Tuesday, March 31, 2015
This morning the baby was awake for 3 hours straight. If he wasn't putting my nipples to the test he was spitting up, if he wasn't spitting up he was filling yet another diaper and during it all he was fussing, crying, or straight up pounding me with his little big baby rage fists. I lost track of how many diapers and onesies and burp clothes we went through, but it was a disheartening number!
I was able to get a bowl of cereal in, sneak a piece of banana bread, but I didn't get enough food, I couldn't refill my water bottle, I barely had breaks for the bathroom. Eventually I started to lose my sanity a bit and just let him cry while I showered but that attempt to shore up my mental reserve wasn't enough to prevent a full on sobbing breakdown around noon while on the phone with the hubbo.
Somehow the baby went down during that phone call (stupid menfolk, it's like a rule of nature things get better just as they show up) and the hubster drilled it into me to eat. I got a sandwich down and half a can of sparkling water before Baby woke up. Up 3 hours and then only sleeps for maybe 45 minutes!?
He was up and down for the next hour before crashing around two. At that point all I could do was sit and stare at cartoons with Baby snoozing on my chest. I was pretty tired and afraid to move in case he started up again but I think most of all my brain just shut down. Making any kind of decision was out of my capacity.
When the hubster got home from work he took Baby, fed and watered me before the next cycle. I fed the baby yet again and then left him with Dad so I could nap-a good hour's worth before waking up to another feeding.
I really think the CIA should just give prisoners a baby to take care of instead of torture; they'd have guys talking in less than a day and they'd be giving parents a well deserved break!
On top of it all my rib pain (what we thought was a pulled ab muscle may actually be a rib out of alignment, TBD) was worse today. It's starting to creep around to the back and despite using an ice pack, a heating pad, and arnica gel throughout the morning I'm still feeling the ache. Not exactly what I need on a day like today.
OH-and I wanted to punch Fio in the face earlier. He barked at our neighbors as they stomped up the stairs and woke the baby. Another unnecessary "topper" for my day. I totally understand how pets end up in the shelter after a new baby arrives...
One hour at a time. Over and over. Let's hope tomorrow this carousel ride has a different tune.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
I had my husband take this picture of me and baby by the seasonal section,
you can see part of the giant tent hanging from the ceiling in the upper right of the image.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Lots of tears and snot, anger and sadness.
Resolution seems to have hinged on speaking up about my feelings toward my mom.
After various stages of breakdown the hubbo got me talking (well, sob-talking) and it came pouring out: They say in labor and postpartum you need to "mother the mother" and what do I have for a mother? She made me feel bad for taking it slow and told me to go for walks that made me bleed and ache and she doesn't ask how I am she just asks for baby pics or talks about her issues or other people and then she comes up on a social call. What did I do to be treated this way? How did I become so worthless?
I usually don't have outpouring like that. I'm usually observing or analyzing not just feeling and expressing... Instead if feeling I just observe and talk about feeling, which I'm realizing is just a convoluted way of invalidating myself.
Maybe I'm so afraid of being abandoned if expressing myself offends someone or I lack enough esteem to believe my feelings are valid or I just see how illogical I am being an emotional human and am too embarrassed of my humanity? Whatever the reason, it's tough on me-and difficult to try and change.
I'm pretty embarrassed to share my spew, it seems so incoherent and stupid, but I think that's just part of feelings... All the context and perspective and logic is a different level, a level I've been clinging to in order to avoid the tumult unpredictable feelings provide. Years and years I've been hiding out on a sort of mental observation deck, stuffing my feelings before they surface in order to censor myself, avoid conflict, and feel "safe."
I don't think it's working for me anymore.
I thought I knew loneliness. What kind of sick joke is it that my family has grown by one tiny person and yet I feel this lonely?
Nature is a bitch sometimes. Sunshine, blue skies, 70 degree weather outside and inside I feel like I'm withering away in a dark, dank, claustrophobic cavern.
Fuck everything right now. Wishing I had a stick and a room full of ceramics to destroy.
Wanting to cry/barf again but glad I'm not having self harming urges.
I'll just keep plodding on.
Just keep plodding, just keep plodding...
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Maybe my sneaky "come help me" comments were just too smooth because yesterday she texted that "we'll be up tomorrow around noon" and failed to mention that the "we" was more than just her and my sister.... Texting with my sister about being excited to see her I soon discovered that her boyfriend was coming. A stranger to me the hubbo. A stranger, invited to our home with our new baby during our postpartum craziness without our consent.
W T F ?
