While in the hospital I took around 800 pictures. Yes. I went a little camera crazy haha! Obviously I went through and edited them down but I’m also splitting up the hospital stay into smaller posts 🙂
One of the biggest advantages to having a natural birth is how AWESOME I feel right after. Everyone always comments on how “normal” I seem and how it’s hard to believe I’d just done all that work to have a baby! I love that I’m completely present and in the moment. This delivery I feel like I was the MOST mentally “there” out of all of my deliveries so far. I felt like myself through the whole experience, including right after birth. The very first thing I requested? That oj baby! Bradley Method even talks about getting orange juice right after delivery. I think I drank probably 8-10 of the little oj cups. It was SO SO GOOD. I drank it throughout my hospital stay too 🙂 I love it!
I also packed peanut butter crackers prior to going into labor and ate those in the postpartum room. I wasn’t super hungry but I snacked a little to help me feel more alert. After having Britt I lost a good bit of blood. I felt very dehydrated after her as well and I was nervous about both of those factors this time around. Elizabeth kept checking me and while the kids were meeting Tess she was pretty concerned about my blood loss. She did a lot of massaging my stomach and a good bit of checking me while the kids were in the room. Whew, it was PAINFUL! I was so worried that they would see me in pain! Thankfully a cute new baby served as a wonderful distraction for them!
Once everyone left and Tess went to the nursery we got me fixed up to move to postpartum. The first step was using the bathroom. I went very easily which was a blessing for sure! It was hilarious because Zach came in the bathroom with Elizabeth and I and sat on the tub while I was going to the bathroom. I think he was just so excited he didn’t really think about the fact that I was kinda hardcore bleeding and it was kinda a gross thing to be witnessing?!?! While we were in there Jolee and Mema knocked on the delivery room door and Zach told them to come on in. HAHAHA. I was like “Omg Zach no! Don’t come in!” I mean I was sitting there trying to go to the bathroom for the first time after childbirth. Not really something you want a bunch of people witnessing?!?!
Once I went to the bathroom I was ready to go to the postpartum room! We gathered my stuff and I chugged so more oj and we were off 🙂
We got all settled in a said our goodbyes to Elizabeth. Can I just say ONE more time how truly thankful I am for her?!?! I’ve been beyond blessed to have her as part of all three of my deliveries! Can’t wait to make it a 4th 🙂
While I was settling into my postpartum room Zach ran to the nursery with my camera to witness Tess’s first bath. I loved getting to take pics for Casey of Carter’s first bath and am glad Zach made it in time to see Tess’s!
She had quite the crew witnessing her first bath!
Zach even asked the nursery staff if he could go into the nursery and see her! I didn’t know they allowed that! But of course they let him in 😉
All clean and happy!
It was a strange feeling not having Tess with me. After having her in my belly for 10 months I wanted her to be in the room with me. I kept checking the clock and wonder when I could have her back!!! I didn’t like her being away from me!
Rachael arrived to the hospital at close to 1. Tess was born at 11:15 and we introduced her to everyone about an hour after that so Rach barely missed it! I felt so, so bad but it seriously meant THE WORLD to me to have her come all that way!!!
Rach and I text pretty much every day and she had been trying to guess names for awhile. She was positive it was a girl from early on in my pregnancy and just a few days prior to her birth, Rachael totally guessed the name!!! I about DIED! She said “It’s Tess I know it’s Tess” I ran out into the living room freaking out and telling Zach she guessed it. I think I played it off well so she didn’t know she had gotten it right. But I was excited to tell her the name! She was also part of the reason we used Capri as the middle name since she had introduced me to that song! I wasn’t sure if everyone would like the name or not…but I knew Rachael would haha!
My kids only call people “aunt” and “uncle” who are actually their aunt and uncle. It takes a MEGA close friendship to get upgraded from “Ms” or “Mr” to “Aunt” or “Uncle.” Katie has always been “Auntie Katie” since before Kye was even born but up until now she’s been the only friend to reach “aunt” status. I think driving all the way from Atlanta just for my baby shower and then again for the birth of my baby calls for an upgrade…don’t you?!?! So here’s Tess meeting Aunt Rachael!
I have been so thankful for Rachael’s friendship in my life. We have been there for each other through may tough times in recent years and we both know we have each other’s backs no matter what. I wish we lived closer but ours is that kind of friendship that never fades no matter how long we go without seeing each other face to face. I adore her ENTIRE family (yes, her husband and kids but even her parents…and in laws…) and am honored to be her friend.
