Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bests and Worsts -- First Week

This (almost) first week of motherhood is coming to a close, and I find myself reflecting on the bests and worsts of life with Tracey Ann.

I'm going to start with the worsts because it's better to end on the good notes.


There are certainly parts of motherhood that I like less than others, but, even including labor and delivery, this week has only had one WORST moment as a mama.  The pediatrician is watching Tracey's bilirubin levels closely and so this week has included several trips to the pediatrician's office, and several blood tests for Tracey Ann.  Tracey is certainly not a fan of getting her blood drawn, but she is such a good baby, and a little trooper.  She only cries when something is wrong, and then she stops crying as soon as we fix it.  The same has been true with her blood tests... she'll squirm a little and let out a few cries when they're squeezing her heel, but she has been wonderful.

That was, until yesterday, when different nurses drew her blood and the ordeal lasted over ten minutes.  They had to prick her heel twice, they squeezed and squeezed and squeezed her little leg and heel and foot, and our poor little girl cried the entire time.  I have never heard this cry before -- her sweet little newborn cries have been almost little squawks, and as soon as the problem is solved, her cries are gone.  Yesterday, while they were drawing blood, she was crying so hard that she was screaming, and then coughing.  It was absolutely the WORST moment of motherhood, if not my life, thus far.  The pains of labor had nothing on the pain of my cradling my baby girl, knowing that I brought her to these people who were hurting her, knowing that she was telling me in the only way she knew how, how much this hurt... and I, her mama, wasn't stopping them.

I am so thankful Hubby was there with us, because I held it together (barely) while the nurses were in the room with us, and as soon as they left, and Tracey Ann's cries were down to a whimper, I burst into tears and cried on Hubby's shoulder, while Tracey Ann was crying on my shoulder.

This worst is made all the more so by the fact that the doctor wants another blood test done on Friday.  We will be praying for a very efficient nurse, and a heel that bleeds very easily.


There are SO MANY BESTS of this past week.  I cannot write about all of them, which I guess is why I'm supposed to just choose the "best" ones to share.

It is a best that Hubby has been home with Tracey and me all week.  We are still in awe of this amazing bundle of joy that we created and brought into the world.  We are experiencing new roles together -- those of parents -- and learning and growing together every day.  We are supporting each other and communicating about what is working and what is not working as we try to develop new routines and some semblance of a schedule.  We are a little family -- not just a couple with pets -- but an actual family, and my love for my Hubby has never been stronger.

A best is the labor and delivery and our parents being at the hospital (all of which I will go into in extensive detail when I write about Tracey Ann's birth story).  It might strike someone as strange that I would say labor and delivery was one of my bests of this week, but they really were.  Would I like to do that every day, absolutely not, but was it a best of this past week, yes, it was.

We had newborn photos taken this week, which was so much fun, and both Chris' and my parents were a part of it.  I am SO excited to see the pictures we got.

Finally, a best -- possibly "the best", if I were made to just choose one, of this week has been skin-to-skin time with Tracey Ann.  In preparing for birth, Hubby and I learned a lot about the importance of skin-to-skin between the mother and baby after delivery in order to regulate the baby's temperature, breathing, heart rate, and stimulate the mother's breast milk, but Hubby and I have also learned about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact after those initial moments as well.  Both Chris and I have spent some time this week with Tracey Ann laying on our bare chests.  She wears a diaper during this time, and Hubby or I are topless.  She lays on her stomach right on our chest, and it is the most magical time.

Same as after-delivery, we have read that it regulates her temperature, heart rate, and breathing.  Also, while she's on her daddy, it is supposed to be some of the soundest sleep of any she gets, and it is great for father-daughter bonding.  On mom, it helps stimulate milk production, and is a great bonding experience.  Hubby and I both have to be careful not to fall asleep while she's napping on us, because it is such a warm, cozy, comfortable position, but could be dangerous if we were to purposefully sleep that way.

Both Hubby and I agree that the skin-to-skin contact is so special to each of us... and special for us to see the other doing, that it is just the more peaceful, beautiful, amazing part of parenting thus far.

There you go, a few bests and worsts of our first 6 days with Tracey Ann.  Most of it has been the best.  :-D

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1 comment:

  1. When Naomi had to have blood drawn we once had a similar experience with having trouble getting enough blood, as well. I discovered that if I nursed her shortly beforehand so she was really well hydrated her blood draws went much quicker. Hope that helps.


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