Out of Sorts/Quarter-OK-30ish-Life-Crisis-Maybe?

I realized a few weeks ago that I have spent years in the pursuit of conception, pregnancy, postpartum, or infancy survival. Literally YEARS. Surely that kind of uterus gazing cannot be healthy. So I tried to think about myself not as a proud owner/operator of a uterus or as a mother, but as an individual, and consider what I would list as a hobby or interest, if asked, (not that I have been asked, but conceivably there might be a situation in which I was asked such a question) and I could not think of a single thing.

Guys. Have I become a conservative’s dream woman, aka a walking uterus? (No, because: the gay. But still, moving dangerously into that territory.)

Maybe I’m feeling this acutely right now because I’ve been so heavily in toddler mode. (I typed out a whole breakdown of my day here but it was so boring I had to delete it.) Tammy’s working really hard on her master’s program right now, so the bulk of the childcare falls to me.

Maybe I’m having a some-time-in-life-crisis? Maybe it’s normal to feel this way as a mother?

It’s so incredibly frustrating, because I adore my daughter. She is funny, and smart, and of course stunningly, achingly adorable, and trust me when I tell you that I very clearly remember all of the blood, sweat, tears, and credit cards we went through to have her with us.

But is it so bad to want more from life? Is it so bad to want Ellie, but also want friends? Is it so bad to crave baby snuggles/board books/squeals of laughter with pretentious intellectual debates in coffee shops, hipster glasses optional? Is it so bad that I simultaneously love the expression on Ellie’s face when I go into her room in the morning, and desperately, achingly want to check into a hotel, eat and drink massively marked up room service and then sleep until noon? Is it so wrong that I love feeling her head heavily rest on my shoulder as I put her to bed at night, and feel, well, trapped by the schedule of naptime, bedtime, snack, bottle, etc., etc., etc.?

So speak to me, o wise women of the internet. How do you deal with the push and the pull of being both an individual person and a mother? Going guilt free? (how?!??) Medication? (Which one(s)??!) Occasional weekend babysitter?? (Not actually a bad idea…) School me in your ways.

The Spirit Is Willing

Hi there. Long time, no post.

I would say I’m sorry (because I am) but I have no real words to offer up in defense. I think of posting often, and have many things I’d like to say to you. But by the time I’ve run through my day of up early/commute/work/pump/commute/pick up baby/home/put baby to bed/eat dinner/sit on couch with no pants I’m totally spent, you know? After dinner is when I could totally try to make something of the dozen-odd half formed posts that live in my drafts folder, but at that point It’s all I can do to keep my eyes open while I prep the baby and myself for the next day.

As they say, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

So how about a quick run down? The baby first, because, well, she is our raison d’être.

She’s almost 9 months now. Can you believe it?!

She sleeps mostly well. We sleep trained (Ferber, which sucked massively but goddamn if it didn’t work exactly like it’s supposed to) at 4ish months. She took to it in a few days and then we tackled night feedings by once a week dropping a minute off the time that I nursed her. Once we were down to about 5 minutes per nursing session she decided waking up wasn’t worth her time and started sleeping through the night. For the most part she goes down by 7PM and wakes up around 6AM, although recently she’s been waking up around 4 or 5 which is decidedly not cool and makes me dread the end of Daylight Savings Time. We’re going to be putting her down a few minutes later every night this week in hopes that it will help recalibrate her clock. It probably won’t work, but then, I’m your resident pessimist.

She eats VERY well. She has three big bowls of solid food a day and has recently gotten the hang of self feeding via soft bits of carrot and peas and cheerios and her beloved puffs. Over the next few months I figure we’ll transition to more and more self feeding and do away with the baby food (which she LOVES).

I am working on weaning her from breastfeeding, which I am both sad and excited about.

Breastfeeding was really hard in the first few months. She initially wouldn’t latch due to her tongue tie, I had massive engorgement, she ate round the clock (seriously, she was either attached to the boob or screaming – I was her pacifier, and no plastic substitute was acceptable) and I got little to no sleep. For weeks I would sleep in half hour bursts which drove me to the very brink of my sanity. The gaping maw of insanity is a very dark and terrifying place. PPD is not a joke, my friends. Tread lightly.

On the other hand, I spent some heart achingly sweet time cuddled up with my girl, and I was (and am!) so damn proud of myself for being able to feed my daughter from my very own body. After all the shit infertility put my sense of self through, being able to nourish and sustain my long fought for child from my very own body (sorry, that needs to be repeated) went a long way toward healing.

So why am I stopping? Well, I went back to work and my supply tanked. I did the fenugreek, the water, the oatmeal, the extra pump sessions, the power pumping and blah blah blah. It helped some, but not enough and I was killing myself trying to make quota every day. So we started supplementing, which further tanked my supply, and it’s been dwindling ever since. My hope was that I could feed her mornings and nights and just not worry about pumping during the day, but Ellie just seems frustrated that she gets a measly few ounces first thing in the morning when she would greatly prefer a hearty breakfast of about 7 or 8 ounces.

