Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, March 14, 2009

When Do You Take Your Baby Out?

by Sariah S. Wilson

First, let me introduce our newest addition to the Wilson family:

Here is my husband's favorite picture:

He captions it as "One MILLION Dollars!!!" My brothers laughed; my mom and dad didn't get it.

Things went...not well. We arrived nice and early at the hospital, did all our prep stuff (including the IV. How I loathe and hate the IV and I nag until they take it out of me). I went in and managed to heave myself up on the operating table to get my spinal.

Which didn't take.

Well, the anesthesiologist claims it took. But only about 90% or so. However, that idiot was not the one on the table getting cut open and feeling every single cut. It went all epidural-y on me and while it "blocked the pain," I felt everything. And it HURT. It was not pleasant by any stretch of the imagination. I felt it so much that my blood pressure and heart rate dipped down dangerously (which they didn't tell us until after the fact) and they hurried to get the baby out with me shuddering, shaking, feeling nauseous and dizzy so that they could give me pain meds to stabilize me.

So recovery has been interesting and I feel like I'm falling apart as a mom. I've never had kids so close in age before and it is really hard. But so far my life consists of eating chocolate Entemann donuts and sitting on the couch holding my two little ones at the same time. Nothing else gets done. Nothing. My house is scary.

But enough with my pity party - I know that this too shall pass (and I know that I will be equal parts happy and sad when it does).

Since I don't dress little girls in blue, you may have guessed by now that we had a boy. Jennie Hansen is not only a talented writer and reviewer, she is also now slightly psychic. Our little boy was indeed 10 lbs. 2 oz. (as Jennie guessed exactly in the comments of my last post ), and he was 22 inches long. While everyone else was oohing and aahing over our big baby, I was completely shocked that he was so small. I thought for sure he'd be some 14 or 15 pound behemoth with as difficult as he was making pregnant life for me. Ten pounds just stunned me.

To date, he is the perfect baby. He doesn't sleep more than two hours at a time, but that's to be expected. He doesn't cry. I realize that we may be in some weird new baby honeymoon phase, but he only cries if he's hungry and I take too long to get him fed. Otherwise he just sort of squeaks and squawks his displeasure at an empty tummy.

Everyone asks who he looks like - just like all of my other children, he looks like himself. You would never in a million years guess that any of my kids are related. Which is weird to me - my family definitely has a "look." My husband's family does as well. You know what I'm talking about - when you're at church and you see a kid in the hall, you may not know their name, but you can tell just from looking at them that they're a Gibb or a Hansen or a Rahlf because the siblings look alike. My kids don't. The newest is no exception to the rule. (And I hope his hair stays dark like mine, but the second child already pulled that one on me. He had shiny black hair that fell completely out and then came in the same color as his older brother's.)

As for taking the baby outside to the store or church or whatever, I don't take my kid out anywhere for four weeks. Period. I thought this was normal. It was what my mom advised, it was what my pediatrician recommended.

But I've noticed this trend at church (which is the only place I ever see new moms) and I've seen a lot of birth on Friday, in church the following Sunday going on. Is it really that much easier when you have a regular birth? I can't even fathom it. Two days after my birth I was lying in a hospital bed working on getting up three times a day to walk around. It just sort of bewilders me that such a thing is possible. And I do worry about the baby getting sick. I know of a woman who took her infant out places right after he was born, and he ended up with RSV and nearly dying. That makes me even more cautious than I would probably normally be.

So I was wondering - do you wait to take your newborn out on the town? Or do you figure there's enough immunity passed on from the mom that it doesn't matter?


At 3/14/2009 9:30 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

A lot has to do with what time of the year it is, what bugs are going around, and how I feel. I've taken them out around two weeks, but longer if it's winter or if I feel crappy.

He is absolutely darling, and I'm so glad he made it here safely. Sorry you went through so much to get him here, though!

At 3/14/2009 9:41 PM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

He's adorable! Congrats!

