Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Following the birth, my kids all came down to see the new baby. I remember sitting on the sofa (covered in plastic) and cuddling Josiah. After the placenta came, only a few minutes later, we decided to move upstairs to my bedroom. I walked up the stairs and settled into bed. My bleeding was still free flowing so I took some po methergine and a little later a shot of pit. I felt fine, and was mostly just focused on the baby. A little while later my husband bought me a plate of pancakes. You know how the first food you eat after labor tastes so good. Those pancakes were like manna from heaven. All tucked in with my baby, I felt so pampered. A little while later after the doula, videographers and midwives had left I snuggled with the baby and napped. I had made several attempts to nurse him, but without success. It took him the better part of the day to get the hang of things. A week later he's doing great. Working with Josiah on breastfeeding has made me think a great deal about how I worked with my patients in the hospital. Josiah sleeps a lot. I never stress if he's been asleep for four hours or six hours till he eats again. But in the hospital we doggedly had to document breastfeeding every 2-3 hours or hear about it from the oncoming shift nurse. It feels so luxurious to feed him when he wants to be fed, not when someone else thinks he should be, to never have him out of my sight, not to have to send him to a nursery to have them do things to him that I can't see (things I used to have to do to babies). I feel overjoyed that I get to do things my way, and at the same time, guilt that other women were and are denied this same luxury, guilt that I denied them these things. I so treasure the ability to birth this way, to recover this way, to parent my baby this way. Every time I make one of these little "discoveries" it makes me renew my vow, never to return to hospital nursing. How can I? How can I choose to care for women in a way that is so personally unacceptable to me? I want women to know instead, how this feels. How it feels to birth and breastfeed intuitively and to trust one's own wisdom is such a gift. I love spending my days cuddling with my sweetylicious. To watch him nuzzle at the breast, even watching him sleep is a marvel. This is my little guy, my little baby. I grew him, and birthed him, and now I nourish him with my own milk. I inhale his baby sweetness and feel great contentment.