Apr
25
2009

  I Think I Had A Postpartum Moment

While I've experienced some weepiness since giving birth, which I attribute both to hormones and the fact that my little baby was frozen in the NICU immediately after birth and I couldn't hold him for many days, which was hard to deal with, I think I had my first bout of "baby blues" yesterday.

Terry was gone for a few hours in the morning to get his temporary crown (he cracked his tooth the day William was released from the hospital) resealed, leaving me to care for William on my own. That was fine. But when he came back, he went outside to plant the potatoes, but wound up doing a bunch of yardwork, leaving me again to care for William on my own for many hours. I guess it was around 6 pm or so that the novelty of having a baby wore off. I wanted to sit on the back porch reading my papers without being interrupted by the little crying boy. Terry wanted him to go diaper-free all afternoon to help alleviate his diaper rash. I asked him to bring me a stack of 6 cloth diapers to set the baby on, but he only brought three (he later said he didn't hear my request). He also didn't bring me any baby wipes or anything else, so I had to carry a wet baby around until I found some the first time he went. Nor did he bring me any burp cloths. By the end of several hours, I had gone through all the diapers, and was having to creatively fold them up to cover the dirty spots to reuse the clean parts, was using his receiving blanket as a burp cloth, and could have used some help getting fresh supplies so I wouldn't have to carry the baby up the stairs. Because while walking up the stairs no longer hurts, really, it does leave me exhausted and out-of-breath so I have to rest a bit, just like when I was still pregnant. And I didn't see Terry in the potato patch, or on the tractor, or in the garage, and I started to get mad. So I rang our big bell to summon him.

I got a big handbell at auction a few years ago, I think it once was used at the Miller School. It's really loud, and so if we aren't using power tools I think it can be heard from most corners of our property. I rang the bell angrily for a minute (William was surprised enough by the loud dinging that he stopped crying for a minute) and went inside to feed William while holding a thin cloth over his parts so he wouldn't poop on me, while waiting for Terry.

Terry comes strolling in a few minutes later (he was working down the driveway where I couldn't see him) saying what a beautiful day it was. I replied that it would be a lot nicer WITHOUT a baby. He could tell immediately that I was post-partum-y. It was the first time I had been anything but delighted, or at least content, with my baby. He said he'd be happy to take William for me, that he really needed to get away for a few hours every day, which is why he was always eager to run into town and run errands, and that I haven't had that opportunity all week, since neither William nor I ever left the house, except for two short trips to the pediatrician where we went together.

So Terry put William in his sling, and whisked him out of earshot-- I think they spent the evening in his studio. I had a beer, lay on the sofa downstairs, and caught up reading my Wall Street Journals from the past week. I also wanted some comfort food, so I made an apple clafouti (a custard-like baked French fruit dessert) since my mother got us a whole bag of apples last time she was here. I ate half the clafouti (it's baked in a pie-plate). I felt better after that. And Terry was very, very happy that there was fresh clafouti for him to eat, it's one of his favorite desserts, too. I wanted to do something nice for him, since he was good enough to take William off my hands for the evening. While I did make the clafouti for myself, the fact that I didn't polish off the whole thing was for Terry. . .

I didn't feel like changing William's diaper while he was sleeping this morning, I was just going to wait until he woke up. But Terry was getting on my case about it, and tried to guilt me into getting up and dealing with it since I usually take care of William all morning while he catches up on sleep since he does the 2am feeding via bottle. But he saw that I wasn't going to get out of bed despite him accusation that I was an abusive parent for letting my diaper-rashed baby sit in a wet diaper for another 30 minutes, so he took care of it.

And then he made me coffee and brought me breakfast when I got up to take care of William around 10am. After the 10am feeding (I still usually do the "pooping" of the baby before he eats), Terry took the boy downstairs and I haven't seen them since. It's a nice break. At least until he brings him back up here for his 1pm food. Thank goodness breastfeeding releases relaxing hormones, otherwise I probably wouldn't be tolerating that at this point. But it does make me fond of William for at least a few minutes, so there's the genius of nature for you, ensuring the survival of the species. The boy won't perish with a mom that delays a diaper change, but he will perish if the mom won't feed him.