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... And other early-days stuff.

2008-06-13 - 9:45 a.m.

My last entry was strictly about Biscuit’s birth story, but there were a lot of little things over the subsequent few days that kept making me think, ‘I have to remember to write about this’. Here’s a round-up of the ones I can remember right now:

I know I said this before, but it remains true: contrary to what I was told to expect, I have not found recovery from a planned c-section to be any easier than recovery from an emergency c-section. Yes, I was more alert during the procedure itself this time around, but the recovery? Not so much with the easier. I have a much more neatly-closed incision this time (this OB uses sutures, not staples, which is way better) so at least I’m not oozing blood and serum like I did for more than a week last time, and I expect the resulting scar to be less visible, so there’s that. On the flip side I seem to have more bruising and have felt like my mobility has been more limited for longer.

Speaking of bruising, the inside of my belly button was all bruised. WTF?

Grommet and Biscuit don’t really look much alike in terms of their individual features. Despite this, I am sometimes blown away by the similarity of their expressions. Maybe all newborns get that crafty, shifty-eyed, satisfied look when they know they’re about to be fed; maybe they all make those little whistling noises; maybe every single one of them looks totally blissed-out after a good feed. Or, just maybe, despite the differences in their various features, the total overall look each has is not dissimilar.

One thing that has me kind of sad is that I’d clearly forgotten – or at least not thought about – a lot of the details of Grommet’s early days: how she looked, ate, behaved, slept, etc. And this is despite the fact that I’ve got this journal as a much better reminder than most people have. Sure, I would have said I remembered the squeaky whistle noises and the look on her face when she first got the hiccups, but a lot of the time I spent with her just kind of glommed together in my memory. Now that I have Biscuit I’m constantly thinking, ‘this is totally like how his sister used to be/look/sound’. This makes me sad because I know that these days too will slip away as they give way to new stages, and we’re not planning on having any more kids so there won’t be any new, fuzzy-headed babies to tweak my memory and pull at my heartstrings.

This kid is a great nurser. He took to it faster than his sister and, more importantly, seems to be easier to teach how to latch well. Grommet never really did get the hang of opening her mouth wide enough, so nursing was bearable but uncomfortable most of the time until she was weaned at just under a year-and-a-half. I’m sure it helps that I’ve got a lot of nursing experience under my belt this time too.

My milk came in sooner and suddenly this time, but I never got the “gravel boobs” I did last time.

This kid’s milk-poop is stinkier than the first one’s was. I have no idea why.

Speaking of poop (and what parent of an infant doesn’t love a good poop story), J got totally sprayed with a bottom-end explosion yesterday. It was funny, yet very, very gross. (Incidentally, this kid’s butt seems to be set on “spray” whereas Grommet pooped in a thin stream, which was much more containable if she let it fly during a diaper change.)

For those that are wondering, diapering little boys? Way harder than girls. Pee is ejected at an upwards angle, poop seems to fly everywhere (or maybe that’s just my kid), and just when you think you’ve gotten them clean you shift their little scrotums to the side and find yet more chunks hidden away. Also, you have to be careful about what way they are pointed when they are diapered, as upwards and out to the side are both options that result in pee escaping and slowly and sneakily soaking you while you nurse.

I did not like this hospital as much as the last one. Too bad because one of the reasons we went there (besides the fact that we’ve moved and it’s now the closest) is that everyone who’d been there to have a baby had recommended it to me. There were more restrictions on things (last time people took pictures for us in the OR, this time we were told it was FORBIDDEN) and they took Biscuit away for his initial once-over (all the measurements, etc. were done right there in the OR with us last time), but the worst thing was the INCONSISTENCY. Take, for example, my diet:

It was known by some of the nurses that my doctor didn’t regulate what her post-cesarean patients ate. They clearly didn’t approve of this cavalier approach.
The computer had been programmed with fluids for at least the first meal, and regular meals from at least the start of the second day, however my first nurse post-op wouldn’t let me have anything but “clear fluids” and sent my “full fluids” meal back the first lunchtime. Too bad they didn’t replace it with said “clear fluids” meal until I started squawking a couple of hours later. The night nurse said, “how are you supposed to get better on nothing but clear fluids?” and sent my husband to the kitchenette to bring me back some toast. I was served a regular breakfast in the morning and ate the carrot muffin and drank the milk. The nurse that started with me that morning was aghast that I’d had the toast, and acted like I’d snuck around behind her back to procure the muffin. She sternly told me that I was to have full-fluid meals since it was day two post-op, but when I protested that I’d already had solids and coped just fine she grimly pressed her lips together and visibly mentally washed her hands of the matter with an “on her head be it” written across her face, and agreed not to change the computer order for regular meals if I wanted them. When my doctor asked 48 hours post-op if I had any questions and I mentioned that there seemed to be a bit of a battle over what I could and could not eat, she practically exploded and started ranting about how it can be whatever I want, and why this wouldn’t pose any kind of problem, and how antiquated the notions were that governed the practice at that hospital, and how she’s been working to change them for the two years she’s been there, etc.

Other diet-related inconsistencies were between their own literature and what they actually put into practice: the pamphlet said to avoid caffeine – they served caffeinated tea and coffee with every single meal; the pamphlet said to avoid gas-retention-related problems you shouldn’t drink with straws and should avoid carbonated drinks – each drink came with a straw and gingerale was a staple of their clear-fluid meals (you know, the ones they want you to eat in the first 24 hours post-op, when gas retention is actually the most likely to occur).

On the plus side, this hospital was only 12 minutes away from where we live. We wouldn’t go back to it to have a 3rd child, but since we don’t anticipate having a 3rd anyway the point is rather moot.

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