So here’s the scoop y’all… I haven’t posted in months because I had a baby and so much has changed. I’d like to keep this short, but I’m recapping 3 months so bare with me; where to begin…
I had a home water birth. It was epic. I didn’t even know I was in labour because I had expected severe and extreme pain, but all I got was some cramping. There was really nothing to it (sorry to all of you whose labour was horrible). I decided I’d hang out in my bath tub with my doula while my hubby and midwives frantically prepared the birthing tub in our living room. 5 hours went by and just like that our whole world turned PINK! We had a beautiful baby girl without any pain meds who weighed a perfect 7 pounds, had an APGAR score of 9 and 9, nursed immediately without any issues and slept like a charm. She never had any jaundice and gained her birth weight back in 3 days. She’s amazing! I never cried when she emerged so peaceful out of the water… instead I shouted “We did it!” and felt like a superstar!
This is where the star starts to fade…
I had told everyone when I was prego that I didn’t want visitors, but it would seem that there tends to be a sense of entitlement to the little bundle from everyone who knows you. Long story short, I ended up having a severe case of anxiety to let people hold and touch my baby. My hubby’s family thought a surprise baby shower would be a great idea… instead my anxiety and reluctance to pass my girl around like a plate of cookies created this rumour that I had postpartum depression. I still stand strong that I do NOT have PPD, but instead just want to protect my baby… there were people there I didn’t even know for christ sake! She had developed a severe case of baby acne right before this gathering and I was not interested in showing her off in that state, not to mention the potential for an infection.
Anyways, since then my feelings of stardom have steadily decreased 😦 I felt like every minute she is in someone else’s arms is a minute I will never get back with her at this tender stage. I feel like everyone is either trying to take credit for my triumphs or scold me for my ignorance when it comes to raising my daughter. She’s barely three months old! I feel very alone, like no one can relate to me. I feel like everyone thinks I’m being irrational. Just like every other new mom out there, I want everything to be perfect. I know it won’t be and I’m okay with that, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to try.
Why is everyone finding it so hard to believe that I don’t need a break from my kid? I love her and think she’s super fun even at this age. Everyone keeps saying “Just you wait…” instead of saying “that’s great!” I find it very upsetting. Why can’t they just be happy for me? The worst advice ever is hearing that I’m spoiling my kid by holding her. If I hear that again I’m going to scream! It’s such dated thinking… but yet I’m the one seen as ignorant. I’m just a first time mom… what do I know, right?!
There was a lot I knew would change once my baby came along, but two things surprised me. First, my expectations of our night time routine were vastly different from my hubby’s. We both agreed that we would co-sleep, but everything else was different. I thought (silly me) that we’d both be involved in basking in this new adventure. When the baby cried awake, I would pass her over to hubby who would then take her to her room across the hall, change her ever so teeny tiny diaper and then bring her back so I could nurse her back to sleep while we smiled and gazed upon her together. However, hubby is not a fan of being woken up… and turns into a grizzly bear despite the beautiful coos and sighs of our precious newborn. It only took a few nights of this routine for him to bark at me and behave as though our baby was a severe inconvenience rather than a joy. When I talked to my hubby one morning about how I didn’t understand what was wrong, this is how he thought things would go… He thought baby would wake and I would take her to her room, change her and nurse her there and bring her back to our comfy bed without him being bothered. He was very irritated to be woken up after only a few hours sleep (if one at all) just to change a wet diaper of a crying infant and then hand her over to me. Not to mention my “shushing” which drove him mad the night before this conversation to the point of barking at me. Now that this was out in the open… we needed to amend things.
