We have some video clips of the birth and just after, and in one of them, Josh asks "So was it worth it to go natural?" My answer: "Ask me again in like an hour". (I'm a Jersey girl. I say "like" a lot).
There's so much to process about it all. Little snippets of thought and action come back to me randomly and trigger a new wave of revelation about everything, and as soon as that they're gone again.
It was one of the most intensely spiritual and personal experiences of my life, but not in the way I expected. I guess I expected the heavens to open up or something. I expected it to be ecstasy. It was more like Dante's Inferno. It was a guided tour of my own weaknesses, which makes the triumph at the end all the more sweet.
On with the story...
After she was born, the midwife checked me and found that there were no lacerations. I was still bleeding profusely, and I continued to bleed "too much" for a few hours. She kept going back in to see if she could find any tears that would explain the bleeding, but she found nothing. I got a shot of pitocin, and then a shot of another drug, and then another IV, a pitocin drip, and a hospital transfer. I had been falling asleep sitting up, and my mom and the nurse were both alarmed: they weren't sure if I was passing out from blood loss or just tired from the birth. Even I'm not sure if I was falling asleep or passing out.
They took Miriam to the nursery and took me to the obstetrical OR, where they put my legs in these enourmous padded stirrups. The midwife wanted to do an "exploration" to rule out a cervical tear or a retained placenta. They put Nubain in my IV. Yes, I love the irony too: I went through that birth with no drugs but I got narcotics for what is essentially a pelvic exam.
After I got the drugs everything was veeerrryyy nniiiiiiiccceee, if a little fuzzy. She couldn't find anything that would have caused the bleeding, and it was finally starting to abate anyway. I spent the night in the hospital. I actually didn't mind as much as I thought I would. It was nice to be alone with Miriam, and Naomi didn't mind sleeping with my mom for a night.
Breastfeeding a newborn again is weird. I'm glad Naomi was my first and not Miriam. Naomi saw the boob and knew exactly what to do with it. Miriam had to be sold on the boob. She would nuzzle and lick and then lose interest. It took her a long time to figure out that she should open her mouth and suck. She was over a day old before she seemed to get good and hungry. Now she nurses All. The. Time. She's already pooping yellow. I'm so proud of her.
I am not immune to milk anxiety. Until today I wasn't ever really sure if she was getting enough. Her output was fine and all, but I still has this nagging fear that I wans't making anything. I kept sniffing her diapers to see if the pee was concentrated enough to stink (does it stink, or does it just smell a little)? Anyway, I woke up from a nap today with a bra that was straining its seams. Milk is in. Anxiety is out.