And to answer your question, yes it is a lot easier after a regular birth. In fact, I tease my second daughter that she's my favorite because she came fast enough that the doctor didn't have time to put an IV in me. (I share that PLEASE TAKE THIS NEEDLE OUT OF MY ARM NOW thing with you.) A couple hours after she was born, I was bored and walking around the maternity ward so I would have something to do.

As for when to start going out in public with a newborn, I agree with Tristi that I avoid taking babies out during cold and flu season, but otherwise I start going out at least to church after a couple of weeks.

At 3/14/2009 9:42 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

This made me intensely grateful that my youngest is 6 1/2. Yikes. What a nightmare. But glad he's here safely.

And you're right to stay in. We had the same rule--baby stays in for a month, no exceptions. *I* went out before that, because yes, with a regular birth you heal quicker. But 2 days and back to church? Uh, no.

At 3/14/2009 10:14 PM, Anonymous ally condie said...

Congratulations, Sariah! He is the cutest little/big guy around! I'm sorry the delivery was so rough. That sounds so difficult.

I always wait a good 4-6 weeks before I take my babies out, for what that's worth.

At 3/14/2009 10:59 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

Your doc will probably have the best advice, but I'd wait 4-6 weeks before taking him someplace where people will be asking to hold him (including family functions). My doc said 6 weeks and I took my son to a family party when he was 5 weeks. He had RSV a couple of days later. I think it's okay to take them places earlier--as long as you aren't letting people fawn, hold, or kiss him.

At 3/14/2009 11:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Sariah! He's beautiful!

I had a lady in my ward go straight from the hospital to church with her day old infant. I was surprised to see them to say the least. I always wait a good month or more before I take my babies out, especially in a season where there's lots of colds and sniffles going on as the season changes. It's for the baby's health and my own peace of mind, for sure. But, really, I think it's whenever you feel comfortable and ready. We also had a big container of hand sanitizer in our living room for those people who came over and wanted to hold our little baby. It made things easier and a little less awkward.

Anyway, I'm so glad he's finally here safe and sound. I hope you get some rest!


At 3/15/2009 12:50 AM, Blogger CTW said...

Congratulations! He's wonderful.

At 3/15/2009 3:11 PM, Blogger Noble M Standing said...

Congratulations, he is beautiful. I sympathize with you over the birth, I had an emergency C-section and everything "fell apart" for a while. Hang in there and things will get better.

As for the taking baby out. I had two NICU babies and a baby that needed surgery after birth. I dont take my kids anywhere for at least two months, my last one was almost four. RSV can be deadly. It scares me and I err on the side of caution.

Either way, what a cutie!

At 3/15/2009 5:51 PM, Blogger Just_Me said...

He's wonderful! Congrats!

Let's see, I've been induced for both of mine but they were both natural. I usually have them out in the first week. I wouldn't if they were preemie or it was cold season, but a spring and summer baby, both full-term, I didn't see an issue.

Besides, going to church was the least of our worries. The Eldest moved cross country from Colorado to Florida at 10 days old. The Youngest from Colorado to Texas at 8 days old. Two days in a car crossing state lines makes church much less intimidating.

I think getting out makes life easier, honestly. If I *have* to get out then I'm forced to shower and put on clean clothes and pack the kids up.

Good luck! Having two very small ones is a chore, but call some friends and tell them you need someone to cuddle the kid for an hour while you shower and dress, and while they're at it- grab Olive Garden and bring you lunch. :o)

At 3/15/2009 7:29 PM, Blogger Anna said...

I have had c-sections for all 3 of my kids. My lastest (Jan 9th) we didn't go to church until March 1st to bless her. We did go to our parents home on Sundays and to the store occasionally with everyone.

For the most part we haven't gone a lot of places with the baby yet. I think she's been to the store twice. With my son, I was at a 4th of July city celebration with him when he was 9 days old. I don't mind taking them out.. it's the taking them out in the winter and hoping they don't catch anything.

