Haydon was born at night at 10:54pm via a VBAC. I was in labor for 23 hours. I had a natural child birth with my first child and a c-section with my twins. My plan and hope for Haydon was to have a natural un-medicated childbirth. However, since I was in labor for so long, I really wanted to get an epidural out of fear that I would be too tired and worn out to push. However, I got to the hospital at 7cm and by the time my doctor showed up, I was completely dilated and I was told it was too late to get an epidural or have any pain medication. So I ended up with my un-medicated natural child birth after all! We stayed in the hospital for two days because I had tested positive for group b step (GBS) and they wanted to monitor Haydon to make sure he did not develop any illnesses due to the GBS that I had. Haydon was totally fine and was given a good bill of health and sent home after 48 hours.
It took about 3 days for my milk to come in. While my milk was still in transition, Haydon was nursing about every 2-2.5 hours and some 3 hours stretches at night. I basically just nursed on demand because I knew it would help my milk come in fast and help establish a healthy milk supply.
However, once my milk came in, it was way too much. I was trying to feed off both sides, but that was not working. Haydon was getting way too much milk and was spitting up and having tummy issues. I was super engorged and very uncomfortable. So ended up block feeding, or feeding from one breast per nursing session instead of switching breasts in between feedings. Block feeding really helped. In about 4 days time, my milk supply had decreased, I was not super engorged any longer, and Haydon was no longer spitting up and having tummy issues.
In the beginning of nursing, he was taking anywhere from 30-50 minutes to nurse because he was such a sleepy head. I was having to burp him often, diaper change him, change position, or sit him up right to try and wake him up to finish nursing. I wanted to establish full feeds right off the bat, so it was important that Haydon nurse long enough to get the fatty hind milk. And while it was a lot of work to keep trying to wake up a sleepy newborn, it was worth it to get him to take full feeds.
As for a schedule, we did not have one this week. We were just trying to adjust to life outside of the womb and establish a good milk supply, and have Haydon take full feeds while nursing. I kept life very flexible. Once my milk came in, I tried to feed him every 2.5-3 hours during the day and then cluster feed in the evenings, every 2 hours, if he wanted to. His typically middle of the night feedings were about ever 3-4 hours. There was one night he gave me a 5 hour stretch- whoo hoo! Thank you Haydon.
Haydon does not have very much awake time at the moment. His typical schedule cycle looks like this- nurse, diaper change, swaddle, hold or place in bouncer./ swing until his eyes grow heavy, turn on sound machine, place in crib. He averages about 30-40 minutes of awake time at the present moment. That is just enough time to feed and then move on to a nap. I use the kiddopatomus sleep sacks with the velcro closures. I have added an extra piece of flannel to pin his arms down and that keeps him nice and snug, which really helps with the startle reflex. The sound machine we use is great. I have 3 other children, and with the white noise on, I don’t have to worry as much about the noise level in the house. Plus, white noise is a recommendation in the book- the happiest baby on the block. Apparently, the white noise helps to sooth infants since they are use to hearing your blood rushing through you body, other fluid moving around, and your heart beating.
Adjusting to life at home:
Haydon’s siblings adore him, but I need to be careful, but I have found when they are around Haydon too long, he gets overstimulated and then fights sleep. I am trying to teach my older children to be calm around Haydon, but try teaching “Calm” to two 22- month old girls and a 3.5 year old boy It is a work in progress. I keep the older kids occupied while I nurse. They either do blanket time, room time, sibling play time, or snack time while I nurse. This way it keep the older kids from bombarding me while I work on trying to get Haydon to take full feeds. Keep the older kids occupied has also allowed me the extra time to get him ready for a nap or placed in a quiet room so the kids can resume playing.