Friday, January 27, 2012

Postpartum Joys

Well, I am now 8 days postpartum and I have a few things to say.  Now, I am going to be as simple as possible and refrain from being too graphic :)

Here are my "Joys" of Postpartum.  Note that if I use quotations around the word "joy", it is safe to assume that there is some sarcasm behind it. Please also note that these are in no particular order.  I am confident that all of these have taken the number one spot on the list at least twice today :)

The First "Joy" of Postpartum: Lack of Sleep

Not only have I had extremely restless sleep for the last 6 months, but throw two babies into the mix who have their days and nights mixed up, and you have a woman (and her hard working husband) who is running on empty. They came to us sleeping 4-5 hrs at a time during the day and as soon as 10pm hit, they were wide awake and ready to eat every two hrs. Once 7 am rolled around, they were back to their 4-5 hr stretches. Ugh. Now, it is also pertinent to note that although they were giving us two hour stretches between feedings, you start counting from the time they start eating.  So, say they woke up at 10 pm to eat, it then takes at least one full hour to change their diapers, nurse them, feed them from a bottle to make up for my lack of milk (*more on this "joy" later), pump, and put them back down. By the time our heads hit the pillow, our precious bundles of joy (no sarcasm here, I promise!) were up again an hour later.  The first night we got 3, 1 hr stretches.  The next night, exact same thing.  One other point, my cute little Street is a binkie boy!  We love this for the most part, but when they are this young, the binkie pops out quite frequently.  Anytime it did, he was sure to let us know about it.  So, the "1 hr stretches" we had, really consisted of hopping out of bed every few minutes to stick that darn binkie back in. Ah!!

Monday brought a visit to the Pediatrician. We asked for some tips on getting their clock switched around and she said to be sure to wake them up every 2-3 hours during the day to eat and it should help them fix their night and day mix up.  Well, since I am a very tired mama, waking them up every two hours to eat was a little too much to handle, but I decided every 3 was do-able.  I'm glad we listened.  The next night brought them eating every 3 hours and the next night we got one 4 hour eating stretch.  Note that this means we got a 2 hr sleep stretch, and a 3 hr sleep stretch, respectively.

Also, something important to note:  They have very different personalities when it comes to sleeping.  Livvi is very much like Daci was.  If we let her, she would go at least 4-5 hours at night as well.  Problem is her cute younger brother likes to get up every two.  When you have twins it is VERY important to keep them on the same schedule.  So, poor Livvi gets woken up every two hours to eat.  Luckily, she has a very easy going temperament and doesn't seem to mind in the least.  Mom and Dad on the other hand....have something to say about it :)

Second "Joy" of Postpartum: Pain!

Lets just say the word "tear" is not one that a woman likes to hear after delivery.  'Nuf said.

Third "Joy" of Postpartum:  Nursing

One of the side effects of Lupus is low milk supply.  With Daci I had virtually nothing.  I also had a few other things happen that lowered it even more.  I got Shingles 3 weeks after giving birth and had to go on a steroid.  I only had a crappy electric single pump to use while I was in the "pump and dump" phase of the medication and lost a lot of my supply.  Then, my Lupus became really bad (we didn't know it was Lupus at the time).  I was supplementing with her from day one and by the third month all I would get after  a pumping session was about a 1/4 ounce between the two sides.  It was really hard for me to give it up and I felt a lot of guilt associated with it.  Why do we do that as women!?  When I hear a story like that from someone else I say, "Well its obvious you had to stop, you were killing yourself!  You shouldn't feel guilty for something you can't control.  I'm sure you were a much better mom once you stopped putting yourself through the exhausting routine of trying to nurse, feed from a bottle and pump!"  But alas, it doesn't work that way on ourselves, does it?

This time, I was very hopeful it would be different since my Lupus is diagnosed and under control.  And it has been different.  I do have more milk than I did the first time around.  I would even have enough milk, if I only had one baby.  But, I have two babies, and there isn't quite enough milk to go around.  Soooooo, I have been doing everything physically possible to get the supply up.  I nurse and pump round the clock.  I drink tons of water and eat a healthy diet (thanks to my mom!). I went to the lactation specialist yesterday and got great tips.  I am trying and trying.  I want my babies to have breast milk, it is very important to me, thats why I am putting myself through the tiring routine.  But it is just that...tiring!  My body is working on overload trying to produce the amount that I need and I am pooped!

