!

  3. Yup - me too with the baby wearing when I had Carys, an absolute lifesaver because she wanted to be held all the time. I can't believe Calliope is sick on top of new baby and your sister leaving, ugh. Hang in there, this is such a demanding time but it will pass quickly!

  4. Please give yourself a break. Your postpartum body needs to heal all the while you juggle the demands of being a brand new mom of two. I've been there. Alone with a newborn and his 23 month old brother. The baby nursed every 2.5 hours. I honestly thought I was going to lose it. I made it through one day, one hour at a time. It was the biggest challenge of my life. (It didn't help that my entire "village" had full time jobs and thought I could handle it because I wasn't a first time mom after all.) These are the trial by fire days but you and you family will prevail and thrive if you are gentle with yourselves. Today my boys are closer than the best of friends. Inseparable. It certainly puts those difficult days in perspective. It will for you too. Hang in there. Hugs.

  5. You are doing an amazing job!! I am in awe! Just remember to take it easy and not to overdo it!

  6. Wow, what a lot to deal with all at once. I hope things are settling down and things are going as well as can be expected. Hang in there and try to remember how quickly this time passes!

  7. welcome little Amelie! I'm so happy for you, Abby! I'm sure it is a shock to the system for you to be managing 2 kids all of a sudden - no matter how much you think you've prepared. The fact that you used "amazing" twice in describing something related to Amelie seems like a really good sign to me.

    Thinking of you and sending best wishes for sleep and easy nursing,