Thursday, June 2, 2011


Our little guy is one year old today. Kind of weird to think about.  A year ago I was getting tugged apart and barfing into the hands of a very nice anesthesiologist.   And then I had a baby boy.

I have to confess, I wish my birth experience had been more picturesque.  I think all new moms anticipate the same kind of thing-some pain, a supportive partner, pushing and breathing, and voila!  baby and you're holding it and you smile and your partner kisses you and it's very Lifetime Original Movies.

So when it doesn't happen like that, it can be hard.  I got to see my kid for approximately thirty seconds before they took him to the NICU.  I was still totally flabbergasted by the whole experience, people weren't telling me what was going on, I hadn't gotten to hold him, he was gone, and I was back in the pre-delivery room, wondering whether or not we should call our families, and ordering Ben to go and be with the baby, because I was fine (as fine as you can be after people root around in your insides for what feels like a really long time).

It just wasn't anything I had imagined.  And then when he finally got to me 24 hours later, he wouldn't nurse, and man, after nine months of reading about breastfeeding, THAT can mess with you.  I won't ever go all evangelical on breastfeeding because it didn't work for us.  I did it, but I never produced enough for Henry, and that in and of itself made me feel terrible.  I stopped because one, he was getting maybe 3 ounces a day from me, and two, I had to start a new job when he was three months old, and I didn't know how pump-friendly they'd be.  (Turns out, very, but I was new, so I was squeamish).  I gained a new perspective on asking women about that, though. You'd be amazed how many people will ask you if you're breastfeeding.  And if you say no, they'll act like you're slapping your newborn openly and with glee.

Here's an etiquette tip.  Never ask people if they're planning to have kids, because maybe they've been trying for years and it's not happening, or maybe they've gone through a miscarriage-you never know.  And never ask new moms about the state of their boobs. Because again, you never know.

Come to think of it, maybe never ask anybody about their boobs or genitals or the potential occupants of their reproductive organs, because it's really none of your business!

I don't really know what the purpose of this post is.  This day, certainly is a wonderful day for me.  But I guess I had to express how things didn't go the way I wanted them to at all-and it was still ok.  Despite needing a C-section, being separated from my newborn son, and being unable to produce enough milk for him, we all made it.  And we formed a wonderful, very happy family.  Although Ben was bummed that the post-partum giant breasts didn't stay around that long.  And that I wouldn't let him take pictures.


  1. You did a good job on your are doing a great job now. Your Little Dude has awesome parents. And really--you are SO right about not asking about the state of any one's bits-and-bobs!

    Love you!
    Mama Mel

  2. Happy birthday Henry!

    I agree with Mama Mel absolutely, but I also wanted to say something else. Everyone always says, 'but you have a beautiful healthy baby, and that's all that matters.' To a certain extent, that's true. However, it is also ok, and even necessary, to grieve for the birth you wish you had had. It takes time even to understand what happened, if it didn't go the way you hoped, and even more time to come to terms with it. I'm writing this publicly rather than as a private message because I think many women feel guilty for being sad in these circumstances, and feel alone, when being sad is completely normal and they are not at all alone. You are a rock star Mom.

  3. Melissa, that's very true-people need to allow you to be sad that things didn't happen the way you had hoped, even though of course the end goal is a healthy baby. I don't think Ben gets how upsetting it all can still be to me sometimes-particularly not being able to breastfeed him for longer, or the fact that we always had to supplement.

    I see a movie or whatever on TV and there's a mom holding her brand new baby and it will still get to me, just because I didn't have that with him.

  4. I really do still think about how little I got to see and hold (and try to feed) Corin in those first days. I think I got to see him for a about ten seconds before he was whisked away and I didn't understand for another hour or so why they were in such a hurry. It was all very surreal and once the drugs wore off I just kept thinking - this isn't supposed to go like this. I don't necessarily feel shame about it, though certainly some irrational guilt, but I do morn that TV moment more often than I should.