April 30, 2009

From Bananas to Monkeys

One of my favorite songs of all time is Laurie Anderson’s "Language Is a Virus." This lil’ ditty contains a most apropos set of lyrics that I would like to apply to my early postpartum recovery period:

Paradise is exactly like where you are right now, only much, much better.

Let me set the picture for you: Imagine that your insides have been blown apart. As you recover from such an incident, a sick monkey sits by your side, whimpering. Normally, he is a swell monkey, but now he is sick and unhappy, punctuating your few moments of blessed, contemplative silence with whining.

The monkey has a new friend, a tiny mosquito. Every two or three hours, this mosquito sucks the life force out of your blown-apart body. Each time you think you might be recovering or getting a tad bit of energy, the lil’ bloodsucker returns to drain you dry.

When you are recovering from a repeat c-section, each day seems to greet you with some new indignity—like a sitz bath, make that multiple sitz baths! In the postpartum days with Bertram, I accepted the low points of new motherhood with alacrity because I had the wonder of the first time on my side. Now the parenting merry-go-round ride has become less novel, and I slouch toward my upcoming days with a newborn and toddler in tow.

Yes, I am lucky to have two beautiful, healthy children. Yes, I love them. Yes, yes, yes. But when the monkey’s teeth make him whine, the lil’ mosquito cannot be sated, and my body is trying to find its way back to its former shape, both inside and out, I will be thinking about paradise being so close to where I am right now, only much, much, much…better.

April 28, 2009

No Longer Top Banana

The third trimester was not kind to Parental Unit #1, so the posts dwindled down to nothing. I hope that will change now that young Mistress Vivian has arrived.

What a shock it was to see this tiny baby with so much spiky brown hair! I guess I was expecting a female version of Bertram—the Aryan poster child. Our little Vivian has a tiny stork bite on her left eyelid, and a cute button nose. Young Master Bertram isn’t quite sure what to make of his sister.

When Bert first saw his baby sister in the plastic, salad-type bin that they keep the babies in at the hospital, he immediately wanted to hold her. So Parental Unit #2 put Bert in his lap, and then put Vivian in Bert’s lap. Bert had a few precious moments of looking at his sister with such a tender, focused look. I wish we had captured that in a photo. He then decided that he was “all done,” and just like that, he pushed her away. In fact, if I recall correctly (my mind was in a medicated haze), he urged us to return her to the plastic salad bin from whence she came.

Luckily, we distracted him with ice cream. According to a book we’ve been reading, being a big brother means being able to eat ice cream, pizza, and other treats that are off-limits to a gum-snapping newborn. At long last, young Master B enjoyed his big brother treat and kicked back with yours truly in the “magic” hospital bed to watch cartoons on a huge, flat-screen television.

Meanwhile, little Vivian napped with her grandparents, unaware of her brother’s tv-viewing shenanigans and general displeasure with these things called “commercials.”