I figured the first few days of being at home with a newborn are some of the most life-changing... and so they deserve to be well-documented, both for myself and Alexsi.
We came home from the hospital on Saturday evening. After being there for 4 days, we were ready to have the comforts of home! I would be lying if I said I wasn't anxious about it, particularly cause my mom was in Saint George so I didn't have her for a "safety net" to rely on. In the hospital, Alexsi was kind of a finnicky eater. Mostly she felt like she wasn't getting enough to eat (my milk hadn't come in yet), and she acted like she was absolutely starving, and would just wail! She would get herself so riled up that she wouldn't even be able to latch on, and that would make her more angry. DJ would then have to take her from me, put on a rubber glove and put one of his fingers in her mouth to calm her down. For some reason, she'd suck happily on a rubber-gloved-finger even though that didn't give her ANY nourishment. It was just stressful. We developed a method with the help of a nurse where we would get some formula in a syringe with a tube attached to the end of it. We would put her up to me to eat, then squirt a tiny bit of formula in so she would latch on to me, and then continue to give little squirts of formula every so often so she'd keep nursing. It was a frustrating and difficult process. At home on Saturday night, I couldn't get her to eat even with the formula, and I was starting to get stressed. There was a BYU game on, and DJ's siblings and cousins were over so I felt even more stressed, like I was doing such a bad job. I finally just got her calmed down and decided to wait to feed her. I got her to eat a little before going to bed that night. Unfortunately, she only stayed asleep for maybe an hour before she was up and crying again. We are having her sleep in a little cradle next to our bed for now. I took her out of our room and tried feeding her, changed her diaper, and rocked her. That whole night was HORRENDOUS, and is already kind of a blur. DJ and I were both up with her in the night, each taking shifts for a couple of hours. I got a little sleep in the recliner with her, but not much else. When I was trying to get her to eat and she just wouldn't, I started crying and crying. Exhaustion, frustration and the feeling of helplessness with my little girl was just too much for me. I told DJ I just wanted to feed her formula and be done with it. He helped me calm down and let me know I wasn't doing anything wrong, we all just needed to get used to the newness of this. Also, she would only eat from one side! So that side was getting all chapped and bleeding, and I couldn't figure out why she wouldn't latch on to the other side. I still don't know what the deal was with that. Ugh it was such a bad night!
On Sunday morning DJ got up and went to church to teach our Primary class. I fed Lexsi and let her sleep in bed with me. I have always said that I would NEVER let my kids sleep in my bed. Broke that promise to myself within about 15 hours of bringing her home. Funny how exhaustion will do that to you! She slept so much better against my skin, though, so we got a little rest in. When DJ got home from church, we drove up to the hospital and I rented a breast pump. My milk had started to come in over night, and I was worried since she wouldn't eat from my right side that I would definitely need to pump that side. Also we figured that since she was up so much in the night, if we had bottles of breast milk DJ could help me out some by feeding her. Sunday was a much more calm day, and we all got some much-needed rest.
Today is Monday, and things are already SO much better! Last night went a lot smoother. Now that my milk is in, this little girl is so much happier! She really just wanted to eat, I guess! She's nursing really well. I've had to use the pump as well-- once my milk decided to come in, it decided to come in like crazy! I've pumped at least 12 ounces today, and breast-fed her at least 5 times. I even had to get up in the night while she was asleep to pump. Kind of ridiculous, but I'd MUCH rather have this "problem" than the opposite one-- I've experienced both ends of the spectrum and this one is waaaaaaay more manageable!
Having a baby has already proved to be challenging, but it's so worth it! She is wonderful, and such an incredible blessing. Things are still going to be rough, and we'll have crappy days and nights. All in all, though, I know that this is what we're supposed to do, and we're going to be blessed and continue to receive help in the process!