You know, I don’t know why people don’t talk about all of the challenging parts of motherhood. I guess maybe people think they’ll scare new moms if they discuss it, but I sure wish somebody had warned me. Maybe if I had been aware I could have made a plan. As it is, right now I feel totally frustrated and lost and unsure what steps to take. Worst of all, I feel like I’m navigating this journey alone, though that is not totally hubby’s fault.
I guess the biggest issue I’m dealing with is a lack of time. As a working mom, most of my day is spent at the office. I wake up at 5:40 in the morning (if I’m not already up, because LO thinks 4am is a great time to wake up and play lately). I jump in the shower and am mostly done getting ready by 6:20. I nurse the baby, then finish getting ready (usually putting a shirt on and gathering our bags). Usually I’m out the door between 7 and 7:20 depending upon how long hubby is taking to get ready that day. Drop the kid off, go to work, leave work at 4:50. Pick the kid up, home by 5:30ish. Dinner, time with baby, then by 7 we start the bedtime routine. Baby is usually transferred to the bassinet by 8pm. Then I pump. IF baby doesn’t wake up while I’m pumping I can usually also prepare bottles for the next day and pack our bags. By then it’s 9pm and if baby is still asleep I might have time for 30 minutes of “me time”. Usually, though, baby wakes up and I have to nurse him back to sleep.
So 5 days a week I basically have no time to unwind, no time to exercise, no time to do something I enjoy. And weekends aren’t much better because we have to clean the house, run errands, get baby to nap, etc. I feel like I’m constantly running 10 tasks behind schedule and yet somehow hubby has hours upon hours of time each week to do things for himself. I’ve talked to him about how I need him to step up, how I need him to work harder to find a way to comfort baby and get him to sleep, how I need him to find a way to help me get some “me” time in. And yet every single week we end up doing the same exact things as the week before.
And that leaves me feeling lost and frustrated and mentally fried. I need a way to recharge. And maybe I need a way to do it without hubby’s help…but I have no idea how to go about that. I keep telling myself it’ll get better as baby gets older, but month after month it seems like we’re just better establishing the rut we’ve been in since I returned to work.
I find myself becoming incredibly envious of the moms who stay at home. I remember how difficult it was being home alone with the baby all day, but that was back when he couldn’t play with his toys, couldn’t move around, couldn’t really explore. Now that he can, I could get in cleaning, I could take him for walks to exercise, I could feel like something other than my job was getting done. And when I think these thoughts I find myself feeling resentful of the fact that I cannot afford to be a SAHM. I find myself resenting my husband and his career ambitions. I find myself slipping into a massive, steaming pile of self pity. And I hate it.
Then, on top of everything else, I have been using Domperidone to boost my milk supply so I can EBF on weekends and supplement less during the week. It has boosted my daily pumps by 3-4 ounces in total, which is nearly a 50% increase in supply, and has allowed me to 100% EBF during weekends when I wasn’t able to before. Unfortunately, it has also caused me to get to my largest size in nearly 5 years. Almost nothing I own fits and I feel like a jiggly, roll-y, protruding mess in everything I wear. Because I have virtually no time to exercise I am hoping that changing my diet will help me in some way without negatively impacting my breastfeeding efforts. Luckily, most foods recommended to boost milk production are also included in the diet plan, so that helps. I will also be trying to wean off Domperidone to see if I am able to maintain supply and decrease dosage, which should theoretically help stem the weight gain.
The thing is, I love motherhood. I love my son. I love seeing him learn and grow and change almost daily. But I was not prepared for how much of me that would get lost in the process of raising this little guy. It honestly makes me not want to do this again. I feel like all I do is nag my husband to do more and help more and be more and contribute more and then I feel like an ungrateful bitch because surely he’s doing more than I realize, right? Surely this is 90% me being frustrated and tired.
As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t entirely his fault. I choose to breastfeed, and I created a monster by nursing baby boy to sleep from day one. That’s what he’s used to and that’s all that works at home to get him to sleep. But at daycare, when mommy isn’t available, they get him to nap just fine. So obviously they’re able to do something we aren’t doing at home. I just need to figure out what that is and get some help from daddy so maybe we can alternate nights and I can find a way to get some time for me. Because lord knows I effing need it.
