Baby Brother is HERE!
My recovery from this c-section has been incredibly easier than the last time. I think it's because (1) I didn't have ANY systemic narcotics--no PCA pump (at my current hospital they don't do that anymore for cesareans--there's a long-acting narcotic in the spinal which just affects your lower half, and then when that wears off you get an NSAID in your IV for a day or so and then only oral meds thereafter), no Percocet, just some Tylenol 3 for the first day or two after surgery and then ibuprofen afterward. Without the heavy-duty narcotics I didn't have any nausea or grogginess, and I felt emotionally more stable too. (2) I got up and moved around as much as possible--last time I barely left my bed for the first 3 days and it really took a toll on my overall mobility and healing. (3) I ate and drank like crazy--I was eating a full meal of solid foods 6 hours after my surgery, where last time I was supposed to be on clear fluids only for the first 24 hours and I barely touched those because I was so nauseated and emotionally wrung out. I forced myself to eat the terrible hospital food and I downed food from home and takeout on top of that, and I drank pitchers and pitchers of water. (4) I went home a day earlier--it makes such a difference to sleep in your own bed.
I got to go home after 3 days because we made the decision to be proactive about supplementing Baby Brother with formula. He was nursing great--latched on in the recovery room like a pro, sucked like a champ--but on his second day he stopped pooping and the pediatrician agreed that given the family history of severe jaundice, it made sense to proactively supplement. They also tested his bili level earlier than normal, and while it did get a bit high, it never reached the levels that Bat Girl's did, so we were able to get away without treating him as long as we promised to keep supplementing at home so that he would keep pooping out the bilirubin.
I did shed some tears over the supplementing at first, and over my breast pump when I decided to break it out at home. But my milk came in a full day earlier than it did with Bat Girl (again, I think because of everything I did above), and stronger. It's still clearly very scanty, based on the output of the few pumping sessions I've put in, but I get engorged and Baby Brother latches and sucks well at every feeding. We give him a bottle of formula afterward and he's fine with both.
And I made a decision: No herbs, no meds, and most of all no crazy pumping. I don't care how little breast milk Baby Brother gets as long as he's getting it mostly from the breast. I've pumped once every evening before bed (and gotten just a few CCs each time) just so I can get away with sleeping through one nighttime feeding (though I've been waking up painfully engorged so that luxury might have to stop), but I will NOT pump just to build supply. The baby takes what he takes from the breast and that's fine with me. I hate that pump and I won't be chained to it again. This time I have a baby who DOES actually nurse and I'm going to enjoy that as much as I can.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go nibble on some baby cheeks.