Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It fell off while we weren't looking

Like my belly button?

Hanging out in the sunshine on the quilt Theresa made her

Ivey's umbilical cord fell off this morning. Jordan brought Ivey, wearing a little gown, upstairs for me to nurse her. When he came back down, Suzi was sitting in the recliner holding up a small brown object. She asked him what it was and he said "I don't know... what is it?"

"It's Ivey's belly butt!" And that's what it was alright. We saved it. I have the rest of the cord too. When Jordan encapsulated my placenta he had to dehydrate it, and the instructions also told how to save the umbilical cord this way. It's in a hard little coil, put away in a satin bag. I don't have Suzi's, but this time I'm glad to have the cord that connected me and Ivey for so long.

The placenta encapsulation process was not bad at all. It took Jordan two days (because the dehydration part took hours) but he did it all on his own. He never got nauseous or grossed out. I think it's really cool that he did it for me. It's hard to say if the pills are working yet, but I do feel a ton better than I did last time in several ways.

Breastfeeding is going beautifully this time. This is what happens when instead of a nurse with a nipple shield you have a midwife who is "the breastfeeding guru." I am making more than enough milk and Ivey doesn't need to nurse for very long until she's full. Even though I have a top-of-the-line Medela Freestyle, the other day I wanted to pump (just because I was so full and Ivey wasn't hungry) and I found the double electric nature of that pump to be a bit too cumbersome for my needs. Jordan and I purchased a $35 manual Harmony pump at Target and... I am mildly horrified to say that I like it better than any of the others I've tried. That's including the Symphony, which we rented at a cost of $70 a month for two months and the single electric Swing which we paid over $100 for. Most people love the electric pumps but I just don't take well to a machine doing what my baby ought to be doing. I have more control over the manual pump and have actually had more success with it! Crazy, huh? Since I was pumping anyway and Ivey certainly doesn't need it, we gave it to Suzi. She was very happy and told me to please make more.

We took Ivey to the doctor yesterday for her first visit, and the nurse practitioner was impressed that she'd already gained back her birth weight at just five days old. She said many babies take two weeks to gain it back. The NP also commented on how alert Ivey seemed for such a young baby. I think credit for this goes to her gentle birth! (The story is coming soon, like in a day or two. It took me several hours to write it last night and now I just need to read over it one more time and add pictures.)

I don't think I ever mentioned it, but everyone has mostly agreed that Ivey looks like my dad. She has his ears for sure and I think she also has his eyes and forehead. I am kind of hoping her eyes will stay blue, but if not maybe they'll be light brown like mine. We think she has my mom's nose and lips, but she changes a little every day so it's hard to say what she'll look like later.

Nighttime has been a bit of a challenge for us. Ivey sleeps well during the day, but at night she fidgets and makes little noises. I am such a light sleeper anyway that I hardly ever get into a deep sleep. Jordan's been so sweet to let me sleep in while he takes care of the girls for a couple of hours, but soon he'll be going back to work. We need to get Ivey's days and nights flipped back around where they belong!

Ivey smiled a big smile and laughed today for the first time. One time she laughed while she was awake and her dad was holding her, and later she did it again in her sleep while I had her. It was like she was having a funny dream.

We introduced her to our dog today and I think everything is going to be just fine there. Phibby is so laid back. She looked at the baby, at my (no longer huge) belly, and then at the baby again like she was thinking oh, so this is your puppy! Ivey's eyes got big when she saw Phibby.

Thursday is Jordan's first day back to work and my first day staying home alone with a newborn and a toddler. My mom has cleared her day so she can help me if I need her, but I was really hoping to be okay on my own. I'm a little nervous! Any tips?

The birth story is next! It's long, boring in parts, and TMI in others. Just a little disclaimer before you get halfway into it.


Jamie (Suddenly Stay @ Home) said...

She does look like a very alert baby- very cute! I always liked my hand pump better too- it was just not practical for every day use. It's wonderful that you have plenty of milk this time around! Again, congratulations on the beautiful new addition to your family.

MaryAnne said...

Lovely photos, Ivey looks very happy :)

I hope your first day alone with two goes well, my only advice is to enjoy spending time with your two girls.

I've only ever had a manual pump (an Avent one) but it works well and I don't see myself trying out an electric one, especially since I'm home with my baby and so not pumping for everyday use.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you're doing pretty well, all things considered. I also found my second baby much easier than my first. Having better support is certainly part of it, but your hard-won experience and knowledge really can't be underestimated.

And a big woohoo to Jordan for encapsulating the placenta. He definitely sounds like a keeper.

I'm looking forward to your birth story, whenever you get around to it. :)

Kristin said...

I've found that recovery is easier with each pregnancy. Just try not to do too much when you are alone because you can overdo it quickly. Can't wait to read your birth story!!! I love reading them. I just got around to posting Owen's birth story last week. I didn't blog when he was born so I posted it in honor of his 3rd birthday. :-)

Emily said...

Jenny-- congrats on Ivey's arrival and a great birth! Elly was 21 months when my baby (Erin) was born. She was born on a Friday and my hubby went back to work on Monday, with me by myself from about 6am-4pm. It went just fine, infact, I spent the entire week by myself during the day. A few tips...don't let company overwhelm you in the evenings, it just makes the daytime harder. Have meals prepared before it actually time to eat, for you and Suzie. If someone else can do it, thats best. But even if you are doing it yourself, don't wait until you are starving. If you do, something is sure to go nuts and then you are left with a crying or hungry infant and a hungry mom and tot. And SLEEP!!! I always planned the afternoon nap time to where we all, mom baby and tot, slept at the same time. Not only was it great to get the rest, but I SOOO enjoyed snoozing with both of my little girls!!

Good luck, she is BEAUTIFUL!!

Emily said...

Yay, Jordan! If only I could convince Brett to do that for me.....I love the photos and am SO looking forward to reading your birth story!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad breastfeeding is going so well for you! I've always noticed that breastfeeding babies are more alert (sometimes more alert than we want them to be at night, huh?!) I also liked my Avent manual pump better too when I was using it to treat engorgement. Hope your days go easy with the two at home alone. Can't say I've been there because Jake was in kindergarten during my first weeks alone at home with Leah. Have fun- so happy for you! Crystal

Theresa said...

I love the picture of her and Phibby - those eyes of hers! They're so big and intense, so much like yours. You make all this look too easy my dear - I hope Jesse doesn't read your blog too often! ha! (and def. not Katy!!!)