Sunday, February 11, 2007

The first 78 days of being a mother

Badger was born on December 9, 2006 at around 5:00 a.m. After 14 hours of labor using the Lamaze method for pain management and 1 hour of epidural while having induced stronger contractions, I ended up having an emergency caesarian section after all. According to my O.B. it was because his head was tilted and because he was a big baby (8 pounds!).

I got to see Badger for a few minutes before they whisked him away to the nursery. I remember crying and saying his name when they brought him to me. I wish I had known more about my rights as a mother before I gave birth. They should have given him to me for breastfeeding 4-6 hours after his birth. But no. I ended up seeing him again after 24 hours. And by then, he had been given some supplemental formula (thankfully through a dropper and not through a bottle). I ended up changing pediatricians after this initial non-support for my decision to breastfeed.

My first weeks with Badger were stressful. My C.S. incision was very painful despite my best efforts to ignore the pain (I started sitting up and walking around faster than the normal period of recovery) and my first forays into breastfeeding were also very painful. I could equate the initial pain of breastfeeding with my labor pains. Later on, I found out that wrong latch (positioning) was the culprit.

V was very, very supportive and it really helped me cope in the first week after giving birth. After V's paternity leave was over, though, I went through some postpartum blues. Everything felt painful. I felt so alone and so helpless. But eventually, I got over that and persisted in continuing my breastfeeding despite the pain. With help from the La Leche League I felt more confident and now I'm pain-free and enjoying my time with Badger.

Being a mother has changed my life so much. It's one of the biggest changes I've ever experienced. For the better. Badger has taught me unconditional love. Love despite undescribable pain, despite all the odds against me. It's a source of fulfillment and meaning that I've never known in my life.

I'm already dreading how much I'll miss my baby when my maternity leave is over.

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