Monday, August 21, 2006

New Motherhood

With the small amount of time I have, I thought I'd give you an insider's view of my mind, in the past 2 weeks. So here are some thoughts I've had, not necessarily in order, not all of them pretty.

After 48 hours in labor, 24 hours in the hospital, 17 hours in the delivery room, 15 hours since the start of my epidural, 3 hours since they killed the epidural in order to get things moving faster, 1 hour and 15 minutes of pushing with no epidural: I now believe in love at first sight - and I'm not saying the first sight is beautiful. My baby is covered in meconium, his head is shaped like a Conehead's (after pushing on a not-completely dilated cervix), he's a purplish-red color and he's screaming - blessedly. Anything I ever thought was close to the feelings of love I ever felt before pale in comparison to the overwhelming feeling that my heart may actually explode. I look at my husband to my left, my baby on my chest and feel like I have just created the first baby in the world.

After Bryan drank all the iced-tea I had prepared days ago at home to drink during labor, kept leaving me alone in the delivery room to look for food, mincha, to take a walk, had the balls to complain that his back and shoulder were uncomfortable from the chair he was sitting in throughout my labor, then complained when I bit his shoulder before I got my epidural (suck it up- I left no teeth-marks):
Men are completely useless - they have no place in the birthing rooms. Life would be better if we went back to the 50's and the men waited outside, box of cigars in hand, then congratulated themselves on a job well-done when in fact they had done nothing at all.

As soon as I got my epidural: I love my husband - but I love the anesthesiologist more.

The morning of my baby's brit/naming: I will not give him over to those men and let them hurt my baby. My job as his mommy is to protect him, as much as possible from any sort of pain or discomfort, not pay someone 1200 NIS to cut my little boy. I feel like the worst mother in the world - my heart is breaking as I watch them cut my baby. I feel anger towards my whole religion - towards any religion that advocates this barbaric practice. I find it difficult to be Jewish today.

When my in-laws show up: Someone shoot me in the head. If my mother-in-law mentions one more time that she has "no idea where such a funny-shaped head could come from, but its definitely not our side of the family". My MIL had all her babies by C-section, stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks after the birth of each child, and came home from the hospital with a baby nurse to help care for the newborn, plus a regular maid. She's never seen a new newborn that came through a prolonged labor delivered vaginally. I finally lose it and tell her that the baby's head doesn't come from her side of the family, or mine, it comes from my vagina. Silence.

After the baby has been up all night and all day for 3 days straight, and only sleeps when someone is holdinh him. As soon as you put him down, he screams: I begin to feel sympathy for the 19-year-old father who shook his baby to death just before Pesach. Although I am nowhere near that point, I begin to think "hmmm, mitigating circumstances?". I realize I am at my wit's end, and wake Bryan up (who has been slumbering blissfully for the past 6 hours) to take over.

After Bryan takes over, touches the baby, realizes he is freezing to the touch and turns off the airconditioning. The baby promptly falls asleep and stays sleeping for hours: I suck as a mother. On the upside, Bryan is quite proud of himself and feels like Super-Dad. He does NOT mention this at all though - smart husband. I can simply tell by the satisfied glow on his face.

Now I realize I have been referring to the baby as "the baby", though of course by now he has a name. It's Akiva Binyamin - and below is the explanation we emailed to our friends.

--- We chose the name Akiva because Akiva was born during the week of Parshat Eikev. Also, I went into labor just before the start of Shabbat Nachamu, and labored all through it. Rabbi Akiva was known as a modest, gentle person, who offered consolation to the other Sages after the destruction of the Temple, in his interpretation of the presence of foxes in the Gehinnom Valley. We hope that Akiva's place in this world will be a consolation during the current war, just as Shabbat Nachamu begins the 7 weeks of consolation, following the 3 weeks of mourning. Rabbi Akiva also embodies the concept that every person has the capacity for greatness, and we hope our little Akiva will realize his capacity.

Binyamin was for Bryan's grandmother Blanche/Bluma. Akiva was born on 12 Av, exactly 2 years to the day after Granny Blanche's passing. Binyamin was one of the 4 people in Tanach who never sinned. ---

I was going to publish some pics, but they're just not uploading, time!


Anonymous lisoosh said...

Great well written post for someone who must be exhausted you gave me flashbacks to the births and first few days with my kids.
And for the record, you don't have the only husband who wandered around looking for food and complained a lot during her labor.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Dot Co Dot Il said...

Nice post. Hope to have one of my own soon - any day now whenever the baby decides....

8:53 AM  
Anonymous zahava said...


I LOVE the way you "tell it like it IS sista!" David started to snooze -- SNOOZE!!!! -- while I was in transition (SANS epidural with Yonah, thankyew very much!) and my natural instinct was to smack him upside the head while growling, "I'm SORRY! Am I BORING you?!"

And I second Lisoosh -- on all counts!

Keep up the good work, and keep up your good sense of humor!

1:14 AM  
Blogger Dot Co Dot Il said...

Yakira told me she would like to play with Akiva. What's his schedule like?

11:09 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Hi, I just found your blog on Elder of Ziyon, I think I met Bryan once: was he in London for awhile before making aliyah? Nice guy, but of course all us South African guys are the best! Anyway, mazal tov on Akiva, sounds like you were coping fine then and I'm sure things are even better now.

12:55 AM  
Blogger tnspr569 said...

Don't worry- life can always seem crazy. Seems like you're doing just fine :)

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mazel tov,
Great posts - we've just had a baby and are going through everything - knowing we are not alone is solace

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Baby Websites said...

Thank you for sharing. I sympathize for what you have been through all this for your baby. And I pray that Akiva became a smart and healthy child. Through your writings and also some baby websites, I can get useful information.

8:42 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home