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05 May 2010 @ 06:59 pm
the lost weeks  

I’ve been off sugar for a month and I’ve lost 21.5 pounds. :)

Strangely, 18.5 of that has been in the past week. Even more strangely: I have never in my life been less interested in sweets. I’m having a hard time eating enough anyway, due to sheer exhaustion, but wow, really honestly just not interested in junk. Who am I and what have I done with my tastebuds?

Mom was telling me she was reading about post-partum exhaustion, which apparently affects 80% of new mothers. Not depression, just flat-out exhaustion. That’s where I am. I’m not depressed, I’m just too goddamned tired to do anything but sleep, eat, and feed Henry. Thank God for Ted, who is keeping everything together. He has become a master diaper changer, and is much better at changing Henry’s clothes than I am. He has been keeping me fed, and doing laundry by the boatload, and keeping the kitchen pretty clean, and generally being the most magnificent husband ever. I’m a mess anyway, but I’d be completely non-functional without him.

Um. Being a novelist, it is of course my inclination to write up a detailed account of the past two weeks. Being exhausted, I’m not sure I’ll actually manage that. The short version of the actual labor process is Ted said, “I’d rather have a limb removed.” I think he meant without anesthesia.

The slightly longer version is I apparently had one of those nightmare labors women scare other women with, although I really didn’t think of it that way until it was revealed that my sister, who is slightly more fit than God, had no idea how I’d endured it all. Actually, I still am not thinking of it that way, except I’m impressed with myself for having impressed Deirdre. It’s just sort of how it was. Anyway, I started having contractions the evening of Thursday the 22nd (the actual due date), more or less didn’t sleep the next few nights, my water broke at 7:30am Monday the 26th, we spent the day at the hospital where I dilated only very, very slowly, they put me on a pitocin drip around 6 or 7pm, ratcheted it up to full over the course of the next few hours (during which time the delivering doctor wandered by and said, more or less, “Jesus but she’s got a high pain tolerance,” only with an Indian accent and phrasing), and I finally had a baby at 2:41am on Tuesday the 27th.

Mom, cheerfully, said, “The good thing about that kind of labor is it makes the next time you do it seem like a breeze!” I said, “Next time?” and she claimed I’ve said something about ‘next time’ several times already. I have no recollection of this at all. :) In fact, I have very little recollection of a whole lot of the past two weeks, and am impressed I’ve managed to write this much up. Now I’m going to go eat.

(x-posted from the essential kit)
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Alix (Tersa): Kitties--brotherly love (tersa)tersa on May 5th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
When you feel less exhausted, I'd be keenly interested to know how your actual experience of the process, especially given Ted and Deirdre's impressions of it being one of the scary ones, compares to your opinion going into it about no drugs and how bad you thought it was going to be.

But for now, sleep, eat, feed Henry, and most of all, enjoy each other's company. :) *hug*

(Oh, and FWIW: Henry shares my mom's birthday. I am never, ever going to forget it now. *laugh* :)


Edited at 2010-05-05 06:10 pm (UTC)
kitmizkit on May 5th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
I will almost certainly do the more detailed writeup in a week or two. I suppose one of the good things about being a novelist is one tends to embed phrases and memories to draw on later, so I think I'm likely to remember most of it...

Also, my mom keeps using the term "the labor you endured", so I don't think it's just Ted and Deirdre who thought it was a bad one. o.O

Edited at 2010-05-05 08:26 pm (UTC)
Ellen Million: hugellenmillion on May 5th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
You are so studly. *love*
Laura Anne Gilman: MEDICsuricattus on May 5th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
homahgawdack.

(I suspected, when you and Ted were both offline so long, that it was not a "drop kid, wrap in nearest cloth, go back to fieldwork" scenario, but howmahgawdack.)

Pamelajeditigger on May 5th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
For once, dear and sweet lady, be easy on yourself, forget work, and enjoy (ahem) the blessings of new motherhood. That's your job right now: everything else can wait. Taking care of yourself is part of that job. :)

Love to see more pics. You really ARE glowing, you know, despite the exhaustion!
Megabitchmegabitch on May 5th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
I agree with jeditigger... there is only one rule for new mums in the first few weeks: When baby is asleep, you're asleep (or at least resting). This may involve disconnecting the phone and the doorbell if there's no-one else around to field calls and visitors - I had a sign for my front door that had something like "New mother and baby sleeping, please go away and try again later" because my bedroom was right next to the front door.

Take it easy, put the baby and yourself before everything else and just enjoy these first few weeks.
All Over The Mapjemck on May 6th, 2010 08:29 am (UTC)
Like she said. Really, I mean it.
Childlight: Princess Lizzie by mechildlight on May 5th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
Write as much as you can remember now for yourself and for Henry. I have a paper journal I write in about Alex and I plan to give it to him one day. Looking back over it now its amazing what I had already forgotten.

Exhaustion..oh yeah. Where we live we drive everywhere and I loved it when we had to go places because it meant I could nap while Hubby drove. The hard part was when I went back to work and started driving myself again. It was so hard not to nap during the red lights.

