119 weeks of motherhood – first week postpartum, toddler’s new favourite drink, nursing success

Expressed breastmilk in fridge

Unexpected stash of expressed breastmilk in the first week

119 weeks of motherhood: 

  • Dec 23:  Reverting back to counting by weeks instead of months for the older child’s age now that I have two kids to blog/talk about!
  • So many things I want to write about since the second child was born:
  • Firstly, it’s a miracle that the 2yo has been able to sleep through the night mostly ever since we checked into the hospital to give birth.  That never happens more than 2 days in a row.  It’s like she knows that she has to step up as a big sister now.
  • (I joked with DH that the secret in getting her to sleep through the night is to get a new sibling in the house lol).  (The reality is that she’s been so exhilarated and high on adrenaline that she’s so tired and sleeps through the night.)
  • The 2yo has been amazing in this new transition period.  She recognized that “dou dou” was born and is no longer in my belly and that the baby we brought home is the “dou dou” we’ve been talking about all this time.
  • First reaction when we got home – I recorded it on my phone.  The 2 yo seemed a bit hesitant when approaching the baby who was in the car seat at the time.  But afterwards when we were settled in the living room, she had no problem approaching her and we even got a photo with the newborn in the 2yo’s arms too.  Super precious.
  • Unlike some people surmise or guess about, there is no jealously or animosity towards the second child at all.
  • I do my part by making sure that I always address the 2yo by name and verbally addressing what she’s doing at the moment and giving her attention.  Even to say, “Look at your sister smiling” would be taking the attention away from her, so I don’t make such remarks.  I don’t want the 2yo to ever feel like they’re second place during this new transitory period.
  • The 2yo tells us to put the hat back on the baby when it has fallen off and even picked up the hat to put it into the bassinet for the baby.  When the baby was crying upstairs, the 2yo went upstairs to look at the baby and told everyone to go as well.
  • The 2yo has been interested in watching the baby’s diapers being changed by standing on a stool.  She likes to watch what’s going on.
  • This week, the 2yo learned to jump or gallop through the hallways.  The 2yo seems so much older this week..  she’s so sturdy and tall and opposite to the newborn who is so fragile and weak and dependent.
  • I am so, so glad that the 2yo is at the point where she can verbally tell us anything like her wants and dislikes and preferences.  No need for guessing what the issue is because she tells you right away.  So glad that we have a 2 year+ age gap between them.
  • The 2yo has been eating yogurt by scooping it herself and sitting at the green plastic chair with the grey stool as a table.  She’s been enjoying the Peek Freans biscuits that we brought home from the hospital as well.
  • The 2yo was browsing through my photos and noticed the one of the IV in my wrist.  She asked to see it in person so I showed her.  So smart that she knew what the picture was of and asked to see it.  She compared it to the small cut I sustained a while ago on my right pinky when I was cleaning up the office before we hosted some friends for lunch.
  • DH enjoys asking the 2yo to fill in the blanks when reading her books.  To my surprise, the 2yo really does remember and has memorized the sounds of the words in the book.  It’s so cute to hear her enunciate the words in her toddler speak.  No one else would understand her unless they have read the book too.
  • I found it hilarious this week when the 2yo was trying to say something but the wheels in her head were still turning so all we could hear was her trying to remember and saying the start of the sentence over and over and over again. Lol. I think we’ve seen a viral video of a toddler online who has done this too.  It’s so funny.
  • Been so used to turning on the Shaker app, checking the Pregnancy app at midnight for daily updates, and playing Wordle once it strikes midnight.  Now the Pregnancy app routine is no more.
  • Postpartum recovery this time has been so much harder in a different, unexpected way — I couldn’t walk/couldn’t fully lift my left leg up because of the pain in my pelvis.
  • I was shocked that my stitches barely hurt, that I barely even used the Peri bottle or sitz bath beyond the third day.  I remember it was so uncomfortable and painful the first time to sit on a chair because my bottom area was sore and uncomfortable.  This time, I could sit and slowly sit down just fine. I guess I was expecting it so the pain didn’t take me by surprise?