I was nervous leading up to Tess’s birth how I would feel emotionally about not having my mom there. My brother wasn’t there for Britt’s birth and it crushed me so I was pretty worried about how I’d feel about having no family there for Tess. However, I never felt sad!!! I was so thankful for my healthy baby and truly felt God’s presence in that room during my delivery. I knew He had a hand in it all and I knew He was taking care of me. Having the outpouring of love from SO MANY really made me feel nothing but joy and happiness. I have AMAZING friends. And AMAZING inlaws. And everyone who came to the hospital (or who has checked in with me…brought food…sent gifts…etc since) loves me and loves my baby and I have NO reasons to be sad at all! Rachael coming down played a HUGE role in my emotional state. She and Robyn (bragging to come on Robyn later!) both went above and beyond for me and filled any kind of void that my family may have left. I know I’ve said it a bunch but I AM BLESSED 🙂
I have no clue who took this of Rachael and Mr. Rusty?!?! haha
Rach couldn’t stay long and had to head back. Yes, she drove through Atlanta traffic just to come and visit for a little bit and then turned around and drove back!!! I’m so glad her family is coming back to visit again soon!!! I did not get enough Rachael time for sure!!!
Casey wasn’t able to stay too long as she had to get back to feed Carter. Oh the life of a breastfeeding mama! We can’t be away from our babies for too long!
Little Mama missed the announcement when Tess first arrived. It was a total miscommunication situation where she was waiting at the house for Big Daddy to come home so they could ride together but he ended up just going straight to the hospital instead of going home first. Oops! She was funny about it b/c she was upset that he was wearing the clothes he had on and that he hadn’t gone home to change haha. Us women gotta keep our men in line, right?!?! While I hate she missed the big announcement, there is an advantage to coming to visit in the postpartum room. She got a lot more quality time with Tess and some great pics of them together too!
Little Mama is so special to me!
Leading up to delivery I had been SO prepared but I didn’t actually think about the logistics if I had the baby earlier in the day. Both Kye and Britt came in the evening time so I just kinda assumed that would be the same case with Tess. I didn’t actually pack enough clothes in my hospital bag for my whole stay since I was there a whole extra day because I had her earlier in the morning! I ended up just wearing my hospital gown (it wasn’t dirty at all) while visiting with everyone and once I showered that evening I changed into pjs then. I also hadn’t made plans for the older kids for the day. The plan was always for them to go home with Mrs. Charlotte but I knew Mrs. Charlotte would want to stay and visit at the hospital so I asked Courtney if she’d mind taking my kids home with her to play with her kids. It worked out great! My kids were already skipping nap (they didn’t leave the hospital until 1:30ish) so they got to have a fun cousin afternoon!
Fun times at the Fleming house!
With both Kye and Britt I was in a rush to get pics posted to announce their births on social media. This time I didn’t hurry. I wanted to make sure everyone got to MEET Tess who wanted to before I posted anything! I also just wanted to visit and enjoy my sweet company 🙂 Once things settled down (and the big kids left) it was time for Tess’s first official photo shoot! We busted out the hairbands I had bought prior to her birth and made her social media debut 🙂
We hadn’t really gotten to see her little body much in the delivery room so we unsaddled her to check her out 🙂 10 fingers and 10 toes and truly a perfect little baby!
Robyn was able to stay at the hospital for a while to visit and hang out. She has been SO awesome during my whole pregnancy and she is one of the people who you can REALLY tell WANTS to see Tess and was so pumped about her arrival! She put up with all my pregnancy emotional roller coasters and was so excited for the delivery. She said if I went in the middle of the night that she’d be up at the hospital waiting!!! I knew she would be there no matter what and it was very comforting to me to know I could count on her 🙂
Prior to Tess’s birth we planned on Zach staying with me for the first night in the hospital but didn’t have a plan for who would stay with me the second night. When I had Britt, Casey stayed with me and obviously she can’t do that now! I wasn’t too worried about it and thought if Rach ended up staying that she may want to stay with me or that someone would volunteer or, worst case, I’d just stay solo. I think everyone was kinda worried about my emotional state and no one wanted me to be alone, which is super sweet. Robyn had offered to stay with me and while she was there after I gave birth I talked to her about it and she agreed to stay with me the second night. Hello….SUCH a true friend! I mean who wants to stay in the dang hospital?!?!?!
I think Robyn also deserves “Aunt” status don’t you? 🙂
The initial rush of visitors slowed some and Zach and I were able to have quality time together and with Tess. It was SO AWESOME having her early in the morning and having the whole day like that. It was great feeling so awake and able to soak up every second! I know Zach hates the way the hospital chair is for sleeping, but I truly do love our first night with our new babies at the hospital. There is just such a sweetness about it and we both feel so close and bonded together and have such a buzz of excitement about our newest addition!
Nurses checking her out!
Time for Daddy’s first diaper change 🙂
Such a pro!
