As promised from Chloe’s birth story, I have to share the chaos that ensued the first week as a family of four.
For reference I gave birth on a Saturday and we were able to come home by lunchtime on Monday. We had a lovely half-day on Monday as a family of four full of snuggle time on the couch and the most adorable display of sister love that made my heart melt.
Using the boppy as support, Lily held Chloe and proceeded to love on her….sometimes a little too much. No kidding if Lily could make out with her sister she would!
Tuesday Mike dropped Lily off at school in the am and when he picked her up we knew something was off. She was a little warm and her teachers said she was pretty quiet all day… not the norm for my crazy two year old. Then she woke up from her nap with a 103.5 temperature. Since we had a newborn we called the pediatrician to have Lily checked.
The thing with toddlers and temperatures is that typically you wait 1-3 days to see if the fever goes down before visiting your doctor because most cases your kid has a virus and there is nothing you can do for them besides treating them with some TLC. Since 103.5 is really high and we had a newborn we called the doc…but there was nothing the doctor could do since they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. So Chloe and I were banished to my room for lock down.
Also on Tuesday I noticed that Chloe’s coloring just seemed off…call it mother’s intuition. I kept telling Mike that even her eyes seemed to be a little yellow and glassy looking. Towards the end of the day I just felt so uneasy about it that I called the pediatrician and our doc’s husband (who is also a doctor) agreed to squeeze Chloe in before they closed. Sure enough my feelings were confirmed and Chloe had jaundice. My post partum weepies kicked in and I broke down in tears in the office that one of my girls had a fever and now my newborn had jaundice.
They took blood from Chloe to test her jaundice levels and we went back Wednesday morning for another round of blood testing. We were relieved Wednesday afternoon when her second results came in and showed that her jaundice numbers were lower showing she was in the clear. (Picture below shows her yellow coloring. You can tell the difference between her forehead and hand)
By Friday I was still on ‘master bedroom house arrest’ to keep Chloe away from Lily’s temperature…yes she still had a temperature four days later!!! I cried everyday and a few times each day because I couldn’t be there for my first baby while she dealt with whatever virus she was fighting. We called the doctor and had Lily go back in to be seen and sure enough they still found nothing wrong with her. On Friday I had to go back into my OB because my episiotomy was not healing right and I wanted them to check it before the weekend and refill my pain meds (lowest tolerance for pain right here!). Luckily Lily’s fever broke overnight on Friday, but to be safe we kept the girls in separate rooms until Sunday just to be safe.
So in the first week as a family of four Lily went to the doctor twice, Chloe went to the doctor twice and I went to the doctor. The only one who survived anything physical was Mike, but of course the stress of caring for all three of his girls right off the bat sent him to enjoy his bourbon before 5 o’clock. As chaotic & stressful as the week was, it was bitter sweet. Leading up to delivery and during my stay in the hospital I became really emotional that I wouldn’t get as much time with Chloe as I did with Lily. With your first-born you can put life on hold while you soak up all those first moments. With your second child there is no pause button on the tantrums your toddler is throwing. You can’t tell your first kid to hold their pee while you soak up snuggle time with your newborn. So as much as it killed me to not be there for Lily while she fought the virus, I got to have four days with Chloe that I wouldn’t have had. I was able to lie in bed while healing & get that one on one time I was so worried I would miss out on. Bitter sweet I tell ya…
We survived that first week of chaos & now we can laugh about it BUT can I say that when you give birth to your first, second or third kid you should be given a grace period of at least a week before reality of toddler tantrums and/or illness takes place….if not for the health of your newborn, at least for the sanity of the parents???