Friday, September 07, 2007

After the Delivery

A couple of things about post-delivery that no one talks about too much:

1. The mother of all periods. I stole that phase from Jane Buckingham's book, "The Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood." In the book she writes something to the effect of "You know those super fat maxi pads with wings that you see in the store and you think, who wears those? Those, my friend, are now made for you." It's been 5 and a half weeks and I'm still wearing a pantyliner every moment of every day. Which is at least a big improvement of the super maxi.

2. Lots of crying. My first meltdown was the day after Rolo was born, when I was still in the hospital, just about 30 minutes before loads of our friends and family showed up to visit. That meltdown was induced by the lactation nazis. But I had a cry-fest pretty much every day for the first 10 days after Rolo was born. It did get better after that.

3. Total exhaustion. I've mentioned this before. I had a pretty easy pregnancy, and a pretty easy labor. I was never in any real pain. My recovery wasn't bad, but I couldn't believe how weak I was for weeks after I delivered. I couldn't walk very far. Stairs killed me. I was just so winded. And I expected that the first couple of days after I had Rolo, but it shocked me that I still felt so tired 3 weeks later.

4. It is totally normal to want to throw your kid out the window. Figuratively of course. But you know it's not one big joyfest. It's a really big change and I'd be lying if I said there are moments you don't want to give up.

5. People will offer to bring you food. Accept the food.

6. If you're married or in a serious relationship, you'll get to see what it's really made of. I've never really needed to be taken care of, at least not since childhood. But post-delivery, I needed to be taken care of both physically and emotionally, and Ron was wonderful. He's used to me being independent, but he filled the role of caretaker without missing a beat. With both of us being totally exhausted, it might be easy to snap at each other, but instead, we fell into teamwork mode. Each of us may have an "off" day, and the other just takes over. The defining moment for us as a family so far was my third day home from the hospital, when the pediatrican informed us that the nurse-bitches at the hospital has us underfeeding Rolo and then the same day I passed a blood clot the size of Texas. I was convinced something was really wrong and Ron, Rolo and I all sat in the living room crying.

7. No matter how prepared you think you are, you're not.

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