*Disclaimer: This post isn’t really nutrition related. Just a little update on my personal life! Feel free to skip if it’s not of interest.*
I can’t believe Sophie is almost four months old as I write this. I’ve been meaning to write this post for approximately TWO months. I guess that’s motherhood, right? Now where do I begin…
As it seems to usually go, the birth was nothing like I was expecting, for many reasons. At 36 weeks pregnant I found out that Sophie was in the breech position. We tried to manually turn her (more specifically to have an OB turn her, called an ECV), which didn’t work. In fact, on the second attempt she kicked the OB’s hand, I think saying “leave me alone!!” haha! Despite the ECV attempt, multiple acupuncture appointments and even trying moxibustion, she didn’t turn. So, I was scheduled for a C section at 40 weeks and a day. If I went into labour earlier, I’d have an emergency C section.
Finding out I had to have a C section was really disappointing, at first. Being in the world of health, I knew that C section babies don’t get as much of the good bacteria and are more prone to health issues later in life, like asthma and allergies. (I was actually a C section baby.) That being said, KNOWING this is half the battle as there’s lots you can do to improve your child’s gut health. So, after a couple of weeks I decided to look on the bright side that I got to skip labour. WIN!
I didn’t go into labour early, and so on the morning of January 3rd, I blow dried by hair and headed in to the hospital to have a baby. Not how it typically goes, I know! After a sleepless 3rd trimester, I surprisingly slept quite well the night before.
Since I got to “skip” labour, I was thinking the birth would be a breeze. While it was definitely easier than 24 hours of labour, I still found the C section procedure a pretty scary experience. Specifically, getting the spinal and then the five minutes before she came out (yes, they got her out in basically five minutes!). Since they have to review the spinal risks with you, it feels pretty intimidating to then get it right away as you’re thinking through everything that could go wrong.
They had Sophie out very quickly and she was healthy, cried right away and was taken to get measured/weighed. I had planned to have her on me for immediate skin to skin, and I did for a short period of time, but then I was incredibly nauseous from the drugs I was on, so they took her off me and Adam held her while they stitched me back up. I couldn’t stop shaking (which they said was also a side effect of the drugs and I think i was also really nervous), but I remember every time Sophie was on me, I stopped shaking.
We spent the first few days in hospital getting to know little Sophie. I remember thinking she was literally perfect and how teensy she looked in Adam's arms. We did a ton of skin to skin and my milk came in quickly and we started breastfeeding. By started, I mean attempted to figure out this crazy new skill we needed to learn. Breastfeeding did not come easily and I found that each nurse had different suggestions on how to do it. This was helpful in that there were options, but also difficult because they often contradicted each other on what I should be doing. Even before we left the hospital, my nipples were raw and incredibly sore - to the point that I stopped feeding on one of them to try and let it heal.
I also remember the first night asking Adam to stay awake to make sure she kept breathing. Ah, first time parenting!! Hehe!
It’s funny because I truly don’t remember much now from the first six weeks, other than a few things: difficulty feeding, being way less mobile than I thought I’d be, and how grateful I was to have my Mom with us. We got into a routine pretty quickly, feeding every 2.5-3 hours day and night. Adam would change the diapers, and my Mom would take her between some feeds so I could sleep a bit more. Looking back, the first six weeks were easier than I thought because I had so much help, expected nothing of myself and she slept so much! Or maybe I’m just thinking it was because I’m forgetting so much!
In terms of the C section recovery, I think it was 3-4 weeks before I could walk more than a block, and when I walked uphill one block, I was so sore the next day. By six weeks, I was able to lift the carseat and other stuff, but would still be sore if I overdid it.
The biggest challenges have been lack of sleep (duh!), breastfeeding and a recent hospital visit when Sophie gave us a real scare with a kidney infection.
I won’t get in to the lack of sleep, cause it’s a given, but you are truly next level tired. The breastfeeding was also really hard. People warned me it would be, but when it’s not going well and you are doing it 8x a day, it can really take a toll emotionally. This was made significantly better by realizing Sophie had acid reflux (a diagnosis we got from a doctor at the Vancouver Breastfeeding Clinic). After we took care of the reflux, the feeding became waaaaay easier.
Then, just last week Sophie got her first fever and we were actually admitted into the hospital for a few days from a kidney infection. Last week was certainly the hardest, scariest week we’ve had since having her. I’m sure there will be more challenges to come, but it’s never fun when your little one is sick.
Oh and the latest challenge we’re facing is her inability to sleep anywhere but in a carrier or on the boob. Any mamas out there experience that? At least I’m clocking some serious steps!
Around three months Sophie became really fun because she became so much more responsive. Smiles, laughs, and a real personality. Let me tell you, she’s living up to the red head stereotype and has a fiery personality. She will definitely let us know if she doesn’t like something!
PS - If you’re wondering where the read hair comes from…SO AM I! Haha! Adam has a slightly red tinge to his beard, but has some red haired cousins, so it comes from his side.
I read a post on Instagram that explained motherhood is a combination of absolute bliss and the worst self doubt you’ve ever felt. That really resonated with me. The snuggling, the coos, the smiles and the laughs are some of the happiest moments ever, yet between all that I question literally everything I do. Haha! My Mom says I’ll be doing that for the next 18+ years.