Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Worst Isn't Over

Having a baby is the coolest thing that my body can do. I was amazed at my pain threshold and my resilience. I was in so much pain afterward but it really didn't matter. I had my baby and, wow, she was beautiful!

Daphne's pediatrician was worried about jaundice so we took her home along with a little bili bed. Jon and I were vigilant about putting her in it while she was sleeping because we were so freaked out. She slept very peacefully in the bed, probably because it was so warm, but I couldn't help but feel like I was preparing her for Toddlers and Tiaras in her mini tanning bed.

It was pure torture when the first nurse came to our home to check her bilirubin count and cut her little heel open and let it drain into a tube. The second nurse let me breastfeed her throughout and it was completely peaceful. She didn't cry once.

We had so many friends and family members come and support us that these early days went so well. My mom stayed with us and prepared meals and went to the store for things that Jon didn't feel comfortable getting. My grandparents came several times and brought dinner and clothes for the baby. Missy, Rebecca, and even Angie, who traveled over 100 miles!, came to meet Daphne.

Although it could have been worse, it could have been better. I never slept. Daphne slept for about two hour intervals and then would want to nurse for another two hours. On and on. Finally, even though I said I wouldn't let this happen, I laid her on my chest to sleep. This was the best move I'd made so far as a mom. Sometimes, no matter what you read, you have to do what's going to work for you and the baby. And, this worked for us.

So, the jaundice fear was over and the bili bed gone, and I'm finally getting some more sleep. The worst is over, right? Wrong.

When Daphne was one week old, I realized that my C-section incision was hot and swollen. I wanted to ignore it, but Jon convinced me that if it got really bad then maybe I wouldn't be able to care for Daphne very well. Already he had learned that the baby was perfect leverage. So, I called the OB and they told me to come in immediately. I had so much anxiety. If you've ever had to travel with a newborn who is breastfeeding, then you may understand why. What was a 30 minute drive became an hour drive with two feeding stops to get her to stop screaming.

Finally we got there. Everyone oohed and ahhed over how gorgeous my kid is. She really is.

 Then, I went into an exam room expecting to hear that I might need to take an antibiotic, that maybe I had a little infection. Dr. S., who wasn't my delivering OB and who was new to the practice, comes in and I already feel more worried. The only experience I'd had with him previously was when he was checking my dilation two weeks prior and put his entire arm inside me.

Up on the table I go, lift up my shirt, pull down my pants, and Dr. S. says, "Yeah, I'm going to have to cut you open right now."

I looked at Jon and then at Dr. S. and I said, "Shut. Up. You are not serious."

I really thought he was joking. He wasn't. Before I could even ask again, he told the nurse to get (and I remember this very specifically) a blade. Then, my loving husband says, "I'm going to take Daphne out in the waiting room, this might freak her out." That made perfect sense to me because I was completely in shock.

I had an infection, apparently one that was introduced in the operating room, and Dr. S. needed to drain it. Jon had to come back in and learn how to pack the gaping hole in my stomach with gauze because he was going to have to do this twice a day until I was healed. At this point, I figured that was just desserts for him sleeping during my labor and leaving the room when the Dr. went all Freddy Krueger on my incision.

So, for two weeks, we went through this lovely process, even had an ER visit when I had another infection scare, and then the worst was over. Really this time.

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