I’ll end with a photo of little dude, so that this entry isn’t a total drag.
Baby boy was five months old as of January 25th and I am reminded daily how quickly time is flying by. Right now he can sit unassisted if he wants to, but he usually sees something that interests him and he dives for it, so you’d never know it. He’s super talkative but isn’t big on making consonant sounds just yet. We’re working with him on that and I am DETERMINED for him to say “mama” any day now. He rolls over like a champ and has started pushing himself around with his legs. He isn’t really using his arms much yet…not sure he realizes that he can.
Now that I’ve fallen into a pattern with work and home, and now that the Paxil is working to full effect I feel like mommyhood is this pretty awesome thing. I get all kinds of love from my little dude, I get to watch my hubby show a side of himself that is totally new and totally bitchin’, and I’m watching this perfect little being that I created learn and grow and change at the blink of an eye. How’d I get so lucky?
I have my yearly OBGYN visit next week and I’m going to talk to the doctor about options for VBAC and how long we need to wait before we can start trying again. Initially I was hesitant to consider a second baby after having to have a c-section with Corbin, but now that I’ve had time with my little guy I can’t imagine not doing this all over again.
The only thing that gets me down is the fact that I have to spend 10 hours a day away from my child. I really wish we were in a financial position where I could stay home and be more involved in his life every day. As it stands now I get maybe 2 hours with him in the evenings and an hour in the morning. The rest of the time he’s asleep. We co-sleep, so I get those snuggles every night, but it isn’t quite the same as getting his smiles and watching his firsts. I guess as long as he still knows me as mommy and still seeks me out as his primary source of comfort I can find a way to soldier on.
Not much else to report right now. We’re just living life, loving our little dude, and having a lot of fun watching him blossom.
Look at that face, would you?! I mean, have you ever seen such a little ham?
My big boy <3.
While there are negative thoughts dancing around in the back of my mind I am choosing to focus on what is right and good in my life. Our little man is four months old today and we got to enjoy this milestone by celebrating his first Christmas.
In the quiet moments I look at him and my husband and I am overwhelmed by the love I feel. I don’t deserve to have such a loving, devoted man, or to have my sweet little boy.
I don’t know how I got so lucky but I will never stop being grateful for everything I have. I hope everybody has a reason to feel blessed this Christmas.
I’m a member of an online mommy mean girls group. Or I was, until today. For two months I watched and participated as a small batch of women branched off to form a group for the sole purpose of gossiping and insulting other girls from a larger mommy support group. To make myself feel better about being part of such a trashy exchange I justified my involvement by not directly bashing anybody. When somebody posted implying that a mommy was full of shit for claiming her daughter could undo her car seat latch I responded with a photo of that model car seat and pointed out that the latch looked rather simple. When somebody posted about a girl who seemed to change jobs daily I responded by saying it must be really hard to do her taxes every year. I wasn’t a “mean girl” because I wasn’t insulting the targeted women.
At least that’s what I told myself. I also latched on to the idea that the group wasn’t REALLY intended to be a steaming pile of mommy-bashing and interacted with the members by posting funny, off-color memes and ranting about vague personal annoyances.
But the truth is I stayed in the group because I was afraid that by leaving I would officially allow myself to become one of those targets. And after a particularly nasty exchange in the group recently I began to think about all of the girls who didn’t know they had even BEEN targets. And then I wondered which is worse: knowing you’re likely to be talked about and insulted behind your back, or being completely oblivious to it while those same girls smile and act polite to your face. Ultimately, I started to wonder if it was really the worst thing in the world to back away and let them have their “fun” at my expense. It isn’t like I’m ever likely to know what they’ve said, and even if I were aware…why exactly should I be bothered by it?
So I was lying in bed, snuggling my sweet boy and feeling sick when I should have been enjoying a precious moment with my innocent, perfect little man. I realized that I’m a mean girl, even if it is to a lesser extent than others in the group. I realized that by staying in the group and allowing people to bash others I was tacitly promoting their behavior. I realized I let my own fear of being disliked or talked about justify my participation in a bunch of back handed, passive aggressive bullying. And for a moment I really hated the kind of person I was being.
