What a difference 4 hours of sleep in a row made last night. Gave me time to come in here and start a draft. Don’t expect a polished post out of me for quite some time… but if you’re in the mood for talk about feeding troubles, postpartum depression, breast pumps, baby gear, jaundice or reflux – I’m your girl.
The purpose of this post is mainly to let you all know I’m alive… and to enlist you to pray if you take pity on me. I’m sure most of you mamas out there remember what it is like when life goes on as normal for most people and you are caught in an endless schedule of baby feedings and self care. The visitors are wonderful, but when they all leave, you tend to get a little melancholy wondering if you’ll be able to bounce back to your normal speed again. Things are overwhelming that used to get done with ease. It doesn’t help that usually you are still physically healing and hormonally unstable.
A few of you sweet friends who have left me such wonderful prayers, thoughts, and encouragement in my comments section and elsewhere online have asked for a labor story… so I’ll just give you a little recap of the past few days (which will explain why there’s been no time for blogging):
You all knew that I was HUGE pregnant just days ago. Well, the doctor didn’t really want to induce me two weeks early, but she knew how awful I was feeling and allowed me to make the choice of an early induction. She thought little Kohen would be 8 lbs. and 1 oz. – and boy was she wrong! I’m so glad that I listened to my body (that had been contracting for weeks) and chose to get it over with early. Thankfully, everything turned out well (although nothing went as planned).
Monday night the 16th… couldn’t hardly sleep, watched a movie with Kevin before bed, worried and contracted through the night
Tuesday the 17th… up at 4am, last minute items loaded in to the car, check in at the hospital before 6am, start Pitosin drip at 7:30am, stay 2.5 cm for half of the day, get epidural at 2:30pm – 3 sticks and hurt like the dickens, progress to 3.5 cm until nearly 9pm, doctor accidentally pops my water during a check at 9ish… baby drops and engages and full labor begins (just in time for the epidural to wear off). I resume the rest of labor with a sleepy medicine head feeling and excruciating pain – including the birth of my 9lb. 4oz. baby who conveniently came out with his arm aside his head (I’m sure he did this just so I could top everyone else’s labor stories… at least he wasn’t “sideways”). He arrives just in time to be a St. Patrick’s baby at 11:13PM.
Wednesday the 18th… baby and I were well cared for by great nurses, daddy, and grandma while we tried to get some rest. Unfortunately, there’s no resting in the hospital for women who deliver large babies. Heel pricks for blood sugar come at hourly intervals… along with all the other “visitors” that the hospital sends your way (spaced out so that you can’t get more than a 30 minute catnap on either end of them).
Thursday the 19th… by now I have no idea what day it is. I just know they are about to send me home with an infant after not sleeping for more than five hours in three days. I finally get a shower and beg the nurse for more ice packs. Everything is loaded up for home and we head out. Catnaps help some. Grandma Chickie stays up five hours rocking Kohen so I can sleep. Unfortunately I end up waking every hour worried about him.
Friday the 20th… still no milk. Kohen beginning to dehydrate some, slight jaundice, we go buy a pump and start supplementing formula. I’m exhausted. Friends from church bring us dinner. I sleep through dinner since it falls between a feeding. Kids are ruined from video games by now. Mom meets my cousin for herbal supplements for breast-milk production. Hot showers don’t work. At least the formula gives me a five hour stretch of sleep during the night.
Today, the 21st, Saturday… the pump provides evidence that milk is slowly coming in. Now that the milk is arriving, baby prefers the bottle. Feedings are a nightmare for both of us. We take the baby to the pediatrician to be checked for jaundice. He sets up a blood test for Sunday. Daddy gets me a cheeseburger and the kids and Chickie clean the whole house while we are out as a nice surprise. Grandma Betty stops in for a visit. Chickie leaves to go home. I spend my first night without an extra helper. Daddy gets woke up at 3AM for diaper duty. Both of us look like those “mall people” you see pushing a newborn in a stroller that we always chuckle at… remembering the days when ours were tiny. We’re too old for this extreme lack of sleep.
And then of course, you look at the little critter you are caring for… those sweet cheeks… tiny fingers… shiny eyes… sleepy facial expressions… soft skin and precious little baby noises… and all the physical strain ebbs away – leaving you with just one wish – to kiss that tiny boy and rub his fuzzy head against your cheek. How blessed we are. How BUSY we are.
So no matter how long it takes me to become a ‘regular’ blogger again… it’s all worth it. The routine must be adjusted so that normal life can once again take place. And that takes time and patience – and a few tears here and there. Whatever normal will look like after we find a ‘New Groove’ is a mystery. We’re very thankful to have our little guy as part of the family, though. We are just working some postpartum kinks out.
Well, it’s 4:44 AM on Sunday. I better catch a 2 hour nap before the next feeding. Pray that breastfeeding becomes the norm and formula is on the out! I haven’t given up yet…