Thursday, October 15, 2009
On December 31, 2009, at 10:30am on the dot, Henry Guang-Hao Anderson was born. My doctor induced me exactly 1 week early due to a preeclamptic condition. The magnesium they administered - to prevent seizures - prolonged my labor and made me lethargic, sweaty, and exhausted. My poor husband Chris, sister Elaine, and brother Michael stayed up with me all night. They fed me ice chips and continuously changed the cold towels draped around my face and neck. They pressed the epidural button once every ten minutes. It is all a blur, but I remember four things very clearly: 1) Chris dozing off by my bedside and almost grabbing the IV's out of my arm as he caught himself; 2) Elaine, jumping up and down in the background cheering me on as I pushed, "You can do it Joyce, you're almost there!" -- she succeeded in hiding her true thoughts, which were "How is she going to get that baby out of her little body? This is not happening."; 3) I remember asking Michael as he quietly cheered me on, "Wait, are you watching the birth?" He replied, "NO. Of course not, I'm facing the wall"; and 4) I remember our perfect little Henry.
After 22 hours of labor Henry arrived pink and swollen. There was an initial scare - a half dozen doctors and nurses whisked him away for tests, but all was well in the end. We spent four nights in the hospital: one night getting induced; one night having surgery to drain a hematoma in my nether region; and two nights recovering.
The first month was physically exhausting. I have never been so fat. I had gained 40 pounds during my pregnancy, and my entire body was ridiculously swollen from all the IV fluids and antibiotics. Let's not forget the stitches to repair the tear and the drained hematoma. I was a mess, but a happy hot mess. Thankfully, ten private kickboxing sessions and 9+ months of nursing magically transformed my body into something better than it was before. My girlfriends are all considering the pregnancy and delivery weight loss plan -- could this be the next fad?
Many thanks to our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends who brought us food, hand-me-downs, advice, love and well wishes. Without their love and support Henry would probably be sitting in a gutter somewhere eating guppies and bathing in sewage - he would be thrilled.
Best tip I received for the first month: Get out of the house with or without the baby. Thanks E!