This morning, about 4 am, after putting Jeremy down, I lay in bed listening to the snores and sighs of my boys. I listen to the sounds of my home a lot lately: the washing machine and the trash men every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and the neighbor's dog barking and the traffic on the freeway. Lately new sounds have filled our home: coos and crying and sighs and chirps of our sweet baby boy. Laying in bed between snores and sighs, I found myself grateful, not minding the earliness of the hour, loving my boys.
Jeremy is four weeks old today. His arrival and these first few weeks were emotionally and physically the hardest thing I've ever done.
I started having contractions two days before Jeremy was born. The contractions were pretty regular throughout the day, but despite walks and other methods of coaxing, the contractions dissipated by mid afternoon. The day before he was born was Thanksgiving day. The contractions became really intense, shooting pain into my back and hips, but they never got close enough together to go to the hospital. This time they didn't stop. After being up all night, we went to the hospital for our scheduled induction. I was exhausted before we got to the hospital. I was started on pitocin. John and I had hoped to try for a natural childbirth, but with the contractions coming so close, and being without sleep, I decided to have an epidural. I was able to sleep and rest and progress without feeling a thing. The midwife broke my water and I progressed well through the afternoon. But in the evening, I stopped dilating. The doctor suggested a c-section. I was really disappointed, but was ready to be done with labor; I could feel the pressure of the contractions bear down in my hips. Even as they wheeled me into the OR, I wasn't sure we had made the right decision about the c-section. I had wanted so badly to have the baby naturally. But as they prepped me for surgery, the Spirit confirmed to me that we had made the right choice. The c-section went well and I was overwhelmed when I heard him cry. He was strong and healthy. I was able to hold him before he was taken to the nursery.
Our first days were good, but being a new mom is stressful as you try to figure things out and make decisions and live on little sleep. I also needed to deal with recovering from the c-section and the disappointment of needing to have one. I'm still taking it easy and I've had lots of help from John and my mom, dad, and sister and good friends. I can feel myself get stronger everyday. One of the best things that helped me in feeling better was being able to get out with John for a couple hours. It helped me not feel confined to my house and helped me to see that life wouldn't be confined there all the time. Other things that helped were doing little things on my own (like showering or dishes), taking a few minutes to myself when I can, and continuing as much as possible my daily scripture study.
I expect things to continue to be hard but I also expect to feel a continued increase in love to help me through it.