Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Time flies...

Exactly 6 months ago at this time, George and I crawled into bed, knowing that we would consider ourselves lucky to get a couple hours of sleep. Several hours later (4am to be precise), we would be heading to the hospital to meet our baby boy. I had a planned c-section (more on that later) because Mark was breach. I think we both managed to get a couple hours sleep, although for me, I was lucky to get 20 minutes consecutively. We arrived to the hospital with all the expected jitters and excitement. We were so excited to finally meet our little man and hold him in our arms.

Just before we left for the hospital.

At the hospital, we managed to have some quiet time alone to try and soak up the magnitude of the moment. It so true that nothing can prepare you. They pumped me full of iv fluids which made for some beautiful photographs (read:sarcasm). We waited around for a couple of hours while they monitored Mark. As usual, he was doing great on the fetal monitor. Before I knew it, it was time. I felt like I was about to panic and throw up at the same time. Luckily, there was very little time for that....everything happened so fast.  When it was time to head to the OR I was given the choice of being wheeled in or walking. I wanted to walk as it felt like something I had control over at a time when I felt completely out of control. The kicker- I had to go to the O.R. alone. Not only was I terrified of what was to come, but I had to go it alone, at least initially. In the OR, they had difficulties placing the epidural...I was told that my spine was compact and they had trouble going between the bones. OUCH! Once they did manage to place the spinal block, it was such a weird feeling. My anesthesiology team was AMAZING; they reassured me that my jaw wouldn't come unhinged from all the chattering and gave me some good drugs to help with the nausea. Before I knew it, they were ready to get Mark out of there. After the first incision was made, George was allowed in the room. He held my hand through it all. I kept asking, do you see him yet?! Then I heard the most wonderful sound- the sound of my baby. A healthy baby boy. He scored 9 and 9 on his Apgars (and didn't stop screaming until some time later :)).
Our first kiss. Absolute Perfection!

My beautiful and healthy 8 pound baby boy!

I was so excited to meet my son but I would be lying if I said I was anything but devastated at the way in which he was entering the world. I had planned for a natural childbirth. I took lamaze classes and read everything I could get my hands. I knew my low tolerance for, um, anything uncomfortable. But I was determined to try, to trust my body and it's design, and to go as long as I could without asking for medication. I told myself that if I made any progress, if I was able to "labor" at all, I would consider it a success. We went the whole 9 yards, buying a birthing ball, tennis balls, taking the Lamaze classes, getting Lamaze updates on my phone,  practicing Lamaze techniques at home, writing a birth plan and packing a separate lamaze bag for the hospital. Boy was I emotional when I had to unpack that bag.  I know most will think I'm crazy for wanting this experience, but I truly did. With every part of me, I wanted to labor and deliver my child. I even wanted to tuck my hands under his arms and pull him to me. I feel like it is a right of passage, something I wanted to go through. I recall thinking that a c-section is cheating and I struggle referring to the event as a "delivery". Afterall, I was a passive participant, who just laid on the operating table. After Mark was delivered and he was nursing, I can remember being excited at the pains of afterbirth contractions because atleast I was able to know what it felt like, if even for only one contraction. Woah, I was warned about these but there was one that was particularly intense. After the pain subsided, I was joyful that I got to experience it for a moment.  I feel that I was deprived of this dream of childbirth. I know the c-section was necessary and I truly was so happy to hold my sweet Angel. There was no other way for him to be "delivered," I just dreamt of something different.

The first 24 hours are a blur. I don't really remember who was there to visit us. Thank goodness for pictures. I was very well attended to at the hospital and I never really experienced pain from the incision during my stay. Breastfeeding went very well. Painful at first and although it crossed my mind at times, I never quit and am extremely proud of that fact. I couldn't walk and hold Mark for some time, hell, I couldn't "walk" for some time for that matter. The recovery was not fun to put it mildly. I don't write this with regret, after all, it was out of my hands. I write it because I think it is ok to mourn the childbirth experience I did not get to have. Aside from the experience not being what I wanted, I know I received the very best care. My OB/GYN is amazing! She will let me try for a VBAC next time. I also choose to see this as my first lesson of many, that I do not control everything. A lesson I'm sure I will be faced with countless times on my journey through motherhood.

I'll never know if my whacked-out state of mind was due to the patient-controlled-pump of dilaudid or new mom hormones, or a combination of both. I'd like to believe the latter. I do know that I cant imagine going through all of that without my rock and best friend at my side. I went home after 48 hours because I knew I was in good hands with dr. Husband. George was amazing and I melted watching him with our son.
How can this not melt your heart!

I also do not want to imagine those first weeks without my wonderful mother who comforted me when I cried every day (yes, there were oh so many tears) and spoon fed me when I was too weak to eat. She was nothing short of wonderful and I will cherish the memories from that week for the rest of my life. I also couldn't have survived without my amazing mother in law who graciously flew back after being gone one week to attend to me, the emotional basket case, Mark and George. Our first night home from the hospital was pretty rough. Mark wanted to nurse CONSTANTLY. Seriously. And I was in pain, sleep deprived, and a hormonal train wreck. Thank God for Ms. Kathy. She would take Mark into his nursery and tend to him so that I could rest in between nursing. She is the only reason we got any sleep at all that night.

So here I sit, 6 months later and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. Mark is wonderful beyond words. I Could never imagine a love so strong, so powerful, so unconditional. But it is all that and so much more. And yet it grows deeper with each passing day. He is such a happy baby, only fussing if he is tired or hungry. He is all boy, so rough with his mamma. It is truly the best feeling in the world to watch him grow and discover the world. The first few months were challenging and required alot of adjusting on our part. It is true that parenting is the hardest job you'll ever love doing. To me, this is the hardest thing I've ever done, harder than law school, the LSAT, passing the bar, etc. you name it, and this is harder. I think that is because of the responsibility I feel at doing it right. I know I wont do it right all of the time, but I know  I will do it with love. Even though it is the hardest thing I have ever done, it is the most rewarding, awesome, humbling, blessing I have ever been given. It will certainly be my finest accomplishment in life. Can you tell I'm kind of obsessed?! Sorry for the rambling. I'm a new mom who is overwhelmed (in a good way) with the role of mother.

Well it is late and this mamma is tired. I promise to do better about posting. Good night everyone!

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