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Monday, February 23, 2015

And Now I'm a Mom...

Henry Dylan Pinter
 born Friday February 6th at 8:16 am  
 7 lbs. 14 oz.,  21 and 1/4 inches long

He was five days late, and I coaxed him out of the womb with a combination of acupuncture and castor oil.

I had a wonderful birth experience.  Here are the stages of of my labor and delivery complete with location and theme.

Stage 1: Labor begins at home with Dylan and I watching the newest episode of Broad City. 
Pause the TV, here comes another one.

Stage 2:  Still at home, three hours later.
 Please Jesus don't let me have my baby on the toilet.  

Stage 3: At the hospital, another three hours later.
Are you my anesthesiologist?  I love you.  

Stage 4: At the hospital, fifteen minutes after epidural
Can I have another Jello please?

Stage 5: Time to Push
my doctor: Jessica, this isn't yoga.  I wanna see the veins popping out of your neck.

Roger that.  Thirty minutes later, he was here, and life would never be the same.

After spending the morning skin to skin, Henry and I went to the recovery area where we split ways.  Henry went to the nursery to be bathed and examined, and I was wheeled to my room where I settled in for the most delicious two hour nap of my life.  I woke up in my room and was met with immediate longing for Henry.  My heart ached for this person who I had only just met.

The next two days at the hospital were bliss.  Friends and family dropped by to cuddle Henry and feed us cupcakes.   I called on my nurses (or angels) at all times of day or night to help me swaddle and bring me more Motrin.  If Henry and I were struggling to get the proper latch, a lactation consultant was just a buzz away.  My meals were brought to me on a tray and cleared away when I was done.  I never wanted to leave.  When Dylan wheeled me though the lobby of our hospital toward the car that would take us home,  I had the strange desire to re-live the experience all over again...the contractions, the pain, everything.

Coming home meant that this was real life.  I'm a mom, Dylan's a dad, we are a family, and we're on our own.  It was overwhelming.  You're pregnant for almost a year, but you're a parent in an instant.   It's easy to lose sight of yourself as a new mom.  The day I felt well enough to put down my yoga mat while Henry took a nap, was the day, I felt like myself again.

 I laid on my belly, twisted my torso, hung out in my shoulder stand, and practiced deep backbends.  I did everything that I wasn't able to do for so long, and my body surprised me.  I was still strong;  I was still me.

So I've been a mom for over two weeks now, which makes me an expert ;)  For inquiring minds, here is my childbirth/motherhood advice and revelations:
  • Pillage the hospital before you leave: maxi pads, cold packs, nipple cream, pacifiers, diapers, hospital underwear (they are the best).
  • Only bring clothes to the hospital that you wouldn't mind throwing out.
  • Have gas drops at home..  if your baby is super fussy and cannot be consoled by being held, changed, or fed, he probably has gas.  Have the medicine ready to go and save yourself a middle of the night phone call to your pediatrician and frantic trip to the drug store.
  • A night-time routine is everything: bath, pj's, milk, book, bed!
  • An un-diapered baby is never a good idea... even if just for a minute.  
Olivia Wilde and her son Otis may look beautiful, but I venture to guess this did not end well.

  • There may be moments in those first postpartum days when you feel sad and/or emotional.  Don't worry or look too deeply into this.  There is so much change happening and hormones running through your body.  Talk to your partner; he totally gets it. 
  • When your family asks how they can help you, don't hold back.  They are there to take care of you while you take care of your new baby.  Laundry, clean house, stock the fridge.  Thank you!
  • Meditating on / visualizing your birth experience is really calming and powerful.  I did David Harshada Wagner's prenatal meditation daily in the weeks leading up to my due date. 
The two best pieces of mommy advice I've received are to take advantage of how often your newborn sleeps and get out of the house!  Being cooped up in doors isn't good for anyone's spirit; taking Henry to restaurants and coffee shops has been good for all three of us.  The other best advice I got was that There are no rules! It's your baby, do what works for you.  The recommendations of professionals may not work for your baby; and sometimes, you (mama) know best.  The worst advice I received before having my baby was Sleep now while you can.  I can't even count the number of times my husband and I heard this "advice."  It's not even advice; it's the mutterings of an over-tired parent.  You should give a wedgie to the next person who tells you to sleep now.  Besides, your baby is probably at his cutest at 5 am.