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Ciara's parenting journal

Entry 1
~ Hello Sweet Kicker, Welcome to the World!

Let's start where I left you . . .

DylanThere I was in the hospital with this BEAUTIFUL bundle of joy. All the waiting was finally over. We were in a blissful daze! We had our first moments with our son Dylan. I was able to breastfeed for a while and he did well. I felt so proud when he was eating! Then they took him away to the nursery. Originally I had a set plan of what was going to happen. I didn't want him taken away from us at all but it was necessary and easier for the nurses to care for him. Plus, I was just stitched back together and starting to regain feeling "down there" and the feeling was not so good. During the birth I got hotter and hotter until I just was miserable! I started complaining to every nurse that the air must not be working because I was about to die from the heat.

My nurse Amy helped me get up in this special chair contraption. I felt so shaky and weak (understandable right?) but I was so mad that I had to be like this when all I wanted to do was run to the nursery to see my baby! I told John to go and forget about me! I really was frustrated and so worried. All this time I had Dylan right there inside of me and now he was outside. It made me feel very helpless because I could no longer protect him. It was very strange to not have him with me.

I was moved into the recovery room in my little chair contraption. I was in pain and a little nauseous from not eating all day. I really needed food! It seemed like forever but finally Daddy was able to bring Dylan back to the room. I was able to breastfeed with the lactation nurse helping but he kept popping off and I could just tell this was going to be difficult.

We had visitors and they had to switch out because you can only have four at a time. Everyone was very excited to meet our little guy! I felt very tired and inhaled my dinner when it came.

Thankfully visiting hours are not that long and I was able to get everyone out of there. I wanted family to meet him but we all really needed our rest! It had been a very long day. I was set to get up with Dylan every three hours and try to feed him. Plus the nurse took him from 2 to 5 o'clock in the morning. I still hadn't changed a diaper! John took care of every diaper and everything that I needed. I have a very good husband.

I had a shaky shower the next morning. It was hard to get up and move. My bed was covered in blood. They provided pads and net underwear that I changed out a lot. Plus there was a foam medicine that I put on a medicated circle pad and placed on the stitches. They offered stronger pain medicine but I stuck with Motrin. I didn't want to feel tired, loopy, or have any of that getting to Dylan through the breastfeeding.

We had a long day of visitors and spent the night again.

The next day John was ready to go! The couch they provide for the dads is not comfortable at all. I was allowed to order breakfast, lunch and dinner but only for myself! They did not even give extra blankets or pillows. Luckily our teacher had told us ahead of time to bring his pillow. It's a bummer that they do not care for the dads more because there is a lot of stress and pressure on them! John was taking care of both of us.

I was still hardly walking. Standing up exhausted me quickly. Walking was more like a shuffle. We had to attend a discharge class in regular plastic chairs and I was stupid and didn't bring a pillow to sit on! It was uncomfortable.

We did not circumcise our son. John and all the men in his family are not circumcised. We do not believe in it. My husband has never had a problem in his life.

Daddy and DylanWe finally were released to go home and John was running around like crazy! He took a lot of stuff down to the car and rolled the windows down so it wouldn't be too hot for Baby. Then when he came back up to the room it started to rain so he ran downstairs to put the windows back up! They set me up in a wheelchair and I carried my little boy while John pushed the cart with all the rest of our stuff. John went to get the car and it was pouring!! They have a covered driveway but in Florida rain always goes sideways! We had a really hard time getting Dylan set in his car seat for the first time while the rain was getting us all wet. Daddy drove home so very carefully.

When we arrived home I was disoriented. It seemed like we had been in the hospital for weeks not days. Everything about our house felt weird to me. I didn't want the cats near me at all. I felt like we didn't belong there.

I was nervous about wearing my regular clothes because the bleeding was still bad. Leaking on my hospital bed was fine but leaking our furniture would not be good! I had taken a big mat from the hospital and set it under me. It was already time to feed Dylan so I breastfed. It was not too bad but I was nervous without having my nurse there to help if needed.

We had set up his little blue bouncy chair before his birth. I figured I would put him in it since everyone was telling me not to spoil him by holding him all the time. Right away Dylan started crying and I tried to bounce the chair and talk to him. Then I burst into tears and picked him up. I was rocking him and balling my eyes out! I couldn't even tell John what was going on because I was crying so hard. He sat next to us and comforted me until I was able to tell him I thought Dylan hated his chair and needed me and no matter what anyone else said about spoiling him I was going to hold him as much as he needed me to! My sweet husband told me that was fine. That was outburst number one.

