Greetings, KuKd/TTC'ers and Inquisitive Guests!
This post is about chodes.
But first of all, a quick prelude: huge and huggy thanks for the outpouring of support and loving words. Baby Sean Murphy felt the love. I briefly held him up to the laptop screen and read some comments out loud to him, stopping only upon hearing a telltale train-rumbling sound from his butt-region. A poop spurred by joy, no doubt (quickly followed by an abrupt, 5-foot arc of pee that spritzed the ceiling, my & Sean's forhead, and the opposite wall...he really must have been in a spirited mood).
Coming from my fellow KuKd folk, and eSPECially those fighting the TTC/IF battle, those loving words carry extra weight, strength, and complexity, like bars of quartz dug up from the earth. Dude, I've been there. Perhaps it's that personal history that leads to my current urge to start every post from now on with the mantra: "I am thankful for this child." I'm not really going to do that, because that would be borderline annoying, but the thought is there. I am thankful for this child.
Where to go from here? Don't worry. This blog is not about to become a minute-by-minute account of my surreal new parenthood or Sean's spitting-up patterns, of what it's like to subsist on four broken-up hours of sleep per night for eight days in a row. In a later post, I'll add a few more Sean-pics and and a brief blurb about Sean's birth for people who are interested. The most important detail to me is that it was a birth, and not a dirth.
Speaking of dirth (which, correct me if I'm wrong, we decided is the verb to describe what happens to a stillborn baby: death + birth), that's a nice segue into what's on my mind this afternoon:
Specifically: chode stitches in birth versus chode stitches in dirth.
Okay, hold your horses, you linguistic perfectionists. I have no idea if it's spelled "chode" or "choad," or if that's even a universal term for the ridge of flesh between one's anus and one's vaginal opening (or penis). It's just what Kevin and I call the damn thing. I've also heard it called a "taint" - but of course, these terms came from my old Peace Corps buddy J, who notoriously smoked way too much weed. So I wouldn't trust what he says.
ANYWAY. The point is this: with Sean's BIRTH, as with Zachary's DIRTH, I've got stitches down there in the "chodal/taintal" region -compounded by the elephantitis-like swelling of the crotch, and some lovely token hemorrhoids (I opted to spare you of photos). (insert: I am thankful for this baby). Looking only at these physical aftermaths of baby-delivery, one might think that BIRTH and DIRTH are exactly the same.
But they're not! Here's my experience.
With Zachary's DIRTH, the physical aftermath - the pain, the swelling, the chode stitches, the everything - was an oddly welcome, temporary centerpiece in my world. Everyone was fixated on it: Kevin, me, the doctors and nurses, our parents. We were coached endlessly in how to care of my battered post-delivery body, sent home with printed-out instructions. I could recite to anyone exACTly how many stitches I had, and where. Upon getting home, it was all about my physical recovery. Me, lying around in bed, airing out my bloody crotch (how's that for visual imagery?). Kevin running errands to and from the drugstore, picking up Tylenol and things to make me more comfortable. Me, taking drawn-out sitz baths and relaying the details to Kevin. Man, we thrived on that shit! And when the pain finally began to subside...that's when real bitch-ass sadness sank in.
Looking back in hindsight, now I get it. The pain was, I'm pretty sure in my detailed psychoanalysis, was something for everyone to focus on other than the real horror: the missing baby.
Now, fast-forward to Sean's BIRTH. Different story. Nobody at the hospital really talked about my chode, my stitches, my bruised post-delivery body. To this day, I'm still not totally sure what the hell went on down there - I've got stitches and it hurts, that much I know. The pain, eclipsed by the baby himself, has become more like this annoyance in the background, an afterthought. So, it's really taking me longer to heal than last time - just because I keep jumping out of bed and roaming around (hard not to do when there's a fussy kiddo clawing for my booby). I wish I could just bat it away like a gnat in my face.
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I just think it's weird: how physical pain can be welcome one moment, and not so welcome the next.