Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Monday, August 28, 2006

No time for anything

I don't know how I will ever get anything done again. I don't even feel like I have to time to open mail or shower most days. Baby needs to suck on me every couple hours (for up to an hour! - including in the middle of the night) which leaves me maybe an hour to do something sometimes. But baby has a new thing about wanting to be held all the time or else he'll wail, so either Mike or I often have to hold him until his next feeding. I hope this gets easier... I have no idea how I'm going to prepare lessons for school which is starting next week.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Baby is Here

My baby boy was born 8 days ago. Wow. What a weird experience. I went in at 6:30 in the morning and was induced by about 8:30. Shortly after that I began to feel contractions. Unfortunately, I was hooked up to an IV so I couldn't really move around very much. My stomach was pretty upset so I kept having to drag my IV rack thing to the bathroom with me. Not pleasant.

Within an hour I was feeling the contractions pretty strongly. They were PAINFUL! Really unbearably uncomfortable. So I asked for an epidural at about 10:15 and got it around 11:00. I squealed a tiny bit when the needle went in my back, but I was so happy to get relief from the contractions that I'd do it again a hundred times over. By 2:00 I was dilated fully so I began pushing. I really had no idea how to push and couldn't feel anything below my waist, so I had no idea what I was doing. I think the nurse was probably getting annoyed by how much time it was taking, but she was really nice and positive. Unlike my doctor who came towards the end and told me gruffly that I wasn't pushing hard enough. Two hours of pushing later, I finally got the baby's head out of me and then quickly the rest of him. I tore a bit, but I guess not too badly, according to the doctor.

The whole time (epidural onward) it was like the experience wasn't even happening to me. I had a mirror and it was like I was watching a movie. My body was doing all these things and I couldn't feel a thing. It would have been neat to feel not quite so removed, but if the choice is between extreme pain and an epidural, I'll pick the epidural any day.

I was moved up to to the post delivery wing of the hospital a couple hours later, where I waited for the epidural to wear off. By night I could move around and the IV came off, thank goodness. Baby E cried the whole night which was tough on both Mike and me. We stayed one more night, through which he again cried the whole time. By 2:00 A.M. that second night, I had my emotional breakdown and I started sobbing because I couldn't do anything to help the baby. I was convinced he was hungry, but I had no milk or colostrum that I could detect. So poor Mike had both E and I sobbing and was trying to comfort both of us at the same time. We probably should have just sent the baby to the nursury, but I didn't want him to just be lying there sobbing for a few hours all by himself.

We checked out the next day after an incredibly long wait for the doctor to give us the ok to go, and it's been better ever since. My mom is with us and has helped with some of the night time fussiness. My milk came in by day 4 or 5, so at least I've been able to feed him recently. I was really worried for a few days that he wasn't getting enough food. And overall I think he's a really good baby. I feel a bit trapped at the moment since I have to feed him every 2 1/2 hours or so, and I'm tired from having to constantly wake up and feed him, but I'm sure things will get better within a few weeks. Mike's been really good with him, as well as my mom.

So there's my birth story. Not highly eventful (thank goodness). I think I'll be willing to do it again... in about 3 years.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Fantastic Prayer

How I wish I could hear more prayers like this. Maybe I'll model my baby's blessing on something like this...

"May God bless you with discomfort: at easy answers, at half-truths, and superficial relationships - so that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger: at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed: for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done." - Franciscan Benediction

On an unrelated note, here's another quote I like:
"If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work; but, rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea" Anonymous

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Last week for our liberal Mormon woman book group (that's how I like to think of it, at least), we read Exuberance, a book about the role exuberance plays in both the natural/animal world and also in the lives of certain extraordinarily passionate people.

I enjoyed reading about people who devoted their lives so passionately to certain causes or interests, but was left feeling slightly lame since I don't think I have that sort of exuberance. I think when I was younger I was more passionate about life, partially because the future was so exciting. I could do anything! Be anything! Go anywhere! Fall in love with anyone! It was intoxicating to think of all the possibilities in the future.

But now..... well, I can see my life stretching out in a pretty straight road in front of me. I'm 28 and I'm almost positive I'll spend the rest of my life in my current house, my current community. I know who I'll be married to (forever). I know I'm limited in some interests I'd like to pursue because of geographical limitations and because of biology. I know I'll never make the big splash in the world that I once thought I would. Though my life is very comfortable and full of satisfaction in some ways, I'm just not as passionate about it as I once was.

Which is why I appreciated the quote Jana just emailed our group this morning. I may not have the ecstatic experiences some people do, but I think I can still find this kind of passion in my life:

From Simple Abundance:
"Passion is the muse of authenticity. It's the primordial, pulsating energy that infuses all of life, the numinous presence made known with every beat of our hearts. Passion does not reveal herself only in clandestine, romantic, bodice-ripping cliches. Passion's nature is also cloaked in the deep, subtle, quiet, and committed: nursing a baby, planting a rose garden, preparing a special meal, caring for a loved one who is ill, remembering a friends birthday, perservering in a dream. Every day offers us another opportunity to live passionate lives rather than passive ones, if we will bear witness to passion's immutable presence in the prosaic..."