And while it’s sad, it’s also exciting. If I never have to pump again it will be too soon. I might burn that damn pump. Seriously. Set the fucker on fire and dance around its charred remains. If there is anything more sucky (ha) about pumping, please don’t bring it to my attention because god almighty there is enough shit in the world.

So. The end. Sob. (Yay!)

Ellie loves her daycare. We had a few bumps as we all got adjusted, but it’s worked out beautifully. She has two sweet little friends in her class that she plays with every day and the teachers help gently encourage skills that routinely blow me away. It’s like, what do you mean she can hold her own bottle/clap hands/wave bye-bye/blow kisses/hold hands with her friend (omgsocute)/etc. I didn’t teach her that! It’s like she’s an independent person! That can be taught things! Weird!

She is crawling like a champ, and pulls herself to stand. We think she’ll be an early walker, probably by Christmas, according to her teacher. She would be around 10 or 11 months then.

And how are her mamas? We’re well. We’re both a little shell shocked from her infancy, and honestly, we’re just starting to recover. Tammy gets visibly upset if anyone mentions having another baby (because obviously it would be the easiest and cheapest thing to get pregnant) and is adamant about wanting to be one and done with Ellie. I go back and forth on the issue but don’t want to commit myself one way or another. There are pros and cons to both.

One thing that Tammy I and agree on is that Ellie’s infancy was, frankly, the most difficult thing we’ve ever done. Now though, it is so, SO fun. So worth it. This is what I wanted when I fought so long for a child. Watching her discover and explore and learn and grow. Her whole body smile. Giving her one last kiss on her fuzzy little head when I lay her sleep heavy body down in her crib at night.

Like they say, the days are long but the years are short. I hope you all are well. xo

Busy vs. Frantic vs. Meltdown

Don’t get me wrong, being busy can be a good thing. It makes the day go by faster, it keeps you sharp, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

What I do NOT like, however, is being frantically, panicky busy. The hands shaking, oh-my-god-I-have-so-much-to-do, how-am-I-ever-going-to-get-this-done, please-god-let-my-phone-stop-ringing, I-have-HOW-many-emails?, you-want-this-done-WHEN? busy. The meltdown busy. The fighting back tears as you type as fast as you can, half listening to whoever is yelling on the other end of the phone line. The no lunch, no peeing, sitting rigidly still waiting for the world to collapse in busy.

Yeah. The past few days have been the not-good kind of busy. I’m not going to get into the specifics, because I’m not trying to get dooced (in the off-chance someone IRL found my blog).

But that’s where I’ve been the past while. I’ve tried to check in to your blogs during the few minutes I sneak in the bathroom. I’m cheering for those of you who’ve received good news, and mourning with others who haven’t.

A quick update about the goings on in my neck of the woods:

  • I’m 12 weeks tomorrow. Had a scan (at the OB!!) at 11 weeks, 1 day and it was awesome. The pirate was doing a mambo. Wish I could feel it. (I’ll probably regret saying that later). Measured a day ahead. Obviously my future child is very advanced.
  • Tammy and I went to my parent’s house this past weekend, where Tammy proceeded to get some kind of horrific insect bite on her neck that is now infected. It has inflamed a string of lymph nodes in her neck. She’s on antibiotics but hasn’t seen much improvement yet.
  • This article is fucking stupid. If I had more time I’d post a take down, but let’s just agree that William Saletan is an idiot.
  • I have my nuchal translucency scan next Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll get another good picture.
  • Speaking of pictures, here’s the pirate at 11 weeks, 1 day: baby, 11w2d
  • I’m feeling larger. Hard to tell what’s bloat and what’s…not bloat, but I sure as heck do not fit into my regular pants. Can I just make a note here about how comfortable maternity pants are? Why do we not all wear elastic waist pants ALL.THE.TIME? Can we get something in Vogue on this?
  • My belly button is stretching. It is the most bizarre thing. It feels very tender and the hole is becoming positively cavernous in my stomach. My innie is also becoming puffy and poofy and I’m afraid I will end up with an outtie sooner than expected.
  • I’m still scared of miscarriage but becoming less so every day. A tiny bit. Teeny eensy weensy bit.
  • Today was the first day in weeks that I did not want to vomit at any point. Victory! (other than the times I wanted to vomit due to stress. I’m talking pregnancy vomit that was avoided)
  • Yeah. That’s about it. Hope all of you are well. Off to a meeting with the boss man to…hand him a piece of paper. Yes. So glad I’m still at work to hand him a piece of paper. Not that I’m bitter about that or anything. My chance to get home at a decent hour, foiled by handing him a piece of paper. Awesome.