Saturday, June 14, 2008

Baby Boy Arrives!

Finally! I know, this post is SO three weeks late, but to say I have been busy would be such a ridiculous understatement. First, the details:

Our boy McLean, a whole ten days late, finally decided to vacate the McLean Condo in his own sweet time without being induced. It was the classic scenario: Got up to pee at 2:30 in the morning and my water broke and contractions started almost immediately after. I got to have the “Honey, it’s time!” moment, and in retrospect, I am SO HAPPY we waited for him to come out when he was ready. Even my doctor at my post-partum check-up said that he was happy I listened to my body and we didn’t induce. He said he now brags about me to his other patients and how it has taught him to step back a bit in certain circumstances, rather than intervene – something that is “scary and humbling” – his words -- for a doctor to do. It was cool knowing I had some influence on this man’s 25+ years of doing this job. Anyhoo….

Turns out the boy wasn’t as big as had been predicted. He was 8 lbs., 3 oz. – WAY smaller than we had been told, but my va-jay-jay was not complaining. He was 21 ¾ inches long, didn’t cry much when he came out, and bravely tolerated all the poking and prodding a newborn endures when they first come on the scene.

The days that followed at home are now a blur. I was one of the lucky 1 in 100 women who suffers severe headaches from the epidural. I’m talking such intense throbbing, not even Motrin makes a dent. The only thing that helped even slightly was lying down with a cold compress to the head, but that was not possible to do most of the time with breastfeeding every two hours. And the headaches lasted for the first week. It was like the pain I didn’t have to suffer from contractions showed up to torment me later in a different part of my body. Plus my back and neck were killing me from the pushing, so being comfortable was not happening. So while my baby was sleeping, well, like a baby, I was not. I had to wake him for feedings to keep up my milk supply. He is VERY much my boy – he sleeps like he is in a coma, and waking him would just break my heart because I know how he feels. Waking up sucks.

On top of this going on, there was the crying. Not him – me. He never cries unless he has a poopy diaper or is too hot in his snuggy-wrap. But his mama on the other hand, oh boy. I would stare at him and start crying because he is so beautiful. I would be overcome with love that is so intense and excruciating, I would burst into tears over dinner (mid-forkful – I’m serious!) I would start thinking about his delivery and that last push right before he came through my body and into the world, how light and relieved I suddenly became physically, but how emotionally flipped out I was that this little person I have been so connected to and close to and safeguarding all these nine months is now out of my body and loose in the world. It is a moment I will never, ever get over as long as I live. And they wiped him off and put him on my stomach and he was looking at me all quiet and I was looking at him and saying through my tears, “Hi. Hi. I’m your mommy.” And I would think of the way he looked at me and start crying all over again. I would look at myself in the mirror, dirty hair, dark circles, bloodshot eyes. But because my baby looks like me, this has made me see myself as beautiful, and this makes me cry too.

Eventually, the crying settled down (until now, writing about it) just in time for me to get the awful cold that everybody and their dog has had, which turned into bronchitis, so I’ve been sick and gross for the past week and a half. Again, sleeping doesn’t happen when you’re breastfeeding and then coughing while trying to sleep, so getting well is a slow-going process. But I’m feeling better now and cough less every day, just in time for Father’s Day, which brings me to….

Friggin’ Dad and Husband of the Year. I don’t know how I would have survived any of it without him. He took care of me and handled everything that I couldn’t cope with (and I couldn’t cope with anything, people), he held me when I cried and didn’t make me feel stupid, he changed a bajillion diapers and just clicked into fatherhood so easily and with such a good attitude. It has made all the difference in the world. I am a very lucky woman. A family woman. And I couldn’t possibly be happier. In spite of the bumps and challenges along the way with everything that has happened, we have this incredible little son who is part of our family now. I love spending my day with him and caring for him. He is such good company. Such a sweet little fella who smiles at me with his whole face and just makes me glow inside.

Coming up in future installments: Uncle Rufus and his reaction to the new family addition. Here is a visual teaser for you: Imagine a Big Brown Dog trying to inhale a baby through his nose and you have a pretty good idea.