Outnumbered
Be careful what you wish for, aka: the birth story

Explosions and meltdowns

Early this morning I was actually asleep when our whole house, which is large and solid and LARGE, started to shake, the shower doors rattled and clattered, and then it was still. Phillip was all, "What was THAT?!" and I was just barely coherent enough to think, "Earthquake." Since it was only a few violent seconds and we'd been up all night with a gorgeous yet hungry baby, we immediately fell back asleep. Except then we started hearing sirens and helicopters and it occurred to us that the shaking was maybe not an earthquake. 

Turns out there was a natural gas explosion in my neighborhood, a boom that was felt surprisingly far away according to the local news. A house burned to the ground, the neighboring houses were evacuated, and we've seen crews and utility trucks on every street. My husband also just informed me that he received an automated phone call this morning warning gas customers that crews were now inspecting neighboring houses and had already found three more leaks - so be careful! If you smell gas, get out! Good luck with that!

This totally made my day. Which had ALREADY been made, a little bit later in the morning, when I had a total mental meltdown over 1) all these NOISY PEOPLE IN MY HOUSE and 2) the horror that is Beginning Breastfeeding. 

It's not like I expected it to feel GOOD, right? And I successfully breastfed two other kids; the second one was even a total piece of cake from day one. I remember it hurting in the beginning, but I also remember near immediate improvement. This time it feels worse with each feeding. I checked her latch with the lactation consultants before we left the hospital, just wanting to confirm my own opinion. (Was confirmed.) I felt confident that I knew what to do and how to position her and what the right latch looked and felt like. But even when I had all these things in place it was So. Incredibly. Painful. I expected to wince when she latched, but I was doing Labor Breathing and Labor Noises when she latched, and wincing and tensing and gasping with each suck. NOT OKAY. 

I was feeding her in the living room because at that moment, Phillip and the kids were in the bedroom. But then everyone migrated to the living room and not only was the local news blaring the house fire drama, I had Jack singing at the top of his lungs in gibberish and Molly climbing on me and asking for something to eat and Phillip... Phillip was somewhere, I guess, but I was mad because he wanted to call into a work meeting at the exact hour we had to do preschool pick ups and lunches and HELLO I JUST GAVE BIRTH THREE DAYS AGO, I SHOULD BE SITTING ON SATIN PILLOWS AND DRINKING ORANGE DREAM MACHINES AND WEEEEEEEP. 

I'd got up early because the explosion jolted me awake. I'd made the snacks/lunches, pulled out school clothes and got the kids washed and dressed, I fed them breakfast, I changed the baby and now I was feeding her and I wanted every single other person in the world to drop off a cliff somewhere. HORMONAL MUCH?

So I did what any other blogger would do and turned to Twitter. I only meant to vent, but it turns out people had advice. And usually, I won't lie, I hate advice. I'm sorry. I really only want you to say, "OMG THAT SUCKS" and volunteer to kick some shins or whatever. But Twitter, you were SO WONDERFUL. You reminded me about nipple shields and gel pads and lansinoh and things I KNEW but could not REMEMBER in the moment. You told me that nipple shields do not kill babies and that I need a breastfeeding break even in the first week and formula is not the devil's drink and I needed to hear all of these things. Phillip and I decided to pick up the license plates for the new car while the kids were in preschool and do you know what is very near the car dealership? The giant baby box store. 

So I stood in the breastfeeding aisles for God knows how long and I spent a fortune on breastfeeding survival supplies. I came home, slapped on a shield, and fed my kid without wanting to overdose on the Percocet. My mood, it did a complete 180. I am now Optimistic and Halfway Confident and No Longer Cowering In Fear Of The Next Feeding. So thank you, good women of the internet. God help the next person who says some smartass "who CARES, what's it FOR" comment about Twitter in my presence. 

And I just want to say... this is HARD WORK. This is REALLY REALLY HARD. First you have to push an entire human being out of your nether regions, then you are subjected to cramping and bleeding and soreness, THEN you are expected to feed your child with the one tender part of your body that WASN'T ravaged in the birth, all on little to no sleep. I mean, it's normal and Just Life and totally stuff that I am happy and proud to do as my baby's mother, but let's not forget that it is also HARD. 

Did I tell you about how Phillip kept looking at his ear in the mirror at the hospital? While I was in labor? Because it sort of hurt and he couldn't tell WHY it hurt? And it was really bugging him? WHILE I WAS IN LABOR? 

I will also tell you that he stopped that fairly quick and was an all around Expectant Dad Rock Star that night. Well, I will tell you that if I ever get around to posting the birth story. Um, tomorrowish? I know you are all on tenterhooks, (well, in my imagination you are), but you try telling a 3-day-old, "I can't feed you right now, I'm too busy telling the internet about your hellish entry into the world."