John decided that we were to have no visitors that first day home so Dylan and I could rest and recover. The first night back in my own bed was not very comfortable. I missed being able to incline and recline my bed. It was uncomfortable sitting with my back against the wall while breastfeeding. John would get up and change Dylan's diaper and then hand him to me. Feeding took such a long time and it was hard to stay awake. Plus breastfeeding makes you tired!

My nipples were so very sore. Dylan would not latch on enough. If he did get on good he would pop right off after a few sucks. My arms were tired from positioning him over and over. I had to tickle his chin to get him to eat. Even the lactation nurse had said he was a lazy eater! It was exhausting.

By morning I was not feeling great. I was tired and my nipples were bleeding. Dylan woke up to eat again and John went downstairs to get me a drink. When he came back I was crying hysterically again! I told him "I can't feed him anymore, I just can't!" The pain was unbearable. I thought I was tough but apparently I wasn't. I felt so disappointed in myself and thought I was a failure as a mother and wife. Super Daddy took care of my tears and assured me it was ok to give him some formula until my nipples felt better. After all the visitors the next day I read the instructions on the breast pump and decided to try it out. It was GREAT! I hooked up and started the pump and could see the milk dripping into the cups. I was so excited! It didn't hurt me and only took 15 minutes. We put the milk in bottles and fed Dylan with that during the night. Now Daddy was able to feed him too!

Since then we have always bottle-fed Dylan breast milk. I pump every three hours during the day and make enough to last throughout the night. My morning pump is always a big "haul" (I call it). When there is extra milk I freeze it. I did try to get him to breastfeed a few times but he did not care for it.

Mommy and DylanJohn used all his vacation time but then it was time for him to return to work. It was a lonely day without him. I pumped while Dylan slept and he was eating every about two ounces every three hours. I took lots of pictures and sent them to Daddy. He missed us so much!

John's dad hurt his back at work (they work together as electricians). Since he was out of work Grandpa came over to visit almost every day! It was great having him there to help so I could take a shower, clean, and just relax. Dylan loves his Grandpa! The moment Grandpa came over he would take Dylan and I wouldn't get to hold him all day!

I was still having trouble getting a routine going. When Grandpa didn't come over it would be late afternoon before I would get a shower. I hated jumping in the shower while Dylan slept. So many times he would wake up and start crying right when I was washing my hair or while I was pumping.

Then Grandpa was deemed "fit" to go back to work. He told the doctor he was still in pain but the doctor said it must be arthritis. Bull crap. Anyway, he told the office he was ready to come back and they told him he was laid off just hours later. A few weeks later John was laid off too.

This is when things started to get really difficult. Originally the plan was for me to stay home with Dylan and John to work. We had expected him to be laid off eventually so it did not take us completely by surprise. Luckily I had extended my maternity leave so I was still employed but not receiving any income. I also did this because we were still looking at houses to buy. Now that plan was thrown out the window too! How can we buy a house when our main income is gone and we don't know where John will find work?

It was sadly necessary for me to return to work. I was heartbroken. I had never been away from Dylan for more than five hours! I could not stand the thought of leaving him even if it was with Daddy! But you have to do what you have to do.

Happy DylanThe first day was horrible. I cried the night before. I cried that morning. I cried at my desk. Everyone welcomed me back and I put on a smile for them. I was texting John a lot and telling him I couldn't do it and that I would just quit! Somehow I made it through.

My boss told me to breast pump in the bathroom. Gross! I found an empty office instead. Later it got back to her (gossiping ladies) and she provided me with the empty office right next to her. I can only pump on my breaks and lunch. That's just enough time for me but sometimes it gets really annoying. Since it takes up all my time to pump I have to eat my lunch while I work. Now I bring a book with me and read (I LOVE reading!) so I do get a little time for myself.

I did notice that my milk supply increased. This is probably due to the fact that at work I am pumping on a schedule: every three hours on the dot, while at home I would be late to pump if I was waiting for Dylan to fall asleep or just busy.

I tell everyone it does not get easier being away from my boy all day! I hate it but I deal with it. I miss him so much!


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