Saturday, September 15, 2012

Skippy Says: 1 month (Parenthood)

Dear Sophia,

Today, you turn one month old.

It has been, by far, the most challenging month of my life.

I tell you this so bluntly because should you choose to make me a grandma someday, I want you to know that it's ok to feel that, to say that.

From the way you chose to enter this world on, you have made two things very clear: 1) You will do things your way, no matter what my hopes and plans for you are, and 2) you inherited your mama's stubbornness, plus some. In fact, unbeknownst to me, daddy video recorded the first moment we met, and upon watching it I learned that the first thing I said to you as I held you in my arms was "hey little girl, why you gotta be so stubborn?"

If, in addition to my stubbornness, you've also inherited my need to be in control, you'll find, like me, that the hardest part of parenthood is being so totally out of control of pretty much everything. And you'll have to learn to let go. I'm working on it.

I had grand plans for you, for us. I was going to bring you into this world naturally, no medication whatsoever. I was going to hold you skin to skin and breastfeed immediately. Daddy was going to cut your cord. But after being in hard labor for 10 hours, reaching 10 centimeters, and pushing for 7.5 hours with not a drop of pain medication, the doctors discovered that your head was turned sideways and therefore could not, would not, come out. They tried to fix the problem and turn it to face the right direction, but do you know what your stubborn self did? Turned it right back. So a cesarean it was. After a failed epidural, another hour of contractions, and then a failed spinal, I was put under general anesthesia. You were cut out of me. I met you ten hours later, in the NICU, as you had swallowed meconium and were born not breathing.

We went home four days later.

Since we've been home I've been trying to recover from the c section, battling a terrible case of thrush, and doing everything I can to try to increase my very low milk supply. Our days are spent feeding and pumping, with an average of a half hour break in between before we rinse and repeat.  It is exhausting. It is draining, And hardest of all, it is totally and completely defeating.

When I sat down to write you this letter, I did not think that these are the words I would leave you with. But to write anything else would be dishonest, and I refuse to begin our relationship on a deceitful note.

Here's hoping next month will treat us a little more kindly.

All my love,

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