It might sound trite, but it’s true;
That quote from Ellen Cantarow about how having a child is “to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
The amount of love you feel for your child feels scary and bigger than you could possibly imagine.
Addie, the upside down baby came into the world via C-section with her eyes wide open. As they handed her to me, we stared at each other curiously, as if to say “I was wondering who you were.”
She’s still curious now, studying her little world and fighting naps. It’s like she doesn’t want to miss out on any little thing. “What do you think you’re going to miss?” I ask her as she desperately tries to stay awake.
Anyone who thinks maternity leave is a vacation is bananas. The physical recovery, hormones, feeding challenges, overwhelming, non-stop of it all. The hunger, the messy house, and barking dog. The sheer, bone-dead exhaustion.
The struggle between wanting to do things and see people, but also realizing that doing anything that’s not sleeping when you have a free moment means you get that much less sleep for the day so you always choose sleep.
In the earliest days, I almost longed for the work days where folks would call and yell at me for 30 minutes.
Screening for hip displasia is standard protocol for all breech births. Week six, the orthopedic doctor sent us home with a pavlik harness. He offered no warning or adjustment period. And, in hindsight I’m glad he didn’t for that would have been a week wasted. I cried and cried, intellectually knowing it was best for her, but emotionally hating it.
There’s a limited window where a flexible harness can hold the baby’s hip joints at a certain angle to correct hip sockets. Most of the time it works, avoiding major surgery.
I still hate the harness, but we’ve learned to live with it. Everyone was right, I’m more bothered by it than she is. The treatment is working well and we’re looking forward to the weaning process which we hope begins later week. I can’t wait to have my squishy baby back, even if it means I have to go back to work soon.
I’ll write a post later discussing things that made this period in a pavlik harness easier for us.
This has been the longest and shortest three months of my life. We’re figuring out how to find some normalcy in life again and what self-care means for us now.
We have so much to be grateful for, for this baby we never thought could exist. I knew I saw her very clearly in my dreams which seemed very confusing during our failed infertility treatments. Around our second failed egg retrieval, a family friend told us that God wanted him to deliver us the message that she would, in fact, be. I felt angry. I thought he was bananas. He was right. Sadly, he passed away unexpectedly shortly afterwards. But that’s a story for another time.
All is well, we’re just a little bit more tired. I’m going to be so nice to new parents now.
You don’t know, until you kknow. There’s simply nothing that can prepare you.
You’re doing a great job finding your way through all of this! And nice work on the cute baby. ❤
The first three months are the hardest. Bit by bit, it does get easier. And she’s adorable!
Also, because I’m pedantic this way, long before Ellen Cantarow made that statement, Sylvia Plath wrote in her radio play Three Women (about pregnancy and childbirth), in 1962: “It is a terrible thing to be so open: it is as if my heart put on a face and walked into the world.”
So good reading your update!
Oh that message from a family friend would be so hard to hear! I’m not familiar with the hip dysplasia, but it seems that doctors are more and more aware of things and how best to treat them. I’m glad you are all getting the care you need.
She is so precious! Congratulations! I’m happy to see you back on the blog.
Love your update~ Congratulations!