The hubster was pissed. I was upset but as usual it took a while for my true feelings to coalesce after an initial stage of closet stuffing denial. After some more texting with my mother and actually stating my frustrations we had to get to my dentist appointment. I was going to put off the texting conversation but then she called.
I was already borderline teary so hubbo fielded the call. He navigated the minefield while stating some of our concerns, though mainly just getting through it as we had decided to approach the whole conflict from a "be the bigger person" stance.
In the end we agreed to the visit while letting her know we didn't appreciate not being asked if my sister's boyfriend could come. Stating our displeasure felt like a minor victory but overall the episode just let me feeling really emotional, disappointed, and downright sad. I had been counting on the girl time to abate my loneliness.
I've felt lonely before but the loneliness I feel now seems so much more pressing and specific. Going out for a coffee and simply being around other people isn't going to cut it anymore, I need empathy, understanding, community, commiseration. I'm missing the support I need and just when I had dared hope for some of that extra help from my mom and sister it seems to have blown up in my face.
That afternoon the sadness felt like a volleyball under my heart; bigger than a "lump in my throat" with a swelling sensation that made me feel like I needed to barf and sob all at once. The hubby and I took it extra easy that afternoon and despite being tired himself somehow he was able to be extra caring and careful with me, which helped a lot considering my fragile mood.
Today was the big visit and I was up at 6:00 AM unable to sleep. By the time everyone showed up I was already tired, sporting a lovely mismatched outfit of sweatpants, nursing bra, baggy cami, and clashing button down sweater. Pretty much a postpartum poster mom!
I had asked my mom to pick up pizza for lunch since there was no way we'd be cooking for everyone but when they came in there was no food. The hubster had preheated the oven and we were both waiting for food, so it was disappointing and frustrating engaging in small talk for nearly an hour while hungry and tired! Turns out there was a good reason for the extra-awkward initiation to the meeting...
My sister had some big news to tell me and I think they rushed here with that in mind instead of stopping by the pizza place on the way. Whatever the reason being hungry and loopy for a little extra time paled in comparison to the news.
Apparently I was the last one in the family to find out, they'd all been keeping it all under wraps for the past week or so because they weren't sure how I'd take the news. I thought she meant because I'm postpartum, but apparently she was concerned that I would think she was stealing my thunder! Uh no. Really my reaction was purely concern for her, the excitement only coming hours later after a nap when the shock wore off.
Yes, I realize I haven't actually stated what the news was but it's not public yet so I won't. Not that I expect anyone in my real life social sphere to read my blog but still. I gots principles and I try to stick by them ;)
So, it's been a confusing day and a half! Ups and downs, lots of emotions... The visit today was exhausting as expected but my mom made us an extra meal and put it in the fridge for later which is awesome and dishes got done and I did appreciate meeting my sister's fiance (he has upgraded status since yesterday, more news I hadn't heard just yet!) and I'm glad to be in the loop.
The hubby and I are more understanding of the offenses now, but I wanted to air out the feelings to practice validating myself :)
Life. What a ride!
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
The hubbo passed his poo crown to me yesterday. Baby had an especially impressive blowout that blew all other blowouts outta the water and since I handled it apparently I earned the title "Queen of Poop."
Actually the hubbo was sexist and called me king but I've corrected his error....
In other news, today was dentist and midwife appointments. Dentist was painful, apparently the hormones made my gums sensitive but otherwise looking pretty good. Still have to repair some old fillings. Yay.
Midwife was good though emotional visit. Baby is 12 lbs and change already which makes me feel better about feeling like an over worked milk cow haha
Yesterday was one of those crazy growth spurt days and I thought I was gonna lose it. So happy when he slept a few hours back to back this morning, I really needed it!
Oh! Big doings... First diaper change and feeding on the fly. Costco parking lot, solo while the hubster did the shopping. I feel like an all growed up momma now!
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Sweet salvation the hubbo ordered me a slick baby swing and it arrived midday yesterday! I named it Pebbles because the colors remind me of that cereal "Fruity Pebbles." Ha!
We're not usually "trendy" types but this high tech swing is one instance where paying more for trendy/mod is paying off for us... Not only does Baby love it but this swing is a lot smaller than the others we have looked at, and with our apartment lifestyle at the moment the extra $50 is way worth it.
Thankfully my money anxiety/frugal-ness rubbed off on the hubster and he told me that he got the older edition and "the crazy colors were a little cheaper." I like the "crazy colors" but apparently he wanted the "classy grey" or something. Whatever. Saving some money helps assuage my guilt! It soothes baby and gives us a break and I'm so grateful!
In other news I was able to get some more sleep and it's helped my mood. The hubster commented last night that it's "day and night when you get enough sleep" as far as my attitude. I feel the same way!
