Thursday, June 17, 2010

Changing as a Parent

So, before I had kids I used to think I knew what I would do. I would do it all just right. I would buy a pretty, expensive crib with pretty expensive crib bedding, I would have a changing table with all the tools right beside it, a glider rocker to rock the baby to sleep in his perfect little room with the blue tabbed curtains and sheers with stars that matched the little white and blue rods on them. I wouldn't be my mother, no matter what, I would breastfeed because it was the way you did things correctly and all of this I was so sure about.

I wanted a natural birth. I wanted it all perfect. Up until I had my first doctor's appointment with Nathan where my blood pressure started skyrocketing. He then said the dirty word, Pre-eclampsia. Bed rest. I though I could handle that, then I had to go in for induction. Nothing went according to plan and my "natural" birth, turned into thirty hours of hard labor, 20 hours of pitocin induced hard back labor, and two doses of Stadol and an Epidural that had to be dosed twice. Then I spent two nights walking the floor with pillows of fluid on my feet because of the pitocin, and a baby that would not stop screaming. This was not in my plan. Took him home and he screamed more than anything, and I was just happy when he slept because i could sleep. I was a good girl and had the bassinet beside the bed but I would fall asleep exhausted with him clutched tightly in my arms while nursing and wake up two or three hours later, refreshed because he had slept, and sore as hell because I hadn't moved. I hadn't moved one inch, my arms around him, my legs pulled up protectively under his legs. But fear got the best of me. I was young and uniformed and only knew what I was told. Babies go in cribs...right? Then at four weeks I had surgery to remove my gall bladder. I had no pump with me, and the idiots at the hospital didn't provide one, they gave me a cup and said there you go. So after not being able to pump to keep production, then the anesthesia for surgery, my milk dried up. We were living with Mike's mom at the time, who had not nursed her children, and I had no real support or know how. So to the bottle we went.

Take two. My second attempt at a natural birth. This times things were off to a bad start, with the constant nausea, well into my seventh month of pregnancy, and then the gestational diabetes set in. This time I was ready for him, though, I bought a bedside sleeper, because I knew I wouldn't want him in his crib right away, and figured he would sleep near me because I was going to nurse again, and this time I wasn't going to lose supply for any reason. The day before my induction, I went into labor, and I was in more pain than I ever thought possible. I was begging for Stadol by the time I got to the hospital, where they had no beds until after noon. No one thought I'd have him before then, because I was only four cm, and then my water broke, and I was fully dilated and ready to go, an hour later. I had thankfully gotten Stadol as soon as they put in the IV, which they had to do twice, and then once a bag of fluids was in they got my epidural in. The Stadol didn't help, however, but the epidural did. However, I had it all of about half an hour before my water broke and my still fussy head was not quite understanding the dips on the monitor that were Nick's heartbeat. He was in distress, and the nurses and doctor's were scrambling. No birthing bed, just a nurse on each side, and doctor at the foot. I had to deliver right then, still groggy and unable to feel my legs from the epidural. I almost had a c section, because his cord was around his neck twice. So I didn't get to have him laid on my belly like Nathan was. So again, things were not as planned.

Then we slept together for the first time in the hospital, his tiny body up against mine. I had wanted to wait, but we both needed sleep, and I finally said to hell with it. My baby, my choice. I had refused Percocet for this reason, I wanted nothing affecting my mental state while he was with me. Motrin all the way for me. We came home and he didn't like to sleep anywhere but with me, and I realized, I was okay with that. He needed me. And it felt natural to have him beside me. Even if he goes to sleep before I do, like now, he's laying on the bed right beside me as I type on my laptop. At night, I wake at his first squirm, and he never gets to utter a sound before I'm nursing him again, and truth be told, he never wakes up at all.

I look back and think how much I've changed. For the better

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