Please excuse both my absence and the use of bullets.
The last 6 days have been an absolute dream in ways I could have never imagined. I have learned many things, made many mistakes and had many wonderful moments.
Part 1: In the hospital
- I followed LisainSK's hospital packing list, but since being in the hospital for two extended stays I have a few additions:
* a mini fan if it will be nice weather
* towels - the hospital ones are teeny tiny
* eye mask and ear plugs, a MUST if you are in a shared room
* healthy snacks because hospital food sucks and you do get tired of eating junk food (assuming you don't have GD)
Part 2: All about labour and delivery
- The epidural rocks, but has some side effects that I was not prepared for:
* Some people (me) develop EXTREME itching. Literally I was clawing on my stomach, legs, breasts and arms during labour. Unfortunately there is not much that be given to ease this. It continued to last the remainder of the day even once the epidural wore off.
* Some people (me) develop the shakes. I liken it more †o being in an ice box, although no† feeling all †hat cold. It was more the chattering of lips and teeth and uncontrollable shaking. This wen† away after labour, but for some only starts after.
***Either way the epidural is a must.
- I was shocked that †he urge to push feeling felt like needing to go poo...INSTANTLY. When you push, if you visualize yourself in the bathroom, you will do fine.
- Baby's come out looking squished. I was scared for a moment†, but within a couple of hours she plumped up and †urned into a real cutie.
Part 3: The hospital stay
- Take advantage of the nurses, that's what they are there for.
- In our 4 day stay we learned so much; swaddling, feeding, diapering and overall caring for a baby - so helpful.
- Don't get discouraged if you don't get discharged right away, the longer the more secure you will hopefully be when its time to leave.
Part 4: Homecoming
- IT IS FUCKING HARD
- I have only had one breakdown since coming home on Friday, and it was within hours of getting home.
- Partner up. A and I discovered early on that things go a lot smoother and easier when we work together. This is the first time that I can remember where we are 100% all the time on the same page, i† is so nice and is making life so much easier.
- Limi† your visitors. We didn't do this and I am regretting it now. I'm exhausted. We spent the weekend entertaining family and friends. Even though I took it easy, I'm still exhausted.
- Seriously cannot recommend enough how important rest is. Take naps, it will be worth i†.
Part 5: Breastfeeding
- It sucks. Small and early babies tend to have difficulty. Don't get discouraged and don't blame yourself.
- LMI isn't latching so we are working with a lactation consultant through the hospital. We started off on 100% bottle fed with formula, added in finger tube feeding, breast pumping, and utilizing the aids out there...Med.eala nipple shield is FANTASTIC. It made it so easy for her that now we are doing great. According to our first paediatrician visit today, LMI has been stable with weight gain since leaving the hospital. We would like it †ø improve and she will continue to be monitored.
Part 6: What I learned
- The last five years were hell on earth, but without them we would not have our LMI and she is the best thing that ever happened to us. Don't get me wrong, I don't understand why we needed to endure so much anxiety, hardship, devastating losses and failed cycles, but at least now, from where I stand, I would do it all again (and may have too) to have another chance of becoming a mom again.
- You will find strength you didn't know existed inside you when you care for your child.
- Your heart will explode with the amount of love you have for your little one.
_ Everything in life worth getting, is worth fighting for.
LMI - thank you for making me the happiest mommy on the block. I love you so much!