It’s been quite a week for us, and I’m sorry I haven’t had a single moment to update you on our new little sweetheart.
Tiny June Tribe joined our little family, weighing 8 lbs 10 oz, after an hour and half of labor. Yep, you read that right. An HOUR AND A HALF. When she decided to come, she sure meant business. Besides being a bit dramatic (we were out of town when I went into labor, and I didn’t make it to the birth center where we had planned to deliver, and instead ended up at a birth center that was closer to where we were at), it went magically. Really when I think back on the labor, it sort of sparkles in my mind. I had a waterbirth, and I still am kind of in shock at how fast and beautiful it all was. I have debated blogging about my birth story here, and I’ve decided to just make it available to anyone who wants to read it. I’ll warn you that it’s long, and contains the word “poop” and “vagina” several times. If you’re into that kind of stuff though, I’d be happy to email it to anyone who wants to hear it–just leave me a comment and I’ll send it to the email you used. I feel like at least part of the reason I was blessed with such an awesome delivery was to carry me through the next couple days that have been quite difficult for me–I’ve drawn many times on the sweetness and special spirit that accompanied Tiny into this world.
Immediately after labor I discovered that Tiny was having trouble nursing–she didn’t seem to be able to establish a good suck, and after hours and hours trying, we were both frustrated. I’ve nursed both my children, my son until he was almost 2, so I felt like I should have been a pro, and the fact that we were struggling so much was completely mystifying to me. She also was losing what little she was getting up through her nose, which was worrying me, although the midwives seemed to think it was fairly normal. But it seemed like it was happening too much, and my anxiety about her getting fed was building as we continued to struggle.
Almost 24 hours after birth she still hadn’t had anything to eat, and I had gotten maybe a couple hours of sleep at most. After 20 minutes or so of attempting a restless nap that second afternoon, my mom woke me up and informed me they had discovered that are sweet Tiny has a cleft palate (she discovered this while changing her diaper; she was crying which gave my mom a wide open view of her mouth), and that’s why she had been unable to nurse and everything was coming up through her nose. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of research, experimentation (with feeding), doctors, making appointments, figuring out insurance, and mostly for me, pumping and feeding. The biggest heartbreak for me is that I’ll be unable to nurse her at all–at least until she has her surgery, which will probably be around 6 months old. I’ve always loved nursing, so I’ll miss that special bonding time.
My cousin Trish had a cleft palate, and her Mom, my Aunt Beth, called me today to chat. I really appreciated her calling, and it occurred to me while we were talking that I really have no idea at this point what this will mean for Tiny and our family. I don’t know what it will all entail, or really what kind of challenges will accompany her and us as we figure this whole thing out. In some ways I’m glad I don’t know, because if I did I might not feel as strong as I need to right now. I know that at least for the next few months, just feeding her will probably consume a lot of my life. And the challenges of being a new mother to three will be a little more complicated than I had anticipated. But I had felt so much peace regarding this (mothering three) in the weeks before Tiny’s birth, and I have faith that we’ll figure this out. You can get used to anything, I think, it’s just a matter of adjusting and staying positive. So although I’m probably fairly ignorant about the ups and downs that will be my future, all I feel right now, really, is gratitude. I’m grateful that it’s not worse than it is. I’m grateful to live in time where there are so many resources, and that surgery for this type of problem is readily available. I’m grateful to have such wonderful family and friends that are pouring out their love and support for us. I’m grateful for such an amazing husband who is so steady and positive. I’m grateful for a sense of peace about it all that seems to be a gift from Heavenly Father. I’m grateful to be experiencing a really amazing recovery from delivery–better than I’ve ever had. There’s no end to the things I’ve got going for me, and let me assure you–I feel it all.
Thanks for hanging in there while I kept you all in suspense this week–I know you must have been on pins and needles! 😉 Thanks ahead of time for understanding that I will likely be MIA for the next few weeks/months while I adjust and find my sea legs with this new development. Sometimes I forget that blogging is not like a daily newspaper with an audience that can’t be put off, but a bunch of real people, mostly women, who understand all about real life and real problems. Thanks for that.