The Calm



Jeanne McCullough added this post to her blog, Mom Hearts Pinot, three days after the birth of her second child.

Baby McBoy Is Here!
Ryan David
Born 10:27am
9lbs 21"long

I had a planned C-section, a repeat section from when I had Anna.  It was definitely a bizarre, unpleasant experience, one that I might tell you about in another post (or maybe I'll save it for the book, yes?).  But he's beautiful. Just amazing and wonderful and mine mine mine (and of course Dave's Dave's Dave's) and I could just carry him around in my pocket all day long (and yes, I understand the irony of my having complained about being hugely pregnant just last week) but I love him to pieces.

Tomorrow I'm being discharged from the hospital.  I had the option to leave today, but I took the almost unanimous advice from other moms who had C-sections with young children waiting at home. Nearly all of them said "DO NOT RUSH TO GET HOME.  TAKE THE EXTRA DAY" and I write that in caps lock because that's how they told me — in ALL CAPS.

 In my naivety, I thought I'd end up going home when the option was presented to me.  But then Dave brought Anna to visit every morning while I was here and I saw what I'd be dealing with once at home, and I quickly jumped at the opportunity to get one more peaceful night of sleep.  Of course, I have mommy guilt in regard to Anna.  She misses me terribly, as I miss her.  But in the grand scheme of things, one more day will make no difference.  I am looking forward to a summer of getting to know my new little man and spending some serious quality time with Anna.  And she's already such a great big sister.  She adores her "baby brudder" and insists on holding him first thing every day when she visits.

Anna & RyanLife in the Hospital

These past few days in the hospital have been much different than when I had Anna.  I'm wiser, of course, and therefore know how to work the system.  The ultimate fact of the matter is that every day and every night will be as good or as bad for you as your nurse is.  The difference between a good day and a bad day during your hospital visit is the nurse who says "looks like you're ready for your pain meds!" versus the one who makes you ask for them.  There's nothing like being made to feel like a narcotic seeker two days after having your stomach cut open 3 layers deep.  The first time around, I was afraid to ask, but this time I'm hitting that call button on the hour.

I really am going to miss my hospital stay once I'm discharged.  I have a bed that moves up and down, a TV that I don't have to fight with anyone about channel selection, my own temperature controls.  Not to mention the fact that I don't have to make my own meals — the food is nothing spectacular, but hey, all I have to do is circle what I want on the menu card and it's delivered in a timely fashion!  

During the night, I send the little man down to the nursery with instructions to bring him back to me for demand feedings —they take care of the midnight restlessness and poopy diapers.  All I have to do is sit here and generate milk —voila!  I'll miss the ice maker in the nutrition room that makes perfect little cubes of ice, and the styrofoam cups with lids and straws and I'll miss the fridge stocked with juice — will I have cranberry today or apple?  Or will I get saucy and mix them together- Cranapple!

Reality Awaits

Sure, I have about 15 staples in my abdomen and I'm floating on the edge of pain in a constant cycle of percocet and motrin cloudiness.  But let's face it: tomorrow, things gets real.  I'm mom tomorrow — keeper of the house, tamer of the children (plural! eek!).  I mean, of course, I got this —I totally got this.  

Last time around, I kept thinking I wouldn't be up to the challenge. I was having mini panic attacks every t'other day before I had Anna.  But then I totally surprised myself when I learned that when we are presented with a new direction in life, we just evolve in a way we didn't even know we could, in a way that we never really understand until it's happening and it's just---- life as we now know it.  

So I know that with this next life as I don't completely now know it, I will evolve again.  And I'll totally step up, sometimes to my own mental or emotional or physical detriment, not because I'm a martyr, but simply because that's how women operate, because it will be for a larger goal and I'll be better for having made whatever sacrifices I don't even know yet because the reward will be that much greater.

I'm just sayin.... this vacation before things get real is pretty damn nice.

Jeanne McCullough is a Montgomery County, PA mom.

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