Six weeks

Wyatt turned six weeks old on Thursday. I’ve been debating about sharing too much about his birth and life on here as I want to protect his privacy. But here are a few things I thought I’d relay.

Both Zoe and Luke were born vaginally, and Wyatt was a planned induction, but he ended up being delivered by c-section. On ultrasounds, his head had consistently been measuring above the 99th percentile. He was also crooked in the birth canal. So when his ginormous head met by pelvic bone, it couldn’t get past. I was in immense pain by that point thanks to pitocin, which can induce incredibly strong contractions, and after over an hour of pushing (and six-plus hours of contractions) I just didn’t have anything left. Unfortunately, the epidural didn’t take full effect until I was being wheeled back to the OR. Then it took like four hours for me to regain full feeling in my lower body.

The rest of our two-plus days in the hospital passed in a haze. He had jaundice, and while he didn’t have to go under the special lights, he wore this weird glowing pad/blanket thing under his swaddle, so we called him a glow worm. For a while he was making these little critter-like sounds, so we also called him a guinea pig.

I’m incredibly proud to say that he is exclusively breastfed. With my daughter, I had low milk supply and had to supplement with formula her entire first year, which isn’t the worst thing, but it wasn’t how I envisioned my breastfeeding experience. With Wyatt, we have also encountered a fair number of roadblocks, which I may detail in a future post, but nonetheless I have been able to maintain sufficient production. I say this not to boast, as I have endured the pain of low supply in the past, but because I am proud of myself for persisting.

I’m not a particularly materialistic person or much of a consumer, and clutter stresses me out, so I’ve never had a traditional baby shower for any of my kids, and I’ve passed on a lot of the traditional baby items that people purchase. For example, we never had a true diaper bag for Zoe. We used a big black bag whose origins I don’t recall. But then the handle broke. For Wyatt, we’d been using a bag that a nonprofit sent us as thanks for a donation, but it’s a little smaller than I’d like and doesn’t have many compartments, so I found myself drifting to Etsy to order a real, actual diaper bag for which, like everything on Etsy, I paid way too much. I’ve also ordered a few pairs of pajamas that he doesn’t need and a couple of nursing tops that, truthfully, I don’t really need. I’m not really sure where these impulses are coming from, other than to reward myself for enduring the incredibly difficult experience that is pregnancy after loss, and to celebrate in some small way the birth of my rainbow child, which I had previously been too scared to celebrate.

With both of our living children, my husband and I have found humor to be a great coping tool for the intensity and stress of the early newborn days. Hence, when he cries over something like being slightly jostled or having his diaper changed, we pretend we are Wyatt and say indignantly, “Why would you DO that?” Or when he starts crying, it’s fun to shout, in my best George Costanza voice, “I’m gettin’ upset!”

Speaking of stress, I think that postpartum depression is something that needs to be addressed more honestly in the baby loss community. No one wants to admit that they are overwhelmed or stressed by caring for the rainbow baby they so desperately wanted and wished for, or that they feel trapped in an endless cycle of feeding, calming, and diaper changes, with no hope of ever returning to a sense of normalcy. I had these feelings with Zoe, and while they have existed to some degree with Wyatt, and caring for two children simultaneously is an adjustment, I have much better coping tools this time, and I also have Zoe as proof that eventually it all does stop and get easier. Still, I think it’s important for a loss mom who is caring for her first living child to be comfortable acknowledging these feelings, and not feel a lot of guilt and shame in the process.

Wyatt is already in three month clothes, and we just had to adjust his car seat, and he no longer smells like a newborn, and the past few days, he has been giving us adorable huge grins, and staring at lots of things in his surroundings. So he’s already growing up fast, and just like everything with raising kids, both living and dead, time passes so quickly, even when it seems like a lifetime.

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2 thoughts on “Six weeks

  1. Awww, I love your update. And I agree that people in the loss community need to be more honest about PPD and PPA. It’s a really tough thing to admit, because you should “just be thankful” once your living baby is here right? If only things were so simple. I’ve made references to PPD and PPA and posted about how depressed I feel or how crazy things are, but I’ve even been a little hesitant to go full on, full disclosure about it – like shout from the rooftops that I have PPD (which I think I do). Also, on the flip side, I will say it’s difficult to name it for what it is after loss. Anxiety? Depression? Grief? Regrief? A mix of everything? I don’t always know what I’m feeling anymore… I’m glad you’re finding some humor. This helps Mark and me too. And your Wyatt is adorable. Glad to hear he’s doing so well and that the breastfeeding is going well (relatively) too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have done an amazing job of being honest and open about all of it, and I have learned so much helpful insight, even if I don’t always get a chance to express it. I think I am referring to the part of postpartum issues specifically where you feel like you spend 24/7 caring for the baby and that your life is measured in the intervals between feedings. It’s easy in those moments to wonder why you ever wanted a baby in the first place, especially if your spouse went back to work after 2 weeks, or didn’t get any time of at all, and you are trying to do so much of it on your own and just feel like you will never get your life back. I think it’s normal to feel that way, but loss moms may feel guilt and shame over such thoughts more acutely than other moms. It’s not something I’ve seen addressed much publicly and I wish our community felt like they could be more open about it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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