Monday, June 26, 2006

Mommies of Bloggerdom, Unite!!

When you are given this question, how do you answer? Bubble bath or Sitz
bath? My mother-in-law and I were talking tonight about the first few days
home from the hospital after baby is born. She said she had to take sitz
baths three times a day to deal with the pain. Would any of you, especially
those of you who have given birth recently, like to explain or share what
your body was going through when you first came home from the hospital and
how you dealt with it? I'd really like to know. Ummm....try not to be TOO
sarcastic here. Afterall, I was nice enough to finally blog, right? Help
me out here, girls! (Mom, I know I said recent births, but I'd like to hear
your stories, too. You're probably the most experienced at giving birth out
of those who read this blog. )

Also, family helping out around the house when baby first comes home. Moms,
moms-in-law, dealing with all those visitors--how do you manage? Geron and
I were talking tonight about getting our roles established right away. How
do you let people who have come to help know that you appreciate them, but
you need to do certain things yourself or that you need some private time
alone with you, hubby and baby? Discuss.


heather honaker said...

first, let me tackle the help that comes after baby. i was SO thankful that my mom came for a week, and then my mother-in-law came for a week. it was wonderful. and the best week was with my mother-in-law. why? because, when she was there, molly slept in the pack-n-play, and granny got up with her in the middle of the night, not me! you will be so exhausted when you come home from the hospital, and you'll need to get as much rest as possible. if mom comes to help out, let her do as much as you can. sure, you'll feel like you need to do certain things yourself, but've got the whole rest of baby's life to take care of her. let grandma spoil the baby! let her take care of her when she cries if she wants to. i'm telling will enjoy having a little resting period before you have to do it all on your own. don't get me wrong...when the 2 weeks were up, i was ready to have my house back. but i can't wait for the 2 weeks after this baby comes so that i can have all the help back. so i can rest. so i can recover.

about how i felt when i got home...i was sore, but it wasn't unbearable. the worst, and i hate to be so blunt, but i was scared to death to poop! once i got over that, i felt a lot better...the worst for me was the exhaustion. and i got really dehydrated too, so i got really dizzy all the time. and my boobs hurt. i didn't breastfeed molly, so they were extremely painful for about a week or two. i remember sitting around with icepacks in my bra! but it's all worth it when you hold that little gift close. :)

Becca said...

I can't speak to the help angle, since our folks are back East. I did have a few friends visit, and they were fine if I told them I was bit tired and asked to beg off for a day on a few occasions. My friend Jay's mommy sent macaroni and cheese (Alton's over naked recipe)!

As for the first few days--well, you're bleeding. Those periods you skipped? You get all those days at once and will discharge for about a month, maybe three weeks. It will burn when you pee, but after the initial sting, you'll get more used to it. You should get a water bottle to fill with warm water to pour over the stitches and maybe an anesthetic spray to help any burning or itching.

You will be scared to poop. Advice--get it over with as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the worse the dread and eventual passing will be.

Sitz baths--fill the tub with a few inches of hot, hot water (as hot as you can stand) and sit in it for about 10-15 minutes a couple times a day. This will help the stitches and help you relax.

You'll have cramping like your period, and all-over muscle ache from pushing. Your doctor will hopefully give you prescription Motrin. If not, take Advil to keep the pain away. If you try to breastfeed, don't worry about the ibuprofin--it's safe for baby.

If you have people around (like Geron), have him bring the baby to you for nursing, or make a bottle while you cuddle the baby. For the first few days you'll want to move around, but don't overdo it.

And nap, nap, nap! Even if you have company, excuse yourself for a nap. They'll understand. Sleep as much as you can while the baby sleeps (but this is easier said than done, since you and Geron will want to spend every waking moment discussing every little gurgle).

Anything else if just whatever you can do to relax--take a nice, long shower. Curl up in bed while nursing. Stretch out on the couch while baby naps on your chest. It's an intense time, but you'll do fine.

Scott said...

Well, the third time I gave birth, it was much easier than the first two. Seriously... it's almost like I didn't go through labor at all.


Lydia said...

HA HA HA!!! Scott, you're too funny! to the ACTUAL LADIES who replied so far, thank you thank you thank you. As the day approaches, its good to hear this stuff, even if it might be scary or painful.

Tooz said...

Pain? What pain? Here's the God's truth on the matter--27 years later, you will not remember any of the pain. Matter of fact, 2 years later you won't remember it, so it will come as a surprise after baby #2 comes along!

As for the "help" angle: When I had Everett, Mom moved in for about two weeks. I had had NO experience with babies when he was born, and I was an absolute basket case. I guess nowadays people would point out that I was in postpartum depression, and I probably was. Mom always was good at removing herself from the picture, if she felt that she was in the way, and she was excellent at getting up with the baby and taking care of him during the night. She was also super at spoiling me.

We made it through, despite the botched attempt at breastfeeding. Once Everett was on a formula and sleeping pretty well, Mom went home.

Suze said...

I'll just add that the hospital gave me a spray can of stuff that's meant to put on minor burns and scratches, but this was for, well, you can guess, and it really helped.

