First off, could this face BE any cuter?
I’ve had 5 babies. Hearing those words, typing those words, it’s still unbelievable to me. 10 years ago right now I was preparing to graduate college and planning a wedding. If someone would have said to me, “10 years from now you’ll have 5 kids!” I would have laughed and said they were crazy! Yes, the plan was always a big family, but 5 kids in 8 years? Wow. I had Steve fairly on board with 4 (although from the name of this blog you can see that he was more keen on three) and neither of us really thought 5 was even an option. I always wanted 5, but I knew he didn’t so I didn’t push it. God had other plans for us though, and as I look at Chessa snoozing next to me I can physically feel that my heart is finally full. There was still this tiny little gap and now that she’s tucked her little 7lb self in there there is no doubt in my mind our family is complete and I’m looking forward to the next stage of watching them all grow into amazing people.
So, back to the “I’ve had 5 babies” thing. You would think after 5 babies I’d have this whole pregnancy, birth, post partum thing down pat. Granted, every one of my births has been unbelieveably different from the one before, but there are similarities that run through them all. The most outstanding similarity is Day Three. Nine years ago I started this journey completely trusting the medical community with my body and my child. It failed me. Twice. So, after Alaina and Addison on Day Three I blamed them. I sat, I cried, I blamed everyone I could think of from the nurses who roughly shook my babies to get them to cry to the doctors who preformed procedures I hadn’t consented to for the horrible feelings I was feeling. With Noah I had an amazing natural birth, but still Day Three came and there was that flood of doom and gloom again. Maggie, I blamed Day Three on the unplanned transfer from my homebirth to the hospital for a c-section.
Yesterday was Day Three. I woke up yesterday morning and almost immediately the tears started. I layed and nursed Chessa with the other four kids crawling around our bed watching cartoons. When I got out of bed I was hit by a wave of exhaustion, soreness, and loneliness. I immediately reached out to my my friend Teran and started typing out an insanely long text to her about how lonely I felt and before I even hit send she called me to check on how I was feeling that morning. We have this wonderfully bizarre connection, and I’m pretty sure she knows how I feel before I do. I burst into tears and just unloaded on her how alone I felt and how every inch of my body ached. Laying down and sitting makes my tailbone pain worse. Standing makes my cramping and abdomenal pain worse. I felt like I just couldn’t win. After listening to me rant finally Teran said to me, “Christina. It’s Day Three.” I of course was like, “What the hell does that mean?” And then it hit me. I had a big “AH HA!” moment. My usual way of dealing with Day Three is to get the heck out of the house, even if it is just to the grocery store. However, towards the end of my pregnancy I started having some mild anxiety and it seems to be creeping back because just taking Chessa to her first doctor appointment on day two was enough to make my chest tighten and a sense of panic set in. I was going to have to come up with a new way to deal with Day Three this time around.
Most woman come home from the hospital after 48 hours. Think about your Day Three. Your nurses aren’t taking care of you any more. No one is telling you how adorable your baby all day anymore. Your milk fully comes in and adds extra pain on top of the already existing aches and pains from birth. Your baby morphs from this peaceful angelic creature who slept for 2 days straight into a demanding angelic creature who seems to sleep MUCH less (although Chessa is still a dreamy baby, I don’t remember liking my other kids this much on day three. Kidding. Kinda.) With a homebirth your sense of time after the baby is born is sort of skewed. I didn’t expect the Day Three crash b/c none of those factors were there. But, crash I did. Hard. Thank God for good girl friends who provide endless hours of comedic relief to take my mind off The Crash. Jill is already starting her antics (she had Maggie rolling over at some insanely early age thanks to her persistance) and Antonette is already trying to teach her inappropriate words (one of Maggie’s first words was Beer.) I have been truely blessed with the friends I have made during this crazy Motherhood thing. Today’s the day to pick myself back up and keep moving on. Looking forward. I promised Alaina back on Tuesday that if I was feeling ok enough I would take her to therapy so Miss Maria could meet Chessa. Say a little prayer for me that the anxiety stays away.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me lately why I want to be a post partum doula, and the answer is simple- Day Three. Now that our family is complete I can’t wait to help other moms through their Day Threes. I’ve had 5 Day Threes and each one has sucked just as bad as the one before it. No woman should be alone, with out another female, to support her on Day Three. As much as our husbands love us they don’t get it. They are also going through their own adjustments after birth, and I think that often gets over looked. I think it’s especially important for woman like me, who don’t ask for help.