Sunday, February 26, 2012

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This Week in Mommyhood

This is my first week in the land of mommyhood times two. To be fair, I really haven't been a mother to two, I've been more of a mother to one. My mother-in-law took the week off so she's been with Cati most of the time while I dedicate time to Elina. This has me feeling really guilty but I know it's only temporary and soon enough Elina will be big enough to not need me as much as she does now. So this week has been a bit of a break from reality. Next week starts my true reality of being at home with two kids. I'm a little scared of managing it all but thankfully friends and family have really come forward to help so that Cati doesn't lack for attention until we find our new groove.

I don't know how to really organize these posts anymore so I'm just going to write about the memorable and meaningful moments/happenings this week:

Feeling Tearful. Like I said the guilt related to Cati has been huge. I left her Friday morning as an only child with the knowledge that the next time I saw her she would be an older sister. I cried when I said goodbye, thought about her as I labored, and couldn't bring myself to talk to her over the phone while in the hospital. My perfect little girl, who was an only child for two solid years, now had to be bumped down to divided attention. Add to that the feelings of being a cheater: I felt as if I was cheating on Cati by having another child and loving Elina as much as I do.
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Meeting for the First Time. I was looking forward to the girls meeting for the first time. As my friend Jen put it, "it must be amazing to see best friends meeting for the first time" and it truly was. At first, Cati didn't know what to make of Elina and I'm assuming she was confused about Elina being on the outside after being told for so long that Elina was in my belly. But after an hour or so, Cati was kissing Elina and even crying out for her when she left the hospital.
 
Going Home Together. Aside from the VBAC another difference about this birth and hospital stay is that we all left the hospital together. There was a concern over high bilirubin levels but luckily it wasn't enough to keep Elina in the hospital any longer than needed. It felt so weird and great to be discharged together and to come home during the day. We got to spend some family time together with both girls.
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Abu Coje Eso. Cati is really good with Elina and very curious about her but she still wants me around and wants me to do things for her. The funniest thing she did this week was tell her grandmother to grab Elina, who was sleeping on me, so that I could change her diaper.

Breastfeeding. Oh me, oh my. Breastfeeding is again an issue. I do not want to pump again so this week has been spent focusing on getting a good breastfeeding relationship going. I've had three lactation consultations and the last one has really helped. Turns out, Elina not only had problems with latching but also with sucking. She now gets finger fed (catheter taped to my finger and she sucks on it to get milk) to practice her sucking and then I put her on the breast. After, I still have to pump to prevent engorgement but hopefully this is only temporary once she gets better at sucking and latching.


Feeling the Love. It always amazes me how loved our family is. Friends have come by to drop off food, diapers, wipes, and basically anything I need.

VBAC Thoughts. There are general discomforts about recovery but it's so worth it. I would not trade this recovery for a c-section recovery. I only had IVs while I labored, I didn't look as swollen afterward as I did after Cati was born, I was walking within hours of Elina being born, my hospital stay was shorter, and I was already out and about driving around Miami three days post-partum. The VBAC, however, solidifies the fact that Elina is our last pregnancy. If I were to get pregnant again I would want to try for a another VBAC and the whole experience of being considered high-risk and knowing that any little irregularity during the labor process will immediately make the doctors jump to c-section talk is too much to go through again. Not only was it stressful for me but it was also incredibly stressful for Alex.

Father of Two. The saddest moment this week was when Alex's brother's girlfriend asked Alex how it felt to be a father of two and he responded with "I wouldn't know, I've barely been around." To say that he's been busy is an understatement and on average he's been getting home after midnight (this is after leaving the house at 5:30am). Luckily, Alex had the weekend after Elina was born off so he was able to be with her then, but he has been getting home so late during the week that he hasn't been able to see Cati or help out much with Elina.
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Differences and Comparisons. The comparisons are already beginning. The most commented comparison is about looks and how much Elina looks like Cati. They look so much alike that it stuns me and makes me wonder if I will ever have a child that looks more like me than Alex. Even my doula commented on the looks and said that "we only make one model." I'm really curious to see how much Elina changes over the next few months. Aside from that, Elina is an easier baby than Cati. From the beginning Cati cried all.the.time. I didn't think I would survive and, honestly, thinking back to her newborn days makes me sick to my stomach because of how much she cried. Despite issues with breastfeeding, Elina is a calm baby and a good sleeper. I can't wait to get to know her and her little personality.

And so Elina is already one week old and Cati is beginning her third year of life. Here's to another week of surviving and hoping that I can be present enough to enjoy this very moment without wishing for time to work it's unstoppable forward movement.
Stephanie

6 comments:

Intisar said...

I know you mention seeing a few lactation consultants, so I'm sure you have already tried this, but thought I would still throw it out there. Have you tried a nipple shield? It really helped with my first in the beginning. Congrats!

A/K said...

One week in--you're doing great! I hope your first week solo is smooth and you figure out your groove soon. GL with the nursing issues--I hope she catches on quickly!!

Anonymous said...

I think Cati looks A LOT like you!!

Lindsey said...

I second that - both your girls look a lot like you!

You are a trooper to keep on trying with breastfeeding! Heath caught on little by little... hopefully so will Elina.

Heath gave Elina a little hug today, it was so darling! But I'm not brave enough for #2 quite yet.

Big hugs sweetie!

"H" is for Heather said...

Congrats on a new baby! Hugs! Good for you for hanging in there with breastfeeding and getting some help. Hope it pays off quickly! xoxo

Desi said...

Loved that video (and how you all communicate! I wish I knew what you were saying though lol) :) I bought cracked up over when I read that Cati told her gma to take the baby so she could tend to you.