Baby’s first 336 hours

photo-273It is hard to believe that two weeks ago, I was hugely pregnant (see photo at bottom of this post). On Wednesday afternoon, I was racing to finish my pretty-much-final edits of I Know How She Does It. I turned it in around 4 p.m. I crossed some final to-dos off the list. I packed my bag to go to the hospital for my 7 a.m. Thursday induction. Then, to my great surprise, I wound up in labor around midnight and met my beautiful little one at 1:30 a.m.

I’d said at some point on Wednesday that I was hoping for a calm delivery. Ha. There is nothing calm about a labor that lasts less than 2 hours, start to finish, and involves figuring out that you are in labor, and getting to the hospital. I am still remembering humorous things about that last frantic 20 minutes, like the labor nurse asking me, after the baby was out, if I had a birth plan. I guess it was one of those pre-admission questions we didn’t quite get to when I was collapsing in the hallway!

He’s been growing rapidly. He regained his birth weight by 5 days, and now is big enough that he’s able to go longer between feedings at night. On Monday night, he went down at 10 p.m. in my mom’s room. I woke at 3 a.m. feeling surprisingly perky (your first 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep in weeks will do that!) but also wondering if he was OK. I went in to check, and he was sleeping happily. Apparently he’d woken up around midnight but mom put the pacifier in and got him back to sleep. He then proceeded to keep sleeping until 5 a.m. I didn’t sleep through the entirety of that 7 hours (I had to pump in order to get back to sleep) but still, it was a nice breakthrough. Last night also featured a long stretch. I fed him at 12:15, then put him in his seat next to my bed. He woke and grunted in there somewhere but I stuck the pacifier in and then he woke really needing to eat at 5:30.

Not bad at all for 2 weeks old. Especially when I remember that at this point with kid #2, I was still pregnant.

photo-274Since it’s January and freezing, his outings have been somewhat limited, beyond the normal desire with a newborn to avoid crowds. But we did take him to a restaurant last week and to Longwood Gardens on Sunday for the orchid show. The 5-year-old and 3-year-old thought there would be an actual show (of what, I don’t know — orchids dancing?) and were deeply disappointed. But at least they got to play in the kid garden area in the conservatory, which assuaged the disappointment a bit. The baby just slept in the Ergo carrier on me the whole time.

He starred in a photo shoot on Saturday (thanks to Yana Shellman Photography of New Jersey for some lovely shots!)

I’m enjoying some hard-won knowledge that comes from being through this four times. For instance, the fussiness at 1.75 hours post feeding during the day is often a tired fuss, not a hungry fuss. They sound similar. But if you rock, swaddle, try the pacifier, etc., you often get the baby to nap, and get another 1-1.5 hours between feedings. Much preferable to the snacking that otherwise occurs.

I’m enjoying feeling much lighter than I did two weeks ago, though I still have a ways to go to be as light as I was last spring. I suppose that will come in time. But the sudden lightness is reminding me, in a strange way, of this strange show the baby and I started watching in the hospital: My 600-lb life on TLC. (I blame the baby). People who are super-morbidly obese are trying to lose weight, and often they have these giant skin swellings that inhibit mobility. When they get these removed, they’re still very, very heavy. But they can move, and that makes a lot more things possible. I’m heavier than I want to be, but not unbalanced and swollen and all those lovely things that happen in the third trimester. So that makes it seem possible that I will be back to my normal size in time. Though I might sign up for a spring 10k to nudge me along.

13 thoughts on “Baby’s first 336 hours

  1. So true about the knowledge that comes from multiple babies. I think this is a good part of what makes that first one seem SO much harder than all the rest. Though my first kiddo was a really crappy sleeper, some of the overwhelmedness I felt was just because I was so green and had no perspective. With the other three babies, I was able to be more like, “Ok, this sleeplessness sucks, but it really, really does not last forever.”

    1. @The Frugal Girl – indeed, it does not last forever! The psychological marginal cost of kids seems to decline quite a bit. At four, we’re really capitalizing on it 🙂

      1. This is one of the things that make it a little hard for me to understand people who only want one kid (separate from only having one because of medical reasons or some such). I do NOT want all that hard-won experience to go to waste! 😀 So to speak.

        After an induction process that took almost 24 hours to start labor, and another 18 hours of labor (although only four hours before epidural, and the rest was a piece of cake in comparison), I’m a little jealous of your two-hour labor, no matter how frantic and painful, though I’m fully aware I shouldn’t be. 🙂 And it’s kind of silly, because as far as I know you had longer labors than I with some of your other kids. Anyway. Sorry! Congratulations and I’m glad he’s sleeping well!

        1. @Marcy- except for the first, they were relatively quick, though I think that’s often how it goes! But yes, there’s a lot of useful hard won knowledge. Which is good, since I’m juggling 3 other kids at this point…

  2. I’m still pregnant (a personal record at 38 weeks) and am looking forward to a baby that may not take 2 months to get to a typical newborn birthweight and that may feed out-the-shoot. Hooray for a term baby, for both of us!

    1. @Twin Mom- hooray! You for going to term, and me for not hitting the dreaded “post-term.” Between 38.5-39.5 weeks seems just about perfect.

  3. He’s so cute!!! Enjoy this babyhood along with the other kiddos….time goes by so fast. …my are 28, 23 and 16….we need to see a picture of all four

  4. Laura, Keep the baby news–and all the news–coming. I missed you all a lot today. I even thought I heard Alex crying at 3 am–but it was a dream. I woke up and wondered where he was but he was 700 miles away!

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