May 17, 2010

There’s a Forest…

So, we had a baby boy. Two and a half weeks ago. I wanted to post sooner about this beautiful little thing, and my thoughts and musings on all manner of subjects, including life with two, my love expanding, natural childbirth vs. intervention, sleep, being busy, working after birth, etc. I had intended to be light-hearted, swathed in this glowing euphoria not just of a new life but in the surprising ease with which we have entered into this new phase.
I should have posted then, to give fairness to the wonder of my sweet baby boy and how precious he is to us and how lovely our life will be with him in it. Unfortunately, over the last couple of days all the euphoria has been drained and I’m struggling, big time.
Up until a couple of days ago, he slept, ate, slept, ate, slept, ate some more and we had a good little thing going, he and I. He eats alot, more than Version 1.0 did, and is up every couple of hours but it was manageable. Saturday night he did a stint from 1 am – 4:30 am where he wouldn’t settle and I couldn’t get him to sleep. Intermittent crying, etc. I was tired for sure, but it wasn’t hell. Yesterday, 4 hours of it again in the afternoon with everyone trying their hand at getting him to settle, and varying degrees of success. Today, it started at 1 PM and it’s still going strong at 9 PM. I’ve had him out walking in the stroller, bouncing, jiggling, swinging, shushing, feeding… We’ve been rewarded with a few short naps but as soon as he wakes, he’s back to the crying. He won’t take a bottle with much success, rejects a pacifier (a whole pile of zealots are cheering right now), and the swaddle doesn’t seem effective anymore.
I’ve been crying for an hour.
My crying makes me think about other sad things, like how I have been so consumed with keeping my baby fed and happy since his birth that I haven’t been able to spend any quality time with my daughter, and how I am so conflicted and upset that I had a c-section and how mad it makes me that the natural childbirth zealots out there have made us feel less worthy because of this, how I know it’s going to be forever and a day until I get time back with my husband, how frustrated I am that I can’t put 100% into work to try and give our business the push we need (and relieve my partner who has been picking up my slack), etc.
We are the practitioners of guilt, us moms.
I will end this post now before I sink more deeply into frustration and sadness, but will leave with some bright lights that burn behind the fog and I know will pull me out of this soon enough:
  • My baby boy is gorgeous. He’s as perfect and beautiful as his sister was/is, and we’re thrilled to have him.
  • I was up and recovering from surgery within hours of being wheeled into my room. Two days after, I was walking around and ready to leave the hospital. Though it has been painful, with infections and such, I’m thrilled that two weeks in, I’m in pretty good shape and only occasionally reminded that I had major abdominal surgery.
  • My in-laws have been here to share Version 2.0’s early days, and make sure Version 1.0 gets ample attention. We don’t get to see them often, so I am thrilled they are here. My parents have also been amazing and supportive and came to help when Version 2.0 was just days old.
  • Version 1.0 has been so sweet to her brother, and I love her even more for how mature and loving she has been. Yeah, we had a few days of off behaviour, but it’s better now for the most part and she’s a wonderful, patient, loving girl. She’s started saying “Mommy, I love you SO much” and I want to eat her at that time.
  • Our friends have been amazing, stocking our freezer full of meals and our cupboard full of wine. I can’t thank them enough for being so kind and helpful.
  • I had him on Friday, was back to work on Monday, and am thankful I’ve been able to at least keep up some involvement, even if I’m not 100% productive. I have an incredibly understanding partner.
  • My labour was quick and he was out in three hours (including the c-section).
  • One day he will be a toddler, and we will be past this crying.
On that hopeful note, I will close now and try to see the forest for the trees. I just wish they would stop falling on my head.


Anonymous said...

I love you for being so honest... and strong! I only have the one version so far, and I am watching what you share of your experience handling two closely so I can be realistic when God decides we need another little one in our lives.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

nonlineargirl said...

Oh girl, I know where you are, and it is so hard. Not that it will make things better, but from the other side of the first year, I have not cried in days, and when I did it was because people at work were being impossible. Remember back to last time that the hard stuff - though really very hard - will change and get better. You'll get new hard stuff, but that new stuff will be faced by a woman who gets at least a little more continuous sleep, which in itself will make things more manageable.

Speaking of sleep, if you can get someone to take your baby (and "big kid" if she is there too) out for a walk in the park while you nap for an hour or two, DO IT. Asking is hard but you should anyway, because it is so worth it.

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