If you skipped yesterday’s birth story because it’s long and contains birth, our daughter Eva was born last Friday at 5:57 in the morning.
11 hours of labor, 10 minutes of pushing.
Yes, I got an epidural. Yes, I finally pooed four days later.
No, it wasn’t as bad as last time.
Baby E was 8 lbs, 2 oz. and a little over 21 inches long. I have a second degree tear which is nothing compared to the third degree tear that still haunts me from last time. I’m not ready to go horseback riding, but it’s pretty manageable.
Things I wish I could do: Answer phone calls, write thank you cards, lift my two year old into his bed without feeling like my uterus is falling out, walk through a room without tripping over 100 things, eat cheese (postpartum bowels!), maybe leave the house.
Austin has been busy with school this week, which has made things difficult. Caring for a needy newborn and a slightly panicked two year old, alone, while your nethers try to recuperate is not easy.
Things that have made it easier: Friends who go with you to doctor’s appointments, friends who bring you chocolate brownies and casseroles and bunches of fresh grapes so that you can maybe, finally, poop. Friends (you!) who text and snapchat and call (even though I still haven’t ever answered) and email and tweet and facebook and send care packages and do all the things to say: you are doing this and I love you.
Here are some things that are real:
Waylon loves his sister but does not love anyone else loving her. When people come to visit, he either screams DON’T LOOK AT HER or tries to quietly burn the house down. He is cooped up and longing for my complete attention. I watch him trying to fight through it and it breaks my heart. When he falls asleep at night, I miss him. I feel guilty for being frustrated with him all day long. I look at his newborn pictures and cry. Every day he asks if when he gets little, can he maybe nurse? The fact that he doesn’t remember those 18 months of bonding and breastfeeding just kills me dead. A few nights ago he said in his most sincere, small voice, “I love when you hold me, Mommy.”
Yesterday I thought my appendix was bursting. So much so that I started mentally writing my eulogy until Austin pointed out that my appendix was on the other side and maybe I just had a baby so that’s why it hurts. I disagreed but he remained unalarmed.
(Postpartum cramping is no joke and worse the second time around).
It’s only been a week. Things will get better. Things will get worse. I tried taking it all day by day but it was too overwhelming so now I’m taking it hour by hour. At one point this week everyone was crying except Austin and I thought: I can’t do this.
But the thing is, of course I can.
One last thing. My greatest fear this time around (besides my perineum falling off) was not being able to bond with the baby or feeling as in love as I did when I met Waylon. I worried about it for nine whole months.
As it turns out, all of you seasoned mamas were right. I had nothing to worry about.
Happy Friday. Hour by hour.