Week 1 (Of being a mommy of two)

Well, Day 1 was spent in bed. Like I said before, I didn't expect to be confined to bed after a VBAC. But I couldn't keep from getting light headed all day long.
Nursing was interesting. Last time I didn't feel any after pains, since I was numb from the chest down. So I got introduced to them this time, which was kinda crazy since they say they are worse after the first born. They were pretty bad. I had one nursing session that sent me back "into labor" sensation wise, and then I got all trembly for a while afterwards. I got fairly emotional over that. Thankfully, the after pains seemed gone after day 1.

Day 1 -- Evening: J got sick. She had gotten RSV back in April. And it seemed like she was just as sick as then. She was up all night wheezing and throwing up.
This was pretty intense. We had all been up, all night the night before (having the baby.) Only got so much rest during the day. And then not much sleep at all that night. I felt horrible, because I couldn't get up. So I could hear my first baby crying and crying, and I couldn't go see her. Plus I didn't want to spread anything to new Baby A.
This was not the introduction to mother of two I was expecting.

Day 2: Blake took J to the ER and eventually we learned she didn't have RSV again, she just is still in recovery. Apparently it can take a full year to get the wheezing under control. I almost cried just hearing Blake tell me that it was a good thing she didn't have the actual virus again, because then J and A would have to be quarantined from each other for months. That would have broke all of our hearts. J was instantaneously in LOVE with A. She didn't want to leave her side. So thank goodness that wasn't the case. It was kinda 50/50 on if we should admit her into the hospital, but we decided we could do the treatments at home. So we got some new breathing treatments for her, and got her back on track to good health.
That afternoon Blake, me and Baby A headed to Sheryl's office to get my rhogam shot and just have everything checked on.
That was the longest I had sat since delivery and in a car -- I was nervous, but it wasn't too bad.
I got weighed and had lost 14 lbs since delivering. Pretty cool. (I don't know how much weight I lost last time -- I didn't weigh myself because I was so full of IV fluids I seriously might have gained weight and didn't want to see that.)
I also saw my stitches for the first time. When Sheryl checked them she said, "These look so good, you have to see them. No one would even know you just had a baby." I had been scared to look, so after that I agreed to see them and she held up a mirror. Yeah they did look really good -- I had been imaging  that I looked like Frankenstein's monster down there with this jagged horror -- but it looked totally normal. That was a relief.
Then we went home. I was feeling pretty spent. I ate some chocolate on the way home while drinking a delicious Coke. mmm.

Day 2 -- Evening: A who had slept like an angle the first night, screamed the entire night. From oh say 11pm to 4am --- with nothing that would console her.
Add into the mix the fact that we needed to administer breathing treatments to J through out the night.
At this point I am a basket case.
Also, J had a cold (which is what set her lungs into the wheezing fit) and Baby A got at least the boogery aspect of the cold -- so we needed to keep sucking A's nose out all night and I was worried she was going to get a fever. (She didn't. But she did get a pinch warm.)

So, with that being the start to our new family, I had pretty much zero time whatsoever to celebrate this VBAC delivery.

Thankfully, after that night Baby A has gone back to sleeping really amazingly well so far. (I have my fingers crossed that its not just a newborn thing, but a good-sleeper thing. Time will tell.) I think it was just that her hungry kicked in, and perhaps she was second guessing her decision to come out into the world --- missing the womb.

My mom stayed one week to help us. I am SO glad she did. I don't know how I could have done it with out her. I stayed pretty whimpy for the whole week. Kinda getting light headed at times. Looking really pale for much of the week. Just needing to recover from my somehow more traumatic end of labor. It didn't feel traumatic at all during it (and I was told that women lose a lot more blood than I did and don't pass out or anything), but apparently my body thought it was since it needed to pass out so many times.
So with my mom here the week seemed kinda like a blur. She took J out shopping and things. So it was often just me and Blake and Baby A at the house.
I was just trying to get my head on straight.
And attempting to process when I could this birth story all while recovering in a bigger way than I had expected. Its really hard to compare the two births because they are so different. So when anything hurt this time I was left pretty confused as to if it was normal or not.
And yeah, warding off the baby blues.
Dang those are so unfair.
It's not hard enough to adjust to taking care of an infant without the hormone crash?
So far, after each birth, I have ended up feeling so alone. Like paranoia, shaky feeling, alone. I attribute it to the fact that, basically I was just two people for nine/ten months (I have long pregnancies) and all of a sudden I am just one. It throws me off.

My alone feeling ends up transferring over into other areas, and I end up thinking over dramatic thoughts. This isn't too helpful when I still don't know many people at all here in Iowa -- and most of the people I do know, I'm basically done seeing now that I am not pregnant (midwife, chiropractor and people I had met there.)

I'm also still processing having a home birth. (I need to do that post I mentioned, on how I came to chose that, still.) Basically... it was just the very best option for me, out of a limited list of options as someone who wanted to VBAC here in Ames, IA.

I'm totally happy with my choice. But right now, in my current mental state, I'm feeling kinda overwhelmed by how people tend to respond to my choice.
The basic response is: silence.
I don't think people know how to respond...so they don't.
And that makes me feel more alone.

It's kinda a let down, because. There I was the odd ball c-section mom, excluded from the natural birth club. And here I am now, still the c-section mom, but now also the home birth mom -- excluded from a whole 'nother club.
I just want to be normal.

Somehow the few time I have been out since Baby A was born, strangers end up asking where I delivered. (Or when Blake took J to the ER they assumed me and Baby A were upstairs in their labor and delivery, and of course we were not.) Its just awkward.
I'm not un-proud of doing a home birth. But I am also not someone who has a feeling of triumph from it, who wants to shout it from the mountain tops. I'm just happy to have been given the chance at a normal and healthy delivery. (I am super grateful for that. And wow am I grateful to Sheryl for that ---that is a huge gift she gives.)
Right now I am kinda worn out trying to get people to understand how it feels to have to go so far out of my way to be treated normal.  And having to try and get people to understand that, just makes me all the more un-normal.
Its kinda...meh.

I keep thinking that now that I have delivered this baby, I feel like Inigo Montoya in "The Princess Bride," where he says at the end of the movie, "I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life."
I focused so long and so hard on everything, I kinda feel at a loss for the moment.
It's weird.

This post is all jumbled -- that's because that's how I feel right now.

I've also been thinking a lot about my postpartum body.
Is a bright spot for me.
As opposed to last time, where looking in the mirror was just something I avoided for months and months. This time (the first time I was able to stand up long enough to look in the mirror) -- I fell in love.  I think its more than the fact that my body VBACed (because --- I think that was not my own doing, but God's grace.) But I think the appreciation came mainly due to the fact that I took so much care of my body through this pregnancy --- I am proud of it. And I am so proud of my little pouch that held a life -- it is a miracle! (Why be ashamed of it?) Right now I even think it looks cute.
It's non-compareable to my last postpartum belly. A post c-section belly looks and feels different than a post vaginal birth belly. It's just what happens. So its nice to not have the "mother's apron" they call it -- where your skin drapes over the incision. It's nice that my belly doesn't feel like an endless depth of squish that I could reach into forever. And my stretch marks are old now, so its nice to not have dark stretch marks screaming "look at me." It's also nice that I was able to gain less weight this time (32 lbs instead of 41 lbs.)
But I don't think its really any of those things that are making me happy.
I think its just that, this time I know what my body is worth. And I'm not scolding myself for not being a magazine model. I'm celebrating how strong I am to have made it through this.
You may want to ignore the dark circles under my eyes..they are showing the intensity of this week.


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