Sunday, August 16, 2009

Out so soon?

Update: so I wrote and briefly edited this, shut down my machine and went to bed. I immediately started worrying about how this post would be perceived. So after the one am feeding, I'm adding this update to address: would someone read it and feel like I was suggesting postpartum depression doesn't exist or isn't debilitating? Nothing would be further from what I believe!

I was really concerned that I was a moderate to high risk for PPD and I've read a good deal about how terrible it can be. I have been taking evening primrose oil as it is supposed to be good for helping to prevent PPD and to ease the baby blues in general. I'm delighted that I seem to have escaped the worst of it - I've definitely been intermittently weepy and irritable - just ask poor DH who has had to absorb the worst of my weepy/cranky.

At any rate, I intended this post to celebrate how well my postpartum time has gone so far, and to wonder at how many people feel it's comment-worthy that we're out and about. As my dad pointed out, at Em's age, I'd already been flown from Vancouver, British Columbia to San Antonio, Texas.

Back to regularly scheduled programming...

So, with a lot of help, I gave birth to my huge healthy little baby 17 days ago (birth story, yes, still to come). We were kept in hospital for two days, and then were sent home, with a prescription for a painkiller I didn't want to delay in filling. So we stopped at a pharmacy to fill it on the way home. It was while waiting for the prescription to be filled that we made that momentous first trip to Starbucks with little Em.

Since then, we have left the house every day. Some days, it's just to the neighbourhood Starbucks and then the park - both within a few blocks. But often, and within the first week home, up to ten or fifteen blocks away to grocery shop or run small errands - like the big trip to the pediatrician's office on her fourth day. Ok, we drove to the ped's office for the first visit, but the subsequent two visits, I walked with her in the stroller. I'd tell you how far it is but I can't seem to coax Google Maps to show me the distance measuring tool. It's probably a kilometer (just under half a mile).

On one of those subsequent visits (she would have been 6 or 8 days old), a guy walked up from behind me and remarked "small enough baby!" I was so stunned, I didn't think of anything to say until he was blocks away (we were out but moving slowly). I wanted to say "she's huge - just very new!" or "you push nine pounds of baby out your ass and we'll talk about small!" But I didn't. And now, after talking to a lot of other people, random people on the street, friends and family and whatnot, it seems that it's weird to be out and about with her so young.

No one has any specific concerns they're sharing with me, and most, unlike Mr Small Enough, have communicated themselves differently, saying things like wow,I'm impressed you're out and about already, or I was such a mess at that stage, I didn't leave the house for weeks.

I don't get it though. I feel fine - tired from a lot of interrupted sleep, sure, and sore in some special places, and anxious about breastfeeding - but fine, overall. Em is healthy and gaining weight. She may not be breastfeeding directly, but she has eaten only breastmilk, so she should have my immunity to things in the environment, which I think is pretty good - I tend to be pretty healthy.

So I don't know why I'm supposed to be stuck at home? I don't feel like being at home. Maybe we just have a weirdly small apartment for new parents - that could be part of it. I think it does contribute to my feeling cooped up. But I don't think that's all. I can't quite place my finger on it, but it feels like maybe I'm supposed to be at home fainting or weeping?

Anyway, I'm good. Thanks for asking!

Anyone else have an apparently atypical recovery?


rico said...

I personally think it is AWESOME that you are "out and about" (said with a Canadian accent of course!) with Emily so early. Personally I think that exposure to the environment/stimulus is good for baby and the exercise/sunshine/stimulus is good for mommy. But then this is the opinion of a guy with no kids. Sending you wishes for good sleeps!

Tommy & Michelle said...

Hey Carolyn,
Just checked out your pictures. Emily is so precious. She looks very strong and you are doing a great job. Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing. It is good to be out and about. Will had been to most monuments and a few museums by the time he was 4 weeks old (although I felt a little guilty). Remember to get some rest too!

CaroLyn said...

@Rico - thank you for the wishes and for stopping by! I definitely think the exercise is good for me - I'm feeling more human/normal every day.

@Michelle - thank you too! We're getting the hang of breastfeeding, slowly but surely. We are trying to nap every afternoon - Alex has her out right now so I'm off to bed! :)