Thursday, August 06, 2009

I am a mother.

I've been trying to write about having a baby, and it isn't working. (Also, typing feels weird. I haven't been on my computer in days and days.) Relatively briefly, then: Chloe was born on Thursday, July 23, after 20.5 hours of labor (starting with my water breaking, which seemed to annoy the midwives inordinately--once that happens, they start worrying about infection) and a tech who asked to observe me at the hospital because she'd never seen anyone trying to do a no-drugs labor before. She was eight pounds, three ounces, supposedly 21 inches (but the pediatrician measured her at 19.75 at her four-day checkup). After the delivery, we got to see the placenta and amniotic sac, which was pretty cool, while I got stitched up; and then I was both ravenous and the sleepiest I've ever been; and then I got food and a nap, and so did Chloe.

We took her home, where we adored her and she was fussy and difficult at feeding times and developed jaundice. It and the fussiness got bad enough that we called the pediatrician, and on the next Friday they looked her over, got a bilirubin and weight check, and ended up sending us to the NICU for phototherapy for her jaundice and weight loss and dehydration. As far as we know it was caused by not feeding her enough, which was caused by a shallow latch and tongue thrust preventing her from feeding well. So I've been feeling horribly guilty. But I'm getting better, and it helps that the phototherapy cleared up the jaundice for the most part and we're now stuffing her full of food, so much so that she gained ten ounces in five days and is back to her birth weight at the two-week mark, right on schedule. The pediatrician says if this keeps up he'll have to have the obesity talk with us sooner than planned.

I enjoy her very much, but I'm still a bit ambivalent about being a mother. I hope this is normal. I'm definitely enjoying being at home, except that my parents are staying with us and my mom is getting on my nerves slightly, which hasn't happened before. (Also she's taken over my kitchen, but since this means I don't have to cook meals it's not so bad.) She's two weeks old today, and I'm starting to feel like it's time to get back to a somewhat normal schedule, rather than spending most of my time reading and napping between feedings. Being a mother definitely doesn't change my interest in my hobbies or my attitude towards housework; it just adds an extra responsibility that has to take precedence. It's weird. But I think I can make it work.

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