I can honestly say that there is definitely an adjustment period when you add a new baby in the mix. I think when you have your first child, it's hard because you are learning so much and trying to do your best at everything. When you add a second child, you already know how to do everything baby related, but adjusting to caring for two takes some time. We planned way in advance with talking with Taelyn about the baby and even letting her be involved in everything. She came to every Midwife appointment, helped with the baby registry, picked out baby items, and even attended the birth. There is only so much you can do to prepare though. I was very emotional that first week. We hadn't been away from Tae for more than one night before Hensley was born, but because Hensley was having some heart issues we had to stay longer in the hospital. Tae stayed at my parents' house for 3 nights (she even told my mom that she "guessed she was living there now") and it was hard. Once we got released from the hospital, we picked Tae up and headed home. It probably took a full week to get in the swing of things. Tae seemed to be extra whiny for awhile and you could tell she was having a little bit of a hard time adjusting to not getting all the attention.
While I was pregnant, I kept feeling bad for Tae. I kept asking myself, "what are we doing to her". I remember crying to my husband, telling him that we were going to change who she was and who she would become by having another child (ugh, pregnancy hormones!). I read article after article about how to smooth the adjustment, but I couldn't get over worrying.
Once we were all home together it didn't seem as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yes, she was whinier, and yes she was adjusting, but it wasn't anything like my crazy mind was coming up with. There was one time when I was nursing the baby on the couch and she wanted to lay with me. She got so upset that she couldn't that she started sobbing (not throwing a fit, but super sad and hurt crying). I felt so bad that I started crying. It was hard to see my baby upset and struggling.
After that moment, I have made sure to give Tae extra attention when I'm able. When Hensley is napping, Tae and I will do a craft, play a game, or cook/bake something. Sometimes we will just sit together and I will listen to her (she always has lots to say!). We've made sure we do things with her separately. My husband will take her to the store or he will watch Hensley while I put Tae to bed. I think this has helped a lot.
There has been a lot of sweet moments too! Taelyn is the most caring, gentle, and sweet big sister. You can tell Hensley already adores her because she will just stare at Tae. When she hears Tae's voice, she will turn her head. Tae is always right there to help change her diaper, pat her when she's waking up, get her paci or other things that I need.
It's been six weeks now and we seem to have found our new normal. Yes, Taelyn is different because of being a sister, but different isn't a bad thing. I don't think we ruined her life or did anything that will negatively affect her future. She is a great big sister!
Here are a few tips that I think helped with our adjusting:
1. Be patient...it will take time!
2. Keep your routine and schedule (babies like routines anyways)
3. It's okay to break your routine on occasion (Letting Tae stay up a little later some nights is good for her and less stressful on me)
4. Have some one on one time
5. Let them know you love them
6. Let them know it's okay to be sad
7. Give lots and lots of hugs and kisses
8. Let them help
9. Make them feel important
10. Know that it will get easier!
Placental Encapsulation is the process of drying, grinding, and encapsulating the placenta in order for the mother to take the capsules to help with recovery postpartum. When I first started researching this, I was a little skeptical, but quickly realized how beneficial it could be.
You can find a lot of information here, but the common benefits are: lessened risk for postpartum depression, increased milk production, faster healing after delivery, among other things. Encapsulating your placenta or even blending chunks of it into smoothies is quickly gaining popularity. There are several people that do the encapsulations here in Oklahoma. I went with a lady named Anne Coffee who assisted my sister in her homebirth. She is a homebirth midwife and also a Doula. You can find out more about her services on her Facebook page here. I thought Anne did a great job and she is a very sweet lady. I called her after I delivered and she came up to the hospital and got the placenta. The next day, she brought the capsules, along with a placenta print and umbilical cord tincture to me while I was still in the hospital. I had a super duper huge placenta and got about 250 capsules!
I started taking them as soon as I received them. They suggest you take 1-2 capsules up to three times a day for the first few weeks and then you can taper off after that. The first thing I noticed when I started taking them is that my milk came in very quickly. With my oldest daughter, I didn't get my milk until day 5, with Hensley I got it on day 3. I also got a lot of milk! At Hensley's 1 week pediatrician appointment, she was already back at her birth weight plus several ounces (a total of 12oz gained in just 6 days!). I also had VERY light bleeding as soon as I started the pills. I remember bleeding very heavily with Taelyn for about 2 weeks. With Hensley it was only the first 2 days and then super light until it stopped all together after just 2 weeks!
Another big thing I noticed was the quick healing time! I was feeling almost 100% by the end of week 2. Now this could be associated with a drug free/all natural birth, but I still think the capsules helped a lot. I didn't have any issues with postpartum depression with Taelyn, so I wasn't too worried about having issues with Hensely. With Taelyn I did get really emotional at the smallest things though and I have noticed on the days I take the most capsules I feel the greatest and when I taper them off, I tend to be prone to headaches and seem more emotional. I have noticed (even gotten compliments about) how happy and bubbly I seem and that I also still seem to have the pregnancy glow. I guess I can attribute this to the capsules as well!