I don’t want to get to a point where I don’t see a difference between mocking somebody’s fashion sense and accusing somebody of child abuse. I don’t want to get to a point where I ENJOY being mean and vicious to somebody. And I never want to allow myself to ever again justify insulting somebody behind their backs.
I’ve grown weary of the hatred and judgment and rude behavior. Why do we ever think, as women, that it’s okay to break somebody else down publicly or secretly? Why do we try to justify it? Why don’t we just call it what it is: unnecessary, rude, and hurtful. I won’t pretend to know why other women think it’s okay or feel compelled to be so mean toward and about one another. I don’t even know why I’ve done it. But I know I don’t ever want my children growing up thinking it’s cool or fun or okay to take part in that kind of behavior. The world is harsh enough without all this nonsense.
I need to be better. My son definitely deserves better. And I hope that other women realize this and take action, too. I can’t excuse my participation in these unacceptable behaviors, and I can’t apologize to the women who were ridiculed by the group while I was a member without sharing with them the fact that they WERE ridiculed. So now all I can do is try to bring a little more kindness and acceptance into the big group and the world at large and hope my actions going forward will balance the karma of my actions from before. I certainly hope that’s enough…
So my little man is almost 4 months old. It really feels like just yesterday we were still a little stunned to know I had become pregnant our first month trying. Yet here I am today, nursing my littlest love to sleep while listening to Christmas music.
Corbin is doing fantastically! He’s hitting milestones left and right. He’s a mostly happy baby, constantly smiling and “talking”. He’s begun grabbing at toys and putting things in his mouth. He rolls over.
Watching baby boy and hubby together is like magic. I am so lucky to have such an amazing man helping me raise little dude. I’m so excited to watch their relationship develop!
I hope to write more going forward, but mommyhood is busy! For now I’ll leave y’all with some baby love.
Corbin is almost two weeks old and I cannot handle it, y’all. It seems like time is flying now. He opens his eyes, he responds when you speak to him, he’s a little snuggle bug and a fart machine and he’s so amazing I can’t stand it sometimes. I love this little guy so much it hurts sometimes, and I’m so glad he’s mine. Below is the birth story I wrote two days after he was born, followed by some additional commentary now that the dust has settled.
At 230am on Tuesday morning I woke up with slight abdominal cramping. Because hubby had complained of gas discomfort earlier I assumed I had the same issues. A few minutes later I got up to pee and realized I was in labor.
I laid back down and timed contractions for an hour in bed, then an hour in the living room, then back in bed. They were consistent and timeable but not intolerable, so I was a bit skeptical as to whether they were working.
When hubby got up at 6 I told him we should stay home just in case. We ate breakfast, showered, and ran some errands hoping the activity would help move things along.
When we got back home the contractions became inconsistent, so I kept alternating pacing and bouncing on a labor ball and laying on my left side.
At 230pm we packed up the car and headed to L&D after stopping for lunch. When we walked into L&D the nurses thought I was embellishing when I told them I had been laboring 12 hours. Once I got admitted though, they checked me and I was dilated to 6cm and my waters were bulging.
My doc sent his colleague to rupture the sack and after that contractions started hitting back to back with no break. At 8cm I caved and took the epidural. It took two attempts because my spine is curved at the base and I kept feeling everything in my right side.
At 10pm I was ready to push. I had hubby and my BFF right beside me supporting me and helping me work thru the contractions and added pain. I pushed for an hour, but even though baby’s head was low it wasn’t coming through and the doc couldn’t get a good grip with the forceps or any other tool. The epi wasn’t strong enough to prevent the intense pain I felt in my lower back, which was caused by trying to force baby out through a pelvis that is not shaped or positioned correctly for delivery. Finally, the doc said he felt like we needed to discuss c-section because my pelvis wasn’t angled well to get baby out safely, and because I was reaching my pain limits.
