So.

November 15, 2008 at 7:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments

So.

I feel like there’s been a LOT going on in the past couple of weeks. But when I sit back and actually think about it?

Um. Really not much I can tell you.

Work has been stupidly busy. We did file our quarterly S.EC filing within only a couple days of getting a comment letter from them. Which means more work, because they obviously didn’t think that we put enough disclosure in about some of our more unusual and material transactions. And then the firm we use for our internal control testing came onsite. The day after we filed. 

The feeding thing has been another battle. After AF, my supply never really rebounded. And so I made the decision, what with all the craziness at my job, to pump only one time a day at work. I’m still struggling with it – I feel like I should be doing more – but the truth is I just can’t.

Not like Baby O is interested in the boob these days anyway. We only get two good nursing sessions in a given day. One at 10pm, just before I go to bed, when he’s half asleep so he doesn’t move much. The other at 4am. And at this point, he probably doesn’t NEED to eat at 4am. But since it’s a good nursing session, I’ve been loath to quit that one.

On the weekends, I’ve taken to preparing him bottles during the day. Because our nursing sessions have turned into battles. He pushes me away. He kicks. He cries. He wiggles. He does everything but nurse.

Truth be told, he doesn’t eat all that well from a bottle either. But at least it’s quicker.

And on Friday I stayed home with him because he caught a cold. He’s resisted going down for a nap today. When I finally did get him to sleep, he woke up crying… meaning that potentially he might have another ear infection. Which would make three. In three months.

*sigh*

I’m TIRED, people.

I sometimes catch myself longing for the pre-baby days. You know, where I thought being tired meant getting up early every day until the weekend, when I could sleep in. These days all I do is STUFF. If the baby’s asleep, I am washing bottles. Preparing bottles. Preparing the next day’s food. Fitting chores in like dishes and laundry and vacuuming and cleaning the cat litter.

I love my son more than I can ever put to words. But I haven’t slept a full night in 8 months. Maybe longer. I don’t remember.

Weeks like these just reinforce for me how incompetent I feel. In all aspects of my life. I feel like I’m trying to hold down the edges of my life in a gale. Every time I manage to get one side secure, I have to scurry over and tie down the other side as it flaps in the wind.

And I feel so guilty for these feelings. Because wasn’t I so focused on this for so damn long? I mean, shit. BOTH J and I went through surgery – me twice – for this. Three fresh cycles of IVF. I remember the emptiness, the fear that I’d never be a mom.

I love him so fucking much. I just miss being able to refresh. To relax. To regenerate.

And don’t even get me started on my marriage. J and I haven’t had s.ex in months, it seems. He’s been so wonderful and hasn’t pushed it, but we can’t live this way for much longer. I just can’t even get close to dredging up any sort of energy for it.

*Sigh*

Well, this is a great post, huh? I didn’t intend to rant about how much things suck right now.*

Thing is, they DON’T suck. Baby O is wonderful, and getting so big. And sitting unassisted. And babbling. And yelling now, when the fancy stikes him. And spending time on his belly, swimming on the floor. And then rolling to where he wants to go because he hasn’t mastered crawling yet. And smiling at the cat. And playing with his toys.

And there have been nights when I’ve gone into his room to feed him and see him sleeping on his side, his arms clutching his bear blanket. And I’m utterly struck by how much of a PERSON he is.

When did that happen? When did my tiny baby become a real live little boy?

And it’s those times where I try to force myself to focus on HIM. The moment. The now. Because while I’m busy trying to keep the edges of my life tied down in those perfect nautical little knots, while I’m doing dishes and composing a response letter to the S.EC and worrying over my lack of supply and trying to get Baby O to nap, he’s growing up.

Right in front of my eyes.

I can’t blink – or I’m going to miss it.

_____________________

* I have to think that this the sleep deprivation talking. My birthday’s at the end of the month, and I’ve told J that the only thing I really want is a full night of sleep – without having to worry about listening for a baby. I think, in fact, that I might spend a night away from both J and Baby O. Since my birthday falls near Thanksgiving, I might go spend the night at my in-laws. Where I can go to bed and sleep until I want to get up.

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  1. Serenity – I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, and I don’t want you to take it the wrong way. But I’ve noticed that you end almost every post with something to the effect of “but it’s worth it because I love Baby O so much”. And I want you to know that you don’t *have* to say that for us. I mean, your blog readers know you’re grateful to have him and you’re appreciative, and we know how hard you tried to conceive him. Most of us understand and/or feel the same way. There will always be some sour grapes folks who go into “why are you complaining?” etc etc but they will always be there no matter what. So don’t feel you need to justify everything with that caveat. (of course, if you want to, go ahead)

    Sorry for the preaching, that may have been totally uncalled for. I just don’t like you feeling guilty for expressing your feelings here.

