First, let me apologize for not writing for a while. I am currently in my 11th week of maternity leave, and I have not had much time to do much besides keep baby Callum happy. I cannot believe my maternity leave will soon be coming to an end and I’ll have to go back to the grind at work. I feel like the time has flown by, especially since the first two weeks were utter chaos! Our family of six made the 600 mile journey to be in my sister’s wedding exactly one week after Callum was born, and that week was crazy!The whole time I was pregnant, I just KNEW we were going to be at my sister’s wedding. Callum, and his doctors, gave us a scare at the end when his delivery was getting a little too close to our go/no go deadline. Remember, Callum’s due date was Nov 2nd, and my sister was getting married on Nov 5th. I needed to have him by October 31st at the latest to be able to get discharged from the hospital, get my dress fitted (I was the Matron of Honor), and drive the 600 miles to attend the rehearsal dinner and wedding festivities. I ended up finally being induced on October 29th, and here is how the next two weeks after his delivery went:
Sunday, October 30th (1 day post baby): Cal was born on the 29th, and he did not give us much sleep that night in the hospital. I did not really get an option to send him to the nursery, and I do not know if I would have if offered. The morning of October 30th (about 20 hours after his birth), Cal was circumcised (sorry if it’s TMI, but I want you to see how quickly every thing happened after his birth), and were were discharged around 1:30pm. We spent a total of 30 hours in the hospital from checking in to being discharged.
As were were packing up our things and getting ready to head home (which, by the way, I was hesitant to head home because I was able to sit quietly in a bed, watch tv, and have people wait on me! I knew my life would be crazy after I left that hospital room!) I called the lady who was on standby to do my dress alterations to let her know I was leaving the hospital and needed to get my dress fitted. She said she would be available that night, so I made an appointment.
We got home from the hospital to three tired and cranky kids at home. Their schedules were thrown off a little bit since they were hanging out with their Papa and cousins for a few days. I think Papa was the happiest one to see us when we walked in the door because taking care of Harlow (3) and Jacek (21 months) can definitely take a toll on an individual! They are good kids, but they have SO. MUCH. ENERGY! Then you throw a tween who likes to instigate into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for stress. On top of that, the house was a mess because we hadn’t been home to take care of our weekend cleaning list. I had a small panic attack that “this was my life” about 5 minutes after we brought home our fourth child.
After being home for a few hours, I met with my seamstress and threw my Matron of Honor dress on. When I ordered it, I used measurements from when I was 20 weeks pregnant. I put the dress on and it fit! I was still super bloated with a giant uterus since I just gave birth about 33 hours ago. The length of the dress needed to change a little, but the seamstress wasn’t sure what to do since my belly would go down a little bit before the wedding date, and it would affect the length of the dress. She took a guess on where to cut it, and asked me to come back on Wednesday to have one last fitting.
Monday, October 31st (2 days post baby): The home health nurse came to our house for a visit this day to check on me and Callum. I know these nurses mean well, and it’s included in my insurance plan, but I felt like she didn’t do much but give me a bunch of paperwork. However, since we were taking the baby on a roadtrip in a few days, I wanted him to get as many medical checks as he needed before we left to make sure he was 100% healthy.
Since it was Halloween, Mark, Callum, and I attended Harlow and Jacek’s Halloween party at their school. I was sore and felt like it was a million degrees out, but wanted to be there for the older kids to show them that their new brother wasn’t going to take anything away from them. When we all got home, we quickly ate dinner and got ready for trick-or-treating. Mark took the kids around the neighborhood while I passed out candy with my 2-day old swaddled up in a bouncer behind me. (and a BIG glass of wine in my hand!)
Tuesday, November 1 (3 days post baby): Usually newborns have a 5 day check-up, but we needed to get in a little early since we were leaving for our road trip to Michigan at 6:00am in two days. At Cal’s 3 day check up, he lost some weight since birth but was still within the healthy range (I mean, he was 9.9 lbs at birth, so the kid could afford to drop a little weight). The doctor gave us the OK to head out of town in 2 days! I was relieved that everything was going as planned.
Wednesday, November 2 (4 days post baby): This was my original due date, but luckily we were able to use this day to do laundry, pack, clean, and pick up any miscellaneous items we needed for the trip and wedding. Some of these miscellaneous things included:
- my Matron of Honor dress (my belly had gone down, and the length was perfect!)
- compression socks since I was at a high risk for blood clots since I recently had a baby and would be traveling a long distance
- portable DVD players to keep the kids occupied on the 10 hour drive
- headphones for the kids so the adults wouldn’t have to listen to kids movies for 10 hours straight
- a car adapter for my breast pump
- Mark’s tux
- Mark’s pants for the rehearsal dinner (dry cleaner)
- super, duper, extra absorbent pads
- ice packs
Thursday, November 3 (5 days post baby): ROAD TRIP DAY! We packed up the minivan with everything we needed and hit the road early in the morning! There was me, Mark, Callum, Harlow, Jacek, and our previous nanny, Annie. Annie’s job was to keep Harlow and Jacek happy by handing out snacks, setting up their movies, and keeping them occupied by listening to their questions and silly stories. She was also able to keep an eye on Callum since he was behind me and facing her. SHE WAS SO HELPFUL! Michaela (our oldest) drove out separately with Mark’s dad (Denny). We did not want her to miss too much school, so they left later that evening, spent the night at a hotel, and arrived in Michigan Friday late afternoon.
