Sunday, November 30, 2008

Emperors New Groove

The "Emperor" would be my new son. Why, you ask, do I call him the "Emperor"?

Simple: he determines when I eat. When I got to the bathroom. When I make dinner. When I wear a shirt.

And most importantly, when I sleep.

He a ruthless ruler.

He tends to wake up at 9pm and stay awake until around 3am. He is happy ONLY if in my arms, usually at the breast. It's making me wonder why I thought I wanted to breastfeed.

My typical night looks like this: I bring him downstairs and sit in the recliner. He'll fall asleep. Deeply asleep (usually with a full belly). I will go upstairs and lay him in his bassinet and the second my body hits my bed, he wakes up screaming and we start over.

Even if I try to sleep in the recliner he makes sure to cry/fuss about every 15 minutes to keep me from getting any substantive sleep.

Thursday night he actually slept in his bed, quietly, between feedings. I was overjoyed. Clearly he was just teasing me, because the next two nights were WORSE than the nights that preceded Thursday. He wouldn't sleep in his bed AT ALL, or in his swing, which had been our fall-back sleep method up to this point.

In fact, last night I went to bed at 8:30 p.m. to get some sleep prior to his next feeding (while MotH was still up). I slept for 90 minutes. That was it for the rest of the night. At 8am, I got MotH out of bed and slept until 10am.

I do not do well with lack of sleep. I get very sick feeling, not to mention grumpy.

I swear, the child knows exactly when I start to fall asleep and then launches "Operation: Bring Mom to Her Knees from Exhaustion" every night.

I don't know what to do. AM was a night owl, but we thought it was due to being in the NICU where there are no days and nights. NR has been home and I've tried to make it clear that day time is day time (open the blinds to let natural light in, make normal daytime sounds, turn on the tv, etc...) and that night time is for sleeping (dark, quiet, etc...), but I'm not having any luck.

We wake him up, try to keep him up, give him a bath, etc... None of it works. He's tightly swaddled (we've tried no swaddling too) and has white noise. I've even tried bringing him to bed with me (and breastfeeding in bed is a joke). Nope. Mom CANNOT be horizontal. Think I'm kidding? The more I try to recline in the chair, the more he fusses. He's his most content when I'm sitting straight up in the chair (holding him), making it impossible for me to sleep.

He even does it during the day. I try the "sleep when the baby is sleeping"-trick and the minute I lay down, he starts to fuss. He can go HOURS and sleep peacefully, but not if I dare try to rest.

Oh, and breastfeeding. How do you cope with the constant demands of a breastfed infant? He goes through periods of time where he wants to be at the breast for hours (sometimes during the evening, sometimes during the night). Unfortunately, I am having significant pain issues (thrush infection and just overall irritation) and being a human pacifier is only making it worse.

How do you cope? How can you get ANYTHING done when the baby will want to eat in another hour or so? He eats for 30-40 minutes and wants to eat again two hours from when he started. That means I have MAYBE 90 minutes between feedings (hence the reason I got 90 minutes of sleep last night........MotH watched him until the next feeding). Do they ever start eating faster? Do they ever go more then two hours from the start of one feeding to the next?

I'm at my wits end. Yes, I know that "this to shall pass", but when? How come EVERY other mom I know has a baby that lets her sleep at night (including my new nephew)? Not sleep all night, just sleep AT night?

As a side note, I'm still dealing with some PPD only I'm not sure if that's more of a problem because I'm not getting any sleep, or if it would be a problem even with sleep. I tend to believe I'd feel better if I could just get a little more sleep. I sit in my recliner (straight up and down, thankyouverymuch) and cry my way through much of the night, but most of my tears are centered around my intense desire for sleep.

Okay, and I'm also a little bitter when I go in our room and see MotH peacefully snoozing the night away. I know that's not a pretty way to feel, but there it is nonetheless.

Anyway, I know y'all come on this board for more light-hearted fare then this post and eventually I hope I feel light-hearted again.

One more side note: I have a feeling that I'll feel about breastfeeding the way I felt about being pregnant. I loved parts of being pregnant just as there are parts of breastfeeding that I love. However, I couldn't wait for it to be finally be over........then when it was, I missed it. I think that's probably the way breastfeeding will work.

Oh, and if anyone has any pearls of wisdom, I would appreciate them. I start working from home in about three weeks and right now, I don't see how that's possible. When AM was first home, my job was mostly busy work. Now, it requires functioning brain cells. Unfortunately, my brain cells demand sleep in order to function. Good times.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Week One: A Tale of Many Emotions

NR is a week old. They grow up so fast. He has all kinds of new skills.

For example, he can scream loud enough to send his big brother running for his bedroom. He sounds a bit like a pterodactyl.

*sigh*

This last week has been an interesting "ride". MotH was home with NR and I all week and it was great, especially once a rather significant case of "baby blues" hit starting Thursday evening (it was nice to have someone home with me when the blues started). They haven't stopped hitting me, although MotH is now back at work.

Makes life oodles of fun.

