The day we brought her home:
Ruby at 1 month:
Ruby turned 1 month old on November 1st and while I was hoping to make this post then, she had other plans for me: she introduced me to a night of colic. So, I apologize for being a little late on this but I've also learned that we are no longer on OUR schedule, we are now always on HER schedule, meaning LATE is going to happen. With that, lets get on to the good stuff.
First off, I'm going to go back to the hospital days and list what I took and found useful while there. (This is just a copy from what I previously posted on a message board)
Remember, this is coming from someone who was induced, a needle phob who had an epidural, who is breastfeeding, had a very mild, grade 1 tear, and dealt with 9 full months of heavy throat mucus which lead to nausea most of the time.
Hospital bag - what I used:
My own pillows (both DH and I)
Blanket for DH
Towels (hospital ones suck)
Comfy clothes for after birth (they helped me feel much more human than the gown - although I did use the gown as a sort of robe since I didn't have one)
My own toiletries - showers before made me sick and the first shower post birth was like heaven, and so nice to have my own stuff.
CD of calm music - used when I napped during the day
Notebook - used to track questions I had as well as my birth experience
Snacks - after birth
baby clothes / blankets - the 0-3 months swollow her so I'm glad I brought extras, as well as she spit up before we even left, and the blankets were good in the pictures.
I did not bring make -up but I don't ewar it often anyhow. I did have lotion and chapstick though.
Camera, cell phones, laptop, and chargers
Boppy - I LOVE this pillow and use it often, both to support Ruby as well as to lean on since my back is sore
Breast cream (Lansinoh)
Money for parking and for snacks / soda
And here are a few things I learned those first few days:
The epidural was NOTHING compared to what I expected. I am a HUGE needle phob and just cry when they MENTION taking blood. Seriously, it hurt worse when I have a big pimple on my back than the epi did. Also, the epi is applied by gravity, so don't sit up too much. I did, and it wore of on my left, I started have extreme back labor and thought I was going to die. I can't IMAGINE going through that without med's. My IV sucked 10x more than the epi.
I think being completely numb also takes away any modesty I had. I had no issues laying there for all the world to see and examine since I couldn't feel anything - and I've always been one to be a little more modest, even at the doctor (I refuse to go to a male OB/GYN). Amazingly, even being numb, I was still able to push just fine and had Ruby out within half an hour.
Recovery is not nearly as bad as I expected. My back and abdomen are more sore than my vag is. Bowel movements haven't been that bad either, although the pushing is a little strange feeling - not sure how else to explain. Make sure to take your colace and just be patient and you shouldn't have any issues.
The bleeding didn't last nearly as long as I expected. I figured it would still be heavy, but honestly, the heavy, red stuff was basically gone by day 2.
I didn't feel that immediate connection when she was first born since it STILL didn't seem completely real to me, so don't feel bad if it doesn't happen to you. I have since gone through those emotions though and am totally in love with her. There are still days it doesn't seem real and I'm waiting for her REAL mom to come take her back - luckily I AM her real mom so that won't happen.
Now, on to the first month of her life, which by the way is filled more with her dad and I learning than it is with her milestones.
Breastfeeding SUCKS at first. I've never been one to have tender breasts so I was hoping this would be fairly easy for me - nope. There were several times where I sobbed while feeding her because I was in so much pain and told my husband I was ready to give her a bottle. Luckily, I also told him BEFORE her birth that I'd need his support at times to encourage me when I felt that way - which is exactly what he did. Between the first and second week I remember it being the worst, and one side hurt more which lead me to favor the other side. I was a little worried it would cause supply issues on that side, but by pumping that side some as well as still letting her feed on it every 3rd or 4th time, we never had any issues. By the end of week 2 the horrible, miserable, stabbing, my nipple is being chopped off pain went away and while it still took another week or two for the discomfort to go away, it was significantly much more manageable. Now, at over a month, we are still strictly breastfeeding and while there are still times its uncomfortable, I am glad I didn't give up. There are even times where it is stress reducing and feels like nice bonding time with her. With that, I'll say the same things I've read from other people a million times, don't quit until you've stuck with it for at least 3-4 weeks (unless of course you have other health reasons).
Speaking of feeding, we also introduced her to a bottle at 4 weeks, since once I'm back at work she'll have to take a bottle at daycare. I pumped, filled the bottle for dad, he gave her the bottle and she took it like a champ, drank a full 4 ounces, then came back to me a nursed a little longer - so it appears she isn't too picky about where her food comes from, as long as she gets it. Hooray!
Diapers - this has been a rocky road for us. I'm still planning on making it to 100% cloth diapers, but we've been fighting major leaks and issues. The fitteds and covers seem extremely bulky on her and leave red marks on her legs, which of course worries me some. I had to get some help on how to put the covers on to prevent leaks and I think we MAY have this down with them, but the red marks still bother me. Not sure we'll keep using those particular diapers but who knows. The really cute ones my cousin made still seem to leak, so I might contact her to see if she has any suggestions. According to the pediatrician today, Ruby is a very long and lean baby, so the lack of chubby thighs might be part of the problem. Also, she can be a pretty heavy wetter at night and the fitted diapers get soaked quickly, so I just bought some BumGenuis 3.0 one size that so many people swear by for night time - we still need to try these out and see if they work. I know I might have to try several different brands to find some that work, I just hope I can find them before my husband decides we don't need to spend anymore money on cloth diapers that don't seem to work. Meanwhile, we continue with a combination of cloth and sposies while we work through our trials. Wish me luck!
The Moby Wrap ROCKS. Ruby doesn't like to be put down so once my husband went back to work, it was hard for me to get ANYTHING done. That, and I feel guilty if she's awake and I'm not holding or entertaing her so I really try to limit the amount of time she is in her swing or bouncer. This of course leads to my house getting clutter and me getting stressed out. So, when I went to our local cloth diaper store (Babies Bottoms and More) to ask about her leaking, I was also able to talk to them about a carrier. They had me try the Moby Wrap. I bought one, then went to Babies R Us and used it - holy cow this thing is wonderful! Our BRU was having a huge sale so the store was filled with families and strollers and just wandering through the aisles was a chore. However, since I had her against my chest and didn't have to manuever a stroller through the chaos, it was a rather stress free trip for me. Oh, and Ruby slept through it wonderfully. I can't rave about this enough.
Those are the main things for now. I'll be back later to add pictures and anything else I forgot, but at least I've got this started!