Still don't have much of an appetite though I am noticing when I'm hungry more often. Had some bleeding late last week but it's tapered off again. It's been really difficult for me to resist the urge to do chores or get out of the house and walk, I really need to take it slow so lots of Golden Girls and puzzles... Looking forward to some long walks this spring. *lesigh*
Friday, March 20, 2015
I'm not talking about more literal face-slapping. Yesterday I went to my therapist to check in and while I did discuss the struggles I've been having I also minimized a bit, sort of "sucked it in" for appearances sake, ya know?
The same thing happened when my midwife called to check in with me and again when I wrote a note to a doctor I really appreciate from a couple years back and did the same thing. Life is certainly better for me nowadays but I was painting a bit too rosy a picture and in doing so not being honest or validating myself. (This morning I ripped open the envelope, transferred the stamp to a new one, and rewrote the note to be more factual)
Then when we crawled into bed I got my usual wave of anxiety about the nighttime baby care and the hubster picked at me a bit and weasled out more frustration and sadness. Part of it was the stuff I mentioned above, some of the burden was the sadness I felt addressing baby announcements and realizing how few of the recipients I actually see or can lean on, how small my support system is, and how isolated I feel. Another layer was the physical exhaustion and discomfort, my pulled ab muscle and twinging pelvic muscles have been making life more difficult.
He tried to comfort me and get me to relax and sleep but it didn't work. He fell asleep and I was left with my thoughts. While I was able to sleep a bit there wasn't much rest for me between the runaway thoughts, aching body, and baby care. This morning he left without saying goodbye and it felt like he was fleeing the disaster scene...
I ended up with these mantras running through my head in the early morning hours during breastfeeding: "No one really wants me to die," "I don't need to cut myself," "The pain is temporary." Not exactly a lovely way to start the day but certainly better than succumbing the darkness.
That was the "slap in da face." Having such a crappy night and bad thoughts and feeling so hopeless and desperate right after I told people how well I was doing earlier in the day. I felt like a liar or at least a dense bubble head misleading herself or just a clueless loser.
I know this post is a bit disjointed, but that's how I feel! It doesn't seem like I'm quite in a backslide but without proper sleep and nourishment I definitely start losing my shit and having some negative symptoms. I'm thinking seeing the therapist for some extra support would be helpful to me even if I'm not quite in full postpartum mood disorder regalia.
In other news, I think I want to get some sort of swing for baby. The manual rocking and vibrating chair just isn't cutting it and I'm feeling overwhelmed having to spend so much time soothing him on top of the breastfeeding and burping (I swear he's so gassy the burping takes the most time!) but something as simple as getting a swing (a pretty commonplace baby item as far as I an tell) has been wreaking havoc on me.
I feel ashamed and guilty for "giving in" when I didn't want to spend the money or "cut corners" with my baby care. But then I think about being home alone and all the lonely hours awake at night not sleeping while I rock the baby I can't comprehend keeping this up. I also think about how unnatural parenting has become with fathers and mothers handling everything on their own without a "village" of support and I don't feel so bad about utilizing modern "cheats." That said, I still feel the shame and guilt.
I've been getting more frustrated with (or at) baby which breaks my heart. I feel like I don't get enough of a break between feedings and the entire day just feels like one long feeding strung together, just taking a shower or going to the bathroom seems like a feat. I'm able to enjoy some feedings but others I just end up crying or grumbling at baby or moaning/groaning/growling out of frustration... It makes me really sad.
I'm still getting by but seems like I'm barely able to keep my head above water...
I think it's time to stop thinking about all this and do some more puzzles. Maybe some time with "The Girls" as well.
One hour at a time.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
This outfit wasn't on for too long but we managed to get a "Baby's 1st St. Patty's Day" snapshot. It was a day of many firsts... and many wails.
First was the first real bath for baby. We didn't get to scrub him very well between the wailing and thrashing, and then the pooping... It was a bit of a cluster but we made it through. Next time should go smoother.
The second first (and last) was baby's circumcision. I was an emotional wreck, not straight out sobbing but getting teary when we put him the carseat to go to the doc's and when they took him to the other room for the procedure. The hubby went with him while I regained my composure.
Overall it was a good experience, great staff and festive-we all wore green and the staff put a fun leprechaun sticker on our insurance paper and even gave us chocolate coins. The coins actually worked out well for us since Baby was purty darn crazy after the procedure and we got frazzled trying to calm him down, change a diaper, and get him back in his car seat during a meltdown.