One hint I was pretty obviously dropping to everyone was my love for Chicken Salad Chick. My secret hope was that someone would bring it to me in the hospital! I didn’t have to wait long…Mrs. Charlotte went and got us lunch and got some for me 🙂 Gah it is AMAZING. While I waited for the food (it was more of a dinner time frame) I did feel very light headed. I went to the bathroom and felt like I might faint. I did faint when I had Britt (I was in the shower when it happened) and I didn’t want it to happen again! Zach and I are BOTH so, so thankful Robyn was there when I was feeling light headed! She knew what to do! She told me to eat some candy then eat more of the peanut butter crackers because the candy would help bring my blood sugar up and the peanut butter would keep it up. It really did work!
Heaven in a take out box 😉
I’m so glad it worked out for Courtney to have the kids that day as I enjoyed having Mrs. Charlotte there with us and I know she enjoyed those Tess cuddles!
Aunt Karen stopped by to meet the next golfer in the family 😉 We decided Tess Parker totally sounds like a golf name haha
That evening I decided to take a shower. One of my big goals this pregnancy was to recover quickly. I got up and walked around in the hospital room a LOT and I stayed super clean, constantly going to the bathroom and constantly changing out the pads and such. I wanted to shower each day after I had the baby and I wanted to get ready in some form or fashion each day. Even if not fully dressed with makeup and hair fixed…at least have two of the three things 😉 I really felt SO awesome after having Tess! I think all the getting up and staying clean really, really helped my healing.
While I was in the shower Crissy came by! I also felt bad b/c I had like 30 text messages and didn’t see one from Ashley Troutman about coming to visit that evening. When I have my next baby…yall all just come by the hospital! Don’t call or ask first 😉 Just come! When Crissy had her first baby I did call before coming to visit and Seth told me not to come so after that I never called and just went up there haha. Crissy just came on up at well and I’m glad it was someone I feel so comfortable with who was there b/c girl got quite the SHOW from me haha. Fresh out of the shower woman who gave birth less than 6 hours ago ain’t the prettiest sight 😉
Courtney and Casey also came back by that evening and brought us some food and stayed to visit for a little bit. We watched some of Big Brother with Casey and enjoyed getting to spend time with them both. Earlier in the day Bryan, our preacher, also came by to visit. I felt bad b/c it was a bad timing thing where I was trying to nurse so we couldn’t visit much with him but he said a sweet prayer with us and for Tess and it was so sweet of him to visit!
All visitors were gone by 10 and it was just Zach, Tess, and I for the night. Tess didn’t nurse at all when she was FIRST born and then did an awesome feeding before I left the postpartum room at around 12:30. And then after that she wouldn’t nurse again. I tried and tried but she just had no interest. Again, so thankful for Robyn! Cooper (her son) didn’t nurse for a long time after birth either and it made me feel better knowing that. I just stayed calm (a benefit of it being my third time around!) and she ended up nursing at 5:30. She was a NATURAL right away which is such a blessing. My arms were very sore from holding onto those handles while pushing so I did the football hold to nurse her as it was the easiest. I think one of the main reasons she didn’t want to nurse earlier in the day was that she had SO much fluid. I’ve never had to use the bulb syringe so much on one of my babies! She had fluid in her eyes even!!! I think she had so much fluid that it made her not as hungry? I’m SO glad Zach was there to handle the bulb syringe situation b/c that seriously freaks me out and it seemed like she was choking. I would go to nurse her and she would kinda spit up and gag and it was from the fluid. Thankfully it only lasted that first day!
She also had busted blood vessels in both of her eyes. I did ask about it just to make sure it wouldn’t affect her vision and they said it was very normal during childbirth to have it happen. I’ve heard of it happening to the mama’s too…thankfully my eyes were fine! I hated seeing the red in her eyes but was glad it wasn’t something permanent or damaging to her.
Tess was a great pooper right from the start and had like FIVE poop diapers in that first 24 hours! She got rid of all that gross poop right away 😉 And poor Daddy had to change ’em!
When I asked the nursery nurse to take her that night they said they would bring her back in 5-6 hours. Um, no way! I told them that I was breastfeeding and I wanted her back to me every 2.5-3 hours MAX and that if she woke up crying at all to bring her to me sooner. They were SO GREAT about it and really did bring her to me that often throughout the night and she did great nursing! I got like three hours of broken sleep that first night but I enjoyed every second of the cuddling with my newest blessing 🙂
There is nothing sweeter in the world than watching Zach with his babies. He is the best daddy and was so in love with Tess right away. He wanted to hold her all the time and love on her constantly! With me getting all the breastfeeding cuddles and knowing Zach had to go home the next day to spend time with the “big kids” I tried to make sure he got as much time with her as possible during that first day and night!
My favorite 🙂
Yes, this post only covered Tess’s first afternoon/evening of life haha! Be prepared for a LOT more to come!!!
So precious!! Good job mama!!