Shortly after having Ziggy my fave OB/gyn dropped by my room at the hospital to congratulate Beefcake and I. “Welcome to the club”, she said, and with those words I knew that finally we were ‘in’. What words can I write to describe the ‘birth story’? I guess mine would be best described as being a good one – no more adjectives should be needed because I finally got a living, breathing, pooping, snot-nosed stunningly beautiful baby out of it. The first 2 weeks were rough emotionally speaking. I guess I did suffer from the baby blues. I kept waiting for that moment of elation, that moment where that intense wave of unconditional love would hit me in the hospital, but it didn’t happen that way.
As expected, Ziggy was born with low blood sugar and spent her first few hours in the NICU, while I was in the recovery room. Beefcake was busy with introducing my relatives to Ziggy in the NICU. Our first few hours as a bonafide family in the traditional sense were spent apart. My nurse wheeled me right into the NICU where I got to hold her for the first time. My nurse was on my left side mere inches from me repeatedly asking if I felt faint or dizzy or otherwise unwell. Ziggy’s nurse was to my right side holding onto her incase I did make good on my nurse’s concern. No – this would not be a good time to have a few private moments taking her in. As I was wheeled out I looked out into the room to the area where I last held Daniella. I locked eyes with a woman holding a very tiny infant. She gave me a weak smile; as I smiled back I hoped in my heart that she somehow sensed that I knew her pain and that I understood. When we were finally reunited in my hospital room, a steady flow of doctors, nurses, techs, staff and visitors prevented that bonding I was hoping for. I was however floored by the maternal instinct to protect her – I was overcome with worry and anxiety over her – it was fierce.
On the 3rd day in the hospital I managed to get into a stupid argument wtih my mom and grandmother over them coming late to the hospital every day. This argument put me in a bad way because I was already having issues with trying to breasfeed. My nipples were sore and cracked and I had spent the day trying to pump milk only to have one tiny drop of colustrum(sp?) emerge. I guess it didn’t help that my mother developed blood clots in her legs while here (due to all the driving she did to get to us) and that she was actually admitted to a hospital a few blocks away from mine the day before Ziggy was born. (Thankfully she was discharged on the day Ziggy was born.) I was emotionally drained.
The next day – discharge day – I met with a social worker due to my history and because of the answer I gave to a question on a hospital questionaire for post-partum depression. The question was something to the effect of: ‘Do you ever think of hurting yourself?’ To which I answered “hardly ever”. My bad. It’s not really how I felt, I was thinking about my past when I listed that answer. Because, yes, I have in the past, but not now because I had someone new to live for. The meeting with the social worker brought back a lot of painful memories and had me bawling. I left with a prescription for zoloft. Again…
When Ziggy was less than 2 weeks old I developed the same EXACT symptoms my mom had before being diagnosed with the blood clots. So I was worried sick for my mom and then for myself…and then for Ziggy because my overactive mind already saw her growing up without me (because I would be dead) and being co-raised by the spectacular band of monkeys I have for in-laws. My OB gave me a script to have my leg checked out and thankfully there was nothing to be worried about after the test.
She is 4 weeks old today and thankfully there was a shift in my mood when she was 3 weeks old. Finally at home and away from interruptions and jarring memories that hospitals bring I was finally able to take in my daughter. Finally – I could enjoy her and it would be ok because it would not negate my past or further remove me from Emi and Daniella. The love that I feel for her is truly unlike any other. It is deep, selfless, unconditional and eternal. There is no end or begining to it – it’s as if it always was. It’s crazy, but having her in my life and having her wake us up at all hours seems strangely natural – as if there has been no shift in our lives.
Last week we had a party for Ziggy at my in-laws to their credit. It was a BBQ and pool party. Lots of people that we needed to reconnect with showed up and offered lots of heartfelt good wishes and congratulations. This weekend I am having a small little get-together at my house with some colleagues from work so that they could meet her and to catch up. Next weekend will be another party for the last of the relatives and friends that have not gotten to meet her.
My family left when she was 2 weeks old (after doing ALL the cleaning, cooking and errands in my home). Beefcake is now taking Wednesdays off to be at home and Ziggy and I are actually doing quite well in the breastfeeding department. I am finally sinking into my new role as ‘parent’ as my hormones readjust and I am finally getting my home and body back after over 3 years of tests, births, deaths and procedures. After sharing my history with the tech that checked my leg for blood clots she smiled at me and told me to go home and be happy with my prize – I had nothing to worry about.
That’s just what i’m doing.