Labor pains, the breathing and pushing,
anxiety, the breathing and pushing,
the doctor, the breathing and pushing,
the epidural, the painful prodding, anxiety, the epidural secured,
the medicine, the relief, the breathing and pushing,
the lack of progress, the tension, the pushing,
still nothing, but something is wrong,
the baby needs help, the doctor persuading,
the C section, no pain felt as opposed to epidural yet because of the epidural,
my husband cutting the cord,
the love and tears of joy
and me. "I WANT MY BABY!"
My husband is seeing her first while she and I are crying. He tells me the doctor has to wash her off first. He also has tears in his eyes. The first emotion I notice at this point is a passionate love for my new daughter.
Later in a curtained partition
Holding my baby, the pricking baby's feet ritual,
baby crying, me comforting,
glucose low, me crying
feet pricking ritual repeated,
yes, low glucose
baby off to NICU
me off to bed
Or so I thought. I stopped noticing any feelings except irritation. Who knows why. Probably because my baby went straight to NICU. This is not how I imagined it. I thought I could at least get some sleep, but first off I found myself irked at my husband mostly for who knows what reason. Do hormonal women need a reason to be irked? Well my only hope is to sleep it off...
Night time at the hospital
The nurses, the medicine ritual,
the tossing and turning, the pain after surgery
trying to get out of bed to go potty,
the painful return to bed, the tossing and turning,
the need to pee again, the moaning
the padding, the return to bed,
the moaning, tossing, and turning
finally sleeping a few hours,
the waking at 7 a.m.
Such were my nights, interspersed with trips to the NICU to see and feed my daughter. The nights did gradually get better especially as I healed. Still it did not feel like good rest until I got home to my own bed. To make up for what the hospital was lacking, I tried to thoroughly enjoy breakfast in bed. That and a trip to NICU was a good way to start my day.
Daytime at the hospital
Breakfast at 8, the nurses, the medicine ritual
the nurses, the forms
the irritation at family, the yelling
the breathing starting up again,
yelling at my husband, breathe.
yelling at my mom, breathe.
the pain, and breathe.
Irritation at nurses, breathe.
The pain, breathe.
Irritation at myself, breathe.
the trips to NICU, the feeding
the contradictory nurses, breathe.
And so it went like that until I realized I needed to breathe before responding to anyone if I could just master the timing of it. I did not fully learn this until I moved back home with my mom coming along to help. The day did finally come that my baby could be released from NICU. The staff needed convincing that I could take responsibility, however; so I worked on demonstrating that I could feed my baby from the bottle, and thankfully her glucose levels were normal. Actually the staff were not sure they could let me go, for I had not then read the article saying that when in the hospital, make every effort to hide your "crazy". That's right, I had let loose and the nurses did not know who I really was.
Days and nights at home
The sleeping, the feeding, the bonding
the sleeping, my mom cooking,
the sleeping, the eating, the feeding,
the sleeping, my mom cleaning,
the tiredness, the irritation, the pain,
the breathing, always the breathing.
Days and nights almost ran together once I was home. Well, maybe not exactly because I wanted to be up with my mom during the day. It's a bit of a blur now. I do know my mom took over the cleaning and the cooking so my husband and I could bond with our baby. She also of course made sure she helped take care of her grand baby too. Needless to say I was relieved to be home and loving my daughter.
Oh and now I know one thing for certain--every new mom is soon a hero, not just to her baby but to all of us new moms. Having a baby turns you into a better person than before--what a motivation for personal growth!