That said, we all have the crap going around. The baby didn't catch it as bad as us. I think she may have something, but no fever, no cough. She's just really congested. Just watching her closely, her 2 month checkup is tomorrow, so I'm not too worried about her.

I am SO ready for Spring and warm weather and all this flu crap to go away so that I don't feel so couped up.

At 3/15/2009 7:35 PM, Blogger Paiges' Pages said...

Sariah he is so cute! Congrats! Im glad he made it here alright despite the problematic labor and delivery. Sending wishes for a speedy recovery!


At 3/16/2009 3:25 AM, Blogger Shanda- said...

Congratulations, Sariah! He's absolutely adorable! I've had a few large babies myself, but you win for sure! My last two are only 20 months apart (my 1st & 2nd are 3.5 yrs apart, my 2nd & 3rd are 6 yrs apart) so I'm learning about having two under two right now. I love them but it can be really tough!

As far as taking baby out-

My first was full-term, 10 lbs, born mid-Nov, and I worked so she had to go to in-home daycare. I could only nurse her for 3 months. My sickest baby- lots of colds & fevers.

My 2nd was full-term, 8 lb. 1 oz, born end of March- we were at church 2 weeks later mainly because I was in the Primary Presidency & we had a huge primary (meaning desperate for any help, lol!). Nursed her 9 months, I was a stay at home mom and she was much healthier than my first.

My 3rd was full-term, 9 lb. 3 oz., born end of April, didn't go out a ton but didn't stay home either. Nursed him a full year and to this day (he's 22 months) he's never had an ear infection and just a few head colds.

My 4th was 5 weeks early, born New Year's Eve, 6 lb. 1 oz., spent 5 days in the NICU, still nursing (she's only 10 weeks old & also the reason I'm up at 1 AM responding to blogs. Daddy's out of town and she's been awake for HOURS). We made our first family trip to Target this last Friday (armed with hand sanitizer, of course). Other than the doctor's office, she either stays home or in the van and only one of us runs into the store. Because I was on bedrest prior to her birth, I haven't been to church in months and my son hasn't been to nursery since before she was born either. No need to bring any of that junk home! She did so well after she was born that if she hadn't been born in the dead of winter, I'd probably be more lenient about going out sooner. No sickness so far.

It adds up to what you're comfortable with & I'm all for better safe than sorry.

Good luck with your new baby boy!!

Shanda :)

At 3/16/2009 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an adorable little guy!


At 3/16/2009 4:44 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

Cute! And congrats.

I say, stay in and milk it for all it's worth.

At 3/17/2009 1:16 AM, Blogger Marta O. Smith said...

Definitely keep that adorable little guy home for a few weeks at least.

At 3/17/2009 1:31 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

Congratulations! He's really cute. As for when to take him out, give him and you a chance to recuperate before you expose him to the world. A month is usually about right.
And I won? That's neat, but don't rush sending me the prize. Wait until you really feel up to it.

At 3/18/2009 1:10 AM, Blogger Nancy Campbell Allen said...

He's adorable! And we've also done the RSV thing at our house. Multiple times. And I think church is one of the worst places to take a newborn too soon because all of those germs are just OUT THERE and ready to jump right on that baby.

I say at least 4 weeks.

I love that new baby smell. Smell him lots for me. :-)

At 3/24/2009 2:11 PM, Blogger LexiconLuvr said...

I had twin preemies so we didn't take them anywhere until well after 13 weeks and that was only to see my mother. They didn't get to go to any "real" places until they were almost 6 months old. But then again, they were preemie babies and had problems at that. I left the house to go to the store long before they did (twins = 900 diapers that first month) but they stayed at home cozy with their dad. =]

Your lil' dude is beautiful and I LOVED the million dollar caption! I hope your recovery goes well and I'm so sorry about that crap-epidural!

At 4/29/2009 2:48 AM, Blogger Christine Thackeray said...

What a gorgeous little boy. Congratulations. I'd keep him home for at least eight weeks with the flu going around. Not until the middle of the summer if you can hack it.


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