So, I'm Cured....

Better. Healed. Or whatever you call it when you have recovered from a cesarean childbirth. I had my 6 week post-partum check up, and everything checks out. I am clear to resume normal activities, like lifting laundry baskets (darn) and exercising (very much needed).

The midwife asked me how many more children I was planning on having. Umm. Are you kidding me? I changed 20 diapers today alone. I think I'll wait a minute or two before adding to the chaos.

It was very strange to be back at Magee. I spent a lot of time there in the last few months, between weekly prenatal appointments at the end of the third trimester and the five days I stayed there as a patient. I realize in retrospect that the pain medication I took religiously in the first two weeks really did cast a foggy shadow over me. I mistook it for sleep deprivation, but Laurel actually slept more then, and I feel much more clear now.

I've been doing a lot of "processing" of my birth experience, lately, trying to figure out what went wrong, and wondering if I ever want to do it again. The biggest problem I had at the end was feeling rushed...there was such a strong pressure to start labor before 42 weeks. I wonder what would have happened if I had not had my membrane "swept" and waited another few days until the scheduled induction. Maybe she would have moved into a better position. Maybe I could have avoided back labor. Maybe I could have just gotten a few more good nights sleep. Prenatal yoga was both a blessing and a curse. I definitely had the stamina and physical preparation to do the movements needed to handle pain during labor. I could do all of the squatting and kneeling and swaying I needed to. But it also set me up to expect to feel empowered by the whole experience. Instead I felt like my body had failed me. And like I'd been run over by a truck.

Once I failed at accomplishing an empowering, vaginal birth, I temporarily lost all of my mothering instincts. I felt pulled in a million directions by the nurses and doctors and lactation consultants, who all had differing opinions about breastfeeding and pacifiers and bottles and pumping and sleep schedules. I read too many books and websites in the first couple of weeks, desperate to find the right way to do this.

Luckily, our very laid-back pediatrician and a couple of good friends helped to remind me to follow my instincts. Feed her when she's hungry. Don't let her sit in a dirty diaper. Cuddle. Smile. Enjoy it. When I am chill, Laurel is chill, and we all have a good time.

Instead of saying "cured", I should probably say "forever altered". I'm somebody's mother. And however I got to be this way, is the way it is. It just is. No point in dwelling on it.


Anonymous said...

You are an AWESOME mother ! ! !
You are doing a great job!!.......
just for the record.
Love Always,
Aunt Laine

Anonymous said...

You've experienced life's unpredictability at its best and not only survived but triumphed! We couldn't be more proud.
Love, "Great" Aunt DC

k said...

Why, thank you, Aunt Elaine! Laure seems mostly satisfied with the experience so far, and goodness knows...she lets me know if I'm doin' it wrong! :)