Well, I didn’t make it to the 40 week update after all! Not upset about that in the least, so very happy Jonathan decided to join our family 1 week before his due date at exactly 39 weeks gestation!
Time continues to fly and our little man is now two weeks old today. I’m not going to lie, the first few days with Jonathan were very hard emotionally, but we’ve both turned corners (and continue turning!) and life is much more pleasant now and I’ll tell you why before this all becomes a blur and I forget (one of the many reasons I love writing this blog!).
Apparently I got spoiled with two “good” newborns. All Braden and Ethan did was eat and sleep. I truly, honestly didn’t think newborns could really be fussy and that all they did was eat and sleep. Well, Jonathan proved me wrong. Our first night in the hospital he was very, very spitty. Sometimes with a fast delivery they don’t get all the gunk squished out of their lungs (for lack of a better term) so he was spitting all night and I happily gave him to the nurses from 4:00 – 6:00 AM so I could have some sleep.
When we got home, I anticipated that Jonathan might cluster feed the night away like his brothers did. Boy, was I wrong. Jonathan fussed and screamed off and on for hours and we both got little to no sleep. He was rooting and bobbing his head at the breast like he wanted to nurse…but I couldn’t get him to latch on no matter what I tried or position he was in, until he literally tired himself out and would finally latch on and eat. I promised myself that I was going to enjoy my last baby and vow to not get frustrated with him if he was fussy.
I didn’t, and I held strong for 3 nights of his endless screams and cries. My heart was breaking for him because there was seemingly nothing I could do to help him. When my other babies cried — I nursed them to sleep and they’d sleep. Not my Jonathan.
I had a visit from the public health nurse on day 3 and told her that I was concerned about his screaming at night, but just that day he seemed to be latching without fussing and doing so much better. I told her that it didn’t seem right to me that a newborn be inconsolable, but it also didn’t seem like he was in pain. He wasn’t arching his back or tucking his knees to his chest like babies with gas pain do. She then saw something on the roof of his mouth that she hadn’t seen before. A yellowish/whitish streak on his hard palate and she was concerned enough she wanted me to see my doctor right away and if we couldn’t get in, go to emergency immediately!
That’s when I lost it.
I broke down and cried, and awful thoughts were racing through my head and wondering why a red flag didn’t go up when I too had noticed this unusual streak. Tears flowing like a waterfall, I called Jay in from the field a blubbering, hormonal mess and told him we needed to take Jonathan to the hospital, and he drove me to our doctor’s office 15 minutes before it closed. Dr. Maseka reassured us that nothing was wrong with him and even had some labs drawn and everything was just fine. He might just be a fussy baby, but at least I could go forward knowing that nothing was medically wrong with him. The nurse also told me he lost 8.3% of his birth weight, which was still in the normal range, but that he best start peeing and pooping normally or we’d have to start worry about that too.
I like public health nurses and admire and respect what they do, but I gotta say with my post-partum hormones running wild and with little to no sleep, I wish the nurse would have chosen her words a bit more wisely because the way my post-partum self took it was that something was terribly wrong with my baby and we need to go find out why NOW. My mom was with me the whole time and assures me it was just my interpretation of the situation and her words and the nurse was very kind, concerned and caring…but that’s just not what my brain heard. Is it a liability thing with public health that they have to ‘worry’ parents about peeing and pooping and benign yellow streaks in babies mouths? I’m just glad this was my third baby and not my first!
It so happened that night he was still fussy, but not for as long. As the days and nights have gone by, the fussy periods are fewer and farther between and don’t last long at all and Jonathan is now a content, happy and calm baby like his brothers were. For the first time with a newborn, I really sympathized with how much a baby must go through with the birthing process. Everyone always worries about what that moms go through (especially the moms!) but what about the babies? How traumatic and stressful it must be for them to be born and start being exposed to the elements outside the comfort of a womb they’ve known for 9 months. I think Jonathan just needed some extra time to get used to his outside home and now he’s doing remarkably well.
He definitely has his nights/days mixed up still and will only sleep 1-3 hours (rarely 3) at night and he sleeps the best on me. This is starting to turn around a bit as of last night (I hope!) as he slept 5 hours (on me, of course) on the couch, but at least we both got a really good stretch in! If I put him down in his crib or in his swing, he’ll only sleep 45 mins – 1.5 hours at the most, but during the day he has been napping consistently from 2 – 4 hours in his swing or in his crib. Newborns! He’s a wonderful car seat baby and has slept the entire three trips we’ve done to Strathmore this week for his brothers’ soccer games (1 hour round trip plus 1 hour soccer practice/game) and grocery shopping.
I’ve been feeling good emotionally and physically for the most part ever since day 3 passed. Luckily I didn’t tear during delivery again and had no issues with swelling or pain either. How? I don’t know, but I’m not complaining. The flow has been coming and going but has mostly stopped…though I’m not holding my breath. I had to go to Drumheller 2 days in a row after Jonathan was born and that was hard on my body. My tummy and “pushing muscles” were very sore from being on my feet so much and my back at the epidural site was quite tender to touch for a few days. My tailbone is finally feeling better, I assume it was just quite sore from L&D, but not exactly sure why.
Breastfeeding is now going really, really well. He isn’t refusing to latch anymore, I’m not having any pain (other than the initial 10 seconds of a latch per usual for me at this stage) or issues with nursing, I’m very thankful. The after pains were HORRENDOUS as I imagined they’d be, as I’ve heard the more babies you have the worse they are and such is true for me. For 4-5 days often with nursing (not every time) it felt like I was in labor and having a big contraction for a minute or so. I was even having these pains/contractions when I wasn’t even nursing him, which is really really odd! I even pumped for the first time today on one side and got 3 oz to start building my “freedom stash”!
I had some nasty headaches again, not epidural-related, but probably due to the weather and me not drinking much caffeine and enough fluids period, but luckily those have resolved too. The only thing I can really complain about almost 2 weeks in is that I feel quite out of breath still with much physical exertion. Probably still lower blood volume and low hemoglobin, I think.
Jonathan did really well during his first outing, which happened to be Mother’s Day, and he slept through all of church while happy family members shared turns snuggling the baby and then we went and had a lovely brunch in Rosebud after. He has content, awake time which the big brothers love — they love to see his eyes and look at him, talk to him, sing to him.
Babies don’t keep, I cannot believe how much he’s changed already in 2 weeks. We had an early 2 week appointment with Dr. Maseka this past Monday when he was only 9 days old (not sure why they scheduled that) but he’s already surpassed his birth weight, he weighed 9 lbs 5 oz with a wet diaper and clothes on (probably closer to 9 lbs). He’s leaking through his extra small newborn cloth diapers so I have had him in newborn disposables to help his cord heal (he has a granuloma there now) and to help with the leakage situation…but he’s leaking through those too and is now in a size 1 disposable and I can probably put him in small cloth soon and fully transition over!
Jonathan fits perfectly into our lives. Seeding is officially done on the farm as of May 12 (our earliest start and finish ever!) and it is SO NICE to have Jay back home to help! Our big boys have been absolutely superb helpers and have adjusted really well to having Jonathan around. They proudly show him off anytime we’re out and about.
So there’s a summary of the first 2 weeks with Jonathan!