Like most new moms, bringing home a new baby was everything and nothing I expected all the same time. Shock and awe as I have best heard it described. While my memory is foggy of the first few days... the weeks that followed are well etched in my memory as some of the most incredible and also tough moments of my life. Sleep deprivation really does trump all, and so does the doubt that sits at the bottom of every new mom’s stomach. That you're doing it right, that you're doing it wrong, and let's be honest, that you can do it at all.
As I have blogged about before. I was induced at 37 weeks due to pregnancy related hypertension and the early signs of pre-eclampsia. Rory was born (and still is) a beautiful bouncing baby boy, but he was tiny. Border line underweight (5lbs, 8 ounces is the marker and that is exactly what Rory weighed in at). Tiny babies need special care. They can't lose the 10% of their body weight that is typical in those first few days as babies sleep off their labour woes and wait for mamma's milk to arrive. I am not going to rehash the stress of caring for a tiny baby, it's all to say... I have spent a great deal of time focusing on the health of my baby and in the process have neglected my own.
As a side note - Rory has totally caught up to the rest of the babies his age. At almost 7 months, he is in the 50th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for height. He is going to be TALL!
I have a few doctor moms following my blog now so here is some warning. This will likely shock you. I canceled my 6 week post natal check up. It was a particularly tough day, we don't have family here to offer help, and we were already seeing a family doctor and a lactation consultant (separately) every week. And I just couldn't do any more. I remember being so tired, and honestly thought it just wasn't that big of a priority. So no problem right? I planned to rebook it. Except that day never came. Life just took over. Almost 7 months later and I still haven't received any post natal care. Ridiculous. I am not proud of this. This is the exact stuff I have given my own mom such a hard time about for years. Spending too much time fussing over her children, and not enough time taking care of her own health.
So here's the deal. I don't feel great. In fact, I am utterly exhausted. I feel it everywhere. But the exhaustion I can deal with (and let's face it, I am certainly not the only exhausted mom out there). It's the chest pains I have been having for a few months (with increasing frequency and intensity) that have me a bit down. It feels like someone is squeezing the left side of my chest. It happens several times a day, it's lasts for about 30 seconds, and sometimes it is so intense it will take my breath away. I have tried to pay close attention to triggers or a pattern of when the chest pains occur, but they seem to happen at irregular times and situations. For instance, I got one while at rest in bed this morning.
So I finally saw my doctor on Monday. I was honest about my lack of post-natal care and the look on her face pretty much said it all. Not that the chest pains have anything to do with post-natal care, but I am sure you see my point. The good news is that my blood pressure is 120/80 which apparently is text book, so at least I don't have to worry about that.
So in the next couple of weeks I am having a slew of blood work done, an x-ray of my chest and an echocardiogram. It makes me sort of sad to blog about me not taking care of my health. I of anyone should know better. Anyway, for all you new moms... take care of yourselves. Babies can't care for themselves, having mamma around is pretty important for that. You know... historically my body in different ways has told me I need to take better care of it. If that is what is happening, it definitely hasn't gone unnoticed. I am a fresh with a healthy body and mind focus. It sort of feels like everyone has been getting a piece of me recently, except me... that definitely is high on my agenda to change.
Here is to a healthy 2011!