Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I am grateful for the chance to be an NGP

In part because of Lyn's recent complications, I've been spending a lot of my time taking care of her. Some of that care is physical: massages are particularly soothing for her right now. Some of the care is emotional. Much of the care consists of doing the lion's share work needed to take care of Leigh and our increasingly filthy house. Lately I'm tired a lot and emotionally drained from all of the worrying. But I'm also grateful.

I've realized over the last few days what a gift it is to be the supportive partner to a woman who is giving birth. I get to be protective and nurturing in way that Lyn does not because she has to be focused on herself and getting her body through to the finish line. I remember from my own labor how completely self-absorbing the experience of labor is. I didn't think about the imminent arrival of Leigh during labor. Mostly I thought about getting myself through the next hurdle. I wasn't being selfish, it's just that labor is a pretty all-encompassing experience; there simply isn't room for anything or anyone else.

This time around I actually get to focus on my love for the people involved. I get to take good care of my wife and do everything in my power to help her have a positive and healthy experience. I get to take care of my baby-to-be, sending him positive energy he goes through the most difficult experience of his life so far. This is an experience unique to the non-gestational parent. You get to pull yourself out of your own head and really be there for two people you love. I didn't realize until there was great need how satisfying I would find that experience.

As for the update, things are looking pretty good. Lyn got back good labs today that leaves us feeling hopeful. Our induction date is somewhat later than we had thought it would be -- not until early in the last week of May. It still may get moved up, but the later date will allow us time to work on less invasive induction/preparation methods like acupuncture.

The milk project continues to go well. On Sunday I pumped 9mL, on Monday 15mL, and on Tuesday 30mL. We'll see what I get today. These amounts might seem tiny, but the pattern looks vaguely exponential to me (with an equation looking something like 5e^0.6). If this trend continues, then in a week I'll be pumping about 68 ounces a day and my breasts will explode.

Oh, and eagle eyed readers will note the use of the pronoun "he." Yes, dear readers and friends, we are having a boy. So there's another new experience we'll get to write about!

8 comments:

JenLF said...

This is a beautiful post that brought tears to my eyes. :)

I feel so blessed that I am getting to experience parenting both a boy and a girl. (Despite my protests that I didn't care what Ava was!) I had a real yearning for a son, but didn't realize how much I also wanted a daughter until recently.

Can't wait to meet him!!

giggleblue said...

i agree, this is a beautiful post and i'm happy for your up and coming new role! i did catch on to the fact that you used "he" throughout the post and i'm excited for the fact that you will be adding some man bits to the mix! i'm sure he's going to be quite handsome.

and i almost died laughing at your math equation and the 68 oz. conclusion! i'm happy things are going well in the lactation department - pumping is not for the faint at heart, so i am really proud of your accomplishments!

Amy said...

Oh - he's on his way! How exciting - a boy! I'm so impressed with Operation Milk Production too - you are already an amazingly dedicated mom. Counting the days till we meet your sweet young man....

Sarah F said...

I'm so thrilled for both of you! - for your son soon-to-be-in-our-world (and can't wait to meet him!), for the positive lactation results, and for the great news about Lyn.
And I naturally burst out laughing when I came upon the math equation. For us social scientists out there who only took statistics: how the heck would I "say" it even?!
(I seriously said "carrot top" for a marking I have no clue on)
XOXO

mommytoo said...

congratulations on having a boy! so wonderful.

i loved finding all the ways i could support my wife, while she was pregnant and then in labor. you really learn to play to your strengths.

Miryam said...

Oy, I am so jealous that you are so giving and selfless with your pregnant partner! And happy for you and her. Mine complains that since our three year old came along, I have been more self-absorbed than I've ever been! Seems almost impossible. Oh well, motherhood has had that effect on me since I feel like I give to our daughter all the time and have little time to myself. I hope I can pull it together in time for the birth...

Lyn said...

Miryam-- I had some minor gripes, too, early in the pregnancy, and secretly (or not so secretly?) wished for a bit more coddling. I have now dropped any and all complaints. Gail truly has been pulling out all of the stops these last couple weeks to keep me cared for and our family afloat. It feels trite to look for good in a fairly scary health problem, but I have been feeling really close to Gail, and extremely grateful for her, as we've been finding our way through this worry, planning and itching.

oneofhismoms said...

It must be even nicer to be the NGP the second time around. It wasn't until I gave birth myself that I realized how very not with-it birthing can make you feel. My partner, on the other hand, was just a normal person with energy and an intact body. If only I'd known the first time, when I was the NGP, to appreciate all that I could do.