Family of 4

We are now a family of 4!

We bought a house in September and my SO was fixing it up non stop until the baby came. Our plan was to have it almost completed before my csection, but life doesn’t always go as planned. He was able to complete the bedrooms just so we could move in before baby. He made a make shift living room with couch cushions on the floor in the office. We didn’t have a chance to move actual furniture in except our bed and of course the bassinet. Our sons crib turned into a full bed so we were able to set up his room. We moved in exactly a week before my scheduled csection. Luckily I didn’t go into labor prior to that! We bought a camping single burner to cook on and we are using the microwave and toaster oven along with that. Our fridge is in the garage. We do dishes in the bath tub and put a temporary counter top and chairs to eat on in our unfinished kitchen. It isn’t ideal but it works! We would have loved to get more of the house finished by now but it’s hard for us to accomplish anything with a 2.5 year old and infant. It will get finished eventually.

My mom and sister come to stay at our house the night before my csection to stay with my son while we had the baby. There was a huge snow storm that night with over a foot of snow! It’s funny because last time I was hospitalized with my son at 28 weeks I went in during a huge snowstorm as well. My csection was scheduled on a Friday Dec 18 at 8am. We got to the hospital at 6 to prepare for the csection. Things were a little different this time due to Covid. We had to bring the car seat in with us because once we got in our room we couldn’t leave. My cerclage was left in and removed prior to my csection as they were prepping me in the OR. My SO went into the OR with me. I requested the clear drape and watched my baby girl be born at 9:43am weighing 9 pounds and 9 ounces. I started breastfeeding immediately and she latched right away. Nursing was so much easier this time around then with my son. Due to Covid the hospital stay was cut short. I had my daughter on a Friday and was sent home on a Sunday night. My SO stayed with me Friday night and although he wanted to stay with me, I sent him home Saturday around dinner time. I was worried about my son. It was a lot of change for him. This was the first time he spent a night without us and he was also only living in our new house for a week. Plus he had a new baby sister. That’s a lot of a 2.5 year old.

Due to Covid we weren’t allowed any hospital visitors. We were also told to quarantine our newborn for 6-8 weeks only seeing immediate family. We did FaceTime with my son while I was in the hospital so he could meet his baby sister. When my SO and my son picked me up from the hospital Sunday night the look on my sons face was priceless. It was like he realized that she was a real baby! We did follow the recommendations and stay quarantined with no visitors for 6 weeks then we have slowly allowed family to meet her as long as they weren’t sick or have been around anyone that was sick. It was sad not seeing our family for Christmas this year or New Years but it was for the safety of our daughter.

My second csection recovery was challenging. I felt like the first one wasn’t that bad. I didn’t take pain medication with either because I breastfed. This one I felt like I needed pain medication though. Still after 7 weeks I have pain. I was told the second csection is a harder recovery due to scar tissue and that is 100% true in my case. Plus trying to take care of a toddler and newborn while breastfeeding and recovering from major surgery is HARD.

I already want another baby but I don’t think that will happen. My SO doesn’t want anymore and let’s be honest- I’m old. I would be 40 if I had my third child. My pregnancies also aren’t easy and I have a lot of complications to deal with. I also always end up on bed rest and that was impossible with a toddler and would be even more chalky with two small kids. I think two kids will have to be enough for us.

My MCI didn’t affect my birth or our daughters growth at all. Our daughter also had Choroid Plexus Cysts on her brain in utero but they resolved on their own with no issues after birth. She was born with two small holes in her heart. One in the upper chamber and one in the lower chamber. These were heard in the hospital by the pediatrician as a heart murmur but not seen in the ultrasounds prior to birth. She received an ultrasound in the hospital by a Pediatric Cardiologist prior to DC. It showed a moderate hole in the lower chamber (VSD) and a small hole in the upper chamber (PFO). We are seeing a Pediatric Cardiologist regularly now and we were told not to worry about PFO but they are monitoring VSD. They think her VSD will close by 4 months which is when they close IF it were to close. So we go back when she is 4 months to check it again. If it doesn’t close then we will see what the next steps are. We were told either way it shouldn’t affect her as she gets older, she would just be monitored. In the meantime we have to keep an eye on her breathing to make sure it’s not labored. Sometimes blood can get into the lungs vis the hole and cause breathing difficulties. Which obviously scares me.

