Claire is four days old, and the entire family is adjusting to this new and awesome (and exhausting!) version of life.
We spent two nights in the hospital (I canâ€™t wait to share our birth story sometime early next week â€“ spoiler alert: itâ€™s a super short story!) and came home on Thursday afternoon. Henry and Claire met in the hospital, and I have to say that THAT aspect of having another child has gone so much better than I thought it would.
Heâ€™s woken up every morning and after every nap and immediately asked to see her. Heâ€™s fascinated by her poop (â€œMy poop is brown and Claireâ€™s is YELLO!!!â€) and likes to hold his feet up to hers to see whose is bigger (he always wins!). I think weâ€™re still riding a wave of â€œIâ€™m so happy Mommy and Daddy are back from the hospital!â€ so weâ€™ll see what happens when we all settle into a more normal routine. But so far â€“ things are pretty awesome, and Iâ€™ll take it while I can!
Claire is still SUPER sleepy. Sheâ€™s happy to sleep for long stretches, but most of that has been happening in broad daylight when Iâ€™m awake anyway. Her eyes POP open in the middle of the night, and then itâ€™s harder to settle her. Weâ€™re riding out that classic newborn day-night reversal, which I truly hope stops soon. The nice (and bittersweet) thing about babies is all phases (whether good or bad!) are so short, so I just keep telling myself that it will be over before I know it.
Breastfeeding is going pretty well. Weâ€™re facing some of the struggles that I encountered with Henry, but half of the battle has been knowing what the issues will be. Itâ€™s a lot less anxiety-producing the second time around, and dare say that Iâ€™m actually enjoying it. Like the day-night reversal thing, Iâ€™m just telling myself to try to get over the initial challenging hump of breastfeeding (short feeds, cracked nipples, falling asleep in the middle, cluster feeding, engorgement <— pretty much got it all!) and that it will eventually get easier. Fingers crossed!
And last, but not least, Iâ€™m recovering well from childbirth. Iâ€™m going to write about this in my birth story, but the difference between 14-odd hours of active labor with an extended pushing period and a very short, fast labor is huuuuuge. I walked out of the hospital feeling pretty much like my normal self, while after Henryâ€™s birth, I felt (and looked) like I had gotten hit by a truck. I keep comparing it to completing a Half Ironman v. a casual 5K. Itâ€™s not even on the same field in terms of how your body feels after. Itâ€™s pretty nice to know (and share) that even drug-free childbirth doesnâ€™t have to be this horrible, excruciating process â€“ even though I plan on NEVER doing it again. Hah!
What else? Well, my biggest challenge with recovery this time has been forcing myself to rest. With a toddler in the house, itâ€™s tempting to get back to â€œnormal lifeâ€ and do Henryâ€™s care, despite having the Husband and my mom here to help. I ended up pushing myself way too hard yesterday and largely confined myself to the bed today â€“ I donâ€™t want to accidentally make my healing time twice as long.
Last, but not least, Iâ€™ve got my placenta pills! Both with Henry and Claire, I had my placenta dried and encapsulated by a local company called Wombmart (I canâ€™t recommend them enough). Itâ€™s a Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy to ingest your placenta to ward off PPD, support breastfeeding, and sped recovery, and although the Western science on it is inconclusive, Iâ€™ve always thought â€œWhy not?â€ Itâ€™s kind of strange, but it canâ€™t hurt to try it. I got a grand total of 129 pills out of my placenta â€“ pretty cool!
So â€“ thatâ€™s what weâ€™re up to. Itâ€™s a crazy, but special, time in our household. <3 <3 <3
Hope all is well with you, too!