How are the cats taking every thing? My poor felines are so starved for attention they no longer hide when company comes. At this point they will take attention from anyone.
Touch of Inktouch_of_ink on May 5th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
I second the "exhaustion not depressed" thing. Though when my son turned 3, I thought "when will the exhaustion end" and now that he's 16, I think it never really ends, you just get used to it. (Of course, it may end when he moves out. I'll update you if that happens :))

But yay for husbands that *help*. I wouldn't have made it without mine, and even though we're now divorced, I am still thankful for how helpful he was.
mayakdamayakda on May 5th, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
That was definitely an ordeal!
A lot of the exhaustion is also due to blood loss and lack of sleep. Make sure you take care of your body -- vitamins, liquids, rest. Iron-rich food.
Kudos to both of new parents.
themysteriousgthemysteriousg on May 5th, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
Congrats. Sounds like you did have a tough one and pitocin is ugly stuff. They aren't kidding when they say you have a high pain tolerance. Way to go! It also makes you tired. You ran a couple marathons there. Be sure and eat and drink. I monstered protein the first few weeks. And kept right on losing weight to the tune of 25 pounds of pre-preggo weight.

I'll umpteenth the "sleep when your baby sleeps" statement. It's the only way to survive. And good job to Ted for being super-hubby.

And I can attest that "next time", at least in my case, was hella-easier than the first time and just as joyful and wondermous.

Go you, Mama!
Mary Annepers1stence on May 5th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear it was such a long affair, but glad to hear that everyone came through it. Rest up and don't worry about us....We'll muddle along without you.... :)

*hugs*
(Deleted comment)
The Angel of Vengeance: Baby!esmerel on May 5th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
It will get better :) It sounds like Ted has things well in hand; you'll have ups and downs. Your body did a ton of work, and you're not getting a long stretch of rest to heal quickly. It's all normal, if SUCKY :D
wednesday childewedschilde on May 5th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)
d00d, that is an EPIC labour. congrats. dear lord.
Lady Doomlithera on May 5th, 2010 07:24 pm (UTC)
*hugs*

Take whatever time you need to recover, m'dear. It is a serious thing that has happened you know?
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on May 5th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
When my nice in law was in labor, I was helping rub her back during a "labor pain", and I have never seen human muscle and flesh ripple like that, except in movies where alien parasites soon erupt.
wortschmiedinwortschmiedin on May 5th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
pregnancy changes so much in the body aparently taste is a big part of it so it is great that it worked out for you like this. (I got a taste for olives but that is about the beneficial results I had, I am still on sugar and caffeine) enjoy. Rest and enjoy some more
Brian: panda bouncinglogrusboy on May 5th, 2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
Congratulations again on your successful spawning. And may I just say that I am so glad I didn't precede the blessed...ordeal...with the sacred mantra, "What could possibly go wrong?". Then Ted could argue that it was *my* fault!
joycemocha on May 5th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
BT. So DT. I, too, had one of those scary labors, coupled with an onset of high fever which turned out to be a staph infection on my placenta (the dreaded childbed fever, I guess).

Don't ask me about a repeat, as I was never inclined to do it.
juleneifierjuleneifier on May 6th, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
Your boy was born not long after my little girl (our due dates were actually the same). She was born on the 26th at 4:11 pm. My labor was much shorter, though my intention of having a natural child birth was cut short by her getting stuck in my pelvis. Had to be transferred from my midwife's birth center to the hospital for a c-section.

And it sounds like Ted is just as awesome as my husband. He's been doing all the same things for me (except for dinners, which have been provided by people in our church).

Enjoy your baby and get lots of sleep. :-)
All Over The Mapjemck on May 6th, 2010 08:38 am (UTC)
been there, done that exact same thing - apart from hospital transfer since I was already there. Sympathies - and congratulations :)
Geek of Weird Shit: sensualgows on May 6th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
So . . . no epidural? :D

Hooray for Ted being Ted.

And hooray for you impressing everyone, even though it's not what you set out to do. ;)
All Over The Mapjemck on May 6th, 2010 08:36 am (UTC)
We will have to swap notes in person some time. Since Senior Son's arrival could have gone on as an overwritten episode of ER without rehearsal...

But that didn't preclude Junior Son's arrival two and a half years later :)

Even though, when I got the 'you must start thinking about contraception again' visit in hospital three days after delivery (yes, really), I told the nice nurse in all seriousness, my plan wasn't so much me and Husband sleeping in separate beds, as sleeping in separate counties.
(Anonymous) on May 6th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
About the nightmare labor
My wife has given birth to 2 boys. I have a lot of friends with a lot of children. Don't recall ever hearing of a non-nightmare labor. :) I am by no means diminishing your travails. I just don't think any labor for anyone can be considered easy, as it is pretty much a car wreck worth of trauma to yer innards.

I am rejoice with you that you have a child, that y'all are healthy, and would only advise the following:
- Try to write / film / document the next few weeks if you want to remember any of it. To be sure, I think the post birth amnesia is nature's way of ensuring siblings, but there may be a lot of things you'll not want to forget.
- Don't be too proud to take naps. Don't fight it. Get your rest when you can. Advise your husband to do the same. Trying to tough it out is counter productive.
kholvoekholvoe on May 6th, 2010 12:13 pm (UTC)
My wife has given birth to 2 boys. I have a lot of friends with a lot of children. Don't recall ever hearing of a non-nightmare labor. :) I am by no means diminishing your travails. I just don't think any labor for anyone can be considered easy, as it is pretty much a car wreck worth of trauma to yer innards.

I am rejoice with you that you have a child, that y'all are healthy, and would only advise the following:
- Try to write / film / document the next few weeks if you want to remember any of it. To be sure, I think the post birth amnesia is nature's way of ensuring siblings, but there may be a lot of things you'll not want to forget.
- Don't be too proud to take naps. Don't fight it. Get your rest when you can. Advise your husband to do the same. Trying to tough it out is counter productive.