For those of you that didn't follow along with my pregnancy journal, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Katie and I have been married to my husband, Mike, for five years. We had some problems getting and staying pregnant, but after over two years of miscarriage and infertility treatments, we finally were able to have our son, William Patrick, born on August 20, 2008. Will, as we call him, is already the light of our lives and I can't wait to share all of the changes that parenthood brings to us as we get used to being a Mom and Dad.
The first week home with Will was a real challenge. After three hours of hard pushing and an unplanned c-section, I was pretty sore and out of commission for a few days. My husband, who had never changed a diaper or burped a baby, suddenly became a Dad in every sense of the word. He did a wonderful job and continues to amaze me with how much of an expert he has become in such a short time. He is completely in love with Will and I don't know how I would have survived that first week without him.
The really hard part about that first week, however, was that Will had a bad bout with jaundice. He started turning yellow in the hospital, but initial bloodwork showed that his billirubin levels weren't that alarming. Our first day home, however, I noticed that he seemed even more yellow and very listless. He would sleep for hours unless we woke him, and even then, he hardly ever opened his eyes. After a call in to the on-call pediatrician, we took him back in for another blood test. His billirubin levels had gone up. Daily visits to the doctor ensued and his levels continued to climb. It was very frustrating and emotional. As firsttime parents, we didn't know what to do. Our precious baby was sick and it was such a helpless feeling to not be able to do anything.
Finally, our pediatrician came to the conclusion that we should use formula for 24 hours and no breastfeeding. As breastfeeding had been going really well, this was very hard for me. I felt as if finally my body was able to do what it was supposed to do. After needing major medical intervention to get and stay pregnant, I was really disappointed that a natural labor had also evaded me. I knew that the fact that Will and I were both healthy was the important thing, but I felt as if I had been "robbed" once again of the way that things were supposed to be. I was really worried that once he had a bottle, Will would no longer want breastmilk and that I wouldn't be able to continue breastfeeding.
My worrying was for naught. Will took to the bottle like a champ, but once the billirubin levels went down (the very next day!), he want right back to the breast. We have still had to go in for a few more visits with his pediatrician, but all is looking good for now.
As for everything else, we are just muddling through one day at a time. Probably the biggest challenge is trying to get him to sleep. Right now, it seems as if we have good days, where he will go right down and sleep for a couple of hours, then a day like today, where he won't sleep without being held and fusses when we stop jiggling him for even a minute. My husband goes back to work tomorrow after a two week time off with us, and I am kind of nervous about being the only one at home for the whole day. I just hope that tomorrow is a better nap day!
Being a parent is more wonderful than I ever could have expected, and also more challenging. I am loving every minute of falling in love with my son and sharing it with you.