By 11:15pm we were in surgery and at 11:27pm my little man came out and started screaming bloody murder. 9lbs 1oz, 20.5″ long at 40w5d. Hubby and I looked at one another and we both started bawling. They let hubby watch as they cleaned baby up and let me love on him for a few minutes before baby and daddy went back to our room.
I got stitched up and they took me back to my room where the family was waiting. I got to do skin to skin and then we fed. He’s got a nice latch, so we’re feeling good about our BF journey so far.
About an hour after that the family left and hubby swaddled little man and put him in his bassinet, where he slept like a log for 4 hours.
I didn’t end up with the delivery I wanted, but despite the setbacks and the challenges everything felt CALM and RIGHT. I actually enjoyed my experience and at the end of it I got my cuddly little ball of cuteness, so i could not be happier. I am so thankful to Brandon Robison and Sabrina Haggard for supporting me and helping me make it through without panicking or breaking down. Without them the epi and the c-section would have broken me.
Looking back now I’m still okay with how our birth went. I know a c-section was necessary and best for my son and for me, and I know that at the end of the day I would make the same decision again. What I’m unsure of now is whether or not I want to go through this again. In most women, the pelvic opening expands/relaxes after 0-station so the baby can make it through. My pelvic opening actually curves the wrong way (more compatible with a “sunny side up” baby) and it TAPERS like a funnel. While Corbin was on the larger size overall, and especially in head circumference, there’s no guarantee that a smaller baby would fit. If I wanted to pursue the option of a VBAC I would have to accept the fact that I would quite possibly labor in vain and end up with another unplanned c-section. The most practical choice would be a second c-section, but I am still petrified by the idea of surgery….this experience didn’t change that fear. And I’m concerned about the potential risks of another pregnancy after c-section (and of a second c-section as well, for that matter). I’ve always wanted two children and I don’t want to deny Corbin a sibling simply because I am afraid. But I don’t want to endure the emotional trauma of knowing my pregnancy will end in major surgery, either.
I have some time to mull this over, and I feel like I will ultimately make the choice to have another baby, but right now it’s still daunting to think about electing to be cut open. I guess time will tell.
As to motherhood…we’ve been trying to EBF (exclusively breastfeed) but I am not keeping up 100% with Corbin’s appetite. Right now we are supplementing 1-2oz of formula a day, spread out over two feedings. I have tried all of the natural boosters (fenugreek, Mother’s Milk tea, brewer’s yeast, flaxseed, extra hydration, etc). I don’t want to continue supplementing, but having read side effects of the medications occasionally prescribed to boost supply I definitely don’t want to go that route, either. I guess we’ll see what happens over the next couple of weeks.
I’m also super emotional and sometimes wonder if I might be borderline PPD. I don’t have any thoughts of self-harm or ANY thoughts to harm my sweet baby boy, but I am a weepy mess most of the time. More often than not I feel like I am failing as a mommy and I find myself crying and feelings overwhelmed more often than I would like. Sometimes trying to decide between simple tasks seems impossible, and the idea of being left alone with the baby all day when hubby returns to work next week terrifies me because I feel like I can’t take care of Corbin and myself all alone. I feel wholly dependent upon my husband and that is NOT like me at all. So I’ll definitely be talking to the doctor about that when I go in for Corbin’s follow-up on his circumcision next week.
All of that said, believe it not I’m actually pretty happy. I love my son more than I ever imagined I could, and I love my husband more than ever before, too. He’s been an amazing help and has absolutely dominated his new role as daddy. He loves his little boy and does so much to take care of him and me and I am so, so lucky to have him.
I know everything will even out soon…it’s just a matter of time. I just wish time would move a little more slowly while I have a chance to be home with my little man. Soon enough it’ll be back to work and he’ll be in daycare and I’ll miss so much. I really need to take it all in now, while I can.
I’ve said from the beginning that I would go past my due date. Well…my due date was Saturday and I’m still here, still pregnant, and still anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Sprout. At my doctor’s appointment on Friday I had not progressed at all from the previous week. I was still at 2cm dilated and not effaced at all.
