The Eleven-Day Report

If I have the date right, we are now eleven days into life as a family of five. So I thought I would do a little roundup of the state of things in the family.


My first week post-op, the pain was far worse than I remember, but localized at the belly button, where they stitched up my hernia (or whatever it ended up being), and not the incision itself. In the hospital, the nurses came in once or twice a shift to poke at my abdomen and see how the uterus was shaping up, and since there was no visible evidence of surgery at the navel, several of them were quite, um, let’s say heavy-handed. Ouch! Upon coming home, I got up to nurse and I had to hold my stomach, because everything felt like it was shifting. It was agonizing. (And lest you feel too sorry for me, or spooked about childbirth, this is my own darned fault, because I’m a stickler about using as little pain medication as I possibly can.)


Then, abruptly, at C-section plus seven days, I woke up without that sensation, and pain had been replaced by medium discomfort. Now, four days later, I’m almost weaned from the pain medicine, and I am 9 pounds above pre-pregnancy weight. Yesterday I wore my (loosest) pair of dress slacks to church, though the nursing mom’s shape did prevent me from wearing my own shirts. J


Christian went back to work today. He’s spent the last week picking up the slack for me—lifting, cleaning—building a sword and shield for Alex, and working a darned hard Neverland puzzle. (Who would guess that a 500-piece puzzle could be so impossible?)


As for the two of us, I realized two nights ago that we hadn’t so much as kissed in three days. This made me grumpy, as you might imagine. Grumpy because of the circumstance, and grumpy because it took me three days to notice. I made him abandon Neverland and sit on the couch with me yesterday for a few minutes so we could just talk while…gasp…all the kids were in bed.


Transitions continue. Alex’s consists of a sudden clinginess. He’s always been a joy to parent because he is great at playing independently. Sure, he likes Mom and Dad to play with him, but he’ll disappear into the basement and amuse himself for quite a while. Since we came home seven days ago, however, he has not played in the basement at all, with the single exception being the day we had his little friends over. He’s gone down to bring up toys to play with us up here, but he steadfastly refuses to go downstairs. Of course, he’s bored. So he flings himself around the living room, arms and legs contacting everything, appropriate and otherwise, and generally wreaking havoc on bodies, objects and nerves.


It’s hard to tell whether this is a reaction to Baby, or whether it is a sign of coming down with The Bug. Three days ago, we came to the conclusion that what sent Christian to the ER seven hours before Nicholas’s birth was an intestinal virus. We decided this because of Julianna’s illness last week. And because my dad came down with it a few days after that…and now Alex, and we think Nicholas, too.


Julianna’s transition involves a stubborn refusal to go up and down the stairs. We had a real power struggle with her about it yesterday—lasted a full hour before her crocodile tears turned into genuine hysteria and we had to give in. So this morning I asked the PT to work on bringing her out of Regression. She’s manifesting the age of Two even more strongly than before…pulling her glasses off and bending them, pulling her hair band out, even though it means her hair will be all in her face, refusing to eat vegetables…she’s really pulling out all the stops.


Meanwhile, Nicholas continues to be beautiful and mostly calm…perhaps too much so. I’m pretty sure he has The Bug as well, although at least (knock on wood) he’s eating, which is more than his big siblings have accomplished. But he’s not eating enough. I graduated from pumping on Wednesday, and now I’m back into it.  He’s sleepy.


And last night, Alex got up scared of the dark once; Julianna got up for what reason I have no earthly idea five times, and Nicholas woke twice to nurse. I was up SEVEN times between 11p.m. and 6:30 a.m. (The eighth I made Christian deal with.) I was not a happy camper this morning. All in all, I’m thinking that Transition is plenty for one family, and I’m grumpy that we’re dealing with illness as well.


So despite having my mother-in-law staying here and helping a great deal, and despite having drafted most of this post last night, it is 6:15 p.m. before I manage to write this final paragraph. Clearly, the paradigm has shifted in my life. J If I’m lucky, tomorrow I have a lot to say on the subject of nursing and an article I stumbled across. Stay tuned. 🙂