Wow, do I ever owe a post.

March 20, 2010 at 10:17 am (Uncategorized)

Four weeks ago today, I gave birth to my little boy. So yeah, I’ve been busy.

The labor and delivery was not terrible. I was scheduled to be induced the following day as I was 41 weeks and 5 days already. So when I woke up early Saturday morning and felt my water break, I was really glad–labor was starting on its own. I wasn’t so glad when I got up and saw that there was meconium in it. It’s funny when you are told what to look out for and then you see that exact thing. There was brown stuff in the water, and I knew it should have been clear. I was bummed, but knew that something was going to be done about it immediately, which was good. I was in the bathroom by this point, so I called to my husband, “My water broke. And it’s not clear.” We were out the door within 10 minutes.

On the way to the hospital, my contractions were getting more and more painful and went from 5 minutes apart quickly to 3 and then 2 minutes apart. By the time we got to the hospital, I was grateful for the wheelchair they offered me. By the time we got to the room, I was in agony. It took about an hour or so from that point to get the epidural–honestly, I hadn’t planned on getting it so fast but I think this was the worst pain I had ever been in. At the peak of each contraction, I felt like I was going to vomit and/or pass out. I did neither, but my husband and mother saw me in this incredible pain and they said it was hard. The epidural was an incredible relief. It really is as good as they say–I kept having contractions but I couldn’t feel the pain. I mean, I wasn’t as comfortable as I would be on, say, a normal day, but it was so much better than feeling those contractions.

They moved us to possibly the nicest delivery room in the hospital. It was huge, with big picture windows and a view of the Hollywood sign, no joke. There I sat all day, laboring but not really feeling it, which is so weird. My parents were there, as was my husband’s mother. Interesting. At some point we turned on the TV and watched old TV Land shows, and then later the Olympics. By about 9:30 that night the nurse said she was ready for me to start pushing. I pushed for 2 1/2 hours, which yes, was exhausting, but which wasn’t really so bad until my epidural started wearing off and I was starting to really feel the contractions. By the end, they wouldn’t give me any more epidural so I was in a lot of pain when the baby finally came out. Also, I couldn’t believe it when the baby finally came out. It just happened, just like that, just like the books said it would. My husband and mom were there–my mom watched the whole thing from down there, but my husband couldn’t bring himself to look that much.

My baby is pretty perfect. He is such a good baby–he mostly seems only to cry when there is something we can do to fix it (like feed him). Which brings me to the main reason I haven’t posted since he’s been born–the hardest thing by far has been feeding him. I had so wanted to exclusively breastfeed, but he just wasn’t gaining enough weight and I clearly do not produce enough milk. Which I know they say is never really a real problem, except that I now know that sometimes women who have PCOS or other fertility problems DO have issues with supply. So we started supplementing with formula, and I started pumping after feedings and taking tons of fenugreek, which is supposed to help with supply. But my supply has not really improved much, and this feeding ordeal is incredibly elaborate and entirely unsustainable (breastfeed, then feed him pumped milk from a previous pumping, then feed him formula, then pump for next time). I have been working through my guilt over (a) not exclusively breastfeeding, and (b) the idea of quitting breastfeeding altogether. Yesterday I saw one of our lactation consultants, who said I had done everything right, doing this for this long was “heroic” (ha, I’m not so sure, but thanks for saying so), and that normally when she recommends this routine for someone, it is for a weekend or a week at most. She said that though I don’t need her permission, I have her permission to move on. My pediatrician of course said the same thing: “I love breast milk. I think breast milk is the greatest thing in the world. Second to only one thing: a happy mom.” But I wanted to make it to the four-week mark, which is today. After today, I may quit pumping, or just quit with the breast milk altogether. The pumping, other than the morning session, usually does not yield enough to make it worth any of our whiles. And I want my baby to have a happy, well-rested mom. So that’s where I am with that.

Other than that, I can’t believe I have a son now, and a son who is so peaceful at that. I was, from what I hear, the worst baby anyone could ever wish on anyone. I would cry constantly, I would hold my breath until I turned blue and passed out, I would make my parents’ lives hell. I’m not sure how I got so lucky with this little beautiful boy. Also, I have never been a baby person, but it’s true what they say–when it’s yours, it’s a completely different thing. Even when he wakes me up in the night out of a dead sleep, I might feel annoyed or frustrated, but it’s really not at him. And when I gather him up in my arms, I just can’t believe how sweet and lovable he is, and that he’s mine.

So yes, it was all worth it. It’s not perfect, and it’s exhausting, and I haven’t seen friends in a month, but it’s worth it. I am so excited for what’s to come.


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