Also, I gather you're part of a church community. I hope they organize themselves to bring you meals. We had food coming to us for 6 straight weeks and it was soooo helpful. Otherwise, we would have been eating Thai takeout the whole time because between nursing and diaper changes and taking those much-needed naps in the first 6 weeks, I don't know how I would have found time to cook.

Becca said...

Oh, yeah, the food thing--I didn't get as much done as I had hoped, but I did freeze some leftovers to speed up cooking. Luckily, I have a husband who spent 20 years in restaurants who stepped in during that time (yet I cook all the rest of the time. Hmm.).

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I chose not to have the episiotomy, so I only had to get two or three stitches. Some mommies I know who got episiotomies took between 5 and 10 stitches! The hospital did give me a spray for the stitches and that helped, but I breast-fed Jamie (for the most part), so I didn't get the heavy make-up period that most non-nursing moms do. I bled for a couple days, maybe, but it was actually pretty light compared to some stories I've heard.

The pooping thing was scary, but the details are really fuzzy. I would follow the advice of the ladies who have given birth more recently. Get it over with as soon as possible - but don't strain! And can I mention something you can look forward to after birth that no one here has mentioned? Hemhorroids are a part of life for about 95% of women who don't have C-sections.

I don't remember much more about pain and stuff after the birth. And even with what little I remember (the 27 hour labor does stick out in my mind, though! LOL!), I'd do it again in a heart-beat.

But organize the church to bring you meals, or stock the freezer with easily-microwaved foods (lasagna, casseroles, etc) or better yet, do both! And nap, nap, nap!

Don't he afraid to let other people take care of things for you. And let other people hold the baby sometimes. I was terrified to let ANYONE (even my own mother) hold Jamie at first. Why? I have no idea at this point. But I do remember that without meaning to I hurt my mother's feelings a LOT those first couple of weeks. We'll just chalk it up to sleep deprivation and a total lack of maturity.

Love you, hope this helps!

heather honaker said...

oh yes. hemorrhoids. the joy. i started with those while i was still pregnant. and now, almost 6 years later, i still have to deal with them every now and then. and now that i'm pregnant again..THEEYYYRE BAAACK!!!

please let people hold your baby. or you'll be stuck with one of those "i only want my mommy to hold me" babies. you know the ones. they freak out anytime someone touches them. you want to be able to have nights out with geron, or be able to do things with friends or enjoy a church service, without worrying about whether your baby will let go of you! :)

we let anyone and everyone hold molly when she was a baby..and now she is so comfortable with us leaving her with someone. we've never really had to struggle with her screaming or crying when someone else is watching her.

Becca said...

I don't know your plans for sleeping arrangements, but if you don't mind, I'll share something that I think helped us greatly in the long run.

CJ has slept in his own crib in his own room since the night he came home.

Yeah, jawdroppingly shocking, I know. A friend who believes in cosleeping thought I was being cruel, but it happened for a practical reason.

We have two cats--one is 9, and one is 5. They are used to sleeping in our bedroom in our bed, and having free reign around the house. And we know it's impossible to train a cat. I had wanted to keep CJ in a bassinet next to the bed, but there was no way to keep the cats out of it. My 9yo has a habit of scratching, and I knew he wouldn't like the idea of a funny looking hairless kitten taking so much attention. My 5yo is sweet--Lenny from Of Mice and Men sweet--and I could see him curling up on the baby and smothering him, literally, with affection.

So our only recourse was to put CJ in his own room and shut the door to keep the kitties away.

Sure, it was a pain in the butt to get up at night. We were lucky that he didn't have colic. But he quickly fell into a day/night routine, and set his own schedule (by 8 weeks, he could sleep 6 hours straight) and soon, he was making it from 10pm till almost 6am.

Since we wound up bottle feeding, Tom and I took turns tending to the midmorning feedings. Now that he's 18 months old, he's been sleeping for 12 hours a night easily, doesn't fuss at going to his crib, and never really went through the separation anxiety some kids get from not having mommy around all the time.

And of course, your mileage may vary. Lima Bean may not like the idea at all, but I'm glad it worked for CJ.

heather honaker said...

amen to the baby sleeping in her own crib!! i get so annoyed listening to people talk about how DIFFICULT it is to finally teach their kid to sleep in their own bed. if you start it that way, you'll have a LOT less trouble. you'll sleep better. she'll sleep better.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Jamie started out in his own crib and did just fine. Then, when he was about 7 months, he got double pneumonia (I didn't know about his immune system difficulties then) and had to sleep propped up at night. Well, can't leave a baby propped up unattended at night, so I made a pallet on the floor and had to sleep with him. Well, ever since then, he hasn't wanted to sleep by himself (and hasn't wanted to sleep in a bed, for that matter!) So - moral of the story - unless baby girl's extremely sick, park her butt in her own crib!

P.S. We fight about it just about every night, but Jamie sleeps in his own bed.

Becca said...

If you need to let baby sleep propped up (we did a few time with colds and cough), you can lift one end of the crib and put books, phone books, something a couple inches thick and sturdy under the crib legs.

We actually used years-old issues of TV Guide we had lying around.

And if Lima Bean likes to scooch, there are cosleeper things you can use in the crib with a small pillow slipped in a sheet with velcro wedges to place on each side. They're hard to explain, but they're in the baby section at Target. You can use those till baby learns to roll to make sure she stays on her back to sleep.