Friday, February 03, 2012

The Aftermath

No one said it'd be easy.
But no book or conversation could have prepared me for what I experienced post-partum.

Though I had a relatively easy pregnancy, my first month post-partum was a nightmare. Not only did have to deal with the physical pain that came with recovering from my c-section surgery, there was the intense pain and frustration that experienced as I made made a valiant attempt to breast feed. My breasts wouldn't cooperate for the life of me, and I found myself battling boob engorgement, tissue inflammation (mastitis), and underperformance (milk supply issues). You name the lactation-related complication, and I suffered it.

On top of being physically unfit to care for Olive (my chest hurt SO much that I couldn't pick Olive up, let alone play with her), there were two additional challenges I had to face along with le hubby: Olive was (is) colic and completely unwilling to sleep in any of her beds (crib and bassinet). The only way to soothe her is to hold her (my poor chest), and well, she insists on being soothed and held constantly. When put down, Olive hollers - her hollering best explained to those who haven't spent time with her as being the volume and intensity of a normal baby cry times two. It's one thing when she's crying because she needs to be fed or burped, but when she's crying for seemingly no good reason for hours, both le hubby and I start losing our minds.

Le hubby and I know that we're incredibly lucky to have been blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby. Yet we can't help but look on at other parents who, at the 1-month mark, are already pushing their tots around Silver Lake effortlessly without a tear in sight nor cry to be heard. The thought of a quiet and chill child makes us (well, me) salivate.

Are we bad parents? We live in constant fear that we are. Are we too impatient? Two weeks ago, I thought we were. But we aren't. We just have a feisty munchkin. Which isn't to say that we're pushing all blame onto Olive either. But every baby is different, and that's a fact. It's okay if I have negative feelings every so often. Beats bottling it all up inside. The post-partum period need not be like Fight Club. I can talk about it. And once I do, I feel better. Happy mommy, happy baby, yeah?

Olive is developing beautifully (10 lbs 3 oz at a mere 43 days old), and she gets cuter with each day. *gush* I'm in awe of her and am so proud that she's ours. To think that I have it in me to love anything or anyone this much is simply insane.

The past month and a half has been a pain (quite literally), but it's all been worth it. Really. Truly. Look at that face.


JennySRP said...

A woman in China just had a 15.5 lb baby, does that make you feel better? HAHA. Oh lovely, you and Josh are WONDERFUL parents! Like you said, every baby is different. They did a study on twins that were seperated (living in different homes), and both started walking on the same day. This should tell you a little something about babies: they're gonna do what their DNA has built them to do, and all you have to do is just breathe and do your best and survive. I was a tough baby too because I was extremely sensitive: physically, emotionally, everything... so just hang in there. It's very likely your "next" baby (hypothetical!) will be a quiet little angel. That's how it seems to work out.
In the mean time, when Olive cries, you can cry too! For yourself and her! This too shall pass! I love you guys!

Madge said...

OUCH! :(
you are valiant!
i wish there wasn't the feeling of failure that comes with uncooperative boobs because boob pain is just unreal. and a colicky baby does not = bad parents. no! no! no!

it's a tough time, a beautiful time, a messy house time, a frustrating time all mixed with that new love that feels like it has been inside of you since 2000 BC.
hugs to you.

p.s. Olive is just crazy adorbs.

Jx said...

That Olive is such a healthy weight and feisty shows that she's doing fine (those lungs require food to do their colicing) with your supply, and of course, love. My first CA OB/GYN said that babies are like parasites, and that was about M in the womb! I felt like that even more sometimes after she was born - you know some of my thoughts on being a literal cow. Olive was programmed to make sure that her needs are being met, and she has plenty of people to help - so you and J are ENTITLED to whatever feelings, tiredness, time you need to release, recuperate, adjust etc. With time, O will become more moldable and flexible to your schedule, but until then, you don't have to give up everything everytime, and that's AOK. As you said, if Mommy's happy, baby's happy (and Daddy too). Lots of love... J


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