Not only is it hard not having the supply but I am also very sensitive in that region.  Lets just say lots of blood, scabs and little pieces falling off.  Too graphic?  Sorry about that!  One thing that has helped?  Shields!

Fourth "Joy" of Postpartum: Emotional Roller Coaster

I am a MESS!  I will be happy and excited and encouraged one moment and 10 minutes later, the roller coaster is at the bottom of the hill and I am a sobbing, bawling, soggy basket case.  I think I cry every hour over things that I would never cry over.  I am so stressed about nursing and so tired from not sleeping that every little thing puts me over the edge.  Luckily, I have a mom and grandma that insist that I take a nap once a day or I may be checked into the hospital again....for other reasons.

I am completely, 100% overwhelmed.  It is taking 3 (4, when Rick is home) adults to take care of two babies, a postpartum girl (that's me), my cute Daci, meals, the house, the grocery shopping, and the laundry.  Every time I think of not having these extra sets of hands I have an emotional breakdown.  Cue the tears.....better stop writing about this one.

The Only REAL Joy of Postpartum (notice, no quotes) That Really Matters:  My Babies!

It doesn't matter how hard it is to have babies, feed babies, or sleep train babies.  It is all 100% worth it! I am smitten by these two!  I seriously could stare at them forever.  They make the cutest little faces and noises and I am so annoying with my, "Mom!  Look at this!" or "Grandma, how funny is this!?"  or "RICK! Wake up!  Look how cute they are!" Haha.  Really I love these two more than I can express. Despite all the hardships of postpartum...they are the true JOYS in my life.

Cue Snap Happy Photos:

Birth Weight: 6 lb 8 oz
Going Home Weight: 6 lb 1 oz
Weight at First Dr. Appt., Day 5: 6 lb 5 oz (10th percentile), 19.5 inches (25th percentile), Head Circum: 13 inches (10th percentile)
Weight at Lactation Specialist on Day 7: 6 lb 9 oz

Bright eyes
Occasionally finds his thumb
All ready for his first doctor's appt.

Such a sweetie!  He was wrapped in a pink blankie at the time, so I changed the photo to black and white :)
Chillin out in the boppy
Loves to have his fists next to his face

Birth Weight: 6 lb 3 oz
Going Home Weight: 5 lb 12 oz
Stats at First Dr. Appt, Day 5: 6 lb 1 oz (10th percentile), 19 inches long (25th percentile), Head circum: 13.5 inches (25th percentile)
Weight at Lactation Specialist on Day 7: 6 lbs 5 ounces
Our Happy, Easy-Going Girl

Ready for the Dr.
Smiling in her sleep


I love that they sleep together

They always end up facing each other and scooting in close together . Livvi always rolls up on her side. 

With nursing I kinda live in comfy silky button up jammies right now
Lovin me some Livvi

Daddy and Son Tummy Time. Street loves his tummy! 
Great Grandma (GG) with her second and third great grandchildren

Grandma feeding Street
Aunt Carly feeding Livvi
Another Important Joy (no quotes!): My Sweet Daci Bug
Daci has done great through all of this!  My mom and grandma have been sure to do lots of fun things with her and give her lots of special attention.  She also loves to do "Big Sister Helpers".  She throws away the diapers and brings me things that I need.  She loves the twins and hasn't had too many behavioral problems....just a few occasional ones :)  Love you Daci Doodle!  Thanks for being a trooper with your emotional mom!
Grandma and Daci making cookies

Such a big helper!
Playing in the snow!



Holy! I cant imagine! you poor girl, it will get better! hang in there :) They really are soooo cute! Street really looks like daci so much!! and like you said, livvi looks like rick! They are so adorable!

Ty and Ash Sorensen said...

Kori!! I am so sorry you are going through all that! I can TOTALLY relate to most of it!!! The sleep thing is totally out of control! My babies do the EXACT same thing... Binki thing is so cute in their little mouths, but I am always jumping in and out of bed trying to keep it in! Gavin can hold his! But sweet Beau can't!!! My hubby went back to work and i had a melt down, bawling, wishing this was easier! You are such a great mom and don't get down on yourself! I hear after the first 6 weeks (way too long) its so much easier!! Good thing they are all so dang cute right!! You can vent to me anytime cause I know what you are feeling! 2 babies is SO SO hard, but so worth it! We are on a 2.5 hour sleeping stretch at a time right now! I finally woke up this morning at 8:20 :) feeling like I was super woman and could do anything! Then the hubby left and that changed haha! Joys of having kids! I am hear for you:) Hope it gets better quick for you!!! THinking of you:)

Kristin Kottwitz said...

