Today, one week after Mackenzie’s birth, I weighed in at just 4 lbs heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight.
You might ask: “Wow, Anne… how did you manage that?”
Not on purpose, I’ll tell you that right now.
Let me introduce you to my friend The Stomach Bug.
Unfortunately, my dad brought a nasty gastrointestinal variety of the Dreaded Gamboo with him from California when he came out for Mackenzie’s birth. He didn’t realize it until it hit him hard the day after she was born. Many lysol wipes and buckets of purel later, Scott and I were both sick as well. Scott’s mom was spared, as was (thank you for answered prayers) Mackenzie.
My dad stayed on several extra days, taking the graveyard shift with Mackenzie so Scott and I could try and recover fully from this sickness. I honestly don’t know how we would have made it without his help.
I remember a low point one night when I needed to take her upstairs and feed her, but I honestly didn’t have the strength to lift her up from the couch and carry her up the stairs. Scott was already passed out in bed. In tears, I asked my dad if he would carry her for me, then I collapsed in the glider in the nursery and fed her.
Several positives have come from this crazy week:
– I’ve been very blessed to have an abundance of milk, despite my sickness and not being able to stomach many calories.
– We have been humbled and now accept offers of help gratefully, rather than try to do everything on our own.
– Because I have very limited energy reserves, I’ve had to consciously stop myself from cleaning up around the house and doing less important tasks. This has helped me really focus on Mackenzie and just loving her and comforting her every way I can. I’ve truly had to give up some of my desires so I could have energy to be a good Mom to her.
– We spent some really great time with my dad, taking more photos of Mackenzie, learning his philosophy on parenting, and just enjoying his company.
– Mackenzie got some late night bonding time with Grandma Bean before Grandma had to catch a plane back to Utah. This was another tear-inducing moment for me, when I stumbled down to the basement at 4 am to take Nancy up on her generous offer to help “anytime, really”. I was fighting the feeling that I had somehow failed as a mom because I reached the end of my rope and needed a break. Phew! Glad that’s behind me. 😉
– One memory that will stay with me for a long time, was waking up at 9am on my own, after a very restful stretch of sleep. Grandpa had Mackenzie in the basement most of the night, and I was just called in for her feeding times. The night before, I had felt like I had been through the wringer and would never be normal again, but because of my dad’s help… I woke up feeling like a sane person. I walked down to the basement in a state of shock and was greeted with the sight of my dad stretched out on the air mattress asleep and snoring with his tiny granddaughter sleeping on the floor next to the bed, all bundled up and sighing contentedly in her sleep. Needless to say, there were more tears. 🙂
– My mom moved heaven and earth to come out a week earlier than planned, so she will be here tomorrow to help out. We’re excited to introduce her to her granddaughter!
– There was a time when we were very worried Mackenzie had caught the same bug we had. When we had her checked out by a pediatrician and were told she was fit as a fiddle, the relief was overwhelming. I realized it didn’t so much matter to me that I was sick (though all things considered, I certainly prefer not having horrible stomach cramps), I was just thrilled that our sweet girl had been spared.
– We have learned to appreciate Mackenzie’s angelic disposition. She really is a sweetheart and a great nurser and so fun to hold. All I have to do is look at her face and know it’s all worth it. All of it. 🙂
In case you doubt the angelic disposition: