Friday, July 9, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Ian is a week old today. Time is already flying! I'd love to share with you a slice of what his first week has been like, but alas, I am technically challenged. Since my simple little point-and-shoot camera is broken and we're using Casey's fancy one, I have no pictures to share with you. Case has the camera taking pictures in a "raw" format. To photo people, that means something more special than it does to me: that I cannot see any pictures until he changes them to a different format. And unfortunately, that means you can't either.

In addition to chubby newborn pictures, I have the sweetest video to share with you of Ruby singing to her little bro last week, but once again, my lack of being tech-savvy thwarts my efforts to keep you updated. Case got me a little (and I really do mean little) video camera for my birthday and I don't know how to add the video to a post yet. It seems I absolutely must use their website or YouTube, and I need Case to help me decide which one would be best and then set me up. And, as you might imagine, he has been a little busy lately.

Mom has been here since the 5th, and we are glad. Case was running low on patience after a few days of caring for me and the girls alone. I found it a little comforting, actually. To know that I am not alone in my struggle with patience with short people who freely express their sin nature at a moment's notice. And he'd only been with them for a couple days. It gave me perspective. Caring for several little ones is a challenging role. For anyone. Even very patient daddies.

Our church has been bringing meals, and that's been a true blessing. I think it would be overkill if it was our first (Mom being here and all), but Ian being our 4th, not having to worry about what's for dinner and how to make it is great.

So, a little about our week-old boy. Hmmm. . . . he's got hairy ears and shoulders still. Something I would not share with you had he been a girl, but I suppose someday he'll be proud of the manliness with which he entered the world. He's a sleepy guy. . . so content. The last couple days, I've been keeping a good eye on the time so he eats frequently. Seems he's almost too contented. But his skin is looking good and he's almost gained back to his birth weight (9lb 15oz yesterday) and he has more and longer awake periods each day, so I think he'll be alright. It is crazy to think he still isn't due yet. I'm so thankful God brought him early.

Anyway, this boy is precious. I just can't get enough of him. I never knew I wanted a son until I had him. I am in LOVE. So are his sisters. It's been challenging to give them all a turn to hold him several times a day (especially since all of them need supervision). The newness will wear off soon, and one day and then another will come where the first thing they do is not come to check on the baby or ask to hold him, so I'm enjoying these fleeting moments.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Postpartum Tidbits I’m Glad Were Shared with Us

026 047

Nursing my little one. Casey’s had me in bed almost exclusively since Ian was born. Though boring at times (and sometimes lonely), I am grateful for his insistence that I rest. It truly speeds all aspects of recovery. How glad I am that my husband listens to good advice, even when it means a ton more work for him.

Thinking of this reminds me of the tips and advice we’ve gained over the years. Things I don’t remember until I’m going through it again. Here are a few pieces of advice I’ve benefitted from in the last few days.

After giving birth, mom is “Queen for three days, princess for a week.” (Queens lay in bed, princesses dictate from the couch.) My midwife with Ruby gave Casey (not me--this is key) these instructions, which he has followed since then, with few exceptions. It is, I believe, one of the best gifts a husband can give his wife. A gift she may not even want, but it will benefit her more than she realizes. Yes, this means that she cannot jump back into life right away. During this time she won’t be attending church or social functions. She won’t be doing laundry or loading the dishwasher or going grocery shopping or getting her other children breakfast.

I believe my quick and complete recovery from my births can be mostly attributed to Casey’s almost strictly following this rule. (I remember with Haley, I begged him to let me just drive through Sonic for some drinks so I could get out after several days of being home-bound. He let me do it, then made me sit on a lawn chair in the back yard as soon as I got back.) Any tears or swelling heals in record time, milk comes in right away (July 4 this time—only 2 days), baby gains back weight quickly, no milk production issues or breast infections or clogged ducts, and engorgement lasts less than a day (all of this provided baby feeds frequently). Placental site bleeding is minimal and short-lived. I might even be forgetting some things.

The other tidbit Suzanne gave Casey is, “when the milk flows, so will the tears.” This was especially helpful when my milk came in with Ruby and I found myself crying buckets for no particular reason (yes, engorgement hurts, but am I that upset about it?). Remembering this phrase helped me to just let the tears flow freely and not try to think of a reason. It also kept Casey from worrying what was wrong with me.

A few other helps for the days after delivery:

Olive oil on baby’s bum makes cleaning off meconium so much easier.

Honey on pads is soothing and healing.

Disposable diapers make nice ice packs for swelling.

Air and light to the perineum facilitates healing.

Frequent feedings and sunning a naked baby quickly eliminates jaundice.

Anyone out there have another tidbit to share?