Beyond Day Three

by DaniGirl on February 12, 2008 · 18 comments

in Baby days

When I was pregnant, I read something on someone’s blog about Day Three, and how it’s a well-known fact (at least in some circles, it was news to me but made a lot of sense) that Day Three postpartum is one of the worst, hardest days. It’s a perfect storm of dismay: you’ve lost the last of the endorphins from the birth experience; the ‘newness’ of having baby has worn off but you haven’t yet established a workable routine so everything is still topsy-turvey; your milk is coming in (ouch!); and, worst of all, you’re a hormonal mess. In fact, the midwife was telling me that a newly postpartum woman has less hormones than a post-menopausal woman, as the placenta has been almost entirely responsible for hormone production during the pregnancy.

All that to say, Day Three is a mythically scary day. Day Three or no, in my previous pregnancies I’ve always had a particularly rough time in first few weeks after baby is born – emotionally, physically, and especially in dealing with the sleep deprivation. That’s why the whole “Day Three” thing resonated with me; except, in my case, it was more like the first three (or six!) weeks, not days.

And here we are on Day Four, and you know what? Not so bad! Maybe it’s a new level of self-awareness, maybe it’s an easier labour (story to come, I promise!), maybe an easier baby, or maybe just third time’s the charm. Yes, I’d say yesterday was the most difficult day so far, but as the worst, it was better than a lot of the best days from the postpartum days following the arrivals of Tristan and Simon.

It’s been way easier physically. I think my milk coming in yesterday and the sore nipples (not yet as battered as they were with the other boys, but still bruised and cracked) have been far more uncomfortable than the residual aches and pains from the delivery. Because Simon was born with his hand thrust over his head, the tear was way worse then than this time — it’s amazing how much the simple ability to sit comfortably improves one’s demeanor!

We were doing pretty good with the sleep deprivation, too. Lucas had been sleeping a LOT, which helps, but last night that went out the window. I’d been getting maybe six hours of sleep a night altogether, which while three hours less than my ideal, is still manageable. Last night, he was up for most of the night and I couldn’t get him to settle for love nor money. Even sucking on my fingers, the way I’d soothed him to sleep a couple of times the night before, wouldn’t do it for him. I think my milk coming in might have upset his stomach, and am hoping that he adjusts to it through the course of the day today.

Emotionally, well, that’s just been easier, too. I dunno why, but I’ll take it! I think it’s a combination of the wisdom of experience and the knowledge that this is the last time I’ll be doing this that helps. Part of my brain is whining “I feel like crap and I’m sooooo tired and oh my god, I wish you would just go to sleep” but another part of me remembers how truly short this time period is and how quickly it passes. (And no, I don’t really expect that serenity to last even to the end of today, let alone for any great length of time. But it’s nice while it lasts.)

So, if that was Day Three, and that was the worst of it, I think we’re golden!

And with that, my little one is awakening from his four hour mid-morning nap (how cruel is it that his best and deepest sleep of the day exactly coincides with my most alert and unable to nap time of the day???) and will be demanding second breakfast (actually, I think we’re up to elevenses) any minute now. If we get another long nap like this tomorrow morning, you may yet get that birth story…. or not!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Loukia February 12, 2008 at 10:49 am

Dani, congratulations on your new addition! He’s a cutie. I, like you, can’t seem to nap during my baby boy’s nap times! Not a good thing! And he’s an eating machine, I had to laugh at ‘elevensies’ because that’s what I said the other day… he has like 100 meals a day! 🙂

2 MomOnTheGo February 12, 2008 at 10:59 am

Dani, I’m glad to hear from you. I has a particularly wicked day 3, now that you mention it. I think the important thing is to let new mom’s know that the bliss of birth – like in that pic of you and Lucas – doesn’t last without interruption. My goodness, even with an easy delivery, our bodies have gone through so much. Give that milky-sweet baby a kiss for me, won’t you? I miss that smell most of all.

