Whew. I have been a mom for one week and I already feel like a new person.
Strike that – not a new person. Like a different version of the person I already was. And I like it. I like the fact that I am way more patient than I thought. I like the fact that I am far more willing to ask for and accept help than I ever used to be (staying in a hospital for a few days will do that to you – more on that later). And most of all, I like the fact that I feel comfortable being a mother. I haven’t yet hit the point of being overwhelmed or afraid. I’m sure it’s coming, and I’m sure that before too long there will be one of those “OH DEAR GOD HE WON’T STOP CRYING” posts on here. But I take a little pride in the fact that though I have been dealing with some frustrating things, I have been able to keep my head for the most part.
So. Ethan’s first week.
It began in the hospital, of course, with the C-section. We stayed there until Sunday, and I was so pleased with the care we received. Every single nurse and doctor we encountered was kind and willing to take the time to make sure all of our questions and concerns were addressed. After hearing some less-than-glowing stories of hospital births, I was thrilled to have such a positive experience. When we were discharged, we went to stay with Adam’s parents until our new apartment is ready (this is because their house is set up in such a way that I would be able to access everything I need without having to climb any stairs). While Adam has had to go back and forth to work and pack/move, I’ve been fortunate to have the help of my mother-in-law in taking care of Ethan. I’m doing most of it by myself, but knowing that I could ask her to watch him for a bit so I can grab a shower has been a huge help. Adam has been spending as much time here as possible, and I just melt watching him interact with Ethan. He’s such a great dad already!
Ethan had his first checkup and passed with flying colors! He is already back to his newborn weight after losing about 7 oz. in the hospital…doesn’t surprise me. He’s already up to about 3 oz. of formula per feeding. And he has a LOT of feedings. He’s going to be a chunkster before too long!
The room was so cold! Luckily, he was bundled back up in a jiffy.
As far as my own healing goes, I’m recovering fairly well from the C-section in general. I’m terribly sore where the incision is, and bending to change Ethan’s diapers puts a ton of pressure on the spot. I’m still walking very gingerly and having a little trouble getting up and down from a sitting or prone position, but overall, my energy is pretty good and I otherwise feel just fine. I had to go to the doctor yesterday to have my PUPPS rash looked at – it appeared to be returning, which was the absolute last thing I wanted to have to deal with at this point in time. As it turns out, though, I am most likely having an allergic reaction to the painkillers I was prescribed. This is pretty distressing, since obviously I am recovering from surgery and am in a lot of pain. I can’t take Motrin because I have an aspirin allergy, and though I could take Ibuprofen without an allergic reaction, it is about as effective as popping some M&Ms. And I’d rather just eat the chocolate in that case. So now I am just toughing it out as much as I can, applying ice, and trying to rest as much as possible. Benadryl seems to be helping the allergies, so hopefully that will be resolved quickly!
We’ve settled into a pretty good routine. I’m very tired from all the late-night stuff, but Ethan is still a pretty relaxed baby. He had one major meltdown the other night, but after a while we figured out how to soothe him and all was well. My mom came over and had about four hours of uninterrupted baby time, which allowed me to take a Benadryl-induced nap. It made all the difference! So anyone out there wondering what a new mom needs the most…I’m willing to wager it’s sleep, more than anything else.
At this moment, Ethan is in his bassinet, cooing and enjoying his pacifier while slowly escaping his swaddling (I’m really, really bad at swaddling. All thumbs. I blame the carpal tunnel). I’m sitting nearby, and every so often, I see one of his little hands stretch up towards the ceiling. I can’t help but marvel at him – somehow, I incubated something that ridiculously cute. I may complain about the rashes and carpal tunnel and post-op pain, but I’m not even waxing sentimental when I say that not only is Ethan more than worth it, I hardly feel any of it when I’m holding him. That’s just nature’s way of being merciful, I guess. I’ll take it.