Tuesday, April 8, 2008

it's nice to be lucid (and other random thoughts)

One advantage of not having a c-section: You don't have to spend your first post-partum week(s) on narcotic painkillers. I've definitely noticed the difference in mental clarity. After Daniel was born, I remember standing in the shower, the hot water running over me, thinking — swearing — that I could hear a baby wailing in the background. I'd turn off the shower and call to Steve, asking if everything was OK, and he'd tell me Daniel was sound asleep. I'd turn the shower back on and hear the wailing again. Just a trick of the water. That doesn't happen to me this time.

Two weeks. Has it really gone by so quickly? Steve goes back to work tomorrow, and that will be the greatest challenge so far. If Sunday's trial run is any indication, it's going to be hard for Daniel, too. Those two are so bonded — Daniel clings to his dad so much these days — that I fear their separation will be very stressful. How much does Daniel love his daddy? Let me count the ways: When he wakes up in the middle of the night, he calls out, "Daddy, daddy!" When Steve goes to the bathroom or empties the trash, Daniel wails, "Daddy, daddy!" until Steve lets him into the bathroom or comes back inside. And Sunday, when Steve left for an hour to run an errand, Daniel stood by the front door or the front window, crying, "See Daddy. Daddy soon." He was sobbing so hard that I could not console him, although finally I was able to put Ben down and pick him up, and that helped a little. Thanks to me, Daniel even knows his daddy's other name, and if he doesn't get his attention with "Daddy, daddy," sometimes he switches to "Steve, Steve." Am I going to be able to fill the void left when Steve goes back to work?

I wish I knew when my hip will heal up. The midwife says it could be weeks, given that the relaxin hormone that caused the loose joint problems in the first place is still in my body and might stay there longer because I'm breastfeeding. My chiropractor seemed surprised yesterday that I wasn't feeling better yet. I haven't been back to the physical therapist — she's just too far away, and I don't have time — though I might try to find a closer one. Having to use my cane to get around definitely hampers my mobility, and I fear it also will hamper my ability to care for Daniel and Ben at the same time.

Among the Pulitzer Prize winners announced yesterday, I was especially interested in the winning feature article from the Washington Post. It was about the reaction (or lack thereof) communters had when acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell busked in a D.C. subway station. Few people realized they were in the presence of one of the world's top violinists; and he earned just $30 after playing for about 40 minutes. It was an interesting experiment. Steve and I became Joshua Bell fans when he was a guest conductor for a few concerts each year with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. His stint ended last spring, and we went to see him on his farewell weekend. It was an amazing concert, just like all the shows he did. He plays with passion and abandon, and he usually breaks a few bow hairs in the process. We'd watch them fly around as he played, oblivious to them until the end of the movement, when he'd calmly break them off.


Monkeymama said...

I forgot about the "baby crying in the shower" trick of water - that happened when Rebecca was born, but not Joseph.

Maybe you can develop a routine so that Daniel can watch for Steve coming home from work each day - that helped Rebecca when she went through one of her many Papa phases. He might be too young, but sometimes we email Papa too, when I'm just not cool enough.

I hope your hip gets better soon! (And prayers for your doctor visit.)

Emilie said...

Sarah - we do have sort of a "coming home" routine. We'll have to start it up again. And we call Steve on the phone and talk to him several times a day. :)

liz said...

Do you think Daniel would like doing things to show to Steve when he gets home? As in, "let's make a drawing/art project to show Daddy when he gets home tonight"? Maybe making things for Daddy would pass some time... ?

Otherwise, I'm at a loss, but I am sure you will handle this with your usual grace. I am so glad you're feeling lucid :) but I sure hope your hip catches up soon!

Jo on the go said...

Thanks so much for posting that Washington Post story link! I loved it. It is amazing that we are so busy that we can't recognize beauty when it's not all dressed up in $100 tickets or gilded frames. It's wonderful to have friends like you who help me notice things, examine them and appreciate nuance.

liz said...

P.S. I love Joshua Bell!

Ahuva Batya said...

IN my heightened hormonal state, I was crying buckets reading about Daniel crying for Steve. I'm sure you will find many ways to fill the void, and the anticipation of Daddy returning at the end of the day. I'm sorry your hip is still hurting though. I hope it improves SOON.

kristine said...

I am interested to see what you find works for you guys. I know this is something we will have a hard time with as well.
I had forgotten all about the baby crying while in the shower.. Ha ha! I think we all do it!
Good luck with everything and I hope your hip feels better - SOON!

Beth said...

I know the feeling, I can't leave Wyatt at childcare during aerobics, I can't even set him down. At least he's content to watch me. So, I don't really have advice either, but I do know there will be a Mommy phase too. Good luck~

Ellen said...

I am sure there will be some transition time but I'm sure it will be easier and shorter than you think. Everything will be fine. Maybe daddy going away will be a good way for him to focus on being a big older brother!