24 August 2009

Postpartum

Whenever I hear that someone has had a baby, I spend the next two months thinking, "I hope she's ok. I hope she's not too beat up. I hope nursing is going alright. I hope she's ok. I hope her other kids are being good. I hope her husband gets it. I hope it's going ok with her mother-in-law. I hope she's ok. I hope she's getting some sleep. I hope she's ok."

There's nothing worse than a first baby, but postpartum is still pretty darn awful every time--harder, in some ways, than the first time. Even if you're not as badly mangled, once you have more than one kid the "sleep when the baby sleeps" thing is useless, but it still clatters around your brain pan for spite. The pain is constant, the demands are brutal. It seems so unfair that I should be in such a bad way--utterly spent by pregnancy, cruelly injured from delivery--but there is no way I can lie in bed being taken care of for two weeks, which is what I feel like I need.

Postpartum=alone. You're limping around in society with a raw and sizeable wound, and the most anyone offers you is a casserole and a joke about getting some sleep. (The least anyone offers is some comment about your appearance/weight. Right back atcha, JERK.) Not that I blame them. There really is nothing anyone else can do about the worst parts of it. You have to take care of the baby regardless of how maimed you are, and they have to live their lives. And if you've got a bunch of other babies, too, well . . . buckle down, girl. Sorry to have to tell you that when you've never felt worse.

11 comments:

Reb. Mary said...

Feeling cheerful this morning, are we? ;P

Ewe said...

This post is so true. My most difficult time was with #2. #3 was easy for me compared to #2. People don't offer to help with #2 because you have already done this once. I didn't expect it to be so difficult because #2 didn't have health problems like #1 did. I was more mentally prepared and not surprised at the lack of offers to help with #3. The church ladies here all talk about when they had their babies they stayed in the hospital bed for 10 days and usually fainted when they got up then. I think there is something to the 10 days in the hospital although it would drive me crazy and the staying in bed is not healthy.

Susan K said...

Can't wait! :)

Marie said...

Yup! Every time I attend a La Leche League meeting, I think, "This is great, this group helped me to get through PPD. But, what I really needed was a PPD group!"

I totally relate to what you've written, however, I've also had close friends (whom I believe would spill the beans to me and not put up a front about labor and delivery) who said that it honestly wasn't that bad... they didn't need dozens of stitches (I visited one friend in the hospital was sitting cross-legged!), and they didn't feel that tired! Are these extraordinary women, one of whom I am not? Or have they just gotten "lucky" and maybe this time won't be so bad for me, either?

Rebekah said...

RM, just remembering what I have to look forward to. :P

Ewe, older ladies I've talked to also think it's insane that we're home the day after. They remember being cared for either at home or in the hospital for two weeks.

Susan, you're already tougher than any of us.

Marie, the physical recovery is not as difficult for me as it used to be, but I think part of it is just being acclimated to the trauma (I get pretty beat up, too, even this far into it). And of course nothing compares to a recovery from Boob Hell, where I recollect you also spent time.

Kelly said...

This is what terrifies me most about the prospect of a second. And I am blessed to have really awesome support from my mom close by. Logistically #2 isn't even possible at the moment but I fear spending another 5 months with uber-anxiety while trying to care for 2 children. And in-laws, oof, don't wanna go there.

Reb. Mary said...

Hospitals make me crazy. But sign me up for the two-week in-home nanny/housekeeper.

MooreMama said...

oooooooooooooh, you have no idea how timely this post was. Last night, I sat there, staring at my two little blue lines, and thinking "....... wah....."

Anyone wanna spend Spring in Oklahoma? I'll (DH will) feed you steak.

Rebekah said...

Kelly, I'll try to comfort you with my purely anecdotally-based conclusion that nursing probs of all sorts are usually much worse the first time around.

RM, yes. No desire to stay any longer than I have to in the super-germ incubator.

MooreMama--whoa! :D

Anonymous said...

Debbie said ....
When my children were older, they all pitched in a took care of mom after birth, they brought me my meals in bed, lots of water and juice to drink, even the little ones could bring me a wipe or a new diaper. They even cooked, did the dishes, laundry and cleaned up - with some supervision from dad. The rewards will come as your children grow and you will be blessed by the loving care your children will give you - remember they learnt all this loving care from a mom who stayed home and took care of them in the good days and the bad from the time they were a wee babe. Debbie

lisa said...

Livin' it! I'm going to print this out & tape it to my back so paople get it when I can't...well, when I can't do anything right!