Friday, March 21, 2008

you only feel what you feel

The hormones are balancing themselves out, I suppose, and the weepiness comes and goes. A couple of days ago I looked at some pictures a friend of mine took of Frances and my pregnant belly and I got completely overcome with sadness that my alone time with Frances is gone. Since I quit work—5 weeks ago or so—Frances and I had settled into a little routine, a sweet kind of symbiosis, a world that worked for the two of us each day. And now there's this interloper. I fear that I will be spending so much energy just trying to figure out how to get both of them strapped in for a trip to the grocery that I won't be able to fully see and experience either of them... That all my energy will go toward managing the two of them that I won't get to enjoy them.

I realize that other folks have done this before me. I realize that many many folks are doing this right now, and seemingly without too much angst. Perhaps it just takes some getting used to. Perhaps once I figure out the logistics I'll settle back into routine and develop my relationships with both of them, together and individually. Perhaps it's all just anxiety on my part. And as I write this it's clear to me how unnecessary this anxiety is—the situation will be what it is, and I'll deal with it as it comes, and being anxious about it helps me none. But, as I was reminded last night at a ppd group meeting, you can only feel what you feel.

Frances has been gone three days. Yesterday on the phone she said, "Mama," and when I asked if she was having fun with her Grammy she said, "Da," which is her word for yes. She also blew me a very loud kiss. Today she's at the zoo with her Grammy and aunt and cousins. The plan is for her to stay with my mom until Sunday, which will be five days away from us, the longest she's been away. I miss her but I'm also getting sleep. This space has allowed my father-in-law to do several jobs to get the house ready to go on the market; he put up a new storm door, painted the front porch, patched the bathroom floor, finished shoe moulding in the kitchen, and more. I'm very fortunate to have this kind of support. On the one hand it's hard to have folks in your house/space for so long, but I'm also aware that it is their being here that's allowing me to recover and adjust to this newness. I'm trying to keep everything in perspective.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


My mom took Frances back to her house for a few days and it's amazing how quiet it is around here. I keep forgetting she's gone and assuming she must be napping.

The last few days have been rough with F. Mitch got the stomach flu and she couldn't understand why she couldn't play with Dad, and I had the baby hanging off my boob half the time so I couldn't play with her either. She sure is cute, though, even when she's upset.

You know, having the first kid is such a shock, such a lifestyle change, and it leaves you wondering what the hell you've done to your world and sometimes wishing you could go back. But the second isn't so stunning... You know what to expect, what's going to be hard, and you're already doing the kid thing, so it's not an enormous shift. What strikes me as funny now, especially here in the quiet with F gone, is why I found it so shocking in the first place. I'd forgotten how much babies sleep--it leaves me all kinds of time to nap or do laundry or write on the blog or lie flat on my back and watch Oprah. I can take walks when I want, go to the grocery store; we could go out to dinner for godsake, a luxury I'd all but written off for several years.

I'm going to take this opportunity to clean out a closet.

Friday, March 14, 2008

condensed birth story

For those of you who are interested in a sketch of the details:

The contractions started at 5:30 in the evening and he was born at 12:30 am, so only 7 hours start to finish. It was really fast. There was a kind of mad rush to the hospital around 10:30 because I waited too long laboring at home, not realizing how fast things were going or when we needed to be taking action. At the hospital they had a room but no nurse for me so I labored in triage for an hour, full on transition, shaking and everything, hollering at the top of my lungs. Then the baby had a major heart deceleration which wouldn't come up and everyone freaked out; they put oxygen on me and had me rolling around which was hard in the middle of contractions, and they broke my water which revealed meconium and then they ran with me on a gurney down the hall, yelling things as they went. One resident said, "It's like in the movies!" They heaved me onto the delivery bed and yelled "push!" and in 3 or so pushes he was out. They actually used the vacuum for the first push, as I understand it, because everyone was so worried about the baby. I didn't really realize what was going on. At one point when I was pushing I said for them to put the baby on me when he came out and the nurse said, "we can't put him on you if we have to resuscitate him, honey." Very helpful. We were only at the hosp and hour and 1/2 before he was born. MAN did it hurt to push him out. The cord was wrapped tightly around his neck and he was completely purple (which is probably why his heart rate was dropping so much) but he cried right away and his apgars were 7 and then 9, which are all good signs. Now he's here, and he's great. I didn't even have stitches!!!! That's been wonderful—the recovery from this one is SO much better than the first. Frances was over 8lbs, though, and this guy is so small. Her delivery is what made this one so easy. I keep forgetting that I haven't fully recovered and I overdo it a bit and get pretty worn out.

Frances is doing really well so far. She just loves him and kisses him and wants to hold him for about 3 seconds, and she's interested in all he does, which of course isn't much. She's suffering a bit from lack of mommy-time, however, and I've been making a big effort to hand over the baby to someone else and read books or stack blocks with her. It's hard to tell, though, if some of her struggles are because of the changes she's experiencing or simply because of her age and developmental stage. My tendency is to hole up with the baby—it's funny the draw I feel, and I have to suspect this is hormonal and natural for me to want more to be with the young one right now. That, and I'm in that hormonal/emotional choas of post-delivery. Tonight I cried at a performance of the song "desperado" on PBS. It was just so *moving*. Ugh.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

baby here!

No time to update now, except to say that we have a new baby in the house! Clark Thompson Lovett is his name, and he's 6lbs 10oz and has sweet blond peach fuzz hair. He arrived March 8th at 12:34 am after a fast and exciting labor. Boy, the recovery from the 2nd is enormously better than the first. More to come.