Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mommy Issues

So, in becoming a new parent there have been a few things I've had to learn to accept. Most of them
I expected, but there are a few that I didn't.

1. Regardless of what I choose to wear, my baby will find a way to make me immodest.
2. It is impossible to wake her up when she wants to sleep.
3. It is also impossible to put her to sleep when she wants to be awake.
4. Baby throw up is 100% unpredictable. There are no signs it is coming, and no matter how much you prepare, you will always find that you needed more of something to clean up the mess.
5. When a little baby cries, it is cute. When a little baby screams, it is headache inducing.
6.  Baby farts DO smell. I always think she did something in her diaper only to find that the fart really was that bad.

The one thing I really didn't expect is the disconnect in relationship. I love her more than anything, and that was instantaneous the moment I realized she was mine. However, most days it feels more like I have a puppy than a child. I feel like I understand her needs better than anyone else, but I don't feel like there is much of a relationship because at this point, she isn't much of a person. I can't make her laugh, or tickle her, or really elicit much of a response from her for anything other than her basic needs. It feels pointless to read to her and she isn't interested in toys yet. It's hard to think of her as part of our family when my cats currently exude more personality. I understand that these things will change in time, but it doesn't make it easier now. I read about the development of babies and knew that it would be like this in the beginning, but I think that I somehow had it in my head that there would be some sort of magic bond when she was born that would make me feel like there's more to our relationship than there is right now.

The family newborn visits are done for the most part now. I absolutely loved it and am sooo thankful to have had my mom and then Cameron's mom here to help us get through these first few weeks. I don't know what I would have done without them (there is no way I could have taken care of Violet by myself when Cameron started going back to work so soon after the c-section).  As thankful as I am to have had so much help, I am also thankful that we are now finally to the point where it's just us and I can start establishing a new normal for life. I'm ready to be the one who takes care of Violet during the day, and runs errands, and makes dinner, and does a few chores in between. I'm still rebuilding strength ( I mean hey, they cut through abdominal muscles to get her out, you don't rebound from that right away), but I'm strong enough and ready to start taking on the responsibilities of my home again.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Our birth story.

I didn't cry the first time I held my precious baby girl. I didn't cry the second, third, or other subsequent times when she was placed in my arms. Perhaps I should just be thrown into the bad mom club for that, but it's what happened.

The entire experience of having a baby was difficult for me. I was constantly sick, tired, and felt like I had been reduced to a second class of being. I was unable to do for myself things I had always done and beyond that, I struggled the entire time with truly believing that I would get to meet my little girl. I had a hard time letting go of fears and really felt like things were going to go wrong in the end.

Even when my doctor told me to go the hospital I didn't believe I was going to meet her. I didn't think it was time yet and that I'd soon be going home to sit in bed for at least another week or two.

At the hospital, I did pretty well progressing on my own and dilating. After having been in labor and stuck in bed for a week, I changed my mind and decided that I wanted an epidural (contractions had gotten pretty strong and close together by then)l. I had no issues when I checked in, I was definitely in labor, and my first check at the hospital had me dilated 5cm. The epidural went in easy, I had been in bed the whole time I'd been there anyways, so it wasn't horrible having to stay there. I spent a total of 13 hours at the hospital in labor. A few hours after the epidural my progress had slowed, so I agreed they could give me a little pitocin. It didn't seem to be doing much of anything, so they increased the amount they were giving me. My little girl's heart rate steadily crept up and stayed high for about 6 hours with a few very dangerous spikes. They tried stopping the pitocin and I went back to progressing well on my own and made it 9.5cm. We were so close and her heart rate had been elevated for so long that they had me start pushing to see if we couldn't get her to push through that little bit left. Her heart rate wasn't going down despite stopping the medicine and they couldn't figure out what else might be causing it (all other things had been ruled out with tests, constantly turning me, and my lack of fever). Pushing wasn't getting her through without dilating that last little bit and after 6 hours of her heart elevated so high they didn't believe we could afford to continue waiting for me to progress. My baby was getting tired and so was I. I was told that we needed to make a decision as soon as possible before we no longer had a choice because her heart rate wasn't getting better.

Having to decide after all that time of contractions and getting that far and having pushed and actually felt her moving down was the hardest thing. I had no idea in the moment what choice to make and I looked to Cameron for what to do. I left the final decision to him because I trusted he would make the right one. We told them to go ahead and prep for the c-section.

They started giving me anesthesia for surgery and took me into the room and strapped me down. It was freezing. They started to do a few tests poking me and I could feel the pain from it so they gave me more anesthesia. I started feeling faint and looked up at the anesthesiologist to ask what would happen if I passed out... and that's all I remember.

I woke up an hour after the surgery. My little Violet was born at 2:59am on March 27, 2013. By the time I woke up from the anesthesia, she was clean and already measured/tested/etc. I was handed her wrapped up in a blanket and I remember being very confused. It hadn't registered in my head what had happened or that she was delivered. It really felt more like being in a state of shock. She came out 7lbs 13.4oz despite being qualified as a "premie" coming one day before 37 weeks. My doctor said it's highly unlikely I would have been able to deliver her if we had chosen to wait because she was so big.

No one ever really came and told me step by step what had happened to fill in the blanks for me of her birth. I was extremely medicated from the surgery and it took a long time for my brain to catch up to fuzzily fill in what must have happened.

 The second time I held her and knew what was going on felt more like the first. She is so beautiful. She smells so good. I can't believe it's possible to instantly love someone so much. I love my husband very deeply- but it was a choice that I made to love him, and God has grown that love, but this little girl... I didn't have a choice: it was just there, bursting out.

I was stapled closed and had to be (and still am) on very good painkillers... not that they really keep me from feeling the pain (I'm pretty sure the only way I could have gotten out of feeling extreme pain would be to have them put me under and leave me there until I've healed more than I have so far). In the hospital I couldn't hardly move. I held her as much as I could, but my arms were weak with so much medicine and fluids being pushed through them, plus bruised from constantly having my blood pressure taken. Most of the time I just had to have someone sit her between my legs and I'd touch her hair or hold her fingers.

Being so limited in movement just subconsciously reinforced the idea in my head that she wasn't really going to be mine. I was blessed to have not just Cameron, but my mom and dad present through the whole birth and next day. My mom has stayed pretty much ever since then with me. Their celebration of her birth and encouragement through the whole process was huge for me. I desperately needed them.

The majority of the experience was a lovely, extremely painful blur. However, it wasn't until we were checking out that it all became real to me. March 29, at about 1pm all of our bags were packed, and we had seen all of our nurses and doctors for the last time. Cameron had gone down to bring the car up to the door, and while he was out, a nurse came in and had me sign the last paper and take off my baby's security band. The nurse then handed her to me and said "It's all yours now."

That's about the moment that I lost it. As soon as they left the room I burst into tears, feeling for the first time that this little girl was truly ours. Of all the people in the world, God chose us to be her parents. Best feeling ever.