Sunday, August 11, 2013
The crowned prince of Texas
And the Prince of Texas returns to his castle.
Despite all the birthing drama, Momma and the Prince took to each other like a duck to water. I’d been a little worried about nursing, but on their first date, they both appeared to have be…en at this forever. No adjustment period, no complaints of nip pain or lack of latch. I remind you that Momma’s upbringing has been a bit modest and sheltered, but to this family, boobs abound. No worries, mate. On the very first day, they casually entertained a room full of people with a receiving blanket carelessly tossed over the shoulder. Everybody is good. Abuela told us that every other country she’s lived, nursing is as accepted as handing a child a cookie. With all our forward thinking, the US appears to remain as Puritanical as the day we blew into New England.
During this first appearance, a friend and her mom came to pay homage, as it should be. This adorable friend, quiet and innocent in the ways of the world, certainly one who was never given a hand mirror, was listening intently to the birth story. I feared that this dangerous, emotional birth might give her cause to abandon any hope of ever having a child. Au, contraire! The lovely youngster spoke to us, in graphic terminology of natural birthing, perineum, labia, cervical thinning, and the stages of descention. The entire room looked at her with wide-eyed wonder. Her mother, a little shocked but obviously proud, asked where she’d obtained all this information. “At birthing class”, was the answer. What birthing class did this single, sheltered girl take? “Gramma Peg’s birthing class”. What a hoot. I wish Gramma Peg could live with every one I care about for the week before delivery. She is a fountain of information and reassurance. I have visions of this girl delivering someday. She’ll be in charge, telling the medical staff that she expects the proceedings to evolve via Gramma Peg’s instructions.
Time to go home. Lord Lucas had some moderate jaundice, an rH issue, and a circumcision, so his first couple of days were busy. He was the darling of the unit, of course. His dad stayed by his side, sleeping in a chair for the entire four days, despite my pleas that he come home and sleep a couple of hours in his own bed. I take this opportunity to say how proud I am of my son. Danny is not only a good man, he is (right this minute), my favorite son. His wife tells me that he is the most attentive and loving husband. Her mother tells me that that he can do no wrong ever (except perhaps drink too much beer) and that he has mad cabinet repair abilities. His friends think the sun rises and sets on him. He has become very close to Momma’s sister, possibly because they are both snarky and quick-witted, maybe because they both love baby Momma so much. But I digress ….
The Prince returns to his castle. It was very important to me that the family return home and spend the first night alone as a new family unit. Peg saw that all was well and returned home. Rich and I went to visit with some favored family members. Reports were that the little family did well. Later in the week, I was eavesdropping on a phone call and heard Momma tell a friend that she was over-the-top emotional when she got home. She advised this pregnant friend to make sure her home was empty and to receive no visitors on the first day home. “I cried the whole day, I couldn’t even say what was wrong.” This post-partum emo flow ebbed as quickly as it surged. I’m not saying that all was calm and rosy, but the prevailing emotion for all of us was simple joy. Momma, who is a stickler for some things tried not to be too impatient with me. I’m here to report that she DID say, several times, “That’s not how Gramma Peg does it.” Guh. Evidently, I’ll forever live in my mom’s shadow.
We all tried to get in the groove of being a new family. In spite of our efforts, it became apparent that It Is Lucas’ World And We Are Only Living In It. No schedule at all. Momma has become a human pacifier. Daddy is red-eyed and zombie-like, not a good look for him and certainly not an asset to the safety factor at his dangerous work-place. Occasional phone calls were placed to nursery hot lines, doctors offices, and all-knowing family members. Everyone had different advice. Everyone started with, “you know what you ought to do ….”. In the end, it turns out that … well, ya just have to ride it out. The best-laid plans go by the way-side. Parents were hell-bent on things like tight schedule, no sleeping with baby, house hold to return to normal function within one week. All you have to do is stick to your guns, put your mind to it. If you are a parent, this missive may remind you that YOU made those statements before birth. And perhaps, here you are, 30 years later, still – just riding it out.