I'm not sure that I have experienced such a wide range of emotions, during such a short amount of time, at any other point in my life.

Included in my list o' emotions:

Guilt: As in bring-me-to-my-knees-guilt over AM. Yes, we knew he would need to adjust to the sounds of a baby (kid sounds, especially crying/whining, are a sensory "trigger" for him), but actually watching him struggle to cope is making this mama very, very sad.

Content: Is there anything more peaceful then holding a soft, sweet-smelling newborn on your chest? If there is, we should market it and we'll make millions.

Despondency: I have spent the majority of the last four nights crying. As in the "ugly" cry. There's snot involved. I know it's (hopefully) just the baby blues, but it has made the last few days very difficult. It doesn't help that we are now having some breastfeeding struggles, which also make me feel guilty. It's hard to describe the depth of sadness I've felt. The level of anxiety. Yet I know that there are "been there, done that" moms that read this that will know exactly how I feel. Sorry to say, but that doesn't make me feel better.

Guilt: Yes, I've mentioned that. I also feel guilty that I'll have to miss some of AM's school things for the holidays. NR's doctor asked that we skip public places for eight weeks (holy cow!!) since it's cold/flu season and he's a newborn.

Heartbroken: When I asked AM if he wanted his dad or me to go to his Thanksgiving meal at school, he immediately said he wanted his dad. He wants me to stay home with NR. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it still broke my heart.

Frustration: We've dealt with jaundice (NR was on a bili bed for two days) and had to supplement since my milk took FOREVER to come in and we needed to get his bili levels down. Luckily, he is more interested in breastfeeding then bottle feeding. Unfortunately, his "latch" wasn't all that great and I'm now in a large amount of pain with each feeding.

Fear: I'm scared that my life will never feel "normal" again. That the adjustment will take a long time and that I won't find a balance. I'm afraid that one or both of my kids will end up resenting me.

Vanity: It's amazing how I went from loving my belly, cherishing my belly, lovingly touching my belly...........to despising the flab and fluff strapped to my midsection. I think it's took 60 seconds for the transformation. It's true: there is a thin line between love and hate. It's called a cervix. I got on the scale. Why did I do that? It made me so depressed I ate brownies, which is sure to help the situation.

Exhaustion: Luckily, that has improved. The first couple of nights NR woke up at 9pm and stayed up until 4am. I nearly came unglued, since AM did that for MONTHS after coming home. Luckily NR has allowed me to sleep between feedings the last couple of nights.

Okay, I'm done for now. I'm about as much fun to be around as the Grinch........before all the Who's worked their Who-magic on him.

Monday, November 10, 2008

He's Here!

Cliff Note Version:

Woke up at 4:30 a.m. Thought I was having tummy cramps. I wasn't having tummy cramps. Went to hospital at 6'ish and he was having decels, so they kept me. I was at 4cm 90% at that point.

Got a room around 7:30 a.m. and was still at 4cm. My contractions had no pause between them. Not fun. Had my epidural at 8:20 a.m. and was at 9 1/2 cm and 100 % within 45 minutes! Then I stalled, lol. Started pushing at 10:59 a.m. and he was born at 1:25 p.m. (yes, that's almost 2 1/2 hours. Ouch.)

7 lbs 14 oz, 19 1/2 inches Everyone is doing well (I feel like I've been hit by a truck, but no pain no gain, right?). He is doing really well with breastfeeding, which I'm THRILLED about. AM's isn't sure what to think yet, but I expect he'll warm up to the idea.

That's all for now. Happy birthday little man!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Finally Friday

Five days ago I mentioned that I had no idea what I would do with myself this week.

The answer, as it turns out, is "not much".

Monday: went to the doctor's office
Tuesday: took AM to lunch (where I almost got stuck in a McDonald's booth.....yay me!)
Wednesday: felt like poo all day and did a whole lotta nothin'
Thursday: cleaned all of the too-small clothes out of AM's closet, than re-organized the baby's clothes. Went to lunch with MotH. Tried to take a nap. Went to Sam's Club when MotH got home.
Friday: technically Friday hasn't happened yet, but I know I'm planning to meet my sis for lunch and will probably go to Target to spend a gift card

I felt really crampy and nauseous after lunch yesterday and thought maybe the million stairs I had to climb in the Plaza parking garage started something. No such luck.

The one thing this week did reinforce........I don't do well with alone time. I start to get very anxious when I'm not around other adults. I don't know why I'm that way, but I always have been. Thank heavens my sister (who is also that way) will be going on maternity leave in a little over a week. We can keep each other company!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Still Here

It's Monday again. That means I had another doctor's visit.

I'm now 3 cm dilated. I know! I was bummed too. I figured with all the contractions and, how do I describe this, "thunking" going on that I would be more then 3 cm! I also "lost" something last week. Hopefully that makes sense to most of you.

My doctor was excited about my progress. He tells me the baby has dropped (I wondered) and that the head is "right there".

Now I'm a little fearful that he'll just fall out. I know the likelihood of that happening is slim to none, but few people would accuse me of being logical right now.