Rainy Day Thoughts

It’s raining and both kids are napping.  I’m sitting in nervous energy, always do when they nap, not sure why.  Is it that they will wake up any minute, or that they won’t wake at all?

My son cries before nearly every sleep and cries when he wakes.  He’s 2 years and 2 months.  He’s done this for 2 years and 2 months.  You think I would get used to it.  You think, why would you let him cry?  I do it because he needs to sleep.  If I go in to comfort him he goes into hysterics and then doesn’t sleep.  And I need to give him at least 15 minutes to wake up or else he is inconsolable.  If I wait, he’s happy.

My daughter can fall asleep on her own and she wakes up happy.  She’s 3 months old.

I still can’t get over the difference between the two of them.  And the difference in me.  Even though I have this nervous energy, my overall mood is nothing like it was with my son.

My baby girl has this really amazing ability to calm me.  I just have to look at her and all my worries melt away.  It’s a beautiful thing.  I hope we always have that connection.

I definitely don’t have that with my mother.

Some nights when I’m up nursing my baby girl I think about the things I wish my mother would tell me.  That I’m doing a good job.  That she found it hard sometimes.  That she’s here for me.

Some nights when I’m up nursing my baby girl I think about the things I wish my mother wouldn’t say to me.  That my daughter spits up because of something I’m eating.  That my son is a bad sleeper because I was an anxious first time mom.  That I’m a mean mom.  That my kids can come home with her.

She says these things to my children, so it’s not like she’s actually saying them to me.  She would never say things like this to me directly.  She says very few things directly.

But no person is perfect.  No mother is perfect.  All I can try to be is better.  To give my daughter the things I needed that I never got from my mom.  I can also try to focus on the beautiful things my mother did give me.  Physical affection – so many hugs, cuddles.  Lots of ‘I love yous’.  Great body image.  Strong self esteem. Safety and stability.  Freedom, both physically and emotionally to discover who I am.

I don’t blame her and I don’t think I’m angry.  I do get rather disappointed.  But I know who I am and I know that I was not an easy daughter.  I’m stubborn and strong willed.  I have always been fiercely independent and I honestly don’t think my mother understands me.

But then again, I don’t know how much I understand – or know – my  mother.

I want to know and understand my children.  I want them to know and understand me.

I will say this though,  she is a wonderful nanna.  She loves them so much and it warms my heart to see someone bestow so much love upon my children.  They are lucky to have her.

 

Brain Dump – My Marriage

I just put sweet baby girl down for her morning nap and I feel the need to get some things out of my head. I’ve been letting some not so great things build up and haven’t had the time to devote to these thoughts.  Namely my marriage, my job, and just stresses with the kids.

I guess this post will be part one: my marriage.

My husband and I have been married for 5 years and together for 14 years.  There was a break in there while I was living in Thailand, but yeah, we’ve been together a long time.  We’ve had our challenges along the way and I feel that having kids has been the hardest on our marriage.  I’ve had moments where I’ve wondered if I even married the wrong man.  Wondered if we can make it work.  I read somewhere that you should stop focusing on what the other person is doing and focus more on what you’re doing.  I know I can do more. I know I can be more for him, but it’s hard when I’m up at night with our 3 month old and our toddler is tantrumy and I haven’t had any time to myself all day.

Some time ago we both decided we want to be in this.  We had the talk and decided we wanted to stay together.  And things were good for a bit.  But once again I feel like we’ve gone back to our old ways and are just coexisting.  Sleeping in separate rooms.  Only talking about our kids.  There is very little fun in our relationship right now.

So people say, date your spouse.  Bring back the fun.  And the thing is, we actually have very little in common.  Crazy, I know.  We don’t like to do the same things so ‘dating’ is difficult because one person ends up doing something for the other person.  We’ve tried alternating date ideas and that works for a bit, but then it falls off.  We both like to read – so we even tried reading the same book, but we don’t like the same kind of books.

I don’t know how we’ve made it work so long because we are really so different.

Actually I know how we’ve made it work – we are both respectful and encouraging of each others passions.  I went to Costa Rica to do yoga for three weeks without him.  He needs to go to the gym every day.  It’s OK that we do things separately.  I think a big thing is neither one of us are doing the things we love right now, the things that make us feel grounded and ourselves. We are tired and all about the kids.