Being in a car for 10 hours 5 days after giving birth is not something I’d recommend, but I was going to do anything I had to do to make sure I did not miss my sister’s wedding. Along with the fact that I was the Matron of Honor, every single other person in our family (besides Callum) were in the wedding as well. WE NEEDED TO BE THERE. So I put on a happy face and did what I needed to do in the car to be the most comfortable. I had all my
handy supplies within arms reach, including a car adapter for my breast pump. That way we wouldn’t need to stop every two hours for me to pump and/or feed Callum. I pumped in the front seat of the van (giving some truckers a show here and there) then handed Annie a fresh bottle to lean forward and feed Callum while he was still strapped in his car seat. Because I was 5 days postpartum and feeding/pumping every two hours, I also had an ample supply of nipple cream next to me. MAN, my boobs and nipples were on fire!! Another thing on fire? My hoo ha! Therefore, I had ice packs at the ready and percocet available as needed. I was also wearing one of those adult diaper type pads to not only soak up the bits of uterus that were coming out of me, but to also help prevent any urinary accidents, as I was trapped in a car and had a baby 5 days ago. The whole “holding it until we get to a rest area” thing made me really anxious!
We all survived the car ride to Michigan. We checked in to our hotel, then went straight to dinner with all of the other out of town guests!
Friday, November 4th (6 days post baby): After not sleeping much the night before because 1: We had a 5 day old, and 2: Jacek was in bed with us, we had a busy day of wedding activities. I took Michaela and Harlow to get our nails done with the other girls of the bridal party while Mark did some “man stuff” with the groomsmen, Jacek, and Callum.
Then, we had to quickly get ready for the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Ever try getting two toddlers to listen and do what they are told during a wedding ceremony while you also had a 6 day old and both you and your husband were in the wedding as well? Not to mention feeling like your uterus is falling out and you aren’t sure if your adult diaper is going to hold it? It was crazy, but thank GOD we had our entourage (Annie and Denny) with us to help keep eyeballs on the kids.
After the ceremony rehearsal was the rehearsal dinner, and all I have to say about that (besides it being really nice!) is MAMA HAD SOME WINE!
November 5th (7 days post baby): It’s wedding day! Michaela, Harlow, and I all had to be downstairs in a conference room at 7:30 AM to get our hair and makeup done. I took Callum with me because his life depends on it! He had to be near to eat, and I was concerned about building and maintaining my milk supply during the craziness of the first week of his life. By some crazy miracle, Cal slept most of the night and I felt decently rested for the big day!
Hair and makeup took a long time, and we had little time to grab our things and head to the church. As I was getting dressed at the church, I realized I forgot my bra! AHH! At least I had a nursing tank with a built in bra I could wear under my dress. I was not too thrilled about my post baby body, so I squeezed my rolly-poly self into some spanx and called it a day.
I fed Callum as much as I could during the day with all of the stuff going on, but there was a time where I was doing my MOH duties for a while, getting other kids ready, etc, that he ended up getting a bottle and I had to figure out how to pump. I had my dress altered to be feeding/pumping friendly, but it pretty much meant that I unhooked the straps and was sitting on the floor topless milking myself. Not sexy, but necessary.
The wedding was beautiful and ALL OF THE KIDS COOPERATED! It was touch and go for a while there with Jacek, but he pulled through with a flawless performance. Then it was time to party! Annie and Mark’s dad took the kids while Mark and I got to be adults and go on the party bus! It had been a few hours since I pumped and I was having anxiety about my supply. I brought the pump on the bus, but never got a chance to do it. We ended up taking lots of professional pictures, tooling around Grand Rapids, and having a blast. We arrived at the reception, everyone was introduced, and it was time for dinner. I gave my MOH speech, and was finally able to sneak away to pump.
I missed the cake cutting. Shit. I did not want to miss anything, and felt horrible. However, I also needed to do what I needed to do to ensure that I would be able to provide for my baby.
The rest of the night was a blur! There was a lot of dancing, photo booth shenanigans, family pictures, etc. By the end of the night, I was so f’ing exhausted. I felt like I had been hit by a truck, and I had a hard time walking. I felt like everything in my nether region was swollen and about to fall out. I decided before walking back to the hotel that I would take those God-awful spanx off. BAD IDEA. Apparently, those spanks were holding everything in (if you know what I mean) and taking them off made it even more painful to walk.
We made it back to the hotel and three out of four kids were fast asleep. (They all left the reception a few hours earlier with Mark’s dad and Annie.) Mark and I got ready for bed, laid down, and both let out big sighs. WE DID IT! 9 months of tears, worry, excitement, nervousness, happiness, and fear all culminated into one of the best days of our lives. I got to see my little sister get married and stand up next to her as her Matron of Honor while the rest of my family celebrated along side with her. While I wished that I could’ve been the perfect sister to her and been there for her 100% percent along the way, I felt like my imperfect self was able to accomplish everything it needed to do to make her wedding day special. Things do not always happen according to plan, but sometimes the plans that are made for us without our permission are really perfect in their own way after all.