Monday, February 1, 2010

Downsides

This here is a list of good things, about which I will complain:

1. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight at my two-week Dr. visit.  Yeah, I know.  Poor me.  Please note that I didn't put much on in the first place.  And please also note that when you're dropping weight that quickly, it's not really particularly healthy, and it means that you need to eat more if you don't want to drop further (and I don't).  Dave keeps foisting whole milk on me, and demanding that I eat more pastries.  Which is great, since pastries are all I want to eat.  I am spectacularly uninterested in food of any kind, except brownies.  I could eat a lot of brownies.  Instead, I'm choking down whatever is put in front of me as quickly as is humanly possible because, invariably, when we sit down to dinner, Willow would like to eat too, please.  I am holding steady, but after nine months of dietary challenges, I would like to just eat normally and pleasurably.

2. My milk flow is quite heavy indeed.  And I'm going to go forth and complain about it with all due sensitivity to the many mothers out there who cannot claim as much--your road is way harder.  Waaaaay.  Mine is neither heartrending nor frustrating, it's just a little annoying at times.  Willow will get the nipple started, and whoa nelly, will it go.  And so will the other one.  The nipple currently not in use will begin dripping copiously.  But the nipple currently in use will go crazy, and flood Willow's mouth, and so she'll spit it out, and it will spray everywhere.  Fountains.  She'll be drenched, I'll be drenched, so will any furniture in the vicinity.  And so although I insist Dave stay here until I've showered in the morning (otherwise no shower will take place) by noon I've been soaked multiple times in breast milk and I've started to smell.  And I just feel disgusting.  I like breastfeeding itself (which is good, since Willow is one of those babies that seems to need to eat every hour or so), but it means that I always feel a little gross.

3. I have a baby.  A baby that I love dearly, but the fact of the matter is that despite all the cute pictures you've seen, she's either asleep or she's crying.  We run and take those pictures to document the times when she is not crying.  This baby cries a lot, apparently more than most babies even, and while I still love her when she's crying, it's hard to enjoy her.  And while I certainly enjoy holding her while she's sleeping, when you've been holding a baby for eighteen out of every twenty-four hours for the past six weeks, the joy of I'mholdingababy gets somewhat diluted.  It's hard living with a creature whose very existence seems to torture her--and when you love that creature, you feel pretty much tortured yourself.  It's hard not to feel like you're doing something wrong, since clearly part of being a good parent is to give your child a sense of being loved and comforted.  Willow has that sense for about five minutes between screaming and being asleep.

This is an exaggeration.  She isn't always screaming.  She generally has about an hour or two every day when she is awake and, if not happy, then not in complete and utter distress.  But the times when she is distressed far outnumber the times when she's not, and it's not just hard on me, it's hard on the kids.  They adore their sister, and would like to feel that she adores them too, and doesn't just cry whenever they hold her.  They would also like to be able to have a conversation with Dave and me, together, when one of us isn't bouncing and comforting the baby, our attention unavoidably divided.  There isn't anything for it--this is just what is, and we all have to try not to take it personally.  But it's hard.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

My first child was a trying infant, very colickly, etc. It was determined that what I was eating was probably making him miserable. Unfortunately I learned that after he was 3 months old and beginning to settle down a bit. Chocolate was the culprit for us and I was more careful with my next two kids and they were ALOT more likeable and seemed to be less miserable themselves. Steph in NH

why not sew? said...

I was going to say almost exactly what Steph in NH said. It was chocolate and dairy. I actually took mine to the doctor because the baby cried so much. The dietary changes did help though.

Laura said...

Maybe she needs a little Zantac or something. P did. Ped made us take her to the ER one day because she screamed so much. I thought she was just, you know, screamy. And I still think she was. But giving her Zantac made me feel like I was doing something. Just don't do what I did and cut out everything but baked chicken and mashed potatoes because you'll end up miserable and feel deprived and the kid will still scream. If it makes you feel any better, Parker doesn't remember spending her first 4 months screaming nonstop. But I do. Oh boy, do I! But now she's 6 and only screams when we run out of cured meat.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried putting her in a swing? It worked for our screaming grandchild

Auntie Dawn said...

Although they say milk is good for the skin, enough is enough! I used to put your cousins in an infant (car) seat and bring them into the bathroom while I took a shower. That way you can have your baby and your bath, too!

Kitty said...

Do you have a breastpump? If yes, have you tried pumping before nursing Willow, especially in the morning? I had the same supply issue for the first couple of months with my son - and like you, I know it's a "good" problem to have, but wow, was it messy/uncomfortable/spit-up-inducing. I can't count how many times I sprayed the wee boy in the face while trying to get a good latch. Anyway, the problem was most apparent in the morning, and often he would nurse, look contented for about 5 minutes, and then spit up copious amounts of milk all over the place. I finally started pumping for a few minutes before nursing, which seemed to help a lot. Plus, then you have some stored milk when you need it.

Maile said...

I have the same milk "issues" as you. I try to pretend like I don't smell, and I just hold the baby in front of the giant wet spot on my shirt

Melissa H. said...

My youngest is one that needs to be held constantly. She's now 6 months old and still feels the need to nurse almost constantly--especially when we're in bed.

As far as colicky cries, I can't eat broccoli or too much breakfast sausage because Katie is uber sensitive to them.

Willow will eventually settle down. Just give her what she *needs*--lots of TLC. Don't forget to take some time for yourself as well. Often we as mothers get so wrapped up in our babies that we forget to take care of ourselves.

Melissa H. said...

Oh, yeah, and the milk issues? You're definitely not alone. One side starts, the other goes too. Happened like this with all five of mine! (And currently every three or four hours....)