For nine months you prepare, always looking ahead and anticipating the big delivery day, when you get to finally hold your child and look into her face. And after the monumental work of pregnancy and labor, you might assume that the physical challenges are mostly behind you.
But the postpartum period can be rough. I’ve had a really eventful week to say the least, but let me say first that the best thing that happened all week was the arrival of our baby girl, one day late.
On November 19th I woke up with a terrible headache and couldn’t sleep. Even after taking medicine it wouldn’t go away and I was so worried that my midwife came by to see me and check my blood pressure in the morning. And for the first time in my life, I got a high reading. My blood pressure has been pretty darn near perfect for every single pregnancy, so we were both concerned. And what about that headache? Was it hormonal? The big drop in air pressure that night? Labor looming? Nobody wanted it to be that other thing….pre-eclampsia.
Twenty-four hours later, I indeed went into labor, while my husband and all 8 children were at Mass. The house was quiet and peaceful, and I labored for three hours before calling the midwife and her assistant. It wasn’t a terribly difficult labor, at just five hours, but it certainly wasn’t as easy as Mary Kate two years ago! My back was killing me near the end, and it took three position changes to find the one that got our baby girl out. I was on my feet and relied on my husband 100% for support during the actual birth. The midwife and attendant caught our daughter as she came out, making it a team effort of four people!
Fast forward a few days and besides the usual tiredness, I found myself battling an eye infection and anemia (again). We were just getting those under control when my blood pressure spiked again, this time much higher. I ended up in the ER right before a huge snowstorm hit the Midwest. Along with hypertension, they discovered another infection – in my bladder. Good times!
I joked to my husband that I’m in much worse shape now than I ever was during the pregnancy. This recovery feels like climbing a huge hill with a coupe of heavy backpacks. Progress is slow, and I’m trying my best each day to eliminate these burdens one by one.
But if you ask if I’d rather have beautiful little Camille back in my tummy, when things were quieter and easier, the answer is an emphatic NO. The timeless verse still rings true “When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world.” John 16:21.
Newborn diaper reviews are coming in the next month! Camille and I are trying some new styles and brands this time around. 🙂