Even with the surprise C-section and bummer of the food allergy, the past three weeks have been so much easier than I expected them to be!
I had no idea what to expect with my recovery, but I got really great tips from friends and family when I put out a plea on Facebook. I still think those helpless, terrifying 10 minutes were worse than 2 hours of pushing Kylie, but overall I’ve been shocked at how easy my recovery has been! I have almost no pain now, unless Kylie knees me in the stomach or I stand up too fast. I still try to avoid lifting things out of caution. And my incision is more irritating than painful. When I left the hospital I weighed the same as I did going in because of all the swelling. And my stomach was still quite large. I thought it would take longer to flatten down, but I think I’m in the same place now that I was with Kylie.
I am WAY WAY less stressed and emotional than I was with Kylie. Part of that is because I don’t have the infections and breastfeeding issues. Part is because Emily is so great at night. We had some crying nights with Kylie the first few weeks, and then my breastfeeding pain was also keeping me up at night. This time I’ve gotten at least 6 broken hours of sleep since our second night home! And part is because she’s the second child.
It’s so helpful to actually know what you’re doing, haha! Both Josh and I feel that it’s way easier the second time around. Newborns are so intimidating when you’re not experienced. And I am much more relaxed about all my “rules.” I’m still a fan of the Babywise principles and we are mostly following that. But I’m ok with doing a comfort feed when she’s having a gassy episode or getting off schedule because it was easiest that day. She sleeps at night in a Boppy Lounger, even though that’s not SIDS prevention acceptable. But it helps me relax about spit up and choking and she seems more comfortable.
Josh of course is a rock. He’s only worked two half days since Emily was born thanks to his paternity leave and Christmas break. This would be when his job is awesome! After my mom left he took over all cooking, cleaning, shopping, and taking care of Kylie. I thought it was so funny that my discharge paperwork specifically said no cooking or cleaning for two weeks. I’ve been able to take my time getting back into things, so now being by myself is not intimidating! I wish all dads could have three weeks off, it’s been just right for me. I think he might be getting some cabin fever, but Kylie and I are going to be very sad when he goes back to work next week.
And Kylie. I don’t think I could ask for much more. In the hospital she was a little overly excited and demanding about holding Emily or taking off her swaddle and hat. But the excitement quickly wore off and she seems to have moved right to acceptance (knock on wood!).
She gives Emily a lot of pats and kisses, but she hasn’t tried to pick her up. She talks about every little thing, “baby noise!” “baby hiccup!” “baby bottle!” She gives her toys, which comes a little too close to throwing at times. She can get a little concerned and protective, like when we set Emily’s carseat down to open a door, or people get too close to Emily at church.
She’s been fine with a lot of things that could have been problems, like Emily being in her high chair or having the same binky clip.
She is a little jealous, which she shows by asking us to hold her or getting rambunctious for attention. The hardest thing has actually not been the baby, but the fact that I can’t pick her up. She doesn’t understand and it makes her sad. She’s been under the weather for the past few days, so it’s hard to tell if some of her negative behavior is caused by the baby or by not feeling well.
And Beaker seems to just remember how this goes. He had some jealousy with my mom, but for the most part he’s kept his distance and isn’t acting any different. It’s definitely been an easier transition for him this time, too.
I know there will be overwhelming days in the future when life can’t always just center around baby. So I’m very grateful for the simplicity and ease of the past three weeks! And I’m just so surprised and excited that I feel so great.
And hopeful Emily continues to be a great sleeper – it makes all the difference! It’s easy to feel confined by the newborn schedule and stressed about only getting broken sleep. But that’s easier with the second child, too; I know that it usually just gets better! (knock on wood again)
So it’s a happy new year for us! I think I’m most looking forward to watching these two become buddies.