Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now postpartum. The Baby has landed. The Stork has delivered. Whatever way you’d like me to say that we have gone from pregnancy to parenthood.
So you might be wondering how I can write another entry about pregnancy. Well, I’ve decided I’m the town crier of pregnancy truth – “Hear ye, Hear ye….” Because it’s become quite clear that a few months of holding a newborn gives women amnesia. I suspect that something in the smell of fresh skin actually wipes out bad memories.
First off, the high-points. Our son was born healthy and full term via C-Section as planned. He has all his fingers, toes, lungs and limbs. And all the parts which properly qualify him as a boy. We are blessed.
But in nearly every other way the actual birth was as problematic as the pregnancy itself.
Multiple Doctors and Nurses took one look at my wife and said “Oh, a redhead… well redhead’s bleed more and have more pain than all other folks.” Imagine the great news that was to a woman who wanted a C-Section for less pain, and a man who didn’t want to see the blood and gore from the process.
But after watching my wife get jerked and tugged like the opening scene of Jaws, my son let out a cry, turned from a crazy purple black into a normal skintone, and we were suddenly parents.
Normally at this point things get better.
While our son rested comfortably, my wife endured rising pain. It took a while to find the right combination of meds to keep her both comfortable and lucid. Meanwhile, her blood levels were way down and her blood pressure way up – the exact opposite of her normal state. Thankfully, when things turned for the better we got to take our little man home and start returning to normal.
Or so we thought.
We’d been home less than 48 hours when her pain was up, and the incision was gaining a nasty growing bruise. One look from the doctor and he knew it was internal bleeding. After a quick sonogram we were re-admitted to the hospital and planning to go back into surgery.
Apparently sometimes when cutting through multiple layers, a blood vessel can restrict from the trauma of being cut and not present itself as something that needs to be dealt with. Then, after a patient is sealed up, the vessel relaxes again and begins pumping blood once more… into no where. There was a real chance of this pooling blood eventually bursting through the remaining layers and tainting more of the torso. Luckily the problem had been found early on.
However we now found ourselves in a Groundhog Day style retread. My wife who should have been a week into recovery was back at ground zero but with twice as much surgery and anesthesia to show for it. Thankfully she is now recovering properly, albeit slowly.
Yet she’s enjoying the fruit of her labor (or surgeries in this case). Our little man is a good sleeper, most of the time, an easy picture subject, and has stolen his mom’s heart in a huge way. Holding him, she feels no pain. She forgets many of the things that got her here until she shifts the wrong way and remembers… two surgeries.
All the while I keep thinking how everyone talks about the beauty of childbirth. And I realize there’s a great confusion going on. Beauty of a child itself… sure, I can go with you there. But the process of childbirth is far from attractive or enjoyable. Just a quick scan of my wife’s experiences and it’s obvious that most anything else would have been more fun.
We never had a glow. More like a spotlight of blinding discomfort, fear, and complication. Whatever our experience is in the years to come, we won’t look back and mistake it for a glow. It was a struggle. And my wife is a trooper.
At least she got something out of it.