I'm not sure how to Title this post.
My cousin is expecting her first baby. I am SO excited for her and her hubby. Finally!! Another person in my family to have kids, yay!
She's suffering through morning sickness right now and she was apologizing for complaining. And I was thinking back to those hours of retching up nothing and not being able to swallow any thing with out gagging. Orange gatorade, saltines and ginger gum. Week after week. It was the most miserable thing I have ever experienced (thankully not as extreme with my second!). And I just kept telling myself "this is a good sign. there's a baby at the other end of this."
And it continued for months. I got a brief hiatus for a month or two and then it returned. But on top of it was gut wrenching soul killing PAIN like nothing else (seriously childbirth isn't even as bad as that pain was!). Gall bladder attacks. dun dun duuuuuh. Misery.
But I didn't know what the problem was. My MW said it was probably a "hiatal hernia" and that it would go away when the baby was born and try to eat small meals (I was!).
Then the day finally arrived, I was in labor! I was finally going to have my baby and be DONE with the sickness. FINALLY 9 long months of dry heaving, gagging...you get it, it was not good. My baby would be worth all of that!
And then the traumatic birth. And I didn't feel like...like I thought I would. She was my baby. But seriously, this was what I went through 9mos of torture for?
And then on top of all the breastfeeding drama (oh the challenges!), the pain returned. I remember carrying my 3 week old infant into the doctors office and telling him what was up. That I was up for hours at night barfing and in pain. But the pain wasn't in the right place for gall bladder (looking back we think because the pregnancy + c/s moved things around a bit). And the pain also presented in this searing burning in my sternum. He sent me home with prilosec (which I later discovered was NOT compatible with breastfeeding ergh!), and it did nothing.
But I was in a fog. I was overwhelmed. I had a fussy high needs newborn on me 24/7 and I was so sleep deprived and out of it I didn't know which was was up. When she was 10 weeks old I finally caved and went to the ER. My liver was in trouble. My enzyme counts were up over 1,000 (normal is between 7-40). They admitted me. Week of hell. Thankfully the hospital allowed Ryan to room in with me so Riley could be near me and nurse. We learned to nurse that week, it just clicked. And being forced into the cotton hospital gown all week healed my nipples. So some good things came out of it. I had two surgeries that week and then the day after my gall bladder was removed I came down with a 104.5 fever (REALLY high for me as my normal temp is 96.7). More tests, blood cultures, blood drawn constantly it felt like. Nasty mean nurse sticking things up my nose and down my throat while I was delirious.
Diagnosis? Flu. I must have picked it up in the ER. I wasn't allowed to leave until my fever was broken. Nightmare.
I got home from that week, I bounced back fairly quickly. But it just seemed so unfair. I went through almost a year of hell to get my baby here safely...For what? To greet her in a busy crowded recovery room after she was cut out of me. To endure nursing issues, illness and then just plain fussy baby who didn't seem to like me.
Unfair. I had prepared so hard. Being a Mom was what I always wanted to do. Why me?
Anyway, back to my point (or the origional subject?):I responded to my cousins comment. I told her she had every right to complain. Morning sickness is one of the most miserable things to endure, especially when you don't know when or if it will end. It's like torture. But then I said "but the baby on the other end..! <3"
And I flashed back to what that meant to me. And then I flashed to now, who I am. Who my little Valiant Joy made me. How God has used her to shape me. How she challenges me. But OH how thankful I am for her!! She's taught me to be brave. To find my voice and stick to my guns. To speak what I feel regardless of what people might say back. I can now honestly say, she was truly worth the hell I went through.
Tonight she pinched her finger and she reached for me. She laid sobbing on my chest asking me to kiss her finger multiple times. Broke my heart. But as her little face looked up to me, and I looked into her gorgeous eyes, I just wanted squeeze her. And thank her. And love her. And tell her what she means to me. She's made of tough stuff! She fits every description of "more" that Dr. Sears mentions in his Fussy Baby Book ...But she had to, to be my first. For God to peel back my pride and "this is how it is"'s and show me how HE was calling me to parent.
Maybe this is a bit of a rabbit trail. But I've been thinking about how stinken hard it is being a First Time Mom. And the really unfair irony of it is that you are ALWAYS a first-time Mom. Every age and stage for every child is new. Just because you raised one doesn't mean you've seen it all. I'm finding with my second that I feel like the more (we'll see...) kids I have the LESS I feel like I know! I'm just feeling this out, and I'm glad Riley is made of stuff that will survive all that.
Okay to return, and in closing. So Riley's gestation and all that stuff was so hard. And still struggle with envy (and confusion) when people say that they love being pregnant. And how wonderful childbirth was for them with their first. It stings. And I feel such camaraderie whenever some one says they are suffering from morning sickness. To validate their frustration and misery to every depth. Because it really makes you feel weak. Like your body is punking out on you. At least it did for me. But I think I'm finally getting to the place where I'm more thankful than envious. Slowly but surely Riley's pregnancy, birth, and first year don't leave such a bitter taste in my mouth (though I'll never ever be able to drink organge gatorade with out wanting to gag). As you can see from the posts this week, I'm kinda coming around a bend- or to the top of a hill- and I'm seeing. "Ooooooh".
I'm excited to see where the rest of these relizations go!