Comments

Heather

So scary about the explosion, I hope your home is okay. You already know this, but three is hard, really hard sometimes. The bonus, they will usually just go it, whatever it is. They really don't have a choice. Good luck!!

Sarah in Ottawa

You are awesome. I am sorry that I missed the Twitter support party today because I HAVE NOTHING BUT SYMPATHY. Trying to feed tongue-tied Teddy was just horrifying. And Veronica had a screwed up suck because of the three intubations required after her birth. It is so, so hard. And you are awesome.

Why have I been off Twitter? I have been watching episode after episode of "The Good Wife". LOVE. Am almost caught up now. I mean, I've been spoiled on the main plot points but it's still wonderful to watch it unfold. I think of you as I watch.

In fairness, I was also a helper parent at Teddy's preschool today (super fun) but it's been lots of Alicia and Kalinda.

Carrie

I was thinking about you guys when I saw the news article- glad your home seems to be okay!

Hope the breastfeeding gets easier. I remember feeding Vivian and being grateful for my c-section painkillers because it HURT. I almost quit with her during the first week, but it did get better. Hope baby Emma eats well!

lindsay

"I'd got up early because the explosion jolted me awake." I haven't finished reading yet but this sentence alone made me die laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

Elsha

I've tried to forget how much breastfeeding sucks. Will was WAY easier to feed than Kalena and it still sucked. I maybe shouldn't be reading these posts during this pregnancy. All the sucky parts of having a newborn just come rushing back.

Emily

I LOVE YOU MAGGIE!

You are a rockstar mom to preschoolers and a rockstar mom to a newborn and you are only THREE DAYS IN? Think of the ass you are going to kick in another week. I know you are going to find your groove soon and be great at this. I know it. You're already doing fantastic. Hormones are the devil. XOXO

craftyashley

You can always count me in on some shin kicking.

Janey

Breast feeding sucks!!!...but it is fortunate that babies don't repeat what you say. So, you can yell profanities upon latching with no guilt!

Becca

I will never forget how awful starting breastfeeding was the third time around! OMG. I thought it would be a snap since I'd done it twice before but NO. No no no no no. I nearly broke my foot I kicked the coffee table so hard after one horrible latch. I so get what you're going through! And so sorry!

Wendy

I'm sorry the breastfeeding is sucking so badly. It just seems that it usually starts that way, eh? I was going to ask if you were getting the labour-ish cramps while breastfeeding, as that seems to happen upon 2nd and 3rd pregnancies, but it seems the nipple shields have cleared up the pain, which is great!
Congrats on your little cutie, I love the name! Quick and dirty labour isn't always bad-at least it is done and you are not still there, right?
Just take every day as it comes..and put in your earphones if Philip is home. He can deal with the screaming, you can listen to something soothing!

Life of a Doctor's Wife

OMG - explosion?!?! So glad you guys are okay.

And so very glad that you have found breastfeeding salvation. I hope it's smooth sailing from here on out.

Marie Green

AS if this time isn't stressful enough WITHOUT explosions in the neighborhood! MAN!

Also, this was exactly my experience too- the jumping right back into life and making lunches and getting children ready... all while David was, somewhere. Probably enjoying a nice hot shower, ALONE, without listening for a possible screaming baby. GAH.

Olive is three weeks old now and I've slept in TWICE since she was born. Every other morning, I've gotten up with the alarm and gotten the kids ready for school. And it's not that David isn't HELPING, because he IS when he's around. The problem is that he's NOT AROUND ENOUGH. (Don't get me started on how much he's worked since she was born.)

Anyway, anytime you need to commiserate, let me know. I'm right in the thick of it with you, sister.

(OH, and the NOISY CHILDREN. YES YES YES. How did they get so loud and so big and move so fast and take up so much space??? HOW? I can't wait until I like them again.)

-R-

When I came home from the hospital with the baby, my husband and son just seemed so LOUD. They drove me crazy. And you have more children than me, so I'm sure it's worse. It sucks. But you guys are already starting to adjust, and breastfeeding will get less painful and difficult. I hope your older kids have a playdate with their grandparents soon so you can have some quiet time!

HereWeGoAJen

Gah, early breastfeeding was the worst. And then someone handed me a shield and lo, the world was good again. I used that thing for months and months. And I think Twitter is the best.

Christina

Oh my gosh you are near that gas explosion thing? I'd be freaking out. But you shouldn't. I'm sure everything will be totally FINE. :)

Now I'm totally wishing I had Twitter and knew about nipple shields when I was nursing because oh man did it hurt in the beginning (and later, when I got mastitis or some such thing and everything hurt all over again)... but even for all that, I really loved nursing. Sigh... you are making me miss the baby days! (I can say that, what with my full nights of sleep and all...)

Take care of you and absolutely make the husband bring you one of them orange dream things. :)

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