Congratulations on your cute babies. Sorry you are going through all the "Joys" of afterwards. It is tough. I remember our little one had her nights mixed up. She never slept through the night! It is awesome that your mom can be with you. (I am her downline so of course I read her blog).
Again congratulations.

Lonnie and Lindsay Fox said...

Kori- please let me know if you ever need some one to talk too. My babies have been sick for literally 6 weeks. It was just colds for awhile then RSV and ear infections. But, they are doing well now and finally sleeping better. Hang in there. I know it seems like eternity but of you work with them they should be sleeping through the night by at least 8 weeks. Have you tried sticking streets Binki in and trying to hold him off longer at night. That's what I always do. Hang in there. I feel so bad for you. The first little bit is rough. I'm just a email away. Oh, I know you want to breast feed but don't be to hard on yourself of you can't. You had no idea what 2 babies was going to be like. It's more important for you to survive and be a happy mom. I'm here for you of you need me. I don't mind a few tears!

Mrs. Ham said...

you are amazing! just keep saying your prayers! other than that i can't even relate how hard this is. but so worth it! keep it up!

Val Murphy said...

Oh Kori, you feel free to vent all you want and don't feel guilty for a minute...that has got to be rough...I am a mess when I don't get my sleep, it makes everything else more complicated...just remember what you said how it is all worth it...before you know it everyone will be sleeping and I'm sure you will get a routine going that makes life feel much more manageable. Oh and I agree with what Lindsay said...I really wanted to nurse Max but it just didn't work out and I look back now and kinda kick myself for being so distraught over the whole thing. When my mom had me and my siblings her pediatrician told her nursing would help prevent allergies/asthma/increase immunity/etc and I was by far her sickest baby and the only one who got the asthma and allergies. So long story short...don't run faster than you have strength. :) You are super mom Kori and you'll be in my prayers :)

Tommy, Jaci and Porter said...

oh you are doing so great!! Just having one newborn is hard, so i can imagine what you are going through! it will get better! :) good thing you have such an awesome mom and grandma to come help!! hang in there!! your family of five is so cute!! i wish you lived closer so we could come visit and see the babies!!

Todd Family said...

i can't even imagine!! you are superwoman!! it will get better! i'll keep you in my prayers! love you missy! your babes are BEAUTIFUL!!

Kade and Kaylee said...

So I have not yet experienced any of this baby stuff, so I cannot even fathom what you are going through! You are SUPER MOM to say the least! Just reading this post made me tired! :) Whenever you are ready to break down, just sing the song from Nemo, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming." That's what my mom and I always say/joke about on our rough days. Love you!

Sarah said...

Hey Korrine you are SO amazing!!! I've been through the whole nursing, bottle feeding and then pumping issue before and it is really hard (but I didn't have 2 babies... so I can only imagine what you are going through). It was so hard on me and my body and I was also dealing with a flare-up. I got so run down that I didn't even have the strength to pick up my own baby. I felt so guilty (especially since it was my first baby) giving up nursing but it was the best thing that I could have done for myself and Jackson. I was able to get more rest and my baby slept so much better at night (the benefit of formula:). All 3 of your babies are so lucky to have such an amazing mother!!! Oh, and one tip I received to help build up your milk supply (and it really helped me) was eat lots of oatmeal! When I was pumping for Briggs while he was in the NICU somebody gave me that tip and I did notice a bit of a difference... but I was pretty much eating oatmeal all of the time!

Ashley said...

I am so glad you have your mom and grandma there with you. Having a baby is hard enough and I can't imagine taking care of two! You are amazing! I will come help you in any way I can. Please let me! We would love to have Daci over too. I am sorry I haven't called... I didn't want to bother you while you have your family there. Hang in there girl!

Chelsea and Michael said...

Korinne you look GORGEOUS! And please remember you have a whole truck load of people who are ready to help out wheneve ryou need us! Your babies are perfect! I love all your pictures. You can do it and you are amazing!