Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where'd the last 2 months go?

Well, my little boy is now 2 months old. He's 22.5 in long and 9.6 lbs. It's hard to believe that the last 2 months has flown by. Right now, he's down for a nap so I have a few minutes to be on the computer and then I've to do dishes. He has gone from not really interacting much with me or his father to doing things like cooing and making silly faces at us. I'd post more but he just woke up fussing. I'll try to remember to add more later.

Friday, October 19, 2007

almost 2 months... so, how long until he's 18?

Ok, so it's not that bad, but there are moments. He's a great little kid and we just got the pictures from the photographer to prove just how cute he is. Now I need to send out an army of birth announcements. I think I may go insane if I have to do these by hand. :p

I'm not sure how to describe the last several weeks. On one hand, I've been doing fairly well. At the same time, postpartum depression was making it feel like hell. I finally went to the doctor after I had been attempting the various solutions suggested to me by friends and family. The doctor said that I've got a textbook case of postpartum depression and then prescribed a SSRI. I can say honestly that I am feeling a huge difference because I haven't been half as anxious.

I think the fact that I enjoyed playing with the baby today is a good sign. Now I just need to keep doing the practical things and push forward. The medicine is just part of the solution.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Denial is not a river in Egypt.

It is, however, something I've been doing of late. I'm pretty sure that my dear husband is going to either be upset with me for not telling him before now or state that he's known the whole while but didn't want to say anything to avoid upsetting me. Either way, it feels like I'm in trouble and I hate that feeling. Feeling like I'm in trouble, however, is nothing compared to feeling depressed.

That, Reader, has been what I've been denying over the past month. The fog of the baby blues lifted and I'm not as bad off as I was before. But I'm still depressed and I'm doing very poorly on the coping end here. I don't know what to do because the horrendous feelings of inadequacy that hit me are surrounding my interactions with my child in a huge, ugly way.

Baby talk, I can't bring myself to do it. I feel like a flaming idiot for it and I worry that he won't learn proper English if I do it. The games where you rough house a little bit (for one this small, it's stuff like razberries on the belly, but you get the picture), I'm afraid of hurting him. No, not afraid, positively petrified of the idea. Sitting down and playing with him and his toys, I feel guilty because the house is a disaster and I shouldn't be goofing off when it needs tended to. And when I do tend the housework, I feel guilty because I'm not interacting with my baby.

I can't stop worrying over damn near everything. I think my husband is sick of my asking him if everything is going to be ok. I'm anxious that we don't have enough money to buy diapers after all the bills are paid. I'm anxious that I'll keep forgetting to pump, have my milk supply dry up and then we won't be able to feed the baby because of how expensive formula is. I'm terrified that I'm a bad wife because I'm not spending as much time and attention on my husband as I did before the baby was born. I'm terrified that I'm a terrible mother because I'm not spending every waking moment showering this kid with attention, playing with him, and doing everything in my power to see that he never cries for want of anything. I'm afraid that I'm going crazy and that I'll be shipped off to an institution, not able to see my family again for many years.

I feel guilty for pretty much everything. Even eating, because of my anxiety over having enough food in the house, I'm afraid that I'll eat too much and we won't have enough food to last till the next paycheck. The only thing I don't feel guilty for is breathing, aside from that I'm having a hard time listing the other things that don't pop up when I'm alone with the baby. I'd love to have some one come over and spend time with me. Because that's when this is really bad.

I can fake it and almost believe that I'm perfectly fine when I'm not alone with him. There are times where I really do feel happy, like everyone tells me I'm supposed to. More often, however, I feel like I need to clean the apartment and get everything done. I never can manage to clean everything, and when I try I forget to pump and the baby gets fed late. I try but I can never manage to get past treading water on the cleaning front.

Now that there's more stuff here since my trip out with my aunt last night, I've moved back several paces. I just want to cry in fustration. I can't take care of all this. Hubby gets home from work and he's exhausted. And I damn near throw the baby at him sometimes because I'm afraid that if he starts crying again, I'll actually act on the urge to drop him. Like the other times I've been depressed, destructive thoughts have been coming to mind. I've been managing to stave them off by telling myself that I can't entertain them because people depend on me. I have an obligation to take care of myself and not do something stupid, like hurt myself. And then I justify skipping meals or not doing my hair by saying that I got busy. When I looked at it and I just didn't have the energy or I felt too wretched about myself to even try.

I can't call some one up and ask them to come over because of how much of a disaster this place is. I am just too embaressed by it all. I'm staying at home, I should be able to keep the dishes clean and most of the stuff around here put away. My mother managed to do so with three children. I should be able to do this, shouldn't I? I should be happy right now, shouldn't I? I'm a mother, like I always dreamed I'd be. I have a wonderful baby boy that I always wanted. I don't need to put him in the care of some stranger and pray to god that he's ok at the end of the day. I get to be home and watch him grow and learn about the wonderful world we live in every day. I get to teach him things. I should be happy, I've had my dreams come true.

But I'm not. I still feel wretched about the fact that I delivered via C-section and I can't get this kid to latch on at the breast and nurse despite anything I try to do. I still feel like I'm somewhere between a failure and a walking catastrophy waiting to happen 80% of the time. I still want to just go walk off away from everyone and everything in my life and hide, that it'd make my inadequacy fade away from their lives and how I'm bungeling everything up. I still feel just as scared as I was in the hospital that I'm going to do something horribly wrong or make the wrong decision and absolutely destroy this precious little life entrusted to me.

