Friday, May 20, 2011

The true test of keeping lupus at bay... a baby!

I really have been delinquent about updating my blog, haven't I?  What can I say... I've had my hands sort of full lately.

So, I had my baby on April 3, 2011... a strapping lad we decided to call Rayan Armaan.  He was born 7 lbs 3 oz, 21 inches in length in a drug-free birthing experience.  In this day and age, giving birth without pain medication is unheard of.  I mean, the facility is available to you.  Why would anyone voluntarily choose pain over, well, no pain?  For me, the answer is pretty simple.  After living with a chronic illness, I've learned to appreciate what real pain is.  I mean, if I can go through weeks of fatigue, fever and malaise for no reason other than another meaningless lupus flare, then I think I can endure a few hours of pain to actually have something tangible and gorgeous in my hands.  Call me crazy!

And gorgeous he is... my miracle baby.  He was born at 9:59 pm wailing happily.  The most memorable thing about that night (besides the 15 mins of continuous screaming on my part), was when he immediately stopped crying the minute they put his naked body on my chest.

Now, here we are 6 weeks later and I'm still doing fine.  Sort of.  Truthfully speaking, having Rayan around has been a real test for me.  I mean, I knew having 2 kids was going to be hard.  But I think I was thinking about 2 children.  Not one child and a baby.  A baby who needs to nurse every 2 to 3 hours.  Yes, that means around the clock.  That means waking up in the middle of the night to feed him for 45 mins and crawling back into bed, only to wake up again after an hour.  Camran had slept through the night by the time he was 2 weeks old.  Not this one.  He's a strong boy and needs his food.  And, since I am adamantly breastfeeding, no one can really step in and care for him in the middle of the night.

So, at this point, aside from taking care of 2 kids, there are two main things I'm trying to keep up with.  Sleeping and eating.  We all know, from my experience of past, that those two things have been crucial in keeping those awful lupus flares at bay.  Sleeping is still relatively easy.  I nap when the baby naps when Camran is at school.  Eating is a little harder but I have learned the art of wolfing down food in under 5 minutes.  I eat a lot, but I make sure I don't take more than 5 minutes at any meal time.

The other major stressor for me is being "too busy".  So, even though I still have to take Camran for his activities in the evening, I make sure that I'm in bed (maybe not asleep but definitely relaxing) by 8:30 pm every night.  Rayan and I tuck Camran into bed and then we retire to my bedroom for the night.  The baby doesn't always sleep but just holding him to calm him down is enough.  I don't stress if he's wailing with tummy pains... it happens.  He's generally pretty good about falling asleep as long as I hold him close to me as he drifts off.

And I have absolutely no problem doing that.

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