  • I had to put my hands on my hips to slowly walk for the first day after giving birth.  I had to lean on DH for walking support too.  He actually helped me fill up my Peri bottle and up and off the bed too.  I didn’t need that assistance last time, so I was so shocked that this second postpartum period was so tough.  Let’s just say that DH saw a lot more things this time than last time.
  • I felt like for sure my pelvic floor or pelvis was broken or something.. not truly broken but like there was something seriously off about it.  I read online about prolapsed and pelvic floor weakness for women postpartum.
  • Thankfully, the pain in my left leg/pelvis subsided very gradually and by today, Dec 23, I can walk with no pain and raise my left leg higher.  So glad to see an improvement.  Like a fellow mom friend said, I need to take it easy and not be so hard on myself.  I was expecting a similar pain threshold to the first birth/postpartum period, but it’s different this time.
  • My belly has shrunken down a lot faster and more significantly immediately in the last four days postpartum than I noticed with the first postpartum period!  I feel the fundus is a lot more soft and squishy than last time.  I can press it down really deep and it doesn’t hurt.  I think the breastfeeding has been a huge assistance as well.
  • In the first 12 hours, I felt like I had phantom kicks still from the baby.  It’s surreal that the baby is no longer inside of my anymore.. I’m so used to there being a baby there for the past 10 months.
  • I felt like my biceps got so much stronger (they’re definitely sore) from using the handrails to get up and off the hospital bed.
  • Shocked that I could squeeze/hand express so much colostrum within the first hour or so of giving birth.  Even the lactation consultant on the second day was impressed.  She asked me about my first child and apparently pumping for 15 months helped my supply already for this pregnancy!
  • Happy that the newborn was able to latch on quickly — she already was so hungry after being born, licking her lips and everything.  We didn’t even give her formula until after a few hours since the colostrum was plentiful (and the size of their belly in the first day is skin to the size of a cherry).
  • I can actually lean forward and brush my teeth/wash my face easily at the bathroom vanity now that my big belly is gone!
  • On the days leading up to the birth, I was around 149/150lbs.  (My starting weight was 132 lbs.)  I weighed myself now and I’m 139 lbs!  So lost 10 lbs after birth and a few days postpartum.  Awesome!
  • The newborn looks so much like the older sibling.  Same line eyes, exactly the same nose.  The only thing is chubbier face and body since their birth weight differs by 14 ounces, almost a pound.  The firstborn definitely was much slimmer.
  • The newborn cries much more loudly than her sister.  The cries are sometimes like a small kitten’s.
  • Can’t believe I had to pump again this time..  I was hoping for 100% breastfeeding but because I didn’t speak up for myself, I let the pui yuet feed the baby after the bath thus losing out on the chance to chestfeed her right then and there.  Ugh.
  • I think I have an aversion to pumping this time around because I did it for 15 months consistently last time and I’m tired of it.  Not fond of the breast squeezing to get all the milk out, not fond of the extra work it takes to get the milk out, packed into a bottle or bag.  Just rather things be simple this time.
  • However, due to newborn not latching well because of how engorged my breasts were (already! And it’s only day 4 pp), I had to use the pump a second time.  I was really frustrated that I let the pui yuet feed the newborn formula when I should have spoken up and been firm about nursing her myself.  I can’t believe how quickly my milk came in this time as well.  Day 4 and the milk is already liquid and less thick transitioning away from colostrum.  It’s a beautiful rich yellow colour.
  • Dec. 26:  Today is the actual due date of baby #2!!  Baby is now actually a week and 1 day old now.
  • Been dealing with a few things: we’ve been going back to the hospital every day since we were discharged (with the exception of Christmas yesterday) to follow up on bb’s jaundice levels.  Upon leaving the hospital, they were borderline at risk so they asked us to return to the hospital the next day.  We’ve since been back day after day after day.  It’s been tiring to get up early for the morning appointments and drive 30 minutes each way to the pediatric urgent care centre.  However and fortunately, we both as parents aren’t overly concerned because the doctors say it’s a borderline issue that could be resolved with more feedings and weight gain.  We also have had jaundice as infants too and know that jaundice is a very common issue for newborns.
  • Finally at today’s appointment, the doctor told us that the levels had reached their peak and were tapering down.  I was initially hoping that today would have been the last visit, but they want to see us 3 days from now on Thursday as an extra measure.  Well, 3 days later is better than continued daily visits.