Am I a lazy, crybaby wretch who just doesn't want to do the "grown up woman" thing? Am I over reacting and I don't know what the hell I'm talking about? Am I going crazy? Or, are my fears legitimate? Am I not a wimp for taking the drugs offered to me at the time of delivery with the first of the real labor pains? Is my stating that the decision to take said drugs for the sake of not causing complications due to fetal distress later in the pregnancy something other then an excuse? Am I not a failure for these things or the difficulty with feeding the baby at my breast?

I don't know. I just know that I'm terrified and I feel like a boot-scraping from a muddy cow field is worth more then I am right now. And I've felt that way for several months, which is why I wasn't as giddy as I probably should have been up until it was time to give birth to this baby.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

More musing upon the fun of babies...

This occurred to me as I was sitting down to pump so I can feed my little darling and he decided to start fussing in the other room. Read and enjoy!

How do babies know the most inopportune times to fuss? Granted, they'll fuss at anytime, but it seems like there is some rule that determines if it is an exceptionally inconvenient time, they must have a crying fit. Here's a hypothetical scenario that has probably played out unnumbered times around the world:

The child seems to have settled down finally for a nap and you decided to scrub the foot encrusted dishes that have sat waiting for the last 72 hours (at least). You're up to your elbows in water hot enough to scald the flesh from your bones. A plethora of knives, forks, and other instruments of tetanus bearing doom lurk under the surface, awaiting the tender ministrations of steel wool and industrial strength cleaner, as well as to julienne your water softened flesh with the slightest mistaken movement.

It is then, at the precise moment you are reaching in to clean the forth potential item of death that an ear piercing shriek summons you. In your startled parental terror, you envision your mewling newborn child being carried off by a pack of rabid hyenas to either be devowered or introduced to all the bad behaviors of those raised by wolves (of whom the hyena is the trouble-maker cousin).

Now, I am certain that a number of parental 'suicides' are actually due to massive injury sustained by dish washing caregivers whom have sliced a major artery in their rush to replace the lost pacifier. A pacifier which is ignored by the child whom falls back to sleep with the first parental footfall past the nursery threshold.*

*Please note, suicide is not something I advocate. Neither am I making light of the pain suffered by the family, loved ones, and friends of a victim of suicide. As one who has occasionally struggled with this particular demon, I feel that I can make light of it to some extent. It helps me to stave that bit of temptation off. If you don't like it, dear Reader, I really don't care.

Re-post from my Keen Blog

Just because I think my little rant about spit up will amuse folks...

Here's the other Blog -->

Schedules and other fun things with a baby!

I had the mistaken impression that my little one would settle down into something that resembles a schedule by now (actually, a little before now). I think the only thing that resembles anything like a schedule is that if he gets his bottle at midnight, he will sleep thru most of the night. It's a bit difficult to otherwise schedule anything. As such, I will be available on the phone when he is napping or playing quietly. If you happen to hear fussing in the background when you call, please do not be too alarmed.

Bathing this child is almost enough to make me rethink that cat bathing should be a martial art. Baby bathing is almost as bad. Granted, you don't have an angry feline ready to claw you to ribbons for comitting the grevious insult of getting it wet, but trying to hold the child still to clean them is nigh on impossible. I don't know if I will ever get to a point where I can accomplish this by myself! Right now, it feels like we need three people to do it.

One person to keep the baby from wriggling around so much he goes under water (not that there's much there, but some how this kid manages to nearly get his head into the mere inch of water in his little tub). One person to bathe him (who must have three hands to counter flailing limbs). And a third person to entertain the child and hopefully keep him from making all parties deaf with his hollering at the indignity of being nude, let alone soaped up and washed. So, like I was implying earlier, maybe this should be a martial art!

Some of the things that babies do I really had absolutely no comprehension of what it meant. Spit up, for example, is not mearly some little gob of formula that winds up on the chin to be wiped off with the bib after burping. Spit up can also be:
  1. A fountain of formula that flies out of the nose and mouth of the child if he drinks one ounce too many. The probability of it landing on your clothes or the rug is proportional to the value of the clothes and inversely proportional to the avaiability of resources to steam clean formula out of the rug.
  2. A thin stream that resembles milk colored phlegm from the nose, making a new mother wonder at first if the child has a cold when it first appears.
  3. A clothing accessory for mother (or father, or any other person burping the child). Extra special people may have spit up as a hair accessory! (Hence the reason why I wear my hair in a ponytail or under a bandanna when I'm burping the baby!)
  4. A clothing accessory for the child. Forget just on the burp cloth or the bib, this stuff goes everywhere!
  5. A pre-wash for the not so dirty infant swing. After all, those things really do need washed every 5 minutes, right? It says so in the owner's manual, in the really fine print!
I love the little monster, but I have times where I want to pull my hair out. And then, he's so cute that I'm amazed I ever feel so fustrated. As I have been telling my husband, the cuteness is an evolutionary trait. It lulls us into a false sense of security, thinking that the fussiness, explosive diapers, and sleepless nights just happen that one time. Boy, is this parenting thing going to be a wild ride.
A bit of shameless self promotion, please forgive me of any irritation but:

If you're looking for a tarot reading, please contact me on Keen. I'd be happy to do one for you, my rates are posted here. I am still learning how to put together web pages, so if the information on the page is confusing, I apologize. Please, e-mail me and I'll be happy to clear up any questions you might have.