Adoration, humility, joy

There are no words for how profound a change I have undergone in the last three days, though I'll start with those three and see how far I can get.

My son — yes, MY SON (!) — is lying on the bed between Jack and me right now, doing frog kicks and having arms spazzes and chewing on his fist. Jack is trying to catch up on sleep a little. Neither of us has gotten a good night's sleep since Saturday night (before I started contracting), but he let me sleep more last night because I was exhausted and crying and felt completely useless to all of us except for my ability to feed my kid.

We both go through these incredible mood shifts between being certain Kent won't live through the night and hating ourselves for our inexperience, to feeling absolute contentment just by looking at our wide-eyed, curious kid whose silly faces and happy yawns could heal any amount of emotional trauma.

Jack just woke up, looked at the clock, and noticed that it's 1:11, exactly 72 hours after this tiny, perfect thing came out of me. I'll write about the labor experience later, after I've had a chance to journal it in its entirety for myself, but that isn't nearly as important to me as how I feel right now. To satisfy the curious, though, my doctor broke my water and started me on Pitocin around 8:30 on Tuesday morning, and though the Pitocin basically hit me over the head and stole my purse within half an hour, my labor progressed fairly quickly and I was able to do it naturally, as naturally as one can while being confined to a bed, hooked up to an IV and monitors the entire time. It was the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life and is still overwhelming to think about, but when I look at this now-sleeping baby next to me, I know I could do it again.

The cats, for the record, are doing fine. Patti has been napping on the bed and Celia on the floor, both keeping a safe distance but neither avoiding Kent entirely. When he makes noises, they look at him more intently and sometimes slink out of the room, but Patti has gotten within a foot of him a few times, and Celia has even nosed him twice. He's definitely not been as disruptive to them as a new pet would have been, and once we convince them to stay out of the playard (his temporary bed in our room), I think everyone will get along just fine. =)

Breastfeeding has been going beautifully since Wednesday, when I had two visits with the awesome lactation consultant at the hospital. To say that nursing is a bonding experience between mother and child doesn't quite cover the depth of it, and Jack and I have been blown away by how rewarding it is to see our kid do something so simple. My favorite Kent faces of his so far (as if I could ACTUALLY pick a favorite anything about him) revolve around nursing. He has a wide-eyed rooting face when he knows he's going to the boob that makes me melt, because his Angert Male eyebrows go up, his big, stormy, blue-grey eyes look all around in anticipation, and his mouth gets so big that his lips disappear. He also has a drunken milk face when he's done nursing that communicates complete satisfaction and gratitude. He's so floppy that we haven't quite mastered the logistics of burping yet, but I told Jack today that I think it'll be a lot better once we get comfortable enough with holding him upright that we don't worry about breaking him.

It's incredible how easily we can pick up on most of his cues after just three days, but then there are those moments when I wonder how in the world we could be trusted with something so precious and mysterious.

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So amazing and so precious!
"though the Pitocin basically hit me over the head and stole my purse within half an hour, my labor progressed fairly quickly and I was able to do it naturally, as naturally as one can while being confined to a bed, hooked up to an IV and monitors the entire time."

I totally understand. Good job persevering to the end without an epi. I'm really proud of you!!!

And I'm glad b'feeding is going well. Just live up the emotions. The urge to cry will pass. It's totally normal. I remember finally hitting a day where I didn't cry, and then I felt like I had turned a corner.

I'm so excited for you. Becoming a parent is truly indescribable.

And CUES! Glorious cues!! God's Gift to New Mommies!
What a beautiful post, Erica. Thanks for the update for your fans across the country! Re: pitocin, that must be the drug that my friend Lori compared to being slammed up against a brick wall - your description is equally colorful - and I must say, you are AMAZINGLY strong to go through that with such grace and gratitude. Kent and everything you've already learned about him sounds wonderful. I can't believe I have to wait until November (when you're in Baltimore) to meet him!
Ditto on the beautiful post. Can't wait to hear more. The pitocin part made me laugh, because that is the part that brought me down after 2 stinkin' days of labor and my water being broken. I told Brad that the pitocin doesn't play fair. As far as being emotional, I knew from the last time that I would have a breakdown the second day after birth, so this time I was prepared. Still being in the hospital after the "C", I felt it coming on and trotted myself off to the bathroom to sob. At that moment, a nurse entered and so did several visitors. All I could do was assure them that everything was fine, and that I was crying for no reason (although I don't think the nurse believed me). I remained locked in the bathroom until I could talk (mostly) through the snuffling.
I decided to read this blog first because Allison's comp takes so long to load pics. I can't wait to see the pictures, so I'll hurry this comment along.

It is so sweet to hear you talk about Kent and everything you are noticing already. Baby's are fragile, but you and Jack will do just fine. :-D Things will get more comfortable as you go. Sounds like the phrase "bundle of joy" definitely hits the nail on the head.
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