3 Meghan February 12, 2008 at 11:00 am


Third time is a charm.
I always tell everyone that if I had another baby it would be perfect!
I would be the perfect parent-after all the practice I got with the first two,

Good luck to you and your family.

Lucas is a sweeetie and your hubby and boys are very lucky.

My favorite pic is of the boys fawning over the new baby!

4 Sheila February 12, 2008 at 11:07 am

Thanks for the longer update. You really sound good! Sure, tired and sore, but coping well and feeling optimistic. You reminded me of how really really hard those early weeks were for me. It’s very nice to hear that this time around, you can see past the rough moments and know that it’s just a stage, and you’ll get through it just fine.
Still, I’m hoping for some good nap-time for you today, and a better night tonight. Hang in there!

5 Mom On The Run February 12, 2008 at 11:43 am

Those newborn days sure are tough aren’t they? I found #2 was easier than #1 ’cause I knew what to expect and no longer had unrealistic expectations. You sound like you’re doing great and I’m happy to hear that although you couldn’t nap you were able to get some alone time. Congrats on your new bundle of joy!

6 annika February 12, 2008 at 11:59 am

This is a beautiful post, Dani. I am approaching baby#2 in another four months and am hoping that the benefit of experience and perspective will allow me to hold on to those fleeting moments of serenity as well.

Hold him tight…they are little for such a short time!

7 kgirl February 12, 2008 at 1:14 pm

That was probably me going on about day 3, which this time around didn’t get to me either – but I’m giving some credit to all the painkillers I was on! Glad to hear that you are all doing well and enjoying things – it never stays the same for long with a new baby, but the smoother the first few weeks, the better!

8 Sue February 12, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Ah, day 3. Funny, but I still remember it all these years later, but mostly because I remember feeling horribly guilty about feeling sad. I was young and no one had bothered to tell me about the perfect storm. My family doc at the time (not the same one we have now) was a proponent of the “There there dear, it will be allright” school of medical practice.

I’m so happy for you Dani, and I hope these first weeks continue to be good for you.

9 Not So Little Sister February 12, 2008 at 3:34 pm

I’ve never heard of this day three thing, so I’m glad you mentioned it. I’m also glad you guys are doing well. Looking forward to hearing the birth story!

10 bubandpie February 12, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Why is his longest nap during your most alert time of day?

So you can blog, of course!

I’m glad it’s going so well.

11 mamatulip February 12, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Sounds pretty good, Dani…

12 Chris February 12, 2008 at 6:31 pm

” I think it’s a combination of the wisdom of experience and the knowledge that this is the last time I’ll be doing this that helps”

I think you hit the nail on the head. I know when I had Dane, knowing very well he was my last, it made all the tough times a little less tough.

I can’t wait to hear this big boy’s birth story.

13 nancy February 12, 2008 at 8:08 pm

As soon as I read “Lucas” in mid-sentence, which for whatever reason made him REAL to me…I lost it. I am melting with joy for you…


14 nancy February 12, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Oh, and wait – a FOUR hour nap, you didn’t sleep and yet I do believe it is your turn….wtf?

15 Liz February 12, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Sounds like a lovely baby moon! I’m sending you virtual bag balm ( and a sippy bottle of water that follows you around wherever you go.

16 Tricia February 16, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Congratulations! And can I say how much I loved your “second breakfast” and “elevensies” references. Loved it!

Hope all is well with you and your family of five!

17 b*babbler February 22, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I so SO wish I had known about the Day Three thing when I had Peanut. As it was, Day Three was when I was discharged from the hospital and went home for the first time, without Peanut, as she had to stay in the NICU.

It’s no wonder after calmly spending the entire day in the NICU after discharge, going home and unpacking, tidying up the house I hadn’t seen in over a week, then pumping and preparing my bag for the next day, I started bawling. Hysterically.

If I had only known about the Day Three thing, I might have been better prepared.

So very glad though, that it is going much better for you!

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