Thursday, August 25, 2011

Feeling Worse

In the magical glider chair (bought used for $20!)

I called the midwife, the one who works only at the hospital and is a professional acquaintance as well as an attendant at my labor, Elissa. Like yesterday, I started weeping as soon as I heard her voice.

She asked cautiously, "You know, this might be mood related? I mean, you are going through a lot of changes."

I burst out, "No, the only time I cry is when I talk to you!"

That made her laugh.

Sorry, Elissa. I meant that in the nicest way possible!

Talking to her I realized that there was no way I had the strength to go to MA. The idea of having to walk from the car to a rest stop bathroom was overwhelming. I felt like I'd need a wheelchair.

What is happening to me? Why am I getting weaker instead of stronger?

Elissa decided to call my midwife, who is vacationing in Canada. She later called me, and was especially solicitous. We talked about that this was probably anemia and also normal post-childbirth exhaustion, kicking in now that the adrenaline of birth has worn off a bit.

She told me that she didn't think a CBC (bloodwork) would be helpful, and that getting a transfusion would be complicated at this point -- I'd have to be admitted to the hospital, and thus, separated from the baby.

But then when I said that I definitely didn't want a transfusion, she counseled that it would certainly make a dramatic difference in how I felt, and that it might be useful to get the bloodwork done, just to see where I'm at.

At the end of our conversation, Catherine asked me to put my mom on the phone. She wanted to talk to her about helping me eat more frequently.

I said, "it's been a long time since anyone asked to speak to my mom!"

So my midwife had her covering midwife, Brooke, make a house call. That was heavenly, actually. It hadn't occured to me that that was a possibility. But Brooke was (is) one of those all-in-good-time folk, and she spent a long time with me, and was incredibly reassuring. She drew bloodwork, and will call tomorrow with the results.

And my mom agreed to stay for another couple of days... although now she's agitating to leave tomorrow instead. I don't blame her -- she's bored here, and was expecting to be home by now -- but I'm wondering if another day of bed rest (which I enjoyed today) would help me to get stronger for the trip?


  1. I'll say take care of yourself, even though it doesn't mean a whole lot :) You need to eat, even if you have to force yourself to do so, and drink water. You are breastfeeding right? So you need to supply your baby and to do that you need to supply yourself! I'm sure you know that, and it's hard, so find whatever you can stomach and just keep at it! it really really does get better. I found the first 6 to 8 weeks exhausting, I never knew a person could be that tired! Could live with that little sleep! But you will make it through, whether you decide to go stay with your mom or not. Keep in touch with your midwife for sure, and take it easy on yourself. And trust your instincts!

  2. Rest, rest, rest and don't worry about your mom being bored for a second. It's her job to sit with you and be bored if necessary. Blood loss will do that too you. I lost a load of it during a miscarriage and was seeing stars walking at a snail's pace a couple days later.

  3. Abby, you have GOT to rest and eat. Is there any way once your mom leaves you can hire a doula/nightnurse for a few days? Or can you set up some sort of rotating schedule to have a few friends stay with you at least overnight for a few days?

    Sleep when that baby sleeps. I didn't at first and ended up back at the ob/gyn's office exactly one week after Tate was born in horrendous pain, bawling my eyes out so much I scared the people in the waiting room...I am not kidding. They hustled me back immediately. At that visit my nurse took my mom aside and gave her stern instructions that I needed to sleep when that baby sleeps and I wasn't to do anything else. They were very concerned I was very well on my way to post-partum depression. So I've been there in a similar way.

    When Calliope eats please eat. Even if it's just peanut butter crackers. If you have a quiet place you like to nurse keep a bucket or something there filled with snacks for you along with some bottled water. While she's nursing put something in your mouth. Obviously it needs to be something easy you can do one-handed...granola bars, peanut butter crackers, bananas, apples with a peanut butter dip nearby, whole grain bread. Have your mother keep it supplied and full.

    Have your mother and/or friends make you some casseroles and freeze them. When people ask if they can help tell them to make you some food that can be frozen. I did this finally when asked and it was a godsend.

    Please take care of yourself Abby. These first few weeks are really really tough, but soooo worth it. You've got a gorgeous little girl there!! You will not feel like this forever I promise. I know when you're in the middle of it, it's scary and it seems never-ending, but it's not.

    And reach out to some of our fellow NYC SMCs!!! I wish I was there to help you!!! You're doing great Mama!! One step, one day, one minute at at a time!!


  4. She is so cute!! As everyone said and you know, please take care of yourself. So you can take care of Calliope.

    I will be back in NYC next week and let me know if I can help!

    Ps I am glad your mom is staying a few more days.