Friday, September 7, 2007

Nine Months Later

Nine months ago today, I gave birth to my first child at 11:33 am. Let me tell you how happy I am it's September 7th, 2007 and not December 7th, 2006. After waiting for labor to start naturally for almost 2 weeks, I had to be induced. I left for the hospital on a Wednesday night knowing I would be coming home with a baby by Sunday. I didn't know what I was in for.

Giving birth to a 9 pound 6 ounce face-up baby was a painful, scary and overall extremely difficult experience. It involved a lot of medical staff, drugs and "procedures" to get her out. I admit it could have been worse, but it certainly was not ideal.

They tell you how hard it's going to be in advance. But I guess you just don't understand until you have to go through it yourself. I'd heard about those women who openly curse their husbands for getting them in the position in the first place. I have to tell you I never would have made it without my husband's support. He was the best partner I could have asked for and kept a soothing poker face when all hell was breaking loose (after the long awaited epidural, the babe's heart rate dropped dramatically causing every medical professional in the maternity ward to run into our room). He got me ice chips (which were a little piece of heaven) and used all his strength to keep a wooden massager jammed into my back for hours on end (the babe was face-up, or occiput posterior, which causes serious back pain as well as a host of other problems). Making it through all that, plus three hours of pushing and a last minute episiotomy while having the babe vacuumed out was pretty hard core. But no one had really explained how difficult it would be to leave the hospital and go home.

It sounds harsh, but the first month of the babe's life was the worst month of my life. I never got that new mother glow thing I had heard so much about. I couldn't sit (episiotomies will do that), could barely walk, and couldn't carry her up and down the stairs. I was trying to learn how to breastfeed (tough when you can't sit down), got no sleep, was constipated beyond belief (all those drugs will do that), and was a hormonal, emotional mess (God bless my mother and husband for putting up with me). After filling out a questionnaire at the babe's 5 week doctor appointment, I was diagnosed with mild postpartum depression and was told I may want to seek some support. I didn't end up getting help as I felt I was just exhausted and needed more rest (plus, January is depressing even if you haven't just had a baby). It slowly got better over the months that followed until it actually started to get fun. I just wish I had known then that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am now so happy to be home with her. She has become this beautiful little person whom I adore. She has a great personality and cracks me up numerous times a day. She is the light of my life and I am honored to be able to take care of her and assist her in her growth. I never thought I'd make it, but here I am. Now I understand why being a Mom is so awesome and I thank my lucky stars. Happy nine months!


Puja said...

Happy Nine months to you, my sweet niece. You have the best mom in the world. Christine, you think you're lucky... imagine how she feels everyday when she sees your proud smile and gets your warm hugs. You're doing such a great job!! So Happy Nine months to you too!!

Anonymous said...

There must have been something in the water that day (or maybe the stars were aligned strangely) because I was at the birth of a posterior baby in the night of the 6th/7th who gave her mama a hell of a time. Mama was convulsing from the post. position, there was a failed vacuum extraction, the crash cart was coming down the hall for the cesarean and mam finally pushed baby out even though she wasn't fully dilated. Talk about stitches, thre were a few dozen...
And baby's name is Freyja. I think Freyja and Priya might be soulmates. There must be something extra-special about poterior babies though, I think it's very lucky in some cultures for a baby to be born looking at the stars.
Happy birth-day to you!
(Sept 7th was my EDD)

Anonymous said...

How can I convey to you how extraordinary you are? You have not only made a beautiful home for you now 9 month old baby but have also come back into yourself. You found mommy friends, when making a friend was so hard. You have a pool membership. You finally quit a job you hadn't grown in for quite some time. You blossomed as a mother but more importantly as a person. I am so glad to call you my friend.