The third first was our first trip to a restaurant. Baby was pretty sacked after the appointment and we were pretty wore out so we decided to hit up Red Robin (for the first time since I got wicked sick after eating there a few months back). Things went well though we didn't get to do our first "public" diaper change or feeding, he slept right through! The people next to us had a birthday so the staff did the clappy birthday singing and nearly roused the babe but he ended up staying down (even though the hubster ate the rest of his burger in record time as if a bomb were going to go off).
The fourth first involved me baking with Baby. AKA trying to bake then ending up leaving the baking mid-recipe to soothe baby, try to put him down, go back to baking then back to baby etc. Then I tried baking one-handed with baby in my other arm, which worked for him but not for me. Eventually the whole thing culminated in a blowout diaper change and a minor meltdown, waking the hubby to change the baby while I rushed into the kitchen to finish the dough and throw my banana bread in the oven. Again, hopefully next time will go more smoothly!
In other news, we've got Baby's first pediatrician appointment Thursday and I've got an appointment with my therapist that day as well. I've been having some anxiety over my appointment, not about seeing my therapist but the billing situation. Last time there was a billing snafu that sent me into a spiral and now I'm concerned about giving the office my card information. The hubster had a good idea about giving them a credit card instead of our main account so I won't freak out so much if they end up doing what they did last time... Anyways, they're making me re-do my paperwork since it's been over a year since I've been in and just looking at it triggers the anxiety so I've been putting it off, hoping tomorrow I'll be able to calm down about it!
Otherwise we're doing okay. I'm still not getting enough sleep but my boobs seem to be wising up about the engorgement/overproduction. I had some random heavy, dark bleeding today but no bright red and it hasn't kept up but it was a little surprising after so many days with next to no bleeding!
Sunday, March 15, 2015
In reality, these people have supported me and it's only fair they see some pictures. That said, it still bothers me how they go about it... I guess they do their best but their word choices rub me the wrong way.
Instead of asking how I am, there is a statement hoping that I'm well but the whole inquiry kicks off with a whiny plea for more baby pictures-like their need for pictures is the most pressing affair at the moment. I'm 2 weeks postpartum dealing with... well, they don't know what I'm dealing with! But that's the point, I could be in the middle of a severe shitstorm and they're pestering me for pics!
Thankfully I'm not in the middle of a severe shitstorm but I'm definitely not skating. I'm not able to nap during the day so I end up staying in bed through the morning to catch up on sleep but that means I don't get enough to eat and drink in the morning which means a mood dip and weakness midday. I guess the first step to improving the situation is acknowledging a problem, right? So this week I'm going to try and do better in the morning...
As for the FB thing, I'm going to wait until I feel like I want to share pictures and not just posting to appease people.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Baby got gold stars for not only being back up to birth weight but passing his goal. I knew he'd been a super sucker but I had no idea he was bulking up to 10 lbs 4 oz that fast. There was another baby in the lobby and the size differential was crazy. Both a week old but she was 7 lbs 3 oz at birth and looked like an itty bitty lemur compared to our baby's silverback size!
The appointment went well despite the somber tones. We talked a lot about my status and how rough today was, the focus turning to getting more sleep and also having the hubbo make sure I'm eating whenever I'm awake. Kind of like "do as baby does," huh?
With my mental health history the midwife also wants me to contact my therapist and schedule an appointment for next week, just to make sure that things aren't spiraling into a postpartum mood disorder. She says weeks 3-6 are usually when those disorders rear their ugly heads so this could just be a bad day or two or I could be early, we'll just have to be vigilant.
I was also told to slow things down a bit. I mentioned the few walks we've been on and how I have a little bit of bleeding after but otherwise next to no bleeding and she told me to dial things way back. Spend time on the balcony, walk to the mailboxes, or just walk downstairs to sit outside for a bit but no "walks for walks' sake" or big trips.
I think my mom's pressure to get out and moving may have transformed into a mental bully and I took my well being fore granted focusing on "getting back into shape" instead of listening to my body. She's going to be up tomorrow with Fio as long as she doesn't get called in for a last minute gig, so we'll see how things go. Hoping there won't be triggers and going to try and stay positive instead of bracing for a shitstorm...
Speaking of, the last visit with my family wasn't the best. It was good to have food brought to us and play a game of Ticket to Ride but it felt like hosting instead of a supportive visit and the husband and I were both exhausted and put out. Hope tomorrow is better.... Yes. Lots of ellipses today! Can you tell I'm worried?!
Off to bed now. Gotta try to learn how this "sleep thing" works again.
Hanging in there. One hour at a time.
The hubster is working part time from home this week so I've been flying solo as much as I can through the night but the last two nights that seems to mean only about 3-4 hours sleep. Most frustrating is that it's not even Baby's fault, I just lie there unable to slow my brain down and get to sleep.