During this adjustment period, Momma had very few complaints of post-partum, post-surgical issues. If it’d been me, I’d still be laying in the bed, 30 years later, trying to get someone to bring me orange juice. Not so with this Momma. On day 5, I observed this Pearl Buck heroine squat down and lift a 15 pound box from a closet floor. Right back to the rice paddy for this one. I tried to express concern, but was ignored. That evening, we were to hold court again, this time for family. As the lords, dukes and duchesses descended, I went in chambers to see what was holding up the appearance. Momma looked unfocused and was grabbing at air. She turned to me and I noticed that her eyes were rolling around in her head. “I don’t feel right. I’m dizzy and sick. I can’t walk!”. She began tearing up. I went into action. I was certain she was having a post surgical stroke. Because this is where my mind goes. She’s stroking out because I am inadequate. I picked up her phone to dial 911, preparing to explain to first responders. I asked what meds she’d taken: Two of these and One of these. I looked at the prescription bottles. Well. I’m no expert, but …. “Oh, lord. Christina. You are high, honey.” Yep. In effort to avoid “breakthrough” pain, we are eating vicoden like party peanuts. I advised to save the rest of the script for important pain later in life (menstrual cramps) and stick to the advil.
As the days went by, our comfort level increased. Rich returned home, Dan back to work, Momma and baby to begin their own routine. I stayed “to help out” (read: I stayed because I couldn’t bear to part with his Lordship). After one fitful night, I went into chambers to retrieve Lucas. He was fussing and exhausted Momma was snoring. I leaned over to pick baby out of Momma’s arms and she protested, “we were having snuggle time, I never get to snuggle with him”. Even in her state of deep sleep she had to chuckle at her complaint and allowed me to take him. I was grateful to give her this couple of hours of uninterrupted, deep sleep. When it was time to return, I took baby in and cooed at Momma, “it’s time for lefty”. “oh, ok”, says she, still in deep slumber, “come on, come on .. “, she pats her hip as if calling the dogs. All I got to say is that this is one tired woman.
Lucas, who I’m sure learned everything he knows in utero from Stewie Griffin, was very successful in sabotaging BOTH of his parents birthdays. He plotted to stay unborn for his mother’s, then completed his evil missive by being a demanding newborn for his dad’s. On the night before his dad’s birthday, he caused his parents to jump through hoops to calm him. Momma decided that he missed his womb time, so she brought to him a gift. This gift is a snuggly teddy bear that is programmed to sound like what some engineer thinks being unborn sounds like: sloshing, throbbing, windy body innards. Momma gave this unearthly thing to baby and tried to nap herself. The next day, she was preoccupied with not only the body functions of her and Lucas, she was hell-bent on cooking for her husband’s birthday. As we sat down to a lovely meal, Momma became a little more focused. She admitted to dreaming for the first time in many months. She recalled these dreams to us: She was in a boat with the swamp people hunting alligators. Then she was swimming swimming swimming then drowning drowning drowning. She was punching and clawing at the sleeping Dan, trying for rescue. Dan admitted that he is so hungry for sleep, he’d have gladly held her head under water, just to get the rest. As Momma told us this story, she became so giggly and tickled, I was afraid she was going to fall off the chair. I told her she was punch-drunk. Try explaining that term to a native Spanish speaker. The evil and nightmare-inducing Teddy was, I think, banished to Lucas’ closet. I’m sure it will appear to torture him in years to come, ala Chris Griffin.
Finally, it was time to return home. I had worn out my welcome and I had important things to do back in the Lou (concert tickets). My journey was uneventful, but during travel I realized that I missed, of all things, my DOGs!?!? I waked in the door, picked up and snuggled my cute little dog. As I was walking round the house, checking mail and newspapers, as one does when returning home, I found myself …. you guessed it … trying to burp the dog.
Posted by katherine lawson at 5:06 PM
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