Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the aftermath

Silas was two weeks old yesterday. Hard to believe that he's only been in our house for such a short time. He feels like a permanent fixture in our daily lives already.

The aftermath of the birth has been more difficult than I anticipated...but in different ways than I thought it would be.

At this stage, the little man is super-sleeper. Most nights he only wakes up every 2-3 hours to eat and then he tucks back into his little basket to hibernate. He isn't especially fussy. He sits contentedly in his little chair much of the time. And since he's a little lighter than his predecessor, the baby carrier is working out much better for me this time around. He even endured a 3 hours shopping trip with my mom yesterday...without a peep. All that to say, Silas has taken it easy on me right from the start.

After delivering a toddler the first go-round, I admit that the aftermath of physical recovery from this birth has been much quicker and easier. Besides my energy level and a few aches here and there, I'm feeling better than I did in the last month of pregnancy! I confess that 3 days after having that baby, I started thinking about how nice it would be to go for a run. Yesterday during nap time, I dreamt I was in a half-marathon. (That I hadn't trained for:) Don't worry. I haven't laced up my shoes yet...but I can assure you that it's been many moons since the thought of a run was remotely appealing. So that's progress:)

The difficulty has mainly been in a variety of ailments that have popped up that are unrelated to the birth. No doubt, my lowered immune system has been the primary factor in these battles.

A few days after delivery, I picked up a stomach bug. After 6 months on continent, I'm not too careful about water and food. That was a mistake post-delivery. And I payed dearly for it for 4 days. It was miserable. Accompanying the bug was a fever of 101-102 that lasted for 3 days. We were, of course, concerned it was an infection related to the birth. That worry exasperated the ordeal. I was so relieved when the doctor finally ruled out all things birth related and said it was just a virus.

The ailment of the week this week was an obscure rash that started on my foot and slowly spread to cover my legs. It was mysterious. It was insanely itchy. And it was rashes are often connected to dengue fever here. After tossing and turning for a few hours that night, I got up and sent an email to some praying friends. And would you believe, within 2 hours of asking for their prayers, it had almost disappeared. By morning, there was no sign it had ever been there. I felt like I was watching a miracle take place as it dissolved. God really does hear. And I was thankful his answer was relief for me.

What has primarily been on my mind as I've waded through these waters? (Besides "how on earth am I going to make it with 2 kids?":)

The gift of this little life. And the mingling of joy with pain. I'll take the lowered immune system and a few weeks of weird ailments. Silas is worth it. This thought has been magnified for me particularly with this new addition because last summer, some dear friends lost their little one when the wife was 37 weeks pregnant. I delivered Silas at 39 week. She was not far from my mind. No doubt, she dealt with the aftermath of birth...but with no little hands to watch tighten around her finger. No little baby noises to wake her up at night.

The thought has both increased my prayers for the mothers I know who have lost little ones, and heightened my gratitude in this season. The perspective shift has done me good. It has made my light suffering sweeter and richer. And my prayers more rightly humble. Thankful for the providence that is wiser, and more fitting for my good than what I would choose. The aftermath has been good for my soul. I am thankful.

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