When Nathan was born my dad was recovering from back surgery, and my whole family was preoccupied with him -- including myself. Exactly one week before I was in the hospital giving birth, I sat with my mom in the surgery waiting area for two hours praying for the best.
I was sad that my dad couldn't come see Nathan and I in the hospital, and also sad that my family came in shifts so someone could always stay home with Dad. I didn't get the flowers or cards or congratulations or attention that I not afraid to admit I really wanted (and like so many others I saw before me), but I understood.
And Nathan, Nathan when I got him home, I had no idea how it would be...a few days with him constantly crying and not nursing had me at my wits end, and I am not sure who cried more during those times, him, or me. At least his cries were tearless...I remember soaking his little face with my tears. I remember the guilt as I gave him bottles with pumped milk or formula, and feeling like a complete failure.
I finally decided to check my temperature one night, as I was having horrible chills. It was high, like 100+, so I took some tylenol. The next day I rested, and people were helping me, and I felt better. I think it was Halloween so I went over to my mom's for a bit. She asked why I was holding my side, and I told her I didn't know, but I guess that it hurt...the next day my temperature got worse, and my side started hurting even more. At about 7PM that night I told Chris he needed to take me to the emergency room, because something was wrong.
We didn't get home unil 4AM...I obviously wasn't a rush job....they checked everything, and ruled all major things out, and assumed it was a bladder or kidney infection and put me on antibiotics. I came home exhausted but had a 10AM doctor's appointment for Nathan that morning. I remember he had gained almost a pound from his weight when we brought him home. Finally, at least I knew I was doing something right.
I remember the next three weeks were very hard, when Chris went back to work I bawled. I longed to go to work and get out of the house. To talk to people. To be free of the crying. When he got home or when his mom came over, I would go upstairs for an hour or two and just rest. I had a hard time "sleeping when the baby sleeps"...if you are not a good napper, this adjustment is beyond difficult. I just couldn't do it.
I remember calling my mom and asking her how much babies should cry? Shouldn't they stop every now and then and just be awake? She said something like"certainly" and proceeded to tell me how all of us were such good, perfect, easy babies.... and suddenly I felt like I was doing something wrong again...why was he always crying? I tried to ask people with babies for advice, but most of them made me feel horrible. Some were snotty, some were rude, some were just like, babies cry, get used to it...
At about four weeks, I remember I suddenly figured everything out. Nathan cried because he was hungry, he needed more food. I started giving him more. He stopped crying. To this day, I still feel stupid I didn't figure this out sooner. I also stopped pumping, and started to become my old self. The endless pumping/feeding/washing/sleeping cycle had just become feeding and sleeping and was so much easier to deal with.
One of the other things I remember clearly is that I was searching the internet to try to understand why I didn't fall "desparately in love" with Nathan right away. Everyone told me, as soon as you give birth, you are just immediately there, completely, fully, and it's like nothing you ever imagined. Not me. I was worried something was wrong with me. But, I found that this happens to many women, and it can take awhile...That was me. One day, I just realized that I would do anything for him. Anything.
Today I thought that maybe I should start to dig out the newborn clothes...and I started to dream about the next little one...