Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Shriekening

Hahah! Just kidding! It hasn't been that bad!

(here you must imagine a slightly crazed, hysterical note to my seemingly calm tone)

Also just kidding. The first few days were really, really rough. Mostly because I was an emotional basket case and just barely holding it together. If you know me in really life, this is totally weird. I'm not emotional. I'm rather robotic, in fact. So pregnancy made me almost a normal woman; I cried a little, I told my husband I loved him with at least some feeling, and I Am Legend just about killed me. New motherhood turned me into this useless, sopping, bipolar mess.

Wednesday was the absolute worst. I gave Grace a bath before a visit with a lactation consultant and after a night of very little sleep and pathetic attempts at keeping her awake long enough to eat for more than five minutes. Oh, she screaaaaaamed. So here's me on the bathroom floor next to the tub, my newborn daughter is screaming at me as hard as she can with very accusing eyes, and I'm sobbing as I lift her neck folds and try to clean between them so she doesn't get a weird fungal infection or a new life form springing from her throat. And then on the way back from the lactation consultant (turns out short feeding times are okay, as she's a super duper nurser and can suck down two ounces in less than five minutes), my mood took a manic upswing, stopping just short of telling me I could fly off the bridge over the Crawfish River.

Since then, things have only gotten better. My sister decided to fly in from Colorado on short notice, and she's like an angel of light. She instructed me in proper swaddling (I tried and tried but just couldn't get those little arms to stay), and that has made all the difference. She also cooks breakfast. And has really pretty hair.

This baby has had at least one five-hour stretch of sleep each of the last three nights. She's fussier during the day (because she's awake more during the day), but I can handle that. We also got a bouncy seat. Bouncy seat + swaddling = newborn bliss.

I haven't had any thoughts of throwing her out a window in a few days, and the thought of being a stay-at-home mom after all the helpful family goes home no longer fills me with a bone-crushing despair. I'm looking forward to it.

Even my recovery from surgery is going better. I only take my pills twice a day rather than two every four hours I required in the beginning. I'm tired and overstimulated pretty easily still, but if I keep it low-key, I feel great. Half an hour ago, when she made the most unholy mess of herself and her onesie and almost my couch, I was actually able to laugh despite her heartfelt protestations. On Monday, that would have had me grabbing James, telling him to take care of his offspring, and throwing myself into bed. And then we were done cleaning her up, and I picked her up and put her on my chest, and she was instantly calm and happy and gazing into my eyes, and my heart exploded into a million pieces. Life is good.

Again, thanks for all the well-wishes. As much as I'd love to respond to them all, I don't think I have the time. But just know that all of them made my day over the last couple weeks. Especially when I was feeling crummy and totally alone.

I also added some new pictures of Grace (see last entry, maybe the one before, not sure).

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