Saturday, January 9, 2016

Life Update! Or, I had the baby and life is great

I blogged about being pregnant, and might have whined once or twice about my constant nausea, and then I never blogged about the actual baby. Oops! So let's rewind and travel back in time a few months....

At the beginning of my third trimester, my doctor warned me that the baby was big and I might need a c-section. Every time I visited my doctor, she did an ultrasound and checked the baby. And every time, the ultrasound said I was carrying a BIG baby. I did not need the ultrasound to tell me this. I could tell that compared to Pippa, this baby was huge.

My due date was November 7th. By mid-October, my doctor and I had decided I should have a c-section unless the baby arrived during the week of October 15th.

The week of October 15th came and went with nary a Braxton-Hicks contraction.

We scheduled a c-section for November 2, the earliest date my doctor felt comfortable performing an elective c-section. With Pippa, my labor started eleven days before the due date; so I was hopeful that I would not have to wait until November 2 to give birth.

I was so ready to have the baby. My first trimester morning sickness never abated. Even water made me puke. By the final weeks of the pregnancy, I was living off of bread, cheese and Gatorade. And not just any Gatorade: it had to be red fruit punch Gatorade. I drank so much damn Gatorade, I assumed the baby would come out looking like a red gummy bear.

Confession: I also wanted to give birth in late October so I could throw a Halloween-themed first birthday party.

The days passed, and I finally accepted that my baby was waiting for November to make his big entrance. At first, I was nervous about having a c-section. I delivered Pippa vaginally and worried that something would go wrong when the doctors sliced me open and removed my intestines and I would die on the operating table and leave my babies to grow up without a mother. But after a few days of imagining all sorts of horrifying deaths, I embraced the c-section. I was clearly carrying a BIG baby and I realized that if this had been an earlier era, with me giving birth in some hut in the wilderness, I would probably have died. A c-section in a hospital with an excellent doctor suddenly did not seem so scary.

On November 2, I had my c-section and Julian James arrived. He was indeed a big baby, weighing nearly ten pounds. Despite all the red fruit punch Gatorade, he did not look like a red gummy bear.

I had postpartum depression after the birth of my daughter Pippa, but I had a plan to prevent a second bout of PPD. I skipped breastfeeding entirely and started taking Zoloft a couple days after the birth. In the evenings, we sent Julian to the hospital nursery so that Nathan and I could sleep. Of course, the nurses kept waking me every few hours, but that was better than been woken by nurses AND a hungry newborn. After four nights in the hospital, we took Julian home and started using a night nurse. The night nurse was expensive but I consider it some of the best money we've ever spent. Nathan took a month of paternity leave and was a tremendous help with Pippa and Julian. When he went back to work, I felt physically, mentally and emotionally ready to stay home with a toddler and newborn.

My parents have helped a lot. They regularly pick Pippa up from preschool and take her out for lunch. I also have a babysitter twice a week for six hours. With Pippa, I felt guilty if I let anyone help me for fifteen minutes... and then I ended up in the hospital's psychiatric wing for four nights. This time, I am accepting all the help I can and I have not experienced a twinge of postpartum depression. I'm sure the Zoloft has helped plenty but I think for me, accepting help - and not feeling guilty about accepting said help - has been the biggest factor in keeping me healthy.

From the day he was born, Julian has been a fat happy baby. He is so sweet and easy-going. Now he is two months old and smiling up a big happy storm. He loves it when I tickle his chin and sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat. He adores his big sister and Pippa adores him. I am so blessed and lucky to be his mama.

Now Julian is two months old and sleeping through the night. Hallelujah! There's something very sweet and precious about feeding a newborn at 3 a.m. but there are also plenty of sweet and precious moments at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and all the daylight hours. Sleep is a beautiful thing. Thank you, Julian, for being such a fantastic sleeper.

So that pretty much sums up the past three months. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...