It 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.
Since 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.