Sunday, January 31, 2010

This is a rollercoaster

So being a mother is like a riding rollercoaster - highs and lows, ups and downs and all that. No duh right? Moments of joy and excitement, fun and exhileration, and moments of "I'm not sure I like this, I want to get off."

Let's start with the lows and then end on a high note:

1. My son had a week of almost unbearable fussiness. I mean the kid was either eating, asleep (for very brief periods of time) or screaming in pain (tummy/gas issues, maybe reflux...more on that later). Almost zero happy awake time. He was miserable and there was NOTHING I COULD DO. And that was awful. My baby was shrieking in pain and I could not help him. And I was so friggin sleep deprived, I just wanted to cry. Or lay down on the floor and sleep and let him cry. I did cry a few times, but I never laid on the floor. Things have improved, but I never fully appreciated how a shrieking newborn can make you crazy. Just 15 minutes of it feels like a lifetime.

2. My husband and I had our first big fight since the baby was born. Now I have written before about how wonderful he is, but no one is perfect right? I won't go into details, but he made me quite angry. This whole newborn period is very stressful and I guess we're figuring out how to navigate it without taking the stress out on each other and how best to support each other.

3. My son spit up blood. A gush of bright red blood that went all over his face, sleeper and the changing pad. It was very upsetting. Now I knew that it was probably from me - he had dots of blood in his spit up a day or two before and the advice nurse I spoke to said it was most likely from my nipples (which are still incredibly sore and obviously bleeding a little). But seeing that much blood come out of his mouth was not a happy moment. I called the advice nurse again and again she said it was probably from me. My head knew this, my heart did not like it. The fact that my nipples are bleeding is bad enough. Seeing it come of out of my son's mouth was not cool.

4. I took a picture of poo. Since this whole fussy/bad tummy period started, the kid's poops have stopped looking like "normal" newborn poops (the mustard, seedy ones - and by the way, tell me this. Why seedy? I assume there are no seeds in breast milk so why are there seedy things in his poop?). He had green ass-plosion poops. Watery messes. Then it was a medium brown. Then he moved on to very dark brown. One of those is what I ended up taking a picture of. It just didn't seem right. And the bad poops combined with the gas and fussiness - I just thought his doctor might need to know what they looked like. Luckily, when we saw the doctor, Finn had a huge ass-plosion so he could see one in real time. I did not have to bust out my camera. By the way, I have never talked or cared about poo so much in my life. When my smartass brother came to visit the first time, he said "So, do you guys just sit around and talk about poo now?" Yup. Pretty much.

5. Breastfeeding is still a struggle. Let's see - my nipples still HURT REAL BAD, I may have hyperlactation syndrome which is causing my son to have horrible tummy problems, or we may have thrush which is causing us both pain, turns out he is NOT a good latcher and I have let him do it wrong for a month, he also uses his tongue wrong so its giving my nipples the equivalent of rug burn....what else? And all of these are "maybe's." According to the lactation consultant, there is no way to know for SURE what is causing us both pain, so its trial and error. Try this for a few days and see if it works. If it doesn't try this for a few days and see what happens. Very frustrating. And meanwhile, while we trial and error this, he and I are still both hurting.

Okay, now for the highs.

1. HE SMILED AT ME. A big ol' smile while he was awake and looking and cooing at me. OMIGOD it was wonderful. I had seen some half-smiles before. And he's been smiling in his sleep for a couple of weeks. But this was DEFINITELY a smile FOR ME and it was amazing.

2. I recognized my son's cry. When we went to see his doctor to figure out this tummy stuff my mom came with us (G$ had to work). After the appointment, I went to the pharmacy to get some Mylicon and she stayed with him in the waiting area. While I was waiting in line, I heard a baby wail. And I knew it was him. Sure enough, my mom walks by the pharmacy with my shrieking kid to push him around the parking lot. Now maybe this is a "no duh." Of course you know your own kid's cry. But it made me feel like such a mom. I just wanted to tell everyone in line with me, "that's MY baby's cry and I KNEW it." It was one of those moments that makes me realize I am finally a part of the club I spent years wanting to join. One of those moments that I've seen people have or hear my friends tell stories about. And it happened to ME.

3. After a week of awful fussiness and nearly sleepless nights, my son let me sleep on and off for 12 hours. Granted I had to get up every 2-3 hours to feed him, but then he would fall back to sleep pretty easily and therefore, so could I. Omigod, I felt like a new woman the next day.

4. I went to the appointment with the lactation consultant by myself. I felt well enough to carry the car seat, deal with stroller and the diaper bag, the whole nine yards. And when we came out of the appointment and it was POURING rain outside, I didn't freak out. I also didn't have an umbrella and I was parked quite far from the entrance. A wonderful lady held her umbrella over us and we struggled to the car. I got soaked as I got him and all our gear in the car. The baby shrieked. But I did it. By myself. And I just laughed about it once we were safely in the car.

So there you have it. I'm sure there are more things I could add to both lists, but I can't remember them due to sleep deprivation. But I will say this: this is SO HARD. So totally worth it, but REALLY REALLY hard. And wonderful.

1 comment:

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