Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

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.


Blogger Melessa said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! You all three look wonderful. He's precious.

Inductions almost always require an epidural, and as none of my four were inclined to come out without pitocin, I always wound up getting one. I'm glad you seem to be getting the hang of nursing. It took me a full 8 weeks to really feel like I knew what I was doing with my oldest one. I also remember feeling kind of trapped by the constant nursing, but they do eventually sleep through the night. I promise. For someone who knew most of her life that she wanted to be a mother, it was a little more jarring the first time around than I expected. Don't feel bad if you feel that way from time to time too. I suspect that you live in the heart of Mormondom and certainly don't need the support of a free-spirited convert like me. But, if you ever do feel like venting-I can be reached at gregg digressions @ gmail . com. (Just remove the spaces.)

Again, I'm thrilled for you and your little family.

8/18/2006 11:02 PM  
Blogger John said...

Congratulations, Caroline! I'm excited for all three of you! You make a beautiful family. I'm looking forward to meeting Evan in person.

The top picture makes you look very Mary/Madonna-like.

8/19/2006 9:46 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Caroline, your story is so similar to the birth of my first. The pitocin, epidural, mirror, and feeling so distanced from the whole thing because of the numbness. I also had my breakdown one night in the hospital. It was excrutiatingly painful for me to nurse and I felt like a failure. But you know, just like pregnancy, your baby's infancy is only temporary. It gets easier.

8/19/2006 4:20 PM  
Blogger jana said...

So happy for you, Mike and babyE! We are really looking forward to meeting the little guy soon!

So glad that the birth process went smoothly, too :)

8/19/2006 5:20 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Thanks so much for your words of support and your offer to listen to my venting. Someday when I'm at my wits' end, I'll probably take you up on that :)

Thanks, John and Jana. (That's the first time anyone has ever said I looked like a madonna :))

Brooke, I hear you. Breastfeeding was horrendously painful for the first 5 days or so. It's slowly getting better, but it's still pretty uncomfortable. My mom says it was pleasurable for her and doesn't get why I don't like it.

8/19/2006 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...


You were awesome! You've been a great mom so far.

8/19/2006 8:59 PM  
Blogger Kaimi said...

Congratulations, Caroline. The baby looks cute, and that's a great little family picture too. May he maxmize your family's utility in non-patriarchal ways.

I just have one question: Who's that long-haired guy in the photo with Caroline and Baby E?

8/20/2006 4:24 PM  
Blogger Seraphine said...

Congrats, Caroline! Best wishes for you and your family.


8/20/2006 5:19 PM  
Blogger amelia said...

he's *beautiful* (as i've already told you a few times). he's my new drug of choice. anytime i need a fix, i'll just swing by and spend an hour or so cuddling little baby E. and talking, of course. :)

so happy for all of you. you'll be a fabulous mother and mike will be a fabulous father and i have no doubt that baby E will be brilliant and all things good. how could he not with parents like you two?

8/20/2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger mullingandmusing said...

For someone who knew most of her life that she wanted to be a mother, it was a little more jarring the first time around than I expected.

I second that. Don't be afraid to say, "It's hard!" and get some help. I will never forget those first few nights, all alone, unable to sit for the pain (dumb doc decisions), feeling that weight of responsibility that I was the only one who could feed him. That first little while can be tough (and I wish I had known that, just so it wouldn't have been such a surprise). It really does get easier!

And, BTW, your baby is absolutely beautiful!

8/21/2006 12:57 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

I think I ended up winning the contest, so Mike has not shaved his head yet this month. Yeah!

Amy, come over any time and hold the baby!

Thanks, S and M&M. I do hope it will get easier, as I feel like one huge walking breast at the moment.

8/21/2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger Kaimi said...


We're happy to do what we can to help. But remember, you still owe me $20 for deleting fifteen comments that voted the other way.

8/22/2006 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

i knew it was rigged!!!

8/22/2006 5:43 PM  
Blogger TftCarrie said...

Congrats Caroline! Welcome to the trenches. I will third Melessa's comments about the jarring aspects of motherhood -some expected and some totally surprising. Breastfeeding was surprisingly hard for me - not physically but emotionally. Some people love it- I just survived it.

Hope you get some sleep.

8/27/2006 7:13 PM  
Blogger Kiskilili said...

Sorry I'm so slow, but I'm very excited for you! Best of luck with all the crazy new motherhood stuff!

8/30/2006 6:58 PM  

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