  • Poor bb has had to get poked in the heel and blood taken — 2 small vials the last two times because they wanted to run more tests.  One for the bilirubin and one for liver/others.  She cries so hard during the blood collecting and twice times the nurse asked us if we use a pacifier to soothe her.  No, we do not and prefer not to get her into the habit (the 2yo never used or relied on a pacifier either).
  • Second issue is that since day 4 postpartum, I’ve already had engorged breasts.  I was completely shocked that they were so full and engorged SO quickly this time.  I didn’t have engorgement issues last time until probably the peak of my breastfeeding/pumping journey.  I’ve been impressed with how fast my milk has come in and how on day 4 it already was transitioning into mature white milk.
  • I was annoyed at myself for letting the pui yuet feed the baby formula when I could have nursed her instead.  Since that day, I’ve had to pump to alleviate the fullness.  When the breasts are too full, bb had a hard time latching as well.  It was really annoying to resort to pumping.
  • Bb likes to sleep in a “newborn curl” position when we put her down in the bassinet/pack and play.
  • Been nursing her and the latch is sometimes easy and sometimes difficult.  Been sitting in uncomfortable positions to accommodate her latch for up to 30 or 40 minutes at a time.. my neck is killing me.
  • The other day on the right breast, bb latched so well and effectively for 30 minutes that she basically drained the entire breast and freed it of all clogs and hardness.  It was incredible. My breast immediately felt flat afterwards. I could see the difference in the left side which was plump and hard still.
  • Babies are still the best at removing milk from the breast.  I don’t know what the PY is going on about this time telling me to use my pump after baby feeds to clean off the rest of the milk.. PY is not as organized or intentional about my postpartum meals this time.  We are quite disappointed and will never use her ever again.  The foods haven’t been entirely fitting for my first week of pp and instead seem more for someone in their third or later postpartum stages.  It could be why my milk is coming in so fast because the foods are meant to be for the latter stage of enriching the milk.  A lot of little things that are adding up about her lack of care this time around.
  • The 2yo opened her gifts on Christmas day and was very meticulous in ripping apart the wrapping paper.  It’s like a sensory activity in and of itself.
  • Love that of the 3 books we received, the 2yo asked us to read it to her right away.  So grateful about this reading journey of hers.
  • The 2yo continues to sleep through the night.  DH has been sneaking the large warm sleep sacks on her upon her falling asleep.  That might be a contributor to her staying snug and warm throughout the night.
  • Been sleeping on the rocking chair and footrest since I got home from the hospital.  It’s so comfortable with two pillows wedged on each side.  I tried getting in bed to sleep two times, but upon waking up, my pelvis is SO tight and painful to sit up on that I just can’t bear the pain until I keep waiting for it to heal.  I can lift my left leg now and go up and down the stairs without stopping at each step, but I think my pelvis needs more time.  Another week to wait and if there’s no improvement, I will get an appointment with my family doctor…
  • Been helped by my mom to get wiped down by hot ginger water daily in lieu of taking a shower since during the confinement period, I’m not supposed to “touch water” or get wet.  Thank goodness for it being wintertime so I’m not drenched in sweat or hot like I was with the first birth.  Been wearing socks and slippers upstairs too since the PY said I needed to stay more warm at home.  Can’t wait to get into the shower and wash my greasy hair when the suggested no-wash days are up.
  • Daily stools are so easy to pass because of all the soups and teas I’ve been drinking.  Love this part about postpartum meals.
  • The newborn finally has been more alert and able to stay awake more than 5 minutes the past two days.  We think the jaundice must be passing through her system.  We haven’t attempted tummy time with her yet.
  • She has loud and strong vocal cords.  She sometimes yelps once for no reason.  She definitely cries louder than her older sister.
  • Love that after a feed, I wait for her to roll out from the nipple and then she is all flushed and red in the face and settles into the pillow.  She can sleep like that for an hour or more if I let her.  I’m so comfortable too that I sleep alongside with her. DH says she’s so calm next to me after a feed.  It’s when we remove her and put her alone in a sleep sack in the bassinet that she starts fussing sometimes.
