Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2 Weeks

Somehow I've managed to survive to see Jillian reach the ripe old age of 2 weeks. I haven't had quite enough sleep to write a coherent post, so we'll have to settle with a smattering of random thoughts.
  • Having a newborn is hard. Yeah, I know this is sort of a "no sh*%" statement. I knew it would be, but it is the sort of thing that is impossible to understand without experience. I've never felt so incompetent, nervous, guilty, stressed out and yet insanely happy in my life, although it gets a little better every day as I gain confidence. I haven't had a tearful melt down yet, which I'm rather surprised by. On the other hand, my appetite has seemingly disappeared, which is downright bizarre for me. Normally I'm the poster child for stress eating. It is just as well though, because I have no time to eat these days anyhow.
  • Newborns come with a ton of paperwork. There is getting the birth certificate, getting added to 2 medical insurances, getting short-term disability paperwork submitted, completing a battery of tests from hearing to labs, and scheduling and going to doctor's appointments. Oh and I loved how the nurse at the hospital handed me a book on caring for my newborn to read in my spare time. I could not have imagined a busier, less relaxing hospital stay.
  • Jillian's appetite on the other hand is voracious. Today at her 2 week appointment, she weighed in at 8 lbs 13 oz...a gain of 11 oz over her birth weight.
  • Breastfeeding has not gone as planned, largely because of her NICU stay where they supplemented her with formula. She has taken to the ease of the bottle, and the only reaction my breast gets is relentless screaming. I am pumping so she is getting breast milk for about half her meals. I admit it is tough though, because I really loved the connection of breastfeeding and I despise pumping. If Jeramy wasn't here to encourage me, I would have given up a week ago.
  • I've noticed that she is more awake this week than last. Less fussy (knock on wood) too. After a feeding she likes to hang out and stare at me, which is fine except for the middle of the night.
  • I mistakenly assumed that babies fall asleep on their own and are happy to sleep in their crib or bassinet or whatever sleeping arrangement is provided. Jillian must be rocked to sleep, and if she is not sufficiently asleep when you lay her down she'll be up again within minutes. As such the only way we've managed to get sleep at night is together in my recliner in the living room. While I'm not exactly thrilled with this arrangement, I am getting sleep this way. I just hope to figure out a more suitable alternative in the next couple of months.
  • Every day it seems like I learn a new trick for getting things done with a newborn. If she wants to be held but I need to do the laundry, I can put her in the sling. If I want a shower but she wants to hang around looking at me, I put her in the bouncy seat in the bathroom. If I feed her in the boppy pillow, I have a hand free to do whatever I want.
  • Jeramy has been working 60 hours a week and it appears that this will continue for at least the next month. Normally I'm a big fan of overtime and the extra money it brings in. However, we both wish the timing might have been a little better.
  • Luckily I've had a lot of help. Last week, somebody came over to help out for a little while every day. This week, somebody will be here every other day. While I didn't think I'd need the help before having Jillian, I quickly changed my mind. It has been nice to have the luxury of working up to doing everything on my own.
  • I'm reading The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp. I absolutely love it. The techniques described really work, and the first chapter alone has made a huge difference in the past couple of days.
  • Jillian's BFF (Rebecca Marie) was born last Thursday. Amazingly our friends Jenny and Jeff have somehow been on the same life timeline as Jeramy and myself. I've gone to school with them both since 7th grade, they were also high school sweethearts, they got married less than a year after us, and now we have had baby girls within 9 days of each other (I was 8 days late and Jenny 10 days early). We visited them on Sunday and snapped some pictures. Doesn't Jillian look huge in comparison?


nancy said...

Absolutely adorable last picture there. Both new mommies with their new babies. :)

It'll get easier. I promise. Every month is 50% better than the previous.

Poltzie said...

Nancy is so right. Everyday gets so much easier and while each new stage has new challenges, you are also so much more bonded with your child (making life easier). You sound like a pro already!
I never read the Happiest Baby On The Block but I read Baby Whisperer (and I've heard they are pretty much the same). Those books are lifesavers.
Keep asking for help and taking whatever is offered and don't feel guilty for making Jeramy do stuff when he is home. His job is not harder than yours right now!
She looks amazing though, so beautiful!
Congrats again!

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

What a cutie! Hang in there with the breastfeeding...we had issues with Lemy BFing after she got the bottle, but she came around to it again at about 6 weeks and now she is pretty much exclusively breastfed (she gets one pumped bottle per day when I'm home). It will get better...as for sleep that will get better in about 4 more weeks! :) ((HUGS))

Jennifer said...

Congrats on surviving the first couple weeks...it's tough, isn't it? I'm surprised I found the time to post comments in blogville today!

I completely agree with everything you wrote!!!

I had my melt down during the 1st week when Julian was under the blue lights for his jaundice - that was really tough!

Jules is 100% on formula this week. I stopped pumping because it just got to get too much for me (I was going down hill emotionally, because I just couldn't find the time in the day to get everything done)! So, Jules is eating his formula for all his meals now...he's not complaining, but I feel a bit guilty (like he's missing out on so much nutrition from my milk). Anyway, I'm not gonna beat myself us...it is what it is. Good luck with pumping...and don't worry if you can't get as much done in the day as you'd like!

chicklet said...

Very very cute.

JamieD said...

Survival is all about adapting and you sound like you are doing a fantastic job!

Once again, she is beautiful!

Intrepidgirl said...

congrats! I think you are doing better than I was at the 2 week mark. About the bf, see a lactation consultant (at the hosp or clinic). we had a similar prob & my baby screamed at the breast. Now he's boob addict! good luck!

Kelly said...

2 weeks already?!! WOW!! What cute pics with her bff! I'm glad things are getting better and better. I'll have to pick up that book and add it to my reading while pregnant list:)

Jen said...

She looks absolutely adorable!

Jewels said...

I'm so glad your so honest in your post. You said it so well with "but it is the sort of thing that is impossible to understand without experience".
I loved being a mom to a new born, but it was such a different world and reading your words brings me back. Kind of scary to think of intentionally doing it again, but the Insanely Happy part is what keeps me going.

And I just love the pictures.
She is so pink and pretty in the top pic, I see so much of you and Jeramy in her, Neat isn't it?

And the bottom pic, she is so much bigger than her BFF. (Which is so cute she has a BFF already) She now weights the same as Dylan when he was born.
I love your friends little girl too. Such cute lips in that pic.
And you and your friend look so exhaustingly happy.

Have you cliped her nails yet? I cliped the tips of my sons fingers off my first time. I never bawled so hard in my life to this day. They survive us tho-
(btw: I learned to just chew his nails off after that first clipping until he got older - and his fingers are fine)

Cant wait to hear more. I'm still just so happy and excited for you, the fun never ends.

Jaime said...

Jillian looks HUGE! Jenny's little girl looks a lot like her and Jeff too. I wish that I didn't get a cold and could've visited her on Sunday. :( Did she wear her Seahawk booties for the game?

C said...

You are doing AWESOME, momma! No melt downs in 2 weeks? You are a ROCK! I was sobbing daily, between hormone fluxuations and breastfeeding stress. And like everyone else has said, it gets easier!! Promise!!

Jennifer said...

She's Gorgeous! You're doing better than I did. I had a meltdown sometime in the first weeks and it was nursing related!

At this point, sleep where you can. That's what I did. That and use lots of swaddling (tight).

I'm glad you guys are doing well!

Monica Fayth said...

wow, 2 weeks already. She is such a cutie. I really nervous about the arrival of my little peanut. But I'm glad to hear that your surviving just fine