This morning, around 6:30 AM, as I was inserting the blue sucker of hate up my newborn preemie’s teeny, tiny, stuffed-up nose, inhaling what smelled suspiciously like burnt oatmeal in the slow cooker, and fighting to keep my eyes open, I thought: can I catch a break here, please?
Yesterday was Gillian’s one-month birthday. At this point, one generally still counts in weeks, not calendar months, but since it was also my postpartum checkup, it gave me a good opportunity to think about what has transpired in the last six-ish weeks.
Week 1 (March 7): Get admitted to the hospital on bedrest.
Week 2 (March 14): Get a C-section. Wake up with chills or fevers twice a night due to infection.
Week 3 (March 21): Go to hospital every day to visit my baby in the NICU. Wake up drenched in sweat twice a night.
Week 4 (March 28): Eliza gets a fever. David gets a cold. Eliza gets the cold. We bring home the baby. I get the cold. Wake up drenched in sweat twice a night.
Week 5 (April 4): Miserable from cold. Sleeping in three-hour bursts due to pumping schedule and waking drenched in sweat. Due to C-section recovery, world has shrunk to six blocks on my street, as walking uphill is not an option, and taking a cab from four blocks away seems silly. Realize her two-ounce feedings do not match up to six-ounce-per-pump production, and drop off a bushel of breastmilk into a friend’s chest freezer. Watch all three Lord of the Rings movies.
Week 6 (April 11): New baby gets cold. New baby begins showing signs of tummy upset. New parents sleep in two-hour bursts when lucky. Watch all six Harry Potter movies. Wake up drenched in sweat twice a night. One of the pain prescriptions has run out. Toddler going stir crazy. Mommy going stir crazier.
The upside is, my cold is gone. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I arrives by mail today. We’ve done some major home improvement this week (wait for it next week), and assuming my energy bounces back post-nap, I’ll be going to a show tonight featuring go-go dancing, a TV-theme cover band, and burlesque cheerleaders. With any luck the hormone fluctuations will fade soon and I won’t be dealing with night sweats much longer, and after another three to four weeks, I’ll be able to leave my neighborhood on foot.
Thank the heavens for my friends, who were insanely supportive while I was in the hospital, and who have gotten only thank-you notes and brusque emails in return. My parents have been blessedly reserved about calling for updates. My sister has been a long-distance rock. We got our taxes done on time. And the door prize is pretty good.
It’ll be nice when she can smile for real, though. This kid needs to start earning her keep.
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