  • It’s so “easy” this time during the first two weeks because we know what to expect.  The first time around, I felt like it was a waste of time to have the baby latch on for 30 minutes and only to doze off and not be full.  This time, I’m all for it.  More relaxed and carefree this time around.  I may only be getting in 1 or 5 hours of sleep per night, but I’m expecting and anticipating it, so it feels really comforting and easy. (Slept an hour or two the first week and only started sleeping 5 hrs a night yesterday.)
  • Either I’m nursing her or eating my meals or holding her or on my phone scrolling before it’s time for the next feed.  We’ve been feeding every 2.5 hours.
  • The 2 yo has been embracing her new big sister role.  She asks me to announce her as a “big sister” when entering our bedroom and also when she exits it 🙄😂.
  • Been staring at my phone too often these days that far vision seems blurry..
  • Been averaging 1,000 steps per day only as I continue to rest and recover each day.
  • The stash of pumped milk (let down or pumped) grows in the fridge.  I was shocked to see how many bottles I unintentionally stored away already.  The 2yo has been helping to drink up the supply but I’m producing so much each feed that it’s insane to think about how much is being stored.
  • This time, I’m not as anal about preserving every single drop (because the milk is so easy to obtain!).
  • Saw my weight on the scale as 135 this morning!  Wow, I was only 132 pre-pregnancy.  Lost 14 pounds already in this first week pp?!
  • The 2 yo always takes bites of whatever we’re eating.  Since most of the pp meals contain ginger, both grandma and I have unknowingly given her spoonfuls of rice or congee with ginger strips in it.  The 2yo says “lat” and then waits for us to get a napkin or plate for her to spit out the food in her mouth.
  • Newborn gets shaken up by a sudden and throws her hands in the air (moro reflex).  Cutest thing ever!!
  • With that being said though, as a secondborn, she is immune to most noises and talking that happens around her.  She can sleep through loud background noises!  (Used to it already while in the womb.)
  • Love the feeling when my uterus contracts whilst nursing.  I feel the tightening sensations more while nursing than I did the first time pumping.
  • Feeling no mood swings and/or emotional episodes after delivery this time.  I remember how hormonal I felt and cried once in the middle of the night when thinking of the baby.  This time, I’ve felt no such emotions.  Maybe my body got used to the hormones/emotions?
  • Dec 27:  Another big thing is that the newborn actually was able to distinguish between the bottle nipple versus mine.  I was dozed off on the rocking chair at 3ish and DH tried to feed her with breastmilk in a bottle but she refused!!  He couldn’t get her to suck from the bottle nipple at all.  I had to wake up and nurse her.  Smart newborn?!  That means she prefers the breast.  DH surmises it has to do with comfort too.
  • However, with that said, grandma was able to feed her some bm in a bottle later that day so not all hope was lost.
  • DH also fed her some bm in a bottle last night (85ml surprisingly), but she wouldn’t fall asleep.  I nursed her and she fell asleep instantly.
  • Dec. 28:  The toddler unfortunately has been waking up the past two nights during the night again.. the sleeping-through-the-night was short-lived.  On the bright side, good thing when the newborn cries, the toddler doesn’t get awaken up by her.
  • The toddler didn’t want to get out of the bathtub.. absolutely refused and cried.  The next night, she was fussy again so we didn’t even attempt to put her in the bath.
  • DH mentioned that the reason the 2yo was starting to act up again was likely due to a change of attention.  I’ve been nursing the newborn often and can’t cater to the toddler.  Grandma has been busying about cleaning and washing the food containers and getting the sweet vinegar pork knuckle soup ready.  Only DH has been able to care for the 2yo and the lessened attention on her is starting to show.
  • The toddler still has stains on her front teeth… DH mentioned that a different brand of toothbrush with smaller bristles might help.
  • Toddler had been hearing us say “Vaughan” which is “won si” in Cantonese and then she started saying “won see, won lui” (yellow poo, yellow poo). 😂
  • Been seeing the tiny black hairs in the toilet bowl which means the stitches are coming out!
  • Pretty amazing that I had had that long lingering cold for almost 2 months but yet despite the sleeplessness and taking care of the newborn that I’ve been able to recover from the cold fully — finally.  Yay!

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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2 Responses to 119 weeks of motherhood – first week postpartum, toddler’s new favourite drink, nursing success

  1. smkelly8 says:

    What a great post. Blessings to your family in the New Year.

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