She also has been throwing up. I don’t mean just some spit up. I mean projectile vomiting randomly. I took her to the pediatrician and also talked to a lactation specialist. They think my let down is too hard and she is sucking in too much air. They say you can’t overfeed a breastfed baby. So it’s not that she’s eating too much. She does have reflux. So I have her sleep inclined. They said to try burping her more. So I pull her off to burp often and then put her back on. They also said I could try to express some milk right before I feed her. I haven’t tried that yet. I have tried her other suggestion of using a “C” hold to hold back some of my milk prior to my let down then slowly releasing it for her. These have all seemed to help a little but she is still throwing up at times. Much less now though. We are keeping an eye on that and if it doesn’t resolve then we will do an ultrasound of her belly and see if something is too narrow down there?! I don’t remember what exactly they said or are looking for. Hopefully it resolves on its own.

Other then that our daughter is amazing. She did have a shut and gooped up eye for a few weeks which was a blocked tear duct but that resolved. She does have “night grumps” as we call it. The witching hour. From like 5-6pm til bed she would just scream. We just had to keep switching her between myself and my SO to calm her down. I was told this was normal and would peak at 6 weeks then start to resolve. It absolutely has. She is still grumpier at night but it has gotten much better. She is a great baby overall and sleeps great at night. My son was up every hour as a newborn and my daughter usually sleeps a 3-4 hour stretch at night. Last night at just 7 weeks old slept 6 straight hours and then another 5! I do have more milk this time around in my boobs so maybe that helps.

The big question- how did my toddler handle the new addition to the family? Well, it was a struggle for sure. He always says that he loves his baby sister. But we went through a phase for the first month of him deliberately hurting her. I couldn’t leave the room because I didn’t trust him with her. He was hitting her and hitting her in the head with his toys and making her cry. I finally (after lots of yelling and crying for both of us) had a serious and productive talk with him. He said he hurts her because he’s mad at her. I asked why he’s mad at her and he said because mommy has to spend so much time with her. This broke my heart. This poor child has had so much change lately to process. The first night away from mom and dad, a new house and now a new sister that mom has to give 80% of her attention to. It was an eye opener for me. I’m glad we was able to communicate that with me though. My SO and I made sure to add in more son and mom time without sister so that he felt like he could be with me again. I made sure that while she was sleeping I spent quality time with him instead of catching up on chores. It’s helped a ton and it’s gotten so much better. I trust him around her now and he is so sweet with her. He hugs and kisses her and says he loves her so much. We just have to remind him that he needs to be gentle.

I haven’t went back to work yet. We wanted to make sure her night grumps resolved before I left at night doing massages. Two children is hard at dinner time when one is screaming. I will probably start back up in a couple weeks. I’m not sure if I will start my school job back up in the fall yet. It depends on Covid. We also don’t know if we will send our 2.5 year old to pre school this fall either. Covid is impacting our lives so much, just like everyone else’s. It’s hard being home bound. We get groceries and everything delivered. I haven’t taken myself to a store since last March (almost a year) because I always have my children with me and I don’t feel like that is safe. It’s hard being stuck in the house, especially with children. It’s also sad they aren’t getting the social interaction they need and they instead are getting entirely too much screen time. The norm is now everyone wearing masks and us telling them they can’t go near anyone. It’s sad the world they are growing up in and the new normal for all of us.

Transitioning to a family of 4 was hard at first but after we got into a routine it got a lot easier. I’m so greatfull for our family.