Friday, February 09, 2007

Woman's Sanity Still Intact Three Weeks after Birth of Son

I just thought it sounded like a good headline. Or how about "Woman Miraculously Survives Same Event That Every Other Mother in the World Has Survived"? Nah, too wordy.

Noah is asleep on my lap in a sling (I'm not happy with it, but am too poor to get another one right now), so I have the luxury of two-hand typing! What joy!

First, I'll update you on my daily routine. My life right now consists exclusively of:

1. Feeding Noah
2. Trying to find a place he'll agree to sleep for more than five minutes
3. Realizing that #2 is unrealistic, and anyway, he needs a diaper change
4. Holding Noah
5. Trying to burp Noah and grab a swig of water at the same time
6. Seizing 1.5 hours at a time at night to attempt to sleep, but wait--he needs a diaper change, and wait, now he's hungry...

That about covers it, I think. He eats almost constantly. I think we're in a growth spurt that has lasted about three weeks of his three-week life.

Thank you for your prayers about his birth. The most important request, for a healthy baby, was generously answered by God. The birth experience was...not what I'd hoped for. Can I omit the details if I just give summary words? Here you go: stalled labor, pitocin, artificial rupturing of membranes, epidural, two-hour pushing while numb, 3rd degree tear and episiotomy (sorry to any gentlemen reading this!). Enough said.

The first week or so after Noah's birth I was the most sleep-deprived I've ever been in my life; labor was over 24 hours, and since we first came to the hospital at 11PM, we hadn't slept since the night before, anyway. I was exhausted. Add to that the raging postpartum hormones, and...I was a basket case. Thus the quip below about holding on to my sanity. I felt totally overwhelmed, fat, tired, drained (literally and figuratively), worried about Noah's growth and my milk supply, and just plain emotional. I cried every day and worried about Post-Partum Depression.

This week has been a lot better. I feel more like myself, I was able to get to the gym, and I haven't cried every day. Ryan has been a champ the whole time--I can't imagine a father doing more than he's done. Breastfeeding is going well; Noah passed his birth weight last week and now weighs over 8 lbs 4 oz.

You know, everyone talks about pitocin being very painful. For me, it wasn't; I wasn't in terrible pain until my water was broken. I was at 4 cm and he was low. The pain almost immediately became un. bearable. Indescribable. Until then, things felt like the books said they would, and I managed the contractions well. It hurt, mind you, but it was manageable. After the ROM, it was NOT manageable and I requested an epidural. Unfortunately, the epidural wasn't turned off when I needed to push, and I couldn't feel a thing (even though the nurse was telling me I could--thanks!). After two hours of fruitless pushing--his head was visible but we just couldn't get him OUT--the doctor did what he had to do.

Man, I said I wasn't going into detail, and there I went.

But the end result is amazing and beautiful: this precious baby boy that I can hardly stand to let go of! He smiles and laughs, and it's not gas. I don't care what anyone says. I don't know what he's laughing at, exactly, but it's clear sometimes that something is amusing him.

I appreciate you guys more than I can tell you. Right now, feeling so alone and overwhelmed, reading your good wishes and comments has been such a comfort. I feel like the worst is over emotionally and am looking forward to climbing this mountain. Truly, the hardest job I've ever tackled.