Did y'all wonder if I'd fallen off the face of the earth? ; ) Hope all of you are enjoying this holiday week with your friends and family!
I had a baby girl on December 10th.
And, we are all slightly obsessed with her.
I know I'm biased. I know I am. But...but.
I think she's kind of perfect. (Aren't all babies?) She's so snuggly and warm and sweet-smelling. And I want to keep her this size forever and always.
Anywhoodle, I thought I'd pop in and give you all a little update on all the goings-on since Ainsley's birthday.
People asked if we knew that December 10th we'd be having her. The answer? Nope! We had a bag packed just in case, and my parents came up earlier in the week because I just knew that week would be the week. (My body was o.v.e.r. being pregnant.) However, we had no guarantee that Wednesday would be the day. So, it was a fun surprise for us, too!
That morning, I had my regular twice-weekly appointment, as well as my non-stress test. Ainsley hadn't been moving as much the night before -- something I immediately reported to my O.B.'s nurse when she was getting my vitals. After the non-stress test, which showed heavy contractions, Dr. D came in and checked me. If you've never been "checked", you truly haven't ever experienced fun ; )
After the 30 seconds of hell that is being "checked", he announced I had progressed significantly and he said Ainsley would likely have arrived within the next 48 hours anyway. Since this was a repeat C-section and I was considered a high-risk pregnancy, we decided to get her out that night at 5:00 p.m. So, Dr. D called Labor & Delivery and told them to admit us. And up to Floor 5 we went...
Birth story coming soon!
Ainsley is teeny tiny. At 5 lbs. 13 oz. and only 18 inches long, our little gal is quite the peanut! Funny thing is, even for a petite little thing, she lost the least amount of her birth weight out of all the babies in the nursery that week, only dropping two ounces upon discharge. Girlfriend loves to eat and I'm happy to report that she's thriving. Due to her eating so well, we only spent two nights in the hospital and were discharged! (That's a really short stay for a C-section.)
We have been seriously lucky to get two very laid back babes. Her disposition reminds me a lot of Caroline as a newborn. She cries when she's hungry or wet, (or just wants some cuddles), but honestly, she's pretty content most of the time.
She looks a whole lot like her big sister, too. Her eyes are the same shade of blue as Caroline's, but her skin is very olive-toned, much like her daddy's Italian side of the family. (Caroline definitely inherited my Scot-Irish skin tone and freckles.)
As of now, we are exclusively breastfeeding. I haven't pumped yet, as I really wanted her to get in the habit of latching and feeding easily. Maybe it's because this isn't our first go-round with BFing, but it has been SO much easier this time. I look forward to those quiet, still moments during the night feedings most of all. It's such a cool bonding experience that I loved being able to experience with Caroline and I'm glad that it's working out so far with Ainsley, too.
Caroline is curious about her little sister and definitely likes to watch us feed and bathe her. When people point to Ainsley and say, "Caroline, who is this?", she'll reply, "Mah' bay-beeeee!" And then I melt because I'm sappy like that. #hormonesforlife
Because of the very small age difference, we haven't had to deal with any jealousy issues - probably the biggest perk I've heard of having them so close together.
I won't lie. The first two nights at home were ROUGH. Caroline woke every hour hollering, which then woke Ainsley, too. We just thought it was because of all the excitement, however, we discovered a couple days later that Caroline had an ear infection, which is why she was so restless. She's still getting over that, but thankfully, she's on the mend and everyone is sleeping better now.
It breaks my heart to not be able to pick her up because of my incision. She'll hang her little arms around my legs and cry, which kills me. Thankfully, I should be cleared today or tomorrow to be able to lift and carry her again.
A very special thing happens when you have kids with someone you love. Despite the fact that you spend 23 of the 24 hours every day covered in the various bodily fluids of a tiny person, annnnd you may not have showered in a sweet forever, you fall even more in love with each other.
Maybe it's that whole, "We're in this together" mentality.
Stephen is a caretaker by nature, so he's been working double-time to make sure I'm comfortable for feeding sessions, that our pantry and fridge are stocked, that laundry is done....the guy has even made us home-cooked meals most nights.
He is also completely smitten with his daughters. (Duh.)
Something about seeing a grown man pull up a chair for a tea party or tell your newborn daughter that she's "the prettiest thing ever" that makes you weak in the knees. Men turn to mush around their little girls. This is fact. And I love it.
I feel pretty good, actually! This C-section recovery has been much easier than the first, probably because my body knew what to expect this time. The day after the CS was horrendous -- hello, second day pain!! -- but after that, things started getting better. I tried to force myself to walk a lot in the hospital, which I credit for getting rid of the bulk of the soreness so quickly.
I only had to take the pain meds for the first five or six days after the surgery and now I'm just taking ibuprofen when needed for soreness.
I did have quite a bit (read: a shiz ton) of swelling in my feet and ankles...and thighs...and hips...and abdomen...following the surgery. It was super sexy and I've never felt more attractive. (Ever heard of pitting edema? A barrel of fun; that's what that is.) Seriously, Lebron James and I could've shared shoes.
It was super sexy and I've never felt more attractive.
(Fluid retention is the new black.)
This is really common after C-sections because of all the fluid they pump into you prior to being operated on. I'm now happy to report that I have noticeable ankles and knees again, though my tummy is still pretty swollen.
And I'm still totally, unapologetically wearing maternity jeans.
Life with two
Having two only 14 months apart is not for the faint of heart. Or those with low energy levels. I don't feel like I had much of a recovery period after the hospital. I just had to jump back into life and honestly, that was okay with me.
Is it tiring? Hell yes.
Do I love it anyway? You bet I do.
We are slowly getting our stride and I'm starting to feel like we're not treading water anymore. The first week was a blur, but this past week has been much smoother. My mom has driven up each week to be here on the days Stephen works, which has been so, so helpful. I'm definitely a little nervous about how I'll handle it once I'm here by myself, but I know that it'll all work out.
I wondered constantly how I'd love another child as much as Caroline. I can't put into words exactly how it feels, but it's like God makes even more room in your heart when you bring another child into the picture. I love them both so fiercely and wholly. They are our greatest accomplishments and the most precious gifts we have ever been given.
I don't care what else I achieve in this lifetime, so long as I do this mom thing right. Yes, Ainsley was a surprise to us, but sometimes the best things in life are those that you never saw coming.