Not that I think anybody couldn’t have guessed it, but I would like to confirm that giving birth and moving 325 miles (give or take) in the same week is a really bad idea. Chalk yet another Army-induced life experience up to mandatory lessons in coping. Real-life “resiliency training,” a hot topic in the military. I’ve never taken those classes they keep pushing, so they keep giving me practical exams instead.
It’s like having a baby while your husband is deployed, something else I did not need to actually live through to know was a bad situation, but which I got to find out first-hand just how terrible it truly was. I’ve seen, more than once, a good, Catholic wife asking on forums if a pending deployment is a grave reason to avoid pregnancy. Perhaps all that suffering was just so I could firmly assure those women that it most definitely is.
I really don’t know how we survived last week. In fact, my husband wanted to call off the move more than once. Emotionally, though, I needed to get out of Georgia. And it was a matter of comfort as well. We were living a Spartan life in that house. I wanted my comfy desk chair and my generously sized dining room table. And my good washing machine.
It was about 11 pm when we got in on Friday night. My bed was in the back of the trailer (first in, last out), so we unloaded everything, pushing the kids until they dropped. After that day, taking a shower seemed essential, and as we undressed, Bill voiced my exact thoughts: “I just want to burn these clothes.” It would have been cathartic, but sleep was a better choice. It was nearly 1:30 am when we collapsed on our mattress on the floor.
Saturday was a slow day. There were things we had to do (internet guy came to set us up), and there were things we chose to do (adjusting furniture, moving boxes to make better paths in the house). But we tried to keep things simple. I spent much of my time concentrating on the baby, who had been having difficulty latching on. Every session of nursing was a struggle to get going, and I starting thinking back over the last week: how many diapers have I changed? when was the last bowel movement? how much does he weigh? I didn’t like any of the answers.
The handful of you who have been reading me for a long time might remember all my troubles with nursing Mary. I swore it would never happen again. I would be vigilant; I would pump; I would weigh the baby every day. I didn’t think I would move the same week.
As Saturday evening winded down, I found myself dramatically telling my husband like the final line before the curtain falls at intermission: “Bill, I think the baby is tongue-tied.” That might explain a lot.
By late Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t get him to latch on at all. He was clearly frustrated and hungry. My poor husband came running when he heard me sobbing in the bedroom as I fed the baby some of the last of the pumped milk. He went out and bought some formula to get us through these days. Fortunately, I am not a complete weeping mess this time, yet. Sometimes I think my husband is taking it harder than I am. He thinks he’s failed me, that it’s his fault we had to move with a newborn, that he didn’t do enough to get me the rest I needed or the peace I needed to nurse the baby. Things had been going well and suddenly they weren’t. But, babies don’t need much to eat in those first few days of life. And he didn’t make the baby tongue-tied. And it really doesn’t matter.
More resiliency training: no point in finding blame, just deal with it.
Yesterday, I mentally flipped a coin between calling a pediatrician or a lactation consultant first. I went with the lactation consultant, and left a message. It was afternoon before she called back, and gave me some on-the-phone tips, but said I needed a prescription from the pediatrician to come and see them. I think that is bizarre, and so did the pediatrician, when I finally got in to an evening appointment. The doctor also gave me the number of an ENT specialist, so that is my agenda for the day: get the baby’s tongue clipped. In the meantime, my milk supply has dropped dramatically, so I get to spend lots of time pumping. The closest health food store opens at 9 am, and I’ll have to send Bill out for fenugreek and blessed thistle.
We’ll get through this. But prayers are helpful, if you can spare some time.
Amusingly, when I called the pediatrician – a civilian provider – to make the appointment, they asked in which hospital the baby had been born. When I said he had been born at a birthing center in Savannah, the receptionist said, “Oh.” She paused for a moment. And then she said, “Do you plan to vaccinate your child?”
“Yes,” I said. And since I mostly vaccinate, it is mostly true. I have a year to worry about the ones I don’t do.
“Oh, OK,” she said, “because many people who use a birthing center also don’t vaccinate.”
Responsible parents give birth in hospitals, you know.
I love being stereotyped.
The pediatrician couldn’t see me in the afternoon, but the receptionist told me to call back for their evening appointments for sick children. She assured me they see new patients then as well. When I called back, that receptionist gave me a hard time about making an appointment for my 8 day old baby who was having trouble nursing. I told her that the other receptionist had specifically told me to call back to be seen that evening. She said, “But these appointments are for sick children.”
“My child won’t nurse,” I insisted. “He’s starving.” Really, let’s think about this. How exactly do you define “sick”? So sorry your baby isn’t eating, but that’s not an acute issue. Call back in the morning, thank you.
And when I went there, another mom brought in her 4 month old who had had a low-grade fever for several days. I can’t imagine taking a baby to the doctor for that.
Well, not any more. I know I took Fritz in once for a fever. Once. That’s all it took for me to realize I was being a ninny.
Off to pump. Then maybe nap before I call the ENT doc.