Rookie Mistakes: Part Two

Part One on Pregnancy/Delivery: here

Post delivery thoughts and what I would do differently next time (or things I'll do exactly the same)...

This might have belonged more in the first post, but I'm glad I had Henrik in a hospital. Not because of the safety thing. Really, with how smoothly things went, there's no reason I couldn't have had him in a birthing center or at home. And really, someone with my birth preferences probably should do a birthing center or home birth. However, I'm one of those rare people that really like hospitals. I loved being pampered for a few days. I loved having people come see us in the hospital. I loved picking up a phone and ordering a strawberry milkshake. I loved the help from lactation consultants. I loved the free diaper bag (even if I already had one and chose girly colors). I loved our nurses. There are aspects of a birthing center that would be so much more my style...but bring your own food and be out within 24 hours? No thanks (unless our insurance situation would totally change). And birth is messy so you're crazy if you think I'm gonna do that in my house.

Contrary to the degrading breastfeeding blogs I read in the month or so after Henrik was born, not every woman naturally produces enough to feed their child. This was so frustrating. Nursing a kid for 40 minutes only to have him cry of hunger afterwards was pretty disheartening. I remember sleeping for like three hours straight once, soon after he was born and was amazed when I woke up that my mom had gotten him to sleep. She then told me she had given him 2 ounces of formula and he conked out. It's funny now, but I was actually annoyed at my mom for giving him the bottle. I was all paranoid, "will he prefer formula?" "will he nurse bad now?" etc. That was dumb. It took me close to two months to realize we just needed to supplement a little formula after each feeding. Once we did, we had a totally different kid. It was amazing.
That being said, formula stinks, is expensive, and it's just a huge pain to nurse and then give a bottle, so next time I'm hoping to get ahead of the game. I've found herbs and products and hope to put together a good plan for increasing and sustaining my milk supply in hopes of little to no supplementing. And hopefully Henrik isn't scarred for life from being hungry the first few weeks of his life.

Two words: disposable underwear. The ones at the hospital were great, but they ran out a couple days after we got home. Thankfully I have a stellar husband who was happy to run to CVS to pick up embarrassing items. :)

I had some really good tips from blog friends about things to take the hospital, so that was helpful. Having a good bath robe was was one of the best decisions. I'm not picky about pillows, but I do wish I would have brought my own blanket (better fabric). I also should have had someone bring coffee every morning since the hospital coffee was the worst and I needed a half cup or so to clear my head in the morning.

Having my mom come and stay was definitely the best decision. It was a good call to have her come a day or two after we got home. That gave us a chance to get settled, but also brought in reinforcements as the newness wore off for all parties. ;) I do think I should have let people help a bit more. It was awesome having meals, but I'm pretty sure people offered to do other things, like clean or laundry and I definitely should have swallowed my pride and let that happen.

I have mixed feelings about how rigid we were I was with training Henrik to not need rocked/held to sleep and to not need nursed to sleep. I guess I can't really say I know what things would be like if we hadn't done that. Maybe we'd totally regret it now? But here's what I will say...
We loosely followed the babywise schedule. Key word, loosely. It all pretty much got thrown out the window when Henrik was around 4 months and making him take a nap at a certain time or for a certain length was (and still is) laughable. It did seem to work well in his early life. He was sleeping through the night most of the time by 2.5 months, so that was awesome. But here's what I regret: Henrik does not fall asleep being held. So he might be crazy tired in church or at someone's house, and the idea of rocking him to sleep in our arms or him falling asleep on our shoulder is absurd. I get so jealous of people whose baby's are cashed on them. Secondly, I feel like I missed out on some time of just cuddling my new baby boy. Obviously we held him a ton, but next time I'm just going to relax, strap my baby to me lots more, and enjoy it, knowing he'll grow up way too fast.

 I'm sure there are more and I know there will be more and time goes on, but these are the ones that come to mind from Henrik's young life thus far.


Heather Hoerr said...

I agree on not producing enough milk to feed your baby... and those blogs that say you do are just discouraging to read! I definitely felt that with Creighton.. had to feed bottles after nursing. It was easy to question myself and wonder if it was all in my head, so it's good to hear that someone else experienced that too. But I agree that if I have another kiddo I will try harder to build up/maintain my milk supply so I don't have to do so much formula and pumping. Although I did take some fenugreek and it made me feel weird but I know others like it?
And I was probably one of those people who told you to follow a strict schedule and put your kid to bed awake.. sorry. :) I was totally like that with Beck but haven't been Near as strict with Creighton. It has been really sweet to just hold him and rock him to sleep sometimes and love it when he cashes out on me. I would say to go for it if you want to do it with your next kid, b/c Creighton still puts himself to sleep but will sleep on me too.
I think what I've learned from being a mom and from my fellow moms is that nothing "ruins" your kid so don't stress if you do a few things here and there that aren't what you would choose to routinely do with your baby.

Sarah said...

Love your thoughts

Joy said...

Oh Emily, I'm so with you on that last paragraph. It drove me crazy when Jason would hold Jayla all the time. I didn't want Jayla to get used to being held. I regretted not holding Jayla enough, and when she got older, every time she would ask me to hold her, I would stop what I was doing and sit down and hold her. Guess what? She doesn't ask me to hold her anymore and I miss that. With Jacki, I held her as a baby and I loved up on her. She sleeps great through the night and didn't need to be rocked to sleep. I did things different the second time around!

leah said...

love your new blog look!

like listening in to your thoughts 8 months later :)

Christen Leigh said...

Interesting post--even for a non-mom like me! :) Like your new pictures, by the way!

Betsy said...

So fun to read and I concur with other moms on the 2nd time around being much more flexible. You'll be glad you wrote this stuff down for reminding yourself later! Also like the new look. Love ya!