Saturday, September 15, 2012

Skippy Says: 1 month (Parenthood)

Dear Sophia,

Today, you turn one month old.

It has been, by far, the most challenging month of my life.

I tell you this so bluntly because should you choose to make me a grandma someday, I want you to know that it's ok to feel that, to say that.

From the way you chose to enter this world on, you have made two things very clear: 1) You will do things your way, no matter what my hopes and plans for you are, and 2) you inherited your mama's stubbornness, plus some. In fact, unbeknownst to me, daddy video recorded the first moment we met, and upon watching it I learned that the first thing I said to you as I held you in my arms was "hey little girl, why you gotta be so stubborn?"

If, in addition to my stubbornness, you've also inherited my need to be in control, you'll find, like me, that the hardest part of parenthood is being so totally out of control of pretty much everything. And you'll have to learn to let go. I'm working on it.

I had grand plans for you, for us. I was going to bring you into this world naturally, no medication whatsoever. I was going to hold you skin to skin and breastfeed immediately. Daddy was going to cut your cord. But after being in hard labor for 10 hours, reaching 10 centimeters, and pushing for 7.5 hours with not a drop of pain medication, the doctors discovered that your head was turned sideways and therefore could not, would not, come out. They tried to fix the problem and turn it to face the right direction, but do you know what your stubborn self did? Turned it right back. So a cesarean it was. After a failed epidural, another hour of contractions, and then a failed spinal, I was put under general anesthesia. You were cut out of me. I met you ten hours later, in the NICU, as you had swallowed meconium and were born not breathing.

We went home four days later.

Since we've been home I've been trying to recover from the c section, battling a terrible case of thrush, and doing everything I can to try to increase my very low milk supply. Our days are spent feeding and pumping, with an average of a half hour break in between before we rinse and repeat.  It is exhausting. It is draining, And hardest of all, it is totally and completely defeating.

When I sat down to write you this letter, I did not think that these are the words I would leave you with. But to write anything else would be dishonest, and I refuse to begin our relationship on a deceitful note.

Here's hoping next month will treat us a little more kindly.

All my love,

Mama

10 comments:

  1. Hi there, Inna! I've been thinking about you a lot and had assumed that your baby girl would be here by now. Thank you for this honest post. I'm sorry the birth did not go as expected, but I suppose from here on out you will know to "expect the unexpected." I've heard that after two months, it gets much easier. One down, one to go! Good luck with everything :)

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  2. I was just thinking of you today and wondering how you were doing! Welcome to baby Sophia! It sounds like a very eventful month, but you sound well equipped to deal with what's ahead. Hang in there. :)

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  3. oh my. this all sounds so very difficult. your honesty is so appreciated, though, and i know that you will get through this! i am sending you strong, healthy-mama vibes.

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  4. bestdressedinthenestSeptember 17, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    I've been checking your page every single day since 8/9/12 (your last post) and I was so worried about you and I don't even KNOW you! I'm SO sorry your delivery experience was so awful. :( I had a less than desirable delivery myself and I am all too familiar with the feelings of not producing enough milk, as my twins were born 6 weeks early and I didn't get to hold either of them right away. I would pump less than an ounce every time and I pumped 12 times/day for 6 weeks. It was utterly exhausting. My son was in the NICU for 30 days and I didn't even get to see him daily, as I, too was recovering from a c-section and couldn't drive. Just know this -- it is OK to use formula if you aren't producing enough milk. I had such guilt about this for SO long, but you know what? Your baby will be absolutely FINE with formula. You do what you need to do to make her thrive and don't even for a SECOND feel you are doing her harm/wrong. Things don't always go as planned (as we both know) and you do what you have to do to make your baby's life healthy and happy and your OWN life healthy and happy. I hope you have a better 2nd month and it just gets better from here on out. Lots of hugs to you all!

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  5. Wow Inna, thank you for the frank look at little Sophia's first month. My friend has a 6 month old and tells me she is clueless sometimes due to lack of sleep. But she also says it is all worth it.
    If Sophia has your stubbornness, I am sure she will have your sweetness as well. The first month of being in a new place isn't always fun. Best in the next month!


    xoxo,Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  6. Oh Inna!! I hope things start to get better! I'm so glad you're doing ok. Sending you good vibes!! I hope there have been some positive things she inherited - beautiful hair and a sense of style? What a beautiful name too! Congrats!

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  7. It is tough...I understand. Don't feel guilty about any of it. I had to pump and bottle feed too and it is just so exhausting. I eventually went to formula and felt bad at first, but you have to know the baby is eating and that is all that matters. Know that it will get better and there is nothing wrong with venting!

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  8. Oh my goodness, sending you an email right now...

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  9. Oh Inna, I'm so sorry that it is so tough right now :(
    I hope everything will get better soon for all of you, I'm sending you lots of hugs!

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  10. So, so, so good to hear from you, and extra thanks for answering my email! I'm so glad both of you are fine, Inna! Sophia is a lovely name and I'm sure you will feel much easier soon and grow comfortable in each others' presence... May love surround both of you. :)

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