After One Week With Our Second Child

As of last night, E is one week old. It’s hard to believe — it’s been such a short week, but at the same time, I already can’t imagine our family without her in it.

E at one day old

E at one day old

I may be a bit biased, but I must say that this baby is incredible. We thought we lucked out with J, who has always been pretty easy-going and didn’t cry much as a baby. But E doesn’t cry at all. She vocalizes (coos, grunts, and the occasional “Waahh!”) but she has not yet had one of those typical inconsolable cries that you’d expect from a newborn. If she wants to eat, she wakes up and roots. If she needs to poo or spit up, she wakes up and squirms around for a while until she’s done. If she wants to go to sleep, she’ll root again. Otherwise, she either sleeps contentedly or quietly looks around the room and faces that surround her. We were all amazed at how alert she was from day one — she was working hard to lift her head and focus her eyes at just a few hours old.

E at one week old

E at one week old

I’m sure part of her contentedness is because she’s so satisfied. My milk came in before she was even born, so she’s never been hungry (except the low blood sugar at birth thing, but that was only temporary). The second night in the hospital, she cluster fed every hour or so, but since then, she’s been eating every 3-5 hours, which has allowed us both to get plenty of sleep at night. I actually feel reasonably well-rested, considering there is a small human living with me. She sleeps swaddled in the co-sleeper bassinet, a device that never worked for J. He wanted to be held constantly and had a very hard time sleeping on his back, but she is a champion sleeper so far. (Knock on wood.)

We did have our first poopsplosion a couple of days ago — all over the wall, changing pad, and diaper genie. She’s been pooping a lot, which I suppose is a good sign since it means she’s getting plenty of milk. We saw the pediatrician the day after we were released from the hospital, and her weight loss had stabilized (about a 5% loss of birthweight, which is great for a breastfed baby). Our next visit is on Friday. I’m hoping she’s gaining well now!

E at one week old

E at one week old

As for me, I’ve lost 17 of the 30 pounds I gained during pregnancy, meaning 10 more until I meet my goal weight. I’m back in non-stretchy jeans (albeit a size larger than I’d like), and it feels so good. I’m still losing fluid but otherwise feel pretty much 100%. Postpartum recovery this time is very different from last time, when I had stitches and sitz baths and epifoam to apply. Since I didn’t tear with E (thanks to a rockstar midwife), I just had a little swelling in the nether regions but no long-term damage or pain.

J is adjusting beautifully to his new baby sister. The day after E was born, D picked him up from school early and brought him to the hospital. In hindsight, I’m not sure that was the best thing for our kiddo, knowing how overwhelmed he gets in new places and with lots of people around. He came into the room and acted very shy and cautious (typical of our J). He was happy to see me but quickly sought out the iPad. After a few minutes of watching cartoons, though, he started to warm up to his surroundings. He sat with his daddy while he was holding E, then with me when I was breastfeeding. Eventually, he put down the iPad and cuddled with me and played with the buttons on my hospital bed. His Papa (my dad) blew up a latex glove for him, and he was having fun giving everyone high fives with it… and then he walked over and gave E a high five, too.

J giving E a high five with the latex glove

J giving E a high five with the latex glove

After that, he was very sweet to his baby sister, petting her gently on the head and giving her kisses. After a couple of hours, he and D (and the grandparents and aunt) left, and E and I settled in for our night alone in the hospital together. (Aside from the cluster feeding, it was uneventful. But I was glad we got in bed early!)

The next day, we were discharged (early!) at 1 pm and headed home. D, E, and I were greeted by my parents at our house, and we all got settled.

home from the hospital

home from the hospital

Then D went to pick up J from school. When he walked in the door, he immediately came over to me and E on the couch, and he affectionately laid his head down on her (unprompted).

J laying his head on E

J laying his head on E

Since then, he’s been very gentle and loving with his sister. He asks to hold her or tells me to hold her whenever she’s not in my arms. He gives her kisses and hugs (in the form of laying his head on her), and he’s generally very careful with her. Of course, he’s two, so sometimes he can be a little rowdy a little too close to the baby, so we have to remind him to be careful around her. I’m also going to try to dedicate more one-on-one time with him. I know it would mean so much to him (he’s a momma’s boy, and I want to keep it that way!), and I certainly don’t want to cause any jealousy issues to pop up.

More soon! I’ve got a baby to feed. :)

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