And just like that, it’s been a month since I gave birth! It has definitely been a roller coaster ride so far and not just for my blood sugars. Baby 2’s first month of life has been a lot more stressful than my first’s. Luckily, my first didn’t have any issues except maybe struggling to figure out day and night like most babies. This time around, we have encountered a ton of different issues.
My son was born at 11 pounds 2 ounces. The day we were set to leave the hospital, they almost didn’t let us leave us leave because he had dropped down to 10 pounds 1 ounce, which was more than 10% weight loss. After a few hours, we were able to get the weight up to 10 pounds 2 ounces and for some reason, that one ounce was enough to let us leave. We followed up the next day with the doctor and he was up to 10 pound 3 ounces and the day after he was at 10 pounds 6 ounces so the doctor wasn’t concerned anymore about his weight. However, we followed up with the doctor four days later and my newborn was back down to 10 pounds 2 ounces. Babies are supposed to gain an ounce per day so the fact he was 10.6 and dropped down to 10.2 when he should have been around 10 pounds 11 ounces was alarming. My pediatrician told us to go to a lactation consultant right away.
At this time, breastfeeding was extremely painful, especially on my left breast. We went to the lactation consultant and she told me that I had a crack in my nipple, which could be one cause of the pain. However, she also evaluated my son and told us that he might have a lip and tongue tie which can also cause pain while breastfeeding. The lactation consultant also mentioned that the lip and tongue ties could be a reason of the weight loss. So we went to see an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.
At the ENT, she confirmed that he did have a lip and tongue tie and snipped them while we were in the office. It was so tough to see because he cried a lot and bled a ton. The heart-wrenching crying only lasted a few seconds, while she was operating, and then I was able to breastfeed. However, the bleeding lasted a lot longer than I was expecting.
Fixing the lip and tongue ties seemed to do the trick! My son was extremely fussy for a few days afterwards, assuming it was from the pain. But after a few days, the breastfeeding started to get better (I was also prescribed medication for the crack in my nipple). At the 4 week appointment, he was weighing in at a whooping 13 pounds 14 ounces!! He definitely made up for lost time in that two week period. They say babies gain about 1.5-2 pounds per month and he gained 3 pounds in 2 weeks-eek!
Besides the weight issues, he also had a struggle with jaundice. The day we were set to leave the hospital, he had an elevated level but still within the OK range so no action was taken. When we followed up with the pediatrician the next day about the weight gain, he also re-checked baby for jaundice. His level was still elevated so the doctor was concerned. We went back the next day and it was still high but at this point, the doctor said it wasn’t high enough to treat so just keep an eye out on it. Of course, this made us panic the next few days and four days later, we went back to the doctor thinking it wasn’t improving. Luckily, it was a score of 14, which is fine for a 9 day old baby so we no longer needed to worry.
In addition to the weight gain issues and jaundice, our baby has made sure to keep us on our toes. Luckily, he did spend the first week and half or so sleeping basically 24/7 but then he transitioned to being awake all night long. While he did sleep all day long, having an older brother didn’t allow for naps like we needed after staying up all night long. When he was sleeping all the time, we hardly saw his eyes open so it was nice to see him more alert as the weeks wore on. When he wasn’t sleeping, he was nursing. Over the last four weeks, we have gone through periods where he has nursed non-stop and he was basically attached at my boobs. I think the 3 week growth spurt lasted around 2 weeks! Thankfully, it became less painful. Within the last few days, we have started to go longer stretches without breastfeeding and I have felt like I have had so much freedom as a result! Other issues we have encountered were some gas issues, probably because of the lip and tongue tie and acne. It is so crazy how many “issues” he has had. I know other babies probably go through a lot worse, but with our first the only issue we really had was confusing day and night so it’s been a little more difficult this time around dealing with the stress of weight gain, jaundice, lip and tongue ties, etc.
