My father killed himself, via a massive drug overdose (after a previous attempt about 2 weeks earlier), 5 days after S was born. In the past two years, I have learned to forgive him for a lot and empathize with the illness. Robbing me of my euphoria over S’s birth, however, I will never be able to forgive. I will always hate him for it. It makes me angry that in my mind S’s earliest days are clouded by this event, as much as try to avoid doing so.
With E, somehow I feel like I am getting to do everything over again. They are almost exactly 2 years apart (2y/6 days, to be exact). Both were born early. My labor started with both of them at 36 weeks: S stayed put for a few days longer while E was born just hours later. Both times my water broke announcing that this was “real labor” after Mr.MC was told to go home and get some sleep. To me, at least, they bear a striking resemblance, especially with E in her older brother’s hand-me-down clothes.
Five days after her birth, instead of processing my father’s suicide, I spent the day with my husband, my son, my daughter, and my mom. We sat for hours in the new nursery while S entertained us with his 2-year-oldness. It was perfect.
Instead of breastfeeding woes (poor latch, poor sucking reflex, mastitis, blocked ducts, previous duct damage in my left breast, etc…) I have a preemie baby who nurses like a champ. What my father’s death didn’t undo, hormones and the stress of breastfeeding finished off. I was told I had to feed every 2-3 hours. I had to pump to try and get the left breast working. S wasn’t gaining weight and he wasn’t sucking long or hard enough to bring in more milk. I hated pumping. I was physically exhausted and sleep deprived. My baby was not gaining weight and I had to supplement with formula for a few days. It was crushing.
This time I have a preemie who figured out breastfeeding the first time she nursed. She latches and sucks like a champion (I have to break the seal of her latch to get her off, even when she falls asleep, because she sucks so well). She came even earlier than S but nurses, according to the lactation consultant at the hospital, like a skilled full-term baby. My milk came in without incident. She is already starting to gain her weight back. Even with a clogged tear duct, eye drops, and antibiotics, she rarely cries (only when I don’t get her on the boob fast enough) and is very mellow. I am not pumping; I am nursing completely “on-demand,” even if she goes 4-5 hours between a feeding and, contrary to the warnings of the lactation-nazis out there, she is just fine. She poops and pees the requisite amounts. Her pediatrician proclaimed her, save for the tear duct infection, “perfectly healthy.” Instead of worrying about when I should feed her, I feed her when she is hungry, which means no more setting timers and constantly worrying that she has gone too long between feedings.
This is how it is supposed to be. I am exhausted and still recovering from the c-section but this is one of the happiest times of my life. My son is happy, healthy, and hilarious. My beautiful daughter is here, albeit a little early, but she is healthy. My heart feels like it is going to explode with love for the both of them. My husband is has taken time off of work and we get to be all together as a family.
And my dad is already dead, so he can’t ruin anything anymore.
The following is a guest post from my husband, alternately known to this blog’s readers as “Mr. MC” or “Mr. Beaujingo.”
Maggie left a comment recently on MC’s post about “natural birth” and “natural dentistry.”
“You know what the difference is? There is a life involved!!!”
Actually, there is a life involved in every medical treatment, including an endodontic procedure.
“Have you ever researched the harmful effects it can have on you but ESPECIALLY your baby?! How could you possibly compare the two?!”
Maggie may not have been reading this blog long enough to know that MC is married to a medical librarian and is a PhD who researches about as casually and frequently as Maggie uses the toilet. I would bet all that I own that Maggie doesn’t know half as much about the risks involved in various birthing choices as MC does. Despite the hyper-simplified kool-aid Rikki Lake likes to pour, the fact is that there are risks to ALL choices one can make about birth. The best thing a birthing mother can do is to be well-informed and to choose a provider (whether an OB or a CNM) she has absolute trust in to help make the right decisions for both mother and baby. MC’s CNM is also a labor and delivery RN with years of practical experience, an NP, and a mother of three children. If Maggie’s knowledge of these matters is a glass of water, this CNM’s knowledge is an Olympic-size swimming pool. With this in mind, I’d ask that Maggie please put aside her rude condescension and presumption that she knows better than any other mother.
Maggie goes on:
“And its hilarious to see everyone agree with that silly comparison. Its not about being a hero, its about protecting your baby.”
Putting aside your ignorance of the medicine involved, and the absurdity of any woman telling any other how she SHOULD give birth, I resent Maggie’s implication that MC doesn’t/didn’t care sufficiently for the health of her child. Read this blog. MC lost two pregnancies. Maggie’s implication that she might not care sufficiently about what is best for her child is not only rude, but heartless and stupid. You should be ashamed of yourself, Maggie.
But Maggie isn’t done being holier-than thou:
“If comparing an epidural to Novocaine makes you feel less guilty…then more power to you. You shouldn’t feel guilty though. You did what you could and you had good intentions.”
Maggie, MC hasn’t done anything for which she should feel guilty. She followed the advice of the most expert individual within several hours of driving from where we live. She didn’t just have good intentions, she did THE RIGHT THING. Take your phony forgiveness (which you have no right to offer) and shove it up your ignorant, self-righteous bajingo.
No love at all,
Hi there, folks- this is MC’s husband writing because he needs to share something:
I hate the pharmacist, and he freakin’ knows it now.
MC called in the refill for her HCG prescription well in advance of my going to pick it up at 5:30 PM this evening. When I got there, I found out that (whoops!) they had not only failed to fill the Rx, but they failed to TELL US that they couldn’t fill it. They told me that not only had they not filled the prescription, but that they were unable to indicate what other pharmacy in the same chain DID have it within driving distance.
Here’s what I said to the pharmacist telling me he couldn’t help me:
Please forgive me in advance for my bluntness: My wife has suffered through TWO miscarriages, so I’m not going to mince words about my desire to prevent a third. My wife needs to inject that prescription tomorrow morning, so here is what will happen: I will quietly sit down over in those chairs while you take a few minutes to call around to other local pharmacies until you find the one that can fill this prescription tonight- because I am not @#$%ing going home to my wife without it.
He made some calls and sent me to a sibling corporate pharmacy across town.