Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Way Things Are

It's a twofer today!  First, let's check in on what life with Amelia is like:

So far, Amelia is not much of a crier, but boy howdy does she make some bizarre noises.  She's sleeping in a bassinet about two feet away from my side of the bed, and throughout the night she serenades us with an odd combination of grunts, gargles, and bleats.  I usually know she's about to wake up wanting to eat when she starts snorting like Welly trying to ferret a chipmunk out from under the porch.

And in other news:
 I feel great.  I've stopped taking my pain medication and have gotten the all-clear from my OB to drive, pick up heavy objects, and do non-abdominal exercise.  I'm shedding weight pretty quickly thanks to breastfeeding and the coordination it takes to take two children and a dog for walks, but I'm still mostly stuck in maternity clothes and yoga pants.  But I've got a fitness plan and several short- and long-term goals (Glacier National Park backcountry, I'm looking at YOU), and being stuck in yoga pants means that spontaneous yoga can occur at any time.  Resume downward dog!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


On Monday, March 24 at 10:42 AM, we welcomed Amelia Rose Martin into the world to the chorus of Katy Perry's "Roar." 

I had a hunch that she was going to be dark-headed.  If Lucy is our fair-skinned and blonde-haired sweet tea and peaches baby, Amelia seems to have gotten a few of my Mediterranean genes with her dark hair and olive complexion.  The Italian heritage lives on!

Where can I start?  This time was so much different than last time.  I won't lie; at some points in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I half-wished that I would spontaneously go into labor, not be able to reach anybody on the phone, and deliver Amelia at home with no drugs or surgery involved.  Of course that was a stupid idea and I am extremely fortunate it didn't happen that way.  Everything happened right on time, from the moment Will's sister showed up to watch Lucy to when we were wheeled out of surgery.

Not laboring beforehand made all the difference in the world.  I was alert and lucid throughout the whole morning.  I joked with the nurses.  I talked more to my OB about his recent vacation than about the surgery.  I answered the tech's questions about national parks.  I teased my anesthesiologist about his weird fixation on bears (in retrospect, you should probably never tease your anesthesiologist).  And I was literally singing when Amelia was born.

So I didn't get my all-natural cavewoman girl power birth.  But you know what?  As medical and drug-induced as Amelia's birth was, that's almost how non-medical and natural my recovery has been.  After I had Lucy, most of what I remember is a haze of pain, unpleasant nights, and general shell-shock.  Three days after we returned home, this all culminated in a night that can only be described as wretched for everyone involved as I tried to undo the ramifications of laboring for twelve hours, getting the epidural, undergoing major abdominal surgery, and then being put on narcotics right away to kill the pain.  Having overcome that, it was still several weeks before I felt well enough to get outside and move around.

This time, when they offered me the hydrocodone, I asked if I could try staying off the narcotics.  They put me instead on regular old Motrin and Tylenol.  It didn't kill the pain, but I remembered my bad experience the first time around and found other ways to cope with the soreness.  When I got a gas bubble trapped in my shoulder from the IV, Will and I walked, with him pushing Amelia in her bassinet, up and down the corridor to try to diffuse it.  When the spot where I had gotten the spinal began to interrupt my sleep, I got out of bed and did some gentle yoga, easing out the tension in my spine.  I breathed.  I laughed.  Mostly I snuggled Amelia and let the feel-good baby hormones do their work.

As a result, this past week I've actually had to stop and remind myself that I'm not supposed to drive, or else I'd have packed up the girls and driven to the mountains for a picnic.  The hardest part has been being restricted from picking Lucy up until my two-week checkup.  Amelia has been eating, sleeping, and pooping like she was born to do it, and Lucy has been sweet and gentle with her.  Will has, once again, been the ultimate champion of parenting and is forever my hero.  And of course, we have tons of loving family and friends coming by every day, for which I am outrageously thankful.

So, all I have to say is, watch out world, because in five weeks when I have my final follow-up and my incision is healed, the Martin girls are going to party like we're living in a Katy Perry song.