The lack of sleep this morning with the pain of engorgement (yes, it's ongoing and driving me batty) had me so beat down that I couldn't feed myself a decent brekkie. I had a little bowl of cereal about 6:00 AM, went back to sleep for an hour or so, pumped off some boulder boob milk after a feeding about 8:00 AM then couldn't bring myself to eat. I went back to bed and laid there, staring at the wall of drawers until the next feeding.
There have been some tears but most troubling is the slapping. I had some self-harming thoughts, even envisioned a nest of towels in the kitchen and a big knife to my wrist, but even though I tried to get myself to "snap out of it" I ended up trying to slap-snap myself out of it; slapping myself across the cheek repeatedly trying to jump start some feeling or motivation.
Just lifting my arms was a challenge-and in fact it proved too much shortly thereafter when the hubbo caught on that I was utterly dysfunctional and force fed me a bowl of fruit after I couldn't bring myself to move. No eye contact, hardly any words, and I can feel my face lying slack and still.
Adding to the frustration was the complete feeling of isolation. The hubster was trying to give me a chance to sleep but taking the baby into the living area and turning off the light and shutting the door just made me feel like I didn't exist. Just a feeding station left alone in a backroom gathering dust between uses.
I thought about calling in my mom for help but the thought of her trying to "boot camp" me back to good was too much. I can imagine telling her that it only hurts the situation, makes me feel worse about myself, but then what? How do you tell your mother how to take care of you? It makes me so sad.
My next thought was of texting my dad and telling him I wasn't doing very well, but I couldn't imagine that helping much either. Just made me cry. And I realized how few resources I have. If the hubster didn't swoop in and save me I would be completely alone. Which only reminds me that soon enough I will be fending for myself when he goes back to work.
So, the hubster just got back with some lunch (shocker, more cold cuts, it's the only food that sounds good to me nowadays) and we're just taking things a bit at a time, trying to cover the basics-food, sleep, water-and hoping that things even out soon. Have a checkup with the midwives later this afternoon, hoping I'll have a better update to post then.
Baby seems to be doing well except for a blocked tear duct causing some discharge. Now just gotta make sure I eat enough to keep him fed.
Friday, March 6, 2015
I'm definitely feeling the choppy waves of hormones and "baby blues." My depression memories make any downward dip extra scary but I think I'm staying within the realm of normal with symptoms including feeling emotional, easily tearing up/crying, lack of appetite, and feeling overwhelmed. The lack of appetite is pretty frustrating. I've had to force myself to eat and nothing ever seems to "sound good," but it helps my mood when I do eat.
The ups and downs have been crazy. Going from over-the-moon in love with baby, feeling in sync with the hubster, and flooded with gratitude to feeling overwhelmed, isolated, and unsure of myself to the degree that I wonder "what was I thinking having a baby?!" Of course, that's all normal, but when it's going on inside your own head it's hard to maintain perspective.
Adding to the tumult I got some texts from my mom about going south so the neighbors can meet baby. Cue the tears. Totally overwhelming. We are really close with these neighbors so it's not unexpected but the pressure (however slight) tumbled me.
My feelings of insecurity had salt rubbed in them and my mood crashed. Should I be traveling with baby already? Should I be doing more chores? Walking farther? And then all the "don't knows" about breastfeeding, cord stumps, baths, rashes, meds crawl out of the woodwork to pile on the agony.
It's been a roller coaster.
Even with the downs I know it hasn't been all bad. The hubster and I have been closer than ever and very grateful for each other. Sharing laughs and basking in the unknown together has been a beautiful experience. I have felt exceptionally close to Baby but find myself sideswiped by feelings of apathy or mild resentment after especially long or fussy feedings-or a 3rd blowout in less than 24 hours! Still, I know it's normal. I know I'm in love even if those feelings are obscured by momentary frustrations.
And with that I'll share some more pics of this new love of mine...
I still haven't compiled a birth story but it's on my radar. I will post it when I get around to it... Still getting settled and still processing some feelings, but definitely want to review it all!
In other news, Fio has been with my parents this past week while we have been adjusting to parenthood. Millie and Iroh have been doing pretty well as pet-siblings, though Iroh has jumped up on the bed and walked over the baby while I'm trying to nurse a couple times. Not to mention trying to eat my sandwich while I was nursing... He just might be on my shitlist! Merf!
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Fio got a little excited (jealous) of Baby when we came home Friday morning.... Doing well resting up and getting the hang of parenthood, though getting the hang of engorgement ain't the most fun! Even so, every day is a wonderful adventure with our new addition... Lumpy boulder boobs included.