Monday, October 15, 2012

Skippy Says: 2 Months (Parenthood)

Dear Sophia,

Today you turn two months old. To celebrate, I took you to the pediatrician to get your first vaccines. I dreaded it for the days weeks leading up to it, insisting that daddy take a few hours off work to come with me. Because I knew I didn't have it in me to hold you while you got pricked.

When I was younger, I would accompany my grandparents to many a doctors visits to act as their translator since they didn't speak English. And I remember vividly one appointment when my grandpa needed a shot. I couldn't watch because I hurt so bad for him. I didn't think it was possible to hurt more for anyone than I did for him that afternoon. I was wrong. And I kept thinking back to when I had to get an infected tooth removed, shortly after we arrived in America. I was six years old, and the doctor told me that I would need a shot. I pleaded with my dad to take it for me. He told me how badly he wished he could, how he wished he could take all the pain in my lifetime onto himself. And for the first time at your appointment today, I truly understood.

Like last month, this one has not been without its challenges. We are continuing to struggle with breastfeeding, both because of my infection and my low milk supply. Holding you is often agonizing because of the pain in my breasts. Furthermore, you've developed several charming new habits such as: 1) needing to be held in someone's arms and having them simultaneously rock you, shush you, and do deep squats with you in order for you to fall asleep and, despite all that hard work, refusing to sleep for more than a half hour stretch at a time during the day; 2) crying anytime you are in your carseat, stroller, or any type of carrier thereby making it impossible to leave the house with you; and 3) screaming bloody murder to the point that your entire body is shaking, you're snorting, and your face gets beet red every time you finish a bottle and realize there is no more food to be had. I guess you take after your mama in the liking to eat department. Daddy has fondly taken to calling you his little goldfish because it seems you would eat until you literally explode if we allowed you to.

But then you reach your arms out for me and you smile. And for a few brief moments, my heart feels light.

Slowly but surely we are getting to know one another. I'm learning how to interpret your cries; you're learning that I don't appreciate being pooped on when I get in the tub with you (you haven't done it for two times in a row now!). Though bathtime is still generally daddy's domain and I only take over if he's stuck at work late. Which thankfully hasn't been all that often because, girl, you are e.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g. The minute he walks in the door from work I hand you over. And the huge smile on his face at the sheer joy of seeing you makes my heart feel light for a few moments more.

One of the greatest and most unexpected gifts you've given me is a new level of closeness with daddy that I didn't know was possible, and the continual reaffirmation of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful teammate. Despite the (many) trying days, and (thank goodness only a few) difficult nights, daddy has been nothing but kind and patient. Lord knows I've done my best to pick fights with him, but I am only one woman and the man makes it impossible. It's infuriating.

This is the last month you're officially a "newborn." From what I understand, starting at three months, you graduate to "infant." And while I'd be lying if I said I didn't look forward to that (everyone has assured me things get easier after three months), I'm going to try to soak up and enjoy every last newborn minute with you I get, challenges and all.



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,


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Skippy Says: 40 Weeks (Pregnancy Journal)

40 Weeks

Dear baby girl,

I am very short on words this week, mainly because I'm very short on sleep. You have me up 7+ times a night to pee. The limited time I'm not peeing doesn't do me much good either since I'm so jittery with the anticipation of your arrival. I don't think I've slept more than two non-consecutive hours in the last week. And it feels like such a waste-- since I'm not sleeping anyway I might as well be up because I'm caring for and cuddling you. So please, be ready to come out soon. Daddy and I could not be more ready or excited to meet you.



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Skippy Says: 39 Weeks (Pregnancy Journal)

39 Weeks

Dear baby girl,

I never thought we'd make it this far. Yeah, I definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY expected to have popped by now. I guess I'll consider this good training for the first of many surprises you're sure to throw my way.

This last week was a big one for our family. On Monday, daddy and I celebrated nine years of being together. And by celebrated I mean stayed at home until I whined long enough that daddy took me out for an ice cream cone. It's really not his fault though, since I made him take Wednesday off work to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary. And making him plan two anniversary dates (because you better believe that's his job) two days apart isn't really all that fair. I guess.

In other news, I had one of those weird pregnancy moments where I realize you're real. Like, you know, a person. And coming. Sometime soon. Here's what went down: at our prenatal appointment, my midwife felt around and declared that you had dropped and were now sitting lower than the week before. "I could feel her head in your pelvis" she told me. Totally innocuous statement, right? Except then for some reason I become giddy because, wait for it, you HAVE A HEAD. That's right. I grew something someone that has a head. You'd think I'd get that before because, you know, babies generally have heads. And for weeks I've been obsessively asking my midwife if you're head down so I can have the vaginal birth I want. And I've been imagining your head. And I've bought you hats to cover your head. Yet somehow, I never processed that you're actually going to have one. Until now. I get it now. I get it now--you're going to have a head. And that makes me really happy.

Soon, maybe (hopefully!) even before I get to write you your next letter, it will be your birthday. Your actual birth day. The real deal. I told daddy I read about some couples baking a birthday cake to bring to the hospital to celebrate with after the baby is born. Being as hormonal as I am I thought that was  the cutest idea ever. Plus, you know I'm going to want some birthday cake after all that hard work. When I asked daddy his thoughts on the subject, he looked like he was trying really hard to say something that wouldn't get him a night on the couch before settling on saying that the idea was "" Little did he know--cutesy is definitely couch worthy. At least it is when I know how he feels about cutesy things in general. Still doesn't change my mind. Birthday cake for the hospital is now on the list. That, and champagne. And you better believe I made sure it was cutesy champagne--for our anniversary, I surprised daddy by ordering the champagne we had at our wedding to bring to the hospital with us.

Tonight there will be a full moon.  Hopefully that means we'll get to put that cutesy birthday cake and bottle of champagne to use very, very soon.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...