Maddie is on the planet! And things are very good around here. She eats and sleeps, and if she cries, she’s either hungry or she’s about to do an explosive poop, both of which can be easily remedied. In fact, Maddie has been the easiest part of the last ten days.
I am thrilled not to be pregnant anymore; as Mother Load readers know, I was ready for my delicate condition to end about two months before it did. The labor itself was as good as it can get, really. I was in early labor when I arrived at the hospital on Friday morning- enough that I could read the paper in between contractions. But, being eight days late, they took pity on me and admitted me anyway. We started the Pitocin drip at 8:30 am, and by 12:30 pm, an APB was put out for my OB so our baby could be born. (He had predicted a 3 pm birth, and was not in the hospital.) Once the good doctor arrived, Maddie arrived within ten minutes, and was exercising her lungs before her shoulders were even out.
So far, so good. But in the adrenaline-fueled euphoria that follows a birth, I always lose sight of the fact that I may have left the Pregnancy Frying Pan, but am about to land in the Post-Partum Fire. The swelling! The stitches! The ice packs! The cabbage! (If you’re thinking, “Huh? Cabbage?” count yourself among the blissfully ignorant and ask no questions.) For about ten days now, I’ve sprinted about the house for a few hours, doing laundry and cooking and saying, “What? I’m fine! No I don’t need to sit down!” Then, I feel like a train has hit me, and I need to lie down, and that’s right about when the boys get home from preschool.
The boys, you ask. How are they adjusting? Well, well. They were so thrilled to welcome Maddie home that they started vomiting and diarrhea-ing all over the apartment before she and I even got home from the hospital. So far, Maddie has slept peacefully in a baby carrier, or in Nana’s arms, while I try to tend to the insatiable needs of two sick little boys. The bug seems to have passed over our home at last, and now the hardest part is keeping Maddie away from her brothers’ MRSA-ridden kisses and dirty hands.
Did I say two sick little boys? Sorry. I meant three. David came home last Thursday night and, when I asked him what he wanted to do about dinner, said, “Huh. I’m not hungry.” Now, anyone who knows David knows that these words have never come out of his mouth before. Before we went to the hospital last Friday morning, he had a protein shake and a bagel with tofutti spread. Once we got there, he had a Power Bar, and he left me to go get himself a turkey burger at 10:30 am. David’s metabolism is so high he needs to eat approximately every 17 minutes merely to avoid wasting away to nothing. So when he said he “wasn’t hungry,” I said, “Do. Not. Do this to me.”
Poor Daddy’s stomach cramps started that night, and we slept in separate rooms so at least we’d each be up all night for different reasons. He didn’t get out of bed at all the next day, except to plod to the refrigerator for more Gatorade. And while he was not able to be much help, I will say, he suffered a terrible 24 hours without so much as a kind glance from his formerly loving wife. That’s the breaks when you have 3 kids.
I am being summoned by La Principessa from the next room. Lunch time!