When I’m up late at night with the baby I sometimes have negative thoughts come up about my husband.  I want to rewire these thoughts.  I want to paint a more positive picture of my husband.  I just find I can come up with the negative things faster than the positive.  I never used to be like this.  He’s my person.  I chose him.  I want to feel nothing but love and loyalty to him.  I want to see and admire and appreciate the good in him.

We’ve talked about going to counselling and I found something online, but it never amounted to anything.  Perhaps we should revisit this.  Or maybe just I should go to counselling.  Couldn’t hurt.

The Crazy Things I Did as a New Mom

Sometimes I think back to the first few months of my son’s life and think: what was I thinking?   I was not myself and I did some crazy things.  Some of these things are  just funny, and some were stemmed from my severe anxiety – so not so funny.  Here are some of those things:

  • In that first week I would put on movies at night so that I wouldn’t fall asleep while he slept on me.
  • I yelled at my husband because he fell asleep on the couch with the baby on him.  I yelled while they were both sleeping – the baby woke up crying and I scared my husband so much he jumped, yeah, with the baby on him.
  • I had a timer next  to the chair I nursed my son in to make sure that he nursed for 20 minutes – and no less – on each boob.
  • I used to let my son sleep on me for every nap for an entire year.
  • When we finally got him sleeping in his crib I checked on him every 10 minutes.  I finally stopped when I realized I was waking him up.
  • I would wake up frantic looking for my baby thinking he was in bed with me when really he was sleeping soundly in his crib.  This went on for months.
  • When we were introducing food I would scream for my husband every time my son gagged even the slightest on his food.
  • I  made him broccoli pops.  They’re like popsicles, only with broccoli and water.  Nothing else.
  • I cried because I took my son out in the rain.
  • When he was 4 months old I flew with him and while landing I was more concerned with shoving the pacifier in his mouth so that his ears wouldn’t pop than supporting his head.
  • I was so sleep deprived I poured orange juice into my coffee instead of cream.  I dumped it out and made a new coffee only to do the exact same thing again.

I’m happy to report that I am much more sane the second time around.  I honestly don’t think I’ve done anything ‘crazy’ – but she’s only 3 months so there’s plenty time still.

Healing and Gratitude

After my daughter was born I remember looking up and seeing my husband standing at our bathroom door holding our two year old son.  My husband wasn’t there with me in that moment that she was born, or for the hardest part where I screamed and clawed at our couch, needing to hold onto something.  Our son woke up at 5:45 am (my screams woke him up) and my husband had to go tend to him.  Our sweet baby girl was born at 6:15.

After she was born, I looked up at my husband and my son.  When I saw my son I remember him looking very concerned and curious.  Probably wondering what all that noise was.  Wondering who all those people were.  Why I was naked in the shower holding a little crying baby.  He wasn’t scared though.  I kissed them and cried.

She’s perfect I said.

We then made our way to the bed where she latched immediately and I cried tears of gratitude and relief.  When my son was born he wouldn’t latch and it took us a long time to get the hang of it.  This little one, well, she was a champ right from the start.  We lay in bed together, her suckling for over an hour.

I don’t know why, but it took me a long time to recover from my sons birth.  Both physically and emotionally.  The physical recovery took well over two months, even though I didn’t tear.  I just felt really off – like my insides were going to fall out of me. (Sorry if that’s tmi!).  The emotional recovery took much longer.  I didn’t realize that I was still recovering until we started talking about having a second.  Which is why I started this blog, because I knew I still had some healing to do before I could have another baby.

And then I had her and it all went away.

Even though I have some not so great memories of the birth, the moment that she was born was something I will never forget.  I felt so light and free and normal.  And I have felt that way ever since.  It’s like she healed me.  Her birth was what I was waiting for.  I was waiting for her.

I feel so blessed and grateful for both of my children.  They have both given me so much, taught me so much, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

Processing

My sweet baby girl will be three months old on the 27th and I feel like I’m still processing her birth.

I’ll be laying in bed at night and an image will flash through my mind.

For those of you who don’t know, I had her at home.  It was a fast 4 hour birth and it was nothing like my first.

I think that’s one part that I’m processing – just how different it was.  It wasn’t zen.  It wasn’t beautiful.  It wasn’t gradual.  It was hard and intense and primal and my last.