Being late never concerned me, but the lack of progress really does. I’m absolutely petrified that I’ll have to be induced, and that if I am, I’ll end up needing a c-section because my body doesn’t cooperate and baby hasn’t dropped like he needs to. I know my doctor will not frivolously escalate my delivery to a c-section, but I know he may consider it at some point and I absolutely hate that it may come to that.
I have until this Friday to go into labor naturally before we have the induction talk, and then probably another 3-4 days after that before an induction would occur (I think). So baby boy needs to get a move on and my body needs to start cooperating.
The longer I wait, the more upset I become over the efforts people keep making. Checking in 3 or 4 times a day, telling me, “baby will come when he’s ready”, assuring me that I will most DEFINITELY want the epidural and will BEG for the c-section…none of it HELPS and most of it just makes me more angry and less approachable than I already am (which is quite a feat). I seriously wish at this point that I could just go into hiding…just me, hubby, and no cell phones or internet access so people will stop pestering me/us until the kid actually arrives.
And on top of just feeling generally bitchy and anti-social, we also have a “house pest” right now. Our former roommate asked last week to stay with us for two days while they were waiting for the AC at his new house to be fixed. That has turned into a fucking week with no end in sight, and now he’s saying he thinks he should just stay here until the baby comes because it would be silly to pack up his one bag of stuff and go back home only to come back in a few days (he’s dog sitting for us while we’re in the hospital). But you know what? I don’t really care if it would be silly or inconvenient or anything else. I want him out of my house NOW. I have become rather content with nobody but hubby and I being in the house and I love being able to walk around in my underwear (the only things that fit right now). I can’t do that with the house pest here. I’m already uncomfortable being so freaking pregnant, and now I have to be uncomfortable because he’s all over my house, making a mess and making it reek of his stale cigarette smoke.
Just….ugh. I am NOT handling the end of pregnancy gracefully. I just want to skip ahead to the next step and go into labor already. I’m so beyond ready to finally hold this little man in my arms. C’mon, Corbin….get it in gear, buddy.
The end is near, y’all! I am tired and sore and I hate the world most of the time, but I can FEEL an end in site…even if I don’t know exactly when it’ll finally get here. Baby boy is cramped and his movements are rough, but each day I carry him is another day closer to our entire relationship changing so I’m really trying to embrace these last days knowing he’s nestled safely inside, sharing something special with me and only me.
Pregnancy at this point is redundant and boring. It’s the same thing everyday, so there’s not much to focus on that’s new or exciting. We DID finally finish the nursery enough that it is functional. We still need to get the electrical re-done, but that can happen any time (though hopefully sooner rather than later) and I’m pretty sure we have everything we need for our little man. As of my appointment last week at 37w5d I was not dilated or effaced at all. My cervix was still high and closed tight. I’m HOPING that when I go in on Friday I will have progressed some. I feel like things are happening, but who knows?
All of that said, I wanted to address a topic I haven’t broached in nearly a year: Robin Williams and depression. When I wrote my initial post on the topic I felt like I’d look back and feel silly for being so emotionally invested in his passing. Now, a year to the day since he died, I’m still emotionally invested; the only difference is now I don’t feel silly.
Robin Williams’ death is still a source of hurt. There is a very real void in the world without him in it. He was an actor…somebody I didn’t really know…but he gifted the world with something beautiful. And when he died he took that gift back and carried it away with him….at least to some degree. For me, the magic in his movies is a little less strong. His characters a little less powerful. It’s as if he put a piece of his soul into each of those roles and when he died those pieces returned to him.
And then, of course, there’s life…or more specifically, the people in my own life that battle with depression, or BPD, or other mental illnesses. My dad, my MIL, my friends….people who I know, people who I love…and people who may someday succumb to the same weight that Williams fell to. It’s scary knowing how fragile humans are. It’s terrifying realizing that sometimes people just quit…and there’s no warning, no cry for help, no chance to stop them from leaving forever.
So today, on the anniversary of his death, I mourn for Williams, for his family and friends, and for those I know fighting the same battles. May they find strength to continue on, and may Williams forever rest in peace.