Today, our baby girl is 2 weeks old.
I may or may not be wearing a pair of mesh underwear from the multitude of pairs that I took from the hospital when I was discharged, along with a perineal ice pack, because I made the HORRENDOUS mistake of not taking Colace for roughly 18 hours. I may or may not also be on hiatus from nursing on my left side, and instead relying on the pump, because there is trouble that I can only refer to here as boobageddon (I almost went with nipplegate, but I hate how -gate gets thrown around so capriciously these days…Watergate was SERIOUS, people…the end of days? meh). I’m also obviously VERY bad at sleeping when the baby sleeps…instead opting to write this little missive.
I went in to be induced on my due date by choice, and labored for around 8 hours. That idea – elective induction – is actually still a tad scary for me. It somehow seems too good to be true; we can now choose exactly when we will have a baby, control the process using chemical hormones, and distract ourselves by binge-watching Season 3 of The Wire while it’s all going down.
In the end, though, given that she weighed 9 pounds 1 ounce and was 21 inches long – waiting another week may have been more detrimental to a vaginal birth. Apparently, sometimes the super high-tech Northwestern Medicine epidural doesn’t work. Then you find yourself bed-ridden and clenching your teeth through contractions every 2 minutes. The anesthesiologists conferred – in whispers, as if I could even TRY to listen in through the pain – and decided to pump me full of drugs. For the final three hours of my labor, I couldn’t feel my hips or legs, and whiled away the time compulsively wiggling my toes to remind myself that I was not actually paralyzed. A lot of different anesthesiologists then came to visit me, to reassure me, and to explain things sensibly.
All was forgiven when it came time to push, and three contractions later, Matilda was with us in the world. She was just ready. They then moved us to our post-pardem room, and my forgiveness almost evaporated as my bed wouldn’t stop inflating at different intervals along different sections. Twelve hours and zero sleep later, maintenance switched out the bed with one that wasn’t programmed for someone suffering from bed sores.
But, let me tell you – Matilda is a joy. She’s a champion eater, alert, strong, fussy when it makes sense to be fussy, and amenable to having her big brother kiss her head or hands or toes whenever he feels the urge. She has a dark rose complexion, which hopefully means that she inherited her father’s skin, along with his fingers and toes (her fingernails were so elegantly long when she was born). Her arms stretch wide, her eyes are a deep blue/grey at the moment, and she has almost completely avoided baby acne. Right now, I think that she has her father/Oma Marina’s eye and eyebrow shape and perhaps my nose. One never really knows.
When Felix held her for the first time, he looked up at us, and then spontaneously started singing softly. He sang her the ABC’s and then his version of a German pop song, while patting her arm gently. Felix, my friends, is not normally a gentle creature. We cried happily.