BABY, BE GOOD

One of the most common questions I got when I had XBoy was, “Is he a good baby?”

Why no, he was not. One night when he was just eight weeks old, the local authorities showed up at our door with XBoy in tow: he had been caught tipping cows in the neighbor’s field and drinking their milk.

It’s a pat question for new mothers, and I’m again asked it routinely.

Is ZGirl a “good baby”? She’s a typical newborn which makes me a typical newborn’s Mom, which is to say, she is wearing my ass out.

From about 7:00 pm till 10:30 she is showing every sign of colic. I really thought that my experience this time would be different since ZGirl is exclusively breastfed, whereas XBoy was mostly formula.

I hate colic. I hate that when I try to burp her or soothe her with a short burst of nursing, she becomes as rigid as a plank and scrunches her face and hands so tight, the most tense tissue turns white while the rest is beet red. These are the times I call on Mr. DD. He will walk throughout the house while I lay in bed thinking I’ll try to catch a catnap. I never do, though, since her squalling tears me up.

During the day, she is mostly glued to me curled up on my chest like a small, sweaty rock. When I try to put her down, she begins yelping within just a few minutes. Right now I’m catching a break because I’m trying something new: the bassinet’s on vibrate with white noise in the background. It will probably only work this one time.

In the limited time when she is down, I try to squeeze in a million tasks: napping, laundry, bills, blogging, and even a little work. My moments with XBoy have been slivered to suppertime and then later a quick good night while tucking him in. If I’m lucky, I’m able to help him with his bath. I think that’s been the hardest change for all of us.

So is ZGirl a “good baby”? Depends on your definition of “good”, I guess. To me she’s perfect.

And with that, she’s done with the vibrating bassinet.

THE GOODS, THE BAD, AND THE NOTSO UGLY: A PHOTO-ESSAY

THE GOODS

Between my internet shopping (I’ve never felt as geographically isolated as I do right now!) and surprise packages from friends and family, getting the mail is fun again.

      

Thank you Shelli, Shanna and Suz!

THE BAD

I know pregnant belly shots are hard to take in. Even harder is me taking in the post-belly shots. I’ve already admitted that I had a bit of a muffin top, but now I’m not even sure what to call this…pooch…I have now. Well, besides “gross”. While I’m just a couple of pounds from being at my pre-pregnancy weight, I’m still 15 over what I was two and a half years ago, my tentative goal for the end of this year.

Unfortunately, those couple of pounds are standing between me wearing maternity pants and my normal clothes because the weight is centered squarely around my naval. OK, and hips. Whatever.

Here’s me a few days post c-section:

 Sizzlin’, no? (Someone, please! Tell me how to get rid of iodine stains!)

Then there’s this 11 days postpartum:

 You can practically hear the slow leak, can’t you? PsssstttthhhhhhhhhhpPP!

(I also have some close-ups of the staples at the incision site, if you like…?)

It’s just marginally better now at almost three weeks (three weeks??!), and more than likely the last little flubber will be the hardest to be rid of. Fuck.

THE NOTSO UGLY

Of course, I’m referring to the small-headed creature in this picture, just in case you were wondering.

THE VALUE OF WORTH

I took ZGirl to my workplace a few days ago to introduce her around. Since I’ve been fairly open about our earlier miscarriages and some of our treatments, a few of my coworkers know things had been painfully difficult getting to this point. Because of that, I heard several times, “It was all worth it, wasn’t it?”

While I smiled and nodded I thought: Well…no, not really.

Sure, it was worth making the difficult decision to cross that line we had drawn in the sand several times over about what kind and how many treatments we would pursue. It was worth the thousands of dollars we spent on all the IUIs, IVFs, the FET and of course, the donor egg cycle. It was worth the pain caused by hundreds of injections. And if that’s “all” we had to endure, then yes, it would most definitely have been worth it.

However, I will never forget that to get to where I am right now, I lost four other babies. That’s  the part that was not worth it.

It is also illogical for one to expect that I would ever have to think about the impossible – would I trade ZGirl for Vivienne or Wolf or Miscarriage No. 2 or Miscarriage No. 4? I would hope that no one would be as simple minded to ask me such a question. I would also have to hope that ifwhen I am asked, I am able to restrain myself from getting “stabby”.

I learned so much about myself, so much about others. I learned that there is a hidden dimension to what it means to be family or friend that only reveals itself – whether positively or negatively – when there’s a very personal crisis. Valuable lessons to be sure.

But, please, don’t assume “it was all worth it”.