The first time I am sitting down to write G is 8 weeks old. Wow. I can’t believe it. I’ll dive into the details of the first eight weeks of his life in another post. This one here, is about the first eight days of his life. Days that were excruciatingly long and ones that I didn’t know if I would survive. Of course I am being a bit dramatic but holy shit.
[pause - little dude just started wailing, after I put him to sleep less than 5 minutes ago...arg. We are dealing with a bout of reflux over here. #awesomesauce #itsalwayssomething]
Ok, what was I saying? Right. First eight days. Fucking chaos. I had an amazing delivery - I’ll spare you the details, but ladies, don’t hate me. I pushed for 7 minutes. #epiduralisthewaytogo. Grayson Thomas Cordell was born at 5:49am, 7lb 4oz, 20in long. I enjoyed the hospital stay this time around, ensured the room temp was to my liking (with #1 I had NO idea I could change the thermostat, which sat at 69 degrees the entire time in December); actually showered and changed into real person clothes the day of the birth; did my makeup for the baby photos; had the nursing thing down and didn’t freak every time a nurse walked in to check on us or run more tests; Jon and I laughed; I ordered his birth announcements (yes, I am that girl). I remember thinking, ok, I got this. He is SO different than Olivia, he is such a good baby.
Well, he is. Really. I am just a different mother. I am an experienced mother. Or so I thought.
His 4 day check up said his weight had dipped, not to an alarmingly low level, but dipped nonetheless. He was also a bit more jaundiced than they like. “Come back in two days” said the nice rando doctor. Ugh. I hated hearing that.
Day 5 we had the lactation consultant come; guys, I was so engorged that on day 4 I pumped 7 ounces. No joke. Just milk me like a fucking cow. Francesca with JOC is a life saver. She put together a program for the next 4 days that saved my boobs. They say by day 8 your milk should regulate and your body will adjust. So that was my goal. Just get to Day 8. If you ever find yourself in this situation, message me and I’ll happily share but for purposes of the entire world to read, I am not going into detail :)
So, on top of my boob issue, my hormones were like on another level. Like one I didn’t know existed. I was screaming at the hubs, picking fights, not backing down; not thinking clearly is an understatement. I was crying uncontrollably - like for two days straight. I checked the mail on Day 6 and my Glamour with Chrissy Teigen arrived (article HERE). She openly talked about her postpartum depression. I read it and thought, well, I don’t have any of those symptoms, but maybe? So I researched the hell out of it. I wanted to know what was wrong with me. Why was I not myself? Why could I not articulate anything? Why did nothing make sense to me. My mom even sat in on screaming match between the hubs and I and tried to mediate. Nothing was working. I just couldn’t see through the fog.
I’d like to think that my self-diagnosis and plan I put into place brought me out of this funk. Did I have PPD? No, I don’t think I did. And after meeting with a counselor and my own doctor weeks later, they don’t think I did either. BUT, for the record, if I did, I will be the first to admit it and know that it is ok. Turns out I was sleep-deprived (duh), and had dropped caffeine from my coffee the first week in the hopes of napping during the day. I have never gone a day without caffeine that I can honestly remember.
I didn’t have thoughts of suicide or of harming my sweet baby boy. I still very much woke everyday with a purpose, excited for whatever the day was going to bring. I tackled my to-do list with vigour, rested in the afternoon while Liv napped and Halima took Grayson. I didn’t sleep on the couch; I showered. Regularly.
I don’t know if it was the hormones of having a boy surging through my body or my own expectations of what this period would like based off my prior experience but I was not in a good place. Seeking counsel from my close friends, trying to listen to my husband and mom, eventually things got better.
I can now look back at the first couple weeks, laugh at the absurdity of my behavior, knowing I didn’t cause (too much) permanent damage to my marriage as Jon received the brunt of my irrationality, and just say there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are nowhere near the end though, but sleep is improving, we are going on date nights, I am working out again (Pure Barre - hallelujah!), my sweet boy is smiling and Liv is an utter angel always willing to help out. And I have my daily cup of (caffeinated) joe every morning :)