Saturday, December 17, 2011

Post-pregnancy: Crohn's and baby love

This was the front of our holiday card this year.  The photo is courtesy of Matt's super duper coworker who moonlights as a photographer, Jamie (check her out if you're in suburban Philly!), and the card is from Minted.  

Annie is tucked away in her Moby wrap with Dad, so that finally (woohoo, finally!) means I have a few moments to type.  

On Crohn's:  I went through a good week where my digestive system was absolutely, pitifully out of whack. It started about five days after Annie's delivery, which was not very fun as I was still in the heat of recovery from my (sigh) episiotomy.  You know you have a good marriage when your husband, very straight-faced, says after one of my bathroom runs, "Is your butt clean? (Thank you, honey.)  You should soak your butt in a bath so everything can heal."  (In truth, I ran several baths were I stole Annie's Burt's Bees bubble bath and I really do think it made everything better.)

Everything has settled down (I think I may have simply eaten some food that didn't agree with me) and I'm continuing with my maintenance medication, Pentasa.  My GI said to up my dosage following my delivery, but because my symptoms are currently in-check, and I'm breastfeeding, I'm very hesitant to do so.  There has been very little research on mesalamines and breastfeeding (although it is certain they do pass into the mother's breast milk), but due to the drug's category B status, there is currently little direct evidence of side effects to the baby except for an increase in diarrhea, although I still feel very "iffy" about the whole thing.  I think it's all about a balance of what's good for her, and for me, and it's something I will discuss when I see my doc in a few weeks.

On Motherhood: I spoke to my boss the other day and said very succinctly, "I love her to death, but I don't think I'm in love with motherhood yet."  I know it sounds harsh (and I thought about whether or not to even type this), but these past few weeks I've just felt out of it.  I miss being a part of humanity (even the crush of my god awful commute at times!).  I miss walking around the corner at work for a cup of coffee.  I miss my alone time where I could cuddle up with a good magazine in bed.  And even though I'm getting a decent amount of sleep, I am exhausted. Now when friends reach out (often over Gmail chat) I slowly peck out my responses with one hand, as I'm invariably holding and feeding her with the other.  How comes no one writes about this stuff?

The last few days, though, have been an absolute ball of bliss and I'm so relieved: her personality is coming out more and more and I'm finally interacting more and more with the little bugger.  I'm learning her grunts (and no, she does not coo, but grunts like an extra on The Walking Dead, and it's the dearest thing ever) and yesterday she had a blast grunting at her reflection in the mirror!  She even smiled!  We dance and look at the Christmas tree (she is absolutely, positively transfixed by the lights) and I'm starting to finally feel like more than a feeding trough.  I think she's beginning to really know Matt and me, and by golly, I think she likes us!  I return to work on February 13th, and I can safely say that date gets harder and harder to think about each and every day, and I've already had a few crying spells about it: 13 weeks just seems too young to put a little one in daycare.  It doesn't feel right at all, but it's our game plan for now.

Well, time to feed (but of course!).  Later we may go on a Trader Joe's outing and who knows what else the day holds in store for us.  I do know, however, it will be wonderful: I'm loving these little moments with Matt and Annie (or Jo-Jo as he calls her).

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