I definitely don't regret doing the encapsulation and I feel that the benefits are definitely worth the price paid! I highly recommend everyone to do the research and consider doing placental encapsulation for themselves!
I can't believe it has already been a month since my sweet little girl arrived. She has changed so much in her short month of life! She is definitely bigger, stronger, and is learning so much. She knows what she likes and what she doesn't like and will be sure to tell you also.
Weight: You can tell she is filling out! She has a few chins (which leads to the lovely "neck cheese"), rolls on her thighs, and rolls on her arms.
Food: We did a bottle with pumped breastmilk for the first time this week. She struggled a little bit, but ended up sucking on it and getting about 1 oz before she said she was done. Tae was pretty happy to help hold the bottle!
Clothes: Still 0-3 month clothes...some 3 months fit her well. Her G diapers are getting snug, so we will need to start her on the pocket diapers soon!
Sleep: She does not sleep as well in her bassinet as she does in our bed! We tried again the other night and instead of waking up for her normal 5:30am feeding, she woke up at 3:30am instead. I ended up leaving her in our bed after that. She is still sleeping really well. She is having longer awake periods during the day. You can also tell when she is sleepy because she starts getting cranky.
Product we love: I am so happy to have a baby who loves to be worn! Tae was really colicky and didn't like it much, but Hensley LOVES it! I have a ring sling that I had made when Tae was born and a Moby wrap my sister in law gave me. This past week our local cloth diaper store was having a big sale on Ergo carriers so we went to check it out. I have had my eye on the Boba carrier for awhile now and when we got there I tried out both and decided to go with the Boba instead. With the Ergo I would have needed the infant insert and it was already pretty toasty wearing it. The Boba is very lightweight and super easy to get on and off. We use it all the time and it is so much more convenient than carrying around the car seat all the time.
Highlight: Hensley has had two big achievements this month! She rolled over for the first time (I think it was by accident)! I had her on her back without a diaper and she rolled onto her side and then flopped onto her tummy! I was in shock, but she hasn't done it since then. She has also started smiling and cooing and it is the sweetest thing ever. Her smile almost brings tears to my eyes!
This week was a lot of fun as we celebrated the 4th of July by having a cook out with my parents and seeing fireworks. They didn't seem to bother Hensley at all and she slept almost the whole time! The picture below was taken on the 4th and is actually the first time Tae has actually held Hensley! I think she did really well (even though she looks to have her in a choke hold!)
Taelyn: Tae is SO much better this week. I think we are finally adjusting to this new family member! She has been a lot less whiny and has been really helpful and sweet.
Blessing This Week: I feel so blessed to have this sweet little family. I feel like our family is complete with the addition of Hensley. I love my two little girls and couldn't be any happier!
Weight: We unofficially weighed her today (Aaron weighing himself first and then holding her) and she's coming in at 10lbs! She is one chunky monkey : )
Food: Didn't do a bottle this week, but we are going to try tomorrow! Bottle feeding just seems like a hassle and something you have to plan for since I will have to pump when she is being bottle fed. She is nursing so well. I have a pretty forceful let down which tends to choke her quite a bit, but we are working on it!
Clothes: She is wearing 0-3 months....newborn is pretty snug!
Sleep: She is still sleeping with us. I keep saying I'm going to put her in the bassinet and then don't. Aaron would love for her to sleep in the bassinet, but I love having her close. She is nursing before bed at about midnight and then waking up at 5:30 to eat and then sleeping until 9 or 10.
Product we love: We tested out our tummy time pillow this week and she seemed to like it. She has really strong neck muscles and can lift her head and turn it side to side with no problems.
Highlight: The best part of this week is to finally feel like we have a schedule down. I am all about routine and I was feeling all out of sorts when we first came home. I know feel like we are back to our routine and I can manage to do things around the house and even cook dinner!
Taelyn: Whining is still an issue. She seems to be worse when my husband is home also. When he is at work, she is just fine and helpful and hardly gives me a fuss. I have no idea why she is worse when Aaron is home. I think sticking to our routine is helping and making sure we are giving her attention, but still staying on top of discipline too.
Blessing this Week: My sister made Hensley's birth announcements and they turned out so great! I should be getting them in a few weeks and I can't wait to mail them out! I feel that we are also blessed at what a good baby Hensley is. She hardly ever cries and she sleeps and eats so well. With Taelyn having colic for 3 months, I feel we missed out on so much of her babyhood. We are definitely able to take the time to enjoy Hensley!