I'm exhausted, you guys.
Seriously. I'm so incredibly happy to not be pregnant anymore and to have my sweet baby Harper, but I really miss getting a full night's sleep. I haven't had to worry about kids/babies waking up during the night for a number of years now and I've gotten used to uninterrupted sleep. I miss that.
But then look at this sweet face. I just melt. I'll not sleep for her, I guess.
I can't believe it's already been 2 weeks. It's been a bit of a blur. Harper is a really great baby, which is such a different experience from my last baby. Lily was...challenging. That's a nice way to put it. She was a very fussy, needy baby, and on top of that she had acid reflux that went undiagnosed for the first few months. She had to be on medication for it, and it did help, but she was still a very fussy, needy baby. She nursed constantly, around the clock. She used me like a pacifier. She never slept. I mean, never slept. She would sleep for 30-45 minutes at a time only, including at night. She hated being in her car seat, so she screamed any time we would drive anywhere. She hated being in her stroller. She hated being set down. I basically had to hold her for the first year of her life (Oh, how I wish I would have been into wraps & baby-wearing back then!)
Harper is great. She sleeps a lot. More than any of my other babies, but I think it's partly due to the fact that she was 2 weeks early, so she's still been in "incubating" mode. She should have still been cooking in my belly for a while longer! We've hit a few challenges while breastfeeding that I didn't see coming. My other kids nursed really well without any problems. Harper has had a hard time latching on and I think her mouth is a bit small, so maybe that's why. After the first week of breast feeding she left me raw, cracked and bleeding. At one point I actually started sobbing while trying to nurse her because it was so painful. My husband went right out and bought me a good electric pump though, so I've been pumping and giving her bottles until I could heal up and not be so sore. Pumping has helped with the pain a ton, and it's really boosted my milk supply. I'm just starting to try to nurse her again now that I'm not so sore. She's latched on just fine a few times, but it's still a bit of a struggle and it's frustrating. I can definitely pump and do the bottle method, but nursing is so much more convenient and enjoyable for me so I'd really love to not have to pump and bottle feed exclusively. I'm going to keep trying to get her latch down! I know she can do it...it's just going to take some practice. Hopefully the bottles aren't confusing her too much.
The great thing about breast feeding (besides the health reasons for her and our awesome mommy-baby bonding time) is that the baby weight has started to melt off. It always does for me, at least in the past, and I was really scared that it wouldn't happen as quickly this time around. This was me at just 10 days postpartum, and since then my belly has shrunk quite a bit more. I'm down about 25 lbs right now! Technically I have another 25 to go (yeah- I gained 50 pounds during this pregnancy!) but I was underweight to start with so I'd like to hold onto a few of those extra pounds and not be quite as scrawny as I was before. I think another 10-15 lbs and some toning up would be perfect. I can't wait to be able to wear jeans and normal clothes again. Anything without an elastic waist please. Fall...please hurry up and get here!
We did have one little scare last week when Harper's doctor told us she had jaundice. She had it about halfway down her body and we were told to just watch it and notify them if it spread down her limbs. Later that night I thought she was acting very strange. She was so sleepy- I could not get her to wake up for anything. I mean nothing. I changed her diaper, changed her clothes, fed her, tickled her, poked and prodded her and quite literally yelled in her face a few trying to rouse her and she would not wake up for anything. She was also skipping feedings and eating only a tiny, minuscule amount. We ended up taking her to the ER that night to have her checked out. They tested her blood and had to give her an IV to hydrate her, but she was OK. Her jaundice levels weren't quite high enough to need any treatment, and the doctor assured me that she may just be in a "sleepy mode," especially with her being early and with it being so incredibly hot out (we've been around 100 degrees for over a week now). Seeing my tiny baby get an IV broke my heart, and I cried more than she did. She barely noticed when they poked her. The jaundice has gotten way better since then and her coloring looks much better now. She had us scared for a little bit though!
My older kids have been doing amazingly well. They are really eager to help do stuff with the baby, but she's just too small for them to handle her a lot right now. They love to sit and hold her and help give her a bottle, but they have a bit of a hard time because she's so tiny. Supporting her little head and neck is hard for kids to do, and scary for mommy sometimes! They are really good about helping me with stuff though. They've been doing a lot more chores and picking up after themselves, as well as getting their own snacks and lunch. Or they'll follow me into her room when I change her and hand me the things that I need and talk to Harper to keep her happy and calm. Overall, they help me by helping themselves more. They have really learned to be more self-sufficient and are doing a great job at keeping themselves occupied because my time is so focused on Harper right now. While I'm really proud of them for stepping it up, I'm also filled with guilt at how many times I have to say "not right now", "maybe later", "I can't right now", or "ask your dad" every day. I know they've got to be getting really bored from sitting around the house every day. They are actually excited to go back to school in 4 weeks- kind of sad, isn't it? My husband has been doing an awesome job of taking care of the older ones and giving them the extra attention that I just can't give right now. Hopefully as Harper gets older we will all adjust and things will settle more and I'll get better at juggling my attention between all three kids more equally. Man, it's definitely hard when you're pulled in 3 directions! It makes 2 kids sound like a walk in the park.
I guess it hasn't all been boring. My parents and my brother and his little family took the kids floating on the river over the weekend, so they did get out and have a little fun. I'm hoping to get someone to take them to the water park at least one more time before the summer is over too. I'm way too apprehensive about bringing a newborn with me, especially in this crazy hot heat we've been experiencing. I was so jealous that I couldn't go floating! I've been dying to get outside and swim, but I'm not sure I'll get a chance to again before summer is over.
Harper and I also had our first real trip out of the house (besides for doctor visits). We went to visit my friend Jodi and her new baby, Maxwell. Jodi and I are friends from beauty school, and we are neighbors now too because she just moved about 1 minute away from me. We were pregnant together- she was a week ahead of me, and we even had the same doctor. She was my pregnant buddy at the water park too. We'd sit and eat chicken strips and fries, complain about the heat and our pregnancy woes, and watch the kids played in the water. We both ended up being induced one day apart, and our sweet babies were born almost exactly 24 hours apart (we even had the same induction time- 6am, and delivered around 4:30pm- same labors! Crazy, right? Oh, and did I mention that mine and Jodi's birthdays are also one day apart? Kinda weird if you ask me with all of these similarities. Anyway, we were finally going to get the babes together and visit since having our little ones 2 weeks ago. It was nice to get out of the house and see a friend, even if all we did was discuss our new found breastfeeding and sleeping woes.
So that's it. Life with a 2 week old.
If things are slow on the blog I apologize.
If you're sick of looking at baby pictures here and on social media...sorry I'm not sorry!
I can't help it :)
(If you want to see more sweet baby pictures)