  2. I have been a lurker on your blog and love it. Something today made me comment. I swear I could have written the part about nursing. My son HATES/HATED to nurse and it got progressively bad from the time he was 3 months old. Oh, did I mention he was attached to my boob for the first 3 months and then did a 180 on me. Oh well. Anyways I have crappy supply too and the tears and screams when I try to nurse him probably never helped. I made bottles during the day as the default since he was at least 7 months but once he got mobile the pumping while watching him got more difficult. Two weeks ago I decided it was torture for both of us and I was missing time off on my days off so I decided that I would “wean” (um, yeah what does that mean in this case) from the boobmilk during the day, so I cut back to pumping once at work or at home during the day. Well this week (since Monday, he is about 9 months) he has decided he absolutely will not nurse anymore. Doesn’t open his mouth, won’t be tricked into it, sometimes screams and sometimes just goes hard as a board and looks away smacking his head against whatever possible. Not even at night or in the early morning. I was devastated and felt so alone, felt like there was something I did wrong that made him be such a horrible nurser. But then I thought of everything I have been through, to get him here, to nurse him at all, to keep nursing him, to pump at work, and I just realized you know what if he is sort of happy on the bottle (that may be an exaggeration most days, he sounds just like Baby O) and if he is thriving and he seems to know what he wants and doesn’t want, I just need to let it go. Sorry this is so long and it sounds like you are really at peace with your decisions but I just wanted to tell you that you have done an incredible job and PLEASE don’t beat yourself up over this. They say nursing is natural and it gets easier after 2 weeks or 6 weeks or whatever but they don’t seem to have met our babies (er, children, when on earth did they grow up?).

  3. I love this post especially the part about holding down the edges of my life in a gale. That’s how I feel since being back at work. I feeling like I’m “half-assing” everything. I like to be good at things I do, but now I feel like I’m not good at anything. I just keep telling myself I’m doing my best, Lily feels loved and that’s all I can do. Thanks again for your honesty! To say I love your blog is an understatement!!!

  4. Hmm, can you get the in-laws to watch the baby so you and J can get some alone time? Mutually recharge each other’s batteries, hint-hint?

    About the nursing — I’m a very strong proponent of breastfeeding, but it sounds pretty clear that Baby O is getting too busy to bother some times. (Sounds just like what happened when my older son weaned. In one day. Complicated by a cold making his nose too stuffy to nurse comfortably. Refused for a week, until I finally gave up.) It happens — especially at this stage of development when he is growing and changing so much and realizing that there is a great big world out there outside of just your arms. Just be glad he still eats anything! 🙂 (And just in case this hasn’t happened to you yet, there isn’t anything remarkably wonderful about the baby turning his head to look at whatever noise he just heard…and trying to take your boob with him. Ouch. He may also bite you if you try to force it. Double-ouch.) You’ve done an awesome job so far, and you’ll continue to do it. Part of that “job” is finding what works for *you* and *your baby*, which may not necessarily be what works for me or this person or that person.

  5. I am going through the EXACT same sleep issues. We chose to go away for a couple of nights and all three of our children (5 months/2 yrs./5 yrs) did great! AND, I was able to sleep in both mornings we were away!! When I finally got back to my kiddos, it was so incredibly refreshing. GO GET SOME SLEEP!!!!

    Wishing you rest.

  6. I am so with you on this and have been feeling the same exact way about balancing everything and keeping it all together. I feel like I’m always trying to do so much between work, home, and Lemy and as a result she gets short-changed. And then I get frustrated. And then she gets frustrated. And my husband’s already frustrated with not getting any and all. But I just don’t have any more to give right now.

    I guess my point is that you are not alone. And you are absolutely right…during the time when you’re most frustrated it helps to refocus on your child because time is fleeting. And every single second is irreplaceable.

    ((HUGS))

  7. I have been lurking too, way before you got pregnant. Don’t feel guilty. Most of us have felt exactly the same way or have gone through exactly the same thing. I did fertility treatments too, and use to feel guilty for feeling so stressed, even thou I loved my child more than life. I think it is all very normal. Working, the physical/hormone changes and pure sleep deprivation can cause all of this. We get depleted, plain and simple. Don’t beat yourself up. It does get better with time. I promise. In the mean time, see if you can get a friend to come over, just so you can sleep. I use to do that from time to time, helped so much. Sleep is a very good thing.
    Take care and thanks for being so honest.

  8. I asked for the same thing my forst Christmas… I got to have a night at a hotel with a great spa… had a massage, jacuzzi, great book and FULL nights sleep… but its not really a full nights sleep, cause you’ll be up every few hours feeling “lost”.

    If your in-laws are close enough, would they take baby for the night? that is even better than alone time, in a time of “need” especially!

  9. 1. maybe it is time to stop nursing? it sounds like he is moving on? i have no idea what i am saying–i am a 1st time mom to-just an idea.