I was super disappointed, especially since he had a whole month off work. I thought he’d be more excited to go through this together. Instead, I felt like I was doing it all by myself and in feeling that way (and still riding the hormone high) I felt like superwoman and figured I would handle this myself and be happy to do it, since I hated handing her off anyways. I decided the best thing for my little one was to create a “nest” on our living room recliner. I would rock her to sleep on my chest, then sit way back and enjoy a snooze myself. Hubby would snore himself to sleep in our comfy queen size bed in the bedroom. This seemed to be the best way for everyone to get as much sleep as possible and we have been doing this ever since. So far so good… baby sleeps almost through the night and when she does wake, she doesn’t even open her eyes, I just pop a nipple in her round yawn and 10 minutes later she’s asleep, fed and happy. I don’t even need to change her in the middle of the night anymore 🙂
The second major change that blew my mind was the dynamic between hubby and me. I am a stay-at-home-mom now. I’m fine with this… it’s my preference over going back to work and having someone else raise her. My hubby makes plenty for our growing family. We are very comfortable. Going back to work just to bring in an extra $500 a month after paying daycare is not enough to justify that route of action. But hubby still seems to resent me for this. At least that’s how it feels. I spend all day at home with the babe, so obviously I’m just laying around doing nothing. The house should be spotless and I should be in a great mood all the time with bright eyes and a bushy tail ready to serve dinner on a silver platter. Ugh… Men have no idea. Honestly it’s the greatest thing ever to be home with my babe. I’m happy to be a wife and mother, but feel resented. Again, this is something I thought hubby and I were on the same page about. We talked about this. Yet, he threw in my face one night, “Are you EVER going to go back to work?” I was so dumbfounded because we plan on having more children and we both agree that if we can (and we definitely can) we should be raising our own kids rather than using daycare. This led into a conversation about him insisting that I pump so he could “bond” with the babe during feedings. He called me selfish for insisting that I exclusively breastfeed without pumping. I had done some research and determined that was best for the baby and me and my body. It was easy and free. He piped down once I reminded him that he doesn’t like to be woken up and chances are he wouldn’t be helping out by bottle feeding at 3am… What needless pressure on me 😦 I’m so irritated… and he called me selfish 😦 He even got upset with me that he couldn’t give the baby a soother (another thing we had talked about), because “I wouldn’t let him” and so he could never stop the baby from crying, but because I had boobs I could. So his frustration with the crying babe was my fault. He hasn’t spoke of it since I reminded him of a night our babe cried (overtired) at 2am and even my boobs couldn’t soothe her. I actually woke him up, quite abruptly with the babe’s cry as we entered the bedroom so I could pass her off to him – with hopefully more patience than I had at the time. I tried… but eventually had to take my superwoman cape off. 45 minutes of intense crying at 2am was more than I could handle on no sleep. I needed help… it was definitely his turn. I was actually a little angry that he didn’t hear her from the bedroom and come out with open arms to save the day. That anger intensified when just a few days later he woke up to our cat meowing up a storm to be let out at 5am, but apparently couldn’t hear our wailing babe. I dunno… I’m not a trusting person on the best of days, but I feel like he was just avoiding the whole situation.
So today, my babe is a few days shy of 12 weeks old. I could feel myself breaking down this week. The last two days I’ve felt very overtired. I even had a nap yesterday once hubby came home and I was able to nurse the babe and let Daddy have some quality time. I’m disappointed that he doesn’t seem to want to engage with her, but instead puts her on her play mat to entertain herself while he plays video games. Today, I woke up feeling irritated and he could tell. Since he asked, I decided to speak about how I was feeling. Specifically that it was bothersome to me that he couldn’t seem to give me any individual attention. He either has the babe and coos at her while I’m talking to him (I know he hears me, buts one eye contact would be great), or he’s focused on the TV or his phone. Apparently, he didn’t understand. I went on to say that I didn’t feel like I had any time to do anything for me. This was a tough one to disclose because there isn’t anything specific that I want to do “for me” its just that I can’t do anything without the babe in tow and she requires a lot of attention, thereby slowing things down. In hearing this, he raised his voice to tell me that I was welcome to do whatever I wanted “for myself” and that I shouldn’t put it on him that I don’t. The rest of this conversation is a blur. I started crying as soon as I finished nursing the babe, passed her to him and left the house. The rest of this day has been me avoiding him except for exchanging the babe when she needs to eat. I’m avoiding being around him right now because I feel very alone with him and so I’d rather just be alone. There’s nothing worse than being with someone and feeling alone.
So this blog is a way of venting my feelings. I like it especially because I’m anonymous. I joined some local Facebook groups in hopes of finding woman that I can relate to, but instead I found people I