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Monday, September 30, 2013

Harper's 1st Week Home

Alright, well it has been one week since we took Harper home and she is 9 days old.  It has been...a roller coaster.

I was feeling really really great while we were still in the hospital.  I was still feeling great about 24 hours after we came home.  But, then Tom came home from the gym and walked in hunched over, having thrown out his back (if you read the last post, you know I was blogging when this happened).  That was a very bad thing to happen.  It meant that instead of having Tom cook and clean and get whatever I need and just, generally, be at my beck and call, I actually had to take care of him!  Well, as you can imagine, I became overwhelmed fast.  Pretty soon, we were in emergency mode at the Armstrong home.  If it was absolutely essential, it wasn't going to get done.  It was even hard to make eating happen despite the fact that we were brought ready made food by both generous people in the ward and my angelic friend Jackie.  It was just one more thing to do.  So, that situation, combined with postpartum hormones provided for an interesting few days.  The only thing that wasn't hard was the actual baby.  Lucky for us, she is an angel child.  More on that later.

About the time Tom threw out his back, I was actually starting to feel pretty good, physically.  Because of this, and because of Tom's condition, I was up and about and doing a lot.  Then, three days ago or so, I started to really hurt again.  It was bad and just kept getting worse each day.  Last night was the zenith and I was about ready to go to the emergency room or something.  As a result, Tom had to take over and do things for me because I became the one who was worse off.  It's tricky though, because if he does too much his back with get worse and if I do too much, my pain will get worse.  It has been a delicate balance.

Because my pain has been so bad, I decided to see my midwife today instead of waiting til my appointment on Wednesday.  I'm glad I did because she gave me a few things that might help, but also because it just put my mind at ease.  Also, fortunately, I started feeling a little better today.  Hopefully it will last.  I'm tired of not being able to blissfully enjoy my sweet, little baby because I'm in too much pain.  I'm also tired of being cooped up the couch.  I am not much of an inside person.  On the other hand, I think I'll just appreciate these things so much more now, once I am able again.  I have a couple of friends who gave birth recently and who also had a rough recovery who have given me sweet sweet hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Hallelujah!

Finally, I want to talk about Harper.  Harper is WONDERFUL.  She has been such a cute, sweet, funny, easy baby so far and I'm always saying, "bless you, child" to her.  If I had to pick one word to describe her, though, I'd choose "sleepy."  For instance, it is 10:15pm right now, and she has been asleep since 6:15pm.  She is almost never awake, and when her eyes are actually open, we pretty much jump on it and stare at her nonstop.  She only wakes up when she needs to eat, and then she always falls asleep while she's eating.  As in, not once has she stayed awake through an entire feeding.  She is only really awake when we change her diaper.  At first, I was worried about how infrequently she often eats and how short of a time she often eats for.  However, I went to the pediatrician 4 days after she was born and she had already regained her birth weight (that usually takes 10 days or so).  Then, she was weighed again today and is already up to 7 lbs. 2 oz.  In other words, at this point she is gaining 2 oz. / day.  Newborns are supposed to gain 4 - 7 oz. each week for the first month.  I'm going to say she's getting plenty to eat!  So, win win.  I have a baby who doesn't eat often or long and sleeps the whole time in between while still gaining more than adequate weight!

I also wanted to mention that, so far, Harper is very patient.  Even when we are basically torturing her while changing her diaper and clothes and so on, you can tell she doesn't like it, but she just deals with it.  She doesn't cry much, even when she's hungry.  Usually she'll just let out one little "wah!" and that's how we know she's not just grunting for no reason, she's finally hungry (because she grunts all the time).  

I have had lots of fun this week (despite being simultaneously in pain) playing dress up with her and taking pictures of her with my new lens.  Here are some photos I have taken.  Enjoy!

We bought her at Carter's.

My fabulous friend, Jackie, who came to visit and brought us food and gave me the opportunity to talk about all this new mom stuff with someone who is a mom.

Harper in the swing that Jackie gave her.

My view when I hold her.  And no, that is not a boob, despite the similarity in color.

They're both actually asleep here.

This video is of, what we call, Harper's "gang signs."  Basically, she often does this hilarious thing with her hands where she just extends all her (very very long) fingers and throws her two hands together all shakey-like.  On second thought, we took the video because it's hard to explain.  So just watch it!

This is a dress that I wore as a baby.

Finally, a picture of the two of us together.  Too bad I just don't like pictures of myself at the moment!  Good thing it's also just about the last thing I care about right now.

That last picture was taken just after I burped her.  Burping her is my favorite time because I just get to nestle my head against hers and snuggle.  There's just something about it.


  1. Oh, Sheri! I should have warned you. For me at least, the first few days, I feel so good! I feel on top of the world. Then, inevitably, I do too much and it comes back to bite me. The next 2 weeks I feel awful. Every.single.time. Ugh. So yeah, I know your pain! Rest, rest, rest as much as you can. Do it for a whole month if you can! I promise, you'll get to a point where you feel a little better and are tempted to do something daring. Don't! Relax and enjoy home for a while. Recovery will go much faster. Sorry I am taking mom away from you at this time! Now I feel totally guilty! On the upside, holy crap what an ANGEL BABY!!! I want one like that!!!! Can I borrow her?? Oh, I just love her already. : )

  2. I always say that the first month or two is survival mode. Lucky for you that your baby so far is easy and sleeps!! Trust me, it could be a lot worse!! I hope you feel better soon. Rest as much as you can so you heal faster. Sleep now. Eat when you're hungry. You're breastfeeding and need the calories. That should be one of your top priorities. Don't be afraid to ask for more help from your ward since Tom is out of commission too. I wish I could help you!! Hang in there!!

  3. Emily is right - even though you feel good, you need to give your body lots of rest! It's just been through a marathon of hard work, after all. Take care, and I'm looking forward to more pictures. She's just beautiful!
    ps - I hope Tom's back is getting better.

  4. I think this is the 3rd time I have looked at your blog. Just love seeing pics. Hope you are feeling better and pleases end more!