Speaking of my first, he has loved having a baby brother! He loves to give him kisses and hugs nonstop and tries to pick him up. He is in a big imitation phase right now so I think he has seen us picking his brother up a lot so that’s why he is trying to. He is also very helpful and grabs diapers and wipes for me when I’m changing his brother’s diaper. When we first brought his brother home from the hospital, big brother heard baby brother crying so he tried to imitate him which was not fun. Luckily, he stopped doing that. Overall though, I’m happy he has been adjusting so well. He is such a love bug that I figured it would be OK but you just never know.
As for me, I’m hanging in there. The constant breastfeeding and not sleeping overnight has left me pretty exhausted. In addition, it seems like I am the only one that can calm baby 2 so I am feeling pretty touched out at this moment. My husband has been helping out a lot but he is back to work now so I’m trying to juggle taking care of both boys. It isn’t too easy right now but hopefully it will get easier when baby 2 is a little more independent!
This time around the recovery has been a lot better. As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn’t have a ton of issues like I did with my first birth, like shoulder pain, nausea, etc. I did feel like my incision hurt for a lot longer than it did the first time around. I remember getting off the pain pills pretty soon after coming home but this time around, I took them for about a week after we returned from the hospital. However, the first postpartum bowel movement was not nearly as painful. I think the first poop after the first pregnancy was probably the most painful thing I have ever experienced. It wasn’t until about day 5 or 6 after the birth. This time around I had my first bowel movement day 2 and it went much better. With the first birth, I also had intense pain going over speed bumps but I didn’t have that this time around. I think the fact I was up and moving sooner this time around has helped my recovery but it also probably caused my incision to hurt more. In fact, with the first birth I basically stayed in my bed for the first 6 weeks or so. This time around, I’ve gone to the botanical gardens and gone to a trampoline park. I probably should be taking it easier but it’s hard when you have a 21 month old getting stir crazy at home.
My main fear when I was pregnant with my first was that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed because of my diabetes. Luckily, that wasn’t the case and I breastfed my first for 14 months! This time around I didn’t worry as much until the birth and it was so painful to breastfeed I became worried, especially when my son had weight gain issues. I’m happy that those issues have resolved and things seem to be going OK now.
I gained about 40 pounds with this pregnancy and I’m happy to report that two weeks postpartum, I lost about 32 of those pounds! I think I gained so much because my baby was 11 pounds and I had higher amniotic fluid and I’m sure my placenta was pretty heavy as well. I have 8 pounds to go until I’m back to pre-baby weight. I did start about 12 pounds heavier than when I started with my first pregnancy so I’d really be happy to lose about 20 pounds to be back to where I was pre-babies but for the most part I am happy. One thing I need to be careful about is how hungry I get when I breastfeed. I think that is one reason I didn’t get back to my pre-baby 1 weight was because I was breastfeeding until I got pregnant again. We have also received a ton of meals from friends and family and they all bring desserts with them. We definitely aren’t going hungry over here so that’s not really helping with the weight loss, but I have really enjoyed all the food!
Diabetes-wise things could definitely be improved! The first two weeks I dealt with lows nonstop. I finally got around to changing my rates and I talked with my CDE and things improved for a little bit. However, the last two weeks have been a big roller coaster ride. I am either high or I’m low and I’m not seeing much in between. Its especially frustrating after having such amazing blood sugars when I was pregnant. I need to find time to analyze my blood sugars so I can make changes. I will be going to my endocrinologist in about a month so hopefully she can also help me make adjustments. It’s really frustrating when I finally have both kids asleep and I try to sleep, only to be woken by my CGM alerting me to a low blood sugar. I don’t want that to happen anymore! I am also only changing my infusion set about once every 6 days so I definitely need to improve on that. As a side note, I struggled to put my infusion set in when I was pregnant but I think the extra stretched out skin is way worse for trying to put an infusion set in.
Despite some stress and lack of sleep this first month, things are going OK. It’s been a huge adjustment having two kids but we are working out the kinks and I’m loving the snuggles and seeing my two boys interacting. I also know that it’s only going to get better from this point on especially as they get older and become best friends and I start to get more sleep!