Saturday, June 12, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

            Already I’m amazed at how easy little Joshua is compared to what Celia was like. Celia wailed and let us know in no uncertain terms every time something wasn’t quite right. She cried when she was hungry, tired, cold, needed burping, or wanted holding. Sometimes I think she wailed just to exercise her vocal chords. But this guy – he seems to want to mostly hang out, sleep a lot, and only complains when we expose his naked body to the air.
            I am so thankful for that. I hope it lasts.
            They say the first couple of weeks are the easiest, probably because all those wonderful hormones from the birth are coursing through their body. That was true for Celia – she opened up and started really looking at things after two weeks.
            I’m finally feeling rested, a couple of days after the birth. It’s been non-stop up till now – first dealing with hospitals and health, then Celia, who is not taking well to the new transition, and of course all the friends who want to meet Joshua and give us a pat on the back.
            It’s been exhausting.
            Michelle finally got out of the hospital yesterday morning, with a very low blood count, to the point where she was a bit dizzy. The doctor said, “Eat red meat and take iron supplements.” She’s in good health, but definitely not her usual energetic self. During the labor I found her sweeping the kitchen floor between contractions, and after the birth, she was bounding around excitedly until the nurse forced her to sit in the bed. What a difference after losing all that extra blood!
            At least everyone is back to a regular bowel movement schedule, including little Joshua. The funny thing is that Michelle was overly conscious about pooping during the delivery. At one point she said self-consciously, “I feel like I’m pooping. Am I pooping?”
            “No,” we replied.
            She said, “Tell our doctor the story about how Celia had diarrhea recently.”
            I explained how we rinsed Celia off in the shower, and the whole time she wailed, “Babarrhea!”
            The doctor said, “Well, right now you’ve got Baby-rrhea!”
            I laughed. Yes, Michelle, you’re going to poop out a new baby.
            The baby came out wonderfully tiny, which was a relief to me, because last time Michelle had ripping and it took a couple of months before she healed well enough for us to have sex. Yes, I admit, I’m a guy. These things are important to me.
            I was so thankful for my doctor, because when Joshua’s head started coming out Michelle just wanted to push and get him all the way out, but the doctor could see that she’d have ripped, so he physically pushed the kid’s head back in and made Michelle say, “Heh-heh-heh!” for a minute.
            That minute saved her from all sorts of ripping, and when Joshua came out I sighed in relief that Michelle was fully intact. Not just for my sake, but it’s a lot of extra pain, having all that healing to do down there.
            I spent the rest of the day at the hospital. When I felt Michelle was okay on her own, I went home, took out the trash, gave my daughter a bath and put her to bed. She woke up upset that her mom wasn’t around, just before my mom and sister-in-law arrived, around 11:30pm. In the end it worked out great because her cousin had also arrived, and her mood improved considerably romping around on the bed with him.
            Little did I know, her sleeplessness was just beginning. Something about all the change, coupled with the fact that Mommy wasn’t home yet, put Celia on edge all night. Last night was even worse. She woke up for major cry sessions four times, and nothing I could do would calm her down. I prayed and tried to discern what exactly the problem was. It’s hard at 2:30am to be patient and understanding of a wailing kid who has no major pain issues. In the end, I figured she was missing her mom’s attention.
            There’s been a lot of change in Celia’s life in the last two weeks. She’s been weaned, and now I’m taking care of her at night. Add to that the fact that her mother is tied up with a different kid, and I can see where she might have anxiety.
            She’s napping now, as is her brother and mother, giving me a precious few moments to write. I can already tell that these moments will be few and far between, so I will seize them as soon as they arise. I still feel a bit in shock that I’m the father of two kids now. It doesn’t quite make sense to me yet. I wonder how I’ll find the time to do it well, and keep my sanity. I’ll keep you updated.

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