    2. you need mom time and mom and dad time. have a date night. once a week. it is a must. and, yes you can find childcare. there are so many students in boston, there is sittercity.com, and word of mouth. seriously. dishes can wait, laundry can wait…but baby o can’t risk not having a happy mom with a happy marriage. (we have date night, and o how we miss cate–but it makes a difference in our marriage).

    3. also, i LOVE the group ‘moms and more.’ its a support group& social group for moms. it’s mostly working moms, with degrees. not that that matters, but it helps me relate to them and they give great tips about balancing it all.

    i hope you feel better.
    xoxoxo

  10. I am SO right there with you. I hum that Barenaked Ladies song to myself all day (and night) “…who needs sleep, no you’re never gonna get it… who needs sleep, tell me what’s that for…” sigh
    For me, sleep deprivation and the resulting exhaustion color my world the entire first year of my newborn’s life. I just don’t feel like myself and it shows in my marriage and really every aspect of my life. And I do the justification thing too. I wanted this so much, I’m so HAPPY to have it. But, a nap? Please.
    Anyway, from my experience I know it will get better. If not sooner, then later, at about the 1-year mark. Everything just seems to ease a little bit then.
    Thinking of you and as always, appreciating your honesty.

  11. I guess it’s a matter of prioritizing sleep versus the good 4am nursing session, but honestly…cutting out the nighttime feed was a HUGE turning point for us. After months of poor sleep, you forget what it feels like to wake up refreshed. But getting a good night sleep COMPLETELY changes your outlook on the working-mom-wife-etc juggling act. (It’s still hard, don’t get me wrong, but it seems a lot more manageable.) And actually, Baby A ate a lot better during the daytime once she wasn’t getting a whole bunch of calories at night.

    Would your MIL take Baby O for a night? (Maybe after you’ve had your alone night?) So you and J can have some time together? We’re trying to accept more help from willing family members these days, and there’s nothing like having a few hours together when you don’t have to completely focus on the baby’s needs!

    Good luck!

  12. Baby O might just be going on a nursing strike. There are ways to get through it. I think Kelly Mom has some great tips.

    When K was 4 months old P and I had our birthday month. My mom stayed the weekend and watched K while we went into Boston for dinner, movie, and hotel. Yes, I had to pump at night, that kind of sucked. However, when I got home, K did great, my mom said she was a dream. P and I walked back into our lives with K refreshed. I highly recommend at least a night on the town with J. It’s amazing how that will rejuvinate you. Plus, you both can sleep in the next day.

    On that note, I’m also a huge believer in the whole, take a day off scenerio. Call in to work, let Baby O go to daycare and J go to work and take a day for YOU. Holy crap is that helpful and nice. I’ve done that once… okay maybe twice 😉

  13. omg, did I write this post and you hit Publish? Because honestly I feel like you wrote down all the stuff that I am way beyond feeling guilty by writing, the stuff that makes me want to slap myself awake with.
    Serenity, I feel EXACTLY the same way and you described it perfectly, like how the H*LL am I suppossed to later, rinse repeat over and over again and still be “me”? The answer I am coming to is…You’re not. Your first poster is right, we need to stop the end of the post being “but I love my kid/s”, because dam*nit we DO LOVE OUR KIDDOS and everyone knows it, the problem is that no one tells you that the tired will be boneaching and that every single decision and thought you have from now on will have to do with that little person (people) that you struggled so long to get here. No one tells you (or maybe we don’t really listen when we are in the infertile hell we were in) that your life is so different, your routine, your sense of self. It’s more than when we became wives because for the most part we could stay “us” for a little while longer. We didn’t have to do everything for DH, we just had to take on a different last name and learn to live with someone else, this is so much more.
    Rewarding ..sure! Amazing…absolutely! Miracles abounding …you’re dam*n right! BUT it’s also the little leak of our own identity that takes us completely by surprise. “I love being your mom…but I loved being Kir (Serenity) too” and that question never gets answered does it?

    thank you for writing this, maybe I can blog about how I feel now, because you did this and let me know that I might be safe doing it. We really DO need to catch up…and when we do we talk about something besides Baby O and Gio and Jacob ok??? (well at least for the last 1/2 hr. giggles)

    *Hugs*

  14. So many people have said already, but I’m feeling the exact same things you are. So, I’ll just say touche!

  15. As always, I’m seeing so much of my own life in your post. You are not alone. Thinking of you!

  16. Oh, yeah — hire a maid or a housekeeper or something for a little while! Let her do the chores while you rest. You don’t have to sign up for life, just a couple of times or for a month or something, and see where it goes from there. (Sometimes I’d like a maid, myself, and I’m a SAHM!)

  17. The tethering corners comment. So well put. I know you did catch some sleep after this post, but I wanted to say something about that particular analogy. Your sleep-away plan sounds great. It’s amazing what a little bit of a break will do.

    Bea


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