Here are some of the recurring images:

  • blood coming out of the iv they put in my hand because I was GBS positive soaking through the facecloth, bright red
  • clutter of toys in the living room and clutter of people
  • food on the kitchen table that I asked my husband to put out for the midwives that went untouched
  • my dog barking barking barking
  • looking at the clock – 5:14 am – and wanting it to be over even though it had only been three hours
  • plastic laid out on the living room floor
  • kneeling on the plastic, taking my shirt off ready to push the baby out while leaning against the couch my husband no where near me tending to our son upstairs
  • grasping for something to hold on to and finding nothing while the contractions ripped through me
  • feeling for her head and finding nothing.  wondering why she wasn’t there
  • crawling naked up the stairs to get into water
  • desperately needing the water
  • stopping at the top of the stairs in unbearable pain, screaming
  • turning the shower on, stepping into the shower and feeling a release – my water broke
  • squatting in the shower screaming like I was being ripped in half and pushing pushing pushing needing that baby out of me
  • feeling her head
  • second push screaming, the student midwife telling me to move closer to her, someone telling her to turn the water off
  • blood on the shower wall
  • my baby.  my sweet beautiful dark haired baby girl.

I have more to say, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

 

Mom Guilt

My son goes to daycare every morning from 9-12 and is normally pretty ok about it.  He’s happy when he gets there and sometimes even shoves me out the door saying ‘bye bye’.

This morning he didn’t want to go.  We were having a great morning, he was happy, we played with his legos, we read some books, and then when I said it was time to go he threw his boots across the room and refused to put his jacket on.  I managed to get him in the stroller and put sweet baby girl up in the ergo and we walked over to his daycare.  As soon as we got there he started crying and hanging onto my leg.

He obviously didn’t want to be there.

I stayed for a bit until he was happy and then I made my way back home.  As soon as I walked in the door it hit me, hard.

Mom guilt.

Why didn’t I just bring him back home?  Why isn’t he here with me right now? Sweet baby girl went for her hap as soon as I came home so it’s not like she’s demanding my attention or anything.  I’m literally here at home alone writing this.

Ugh.  I”m so torn on this whole daycare thing.  I know it’s good for him and and it’s especially good for me because as amazing as he is some days he’s really really hard and as great as the little one is sleeping, some nights are not so great and I need to take care of myself.  I need time in the morning to do the things I need to do – be it clean the house, take a nap, write a blog post, or stare at the wall enjoying the silence.

Having my son in daycare for 3 hours a day is a luxury.  But some days it doesn’t feel like it.  Now I know I could have just brought him right back home, but I also don’t want to mess with his routine.  We’ve got a good thing going on.  I also don’t want to just give in when he doesn’t want to do something.

And there’s the mom guilt again – all he wanted to do was be with me today.

We’ve got an extra long weekend coming up so I know I’ll have a lot of time with him.  And I bet you at the end of that long weekend we’ll all be looking forward to getting back to our routine – him with his friends and me with my space.

 

Feeling Robbed

My baby girl is 10 weeks old today and is just an absolute dream.  I feel so full of love and gratitude for her.

My days with her are so easy.  She sleeps well and on her own, she smiles, she coos, she nurses well – like I said, a total dream.  And I’m so different this time around – I’m not anxious or sad or angry.

I do feel something not so great though.  Like reverse nostalgia.  I see now how I guess ‘normal’ babies are and I can’t help but feel like I got robbed my first time around.  I wish I could have had this kind of experience with my son.  Don’t get me wrong, I felt a ton of love and gratitude – overwhelmingly so – but it was so fucking hard.

I can’t even compare the two because everything is different, but the biggest thing is the sleep.  And not just how long and where they sleep, but just their overall approach to sleep.

My son, two years old, still has to let out steam before he goes to sleep.  Sometimes its in the form of jumping in his crib (ok, always), sometimes its yelling, sometimes its crying.  And if I go in to comfort him it just makes it worse.  And he very often still wakes up crying.  I hate it so much.  And he’s been like that his whole life.

She falls asleep beautifully and peacefully ON HER OWN and wakes up smiling.  Smiling!

I have space to myself during the day which I didn’t get with my son because he had to sleep on me.  And when he wasn’t sleeping he needed to be held.  I feel so sad right now thinking back to that time.  I wish it had been a better experience.  But I’m so glad I didn’t let it influence our decision to have another baby because I can’t imagine the world without her.

Whenever I speak/write not so happy things about my son I always feel the need to say – I love him so much.  And I do.  God I love that kid.  He’s so funny and energetic and smart. He’s watching us all the time now and learning so much.  He has such a big personality for such a little guy.  He’s also ridiculously good looking. And I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom.  He has the most beautiful smile and the best laugh.  But oh man that kid stresses me out.  Always has, probably always will 🙂