Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Booby and the Blankie

Before little Molly came into the world I sat in my chair and thought "gee my legs are puffy." I also thought taking care of a newborn baby would be a nice and relaxing bout of sleeping and eating. "Ha ha!" I thought, I like eating and sleeping hard can this possibly be? Those who have babies currently or have had babies are now smirking and or exclaiming "tee hee." Molly was born on September 11th after exactly 24 hours of labor, including 3 hours of pushing. I don't know how, but I've already forgotten what contractions actually felt like but I do remember saying "please, please, please" to the midwife as though she could excuse me from labor like a parent can excuse you from the dinner table. "If you have three more contractions, you can be excused." Two things got me through labor. First, my midwife reminded me of Tina Fey which made me really happy despite the pain. Second, there is nothing you can do about being in labor except to get through labor. However, the beautiful surprise was that once I began pushing, the contractions were no longer painful. Hallelujah! And push I did. I pushed like I was in a Dr. Seuss novel titled "Push in Your Tush." I pushed on the can. I pushed like a man. I pushed on a bed. I pushed on my head. I pushed laying down. I pushed with a frown. And all throughout the 3 hours of pushing, Matt was yelling "push, push, push...we only have such and such an amount of time before September 11th rolls around." I would just look at him and think to myself "is this guy serious?" But little Molly absolutely, positively did NOT want to be born on the 10th because as soon as that clock struck midnight on the 11th, little Molly's head popped right out.

We stayed in the hospital for one blissful day that made me think I was right and that this baby thing was indeed going to be an easy affair. People constantly brought us food, icy drinks, and pain meds. Nursing was painless and the baby slept blissfully for hours when she wasn't nursing perfectly. The bed even tilted up into the perfect position to nurse in when I wasn't sleeping. And then we came home. The bed no longer tilted, the baby no longer slept (in fact she seemed to be eating 24 hours a day), and breastfeeding became a searingly painful battle at the booby. Molly loved my left breast (termed ole reliable) but was convinced that my right breast was a demon from hell sent to poison her. She would wriggle and writhe and gnash at my right breast to the point that I would swear I had mistakenly grabbed an alligator to breastfeed. I was right in that newborns sleep and eat constantly. However, they do this in what seems like a 30 minute 30 minute rotation...30 minutes of eating followed by 30 minutes of sleeping. Having to sit in a chair to feed a baby on a painful nipple for 30 minutes is exhausting. Having to do this after having only 30 minute naps in between is debilitating. However, what is so amazing is that despite all the craziness, you can't stop thanking the heavens for such an incredible, beautiful, perfect little gift. Even when you only get 30 minutes to sleep, you still wake up to stare at your angel baby as though she could disappear if you stopped staring. You make up songs for your little baby to try to express how much love you feel for her. You memorize her beautiful little ears, and the way she looks when she is peacefully eating despite the pain in your breasts. And eventually you figure out how it all works and breastfeeding slowly gets a little less difficult. And you figure out that daddy has magical baby soothing powers. As soon as Molly is in daddy's arms she is sleepy and blissfully happy. And before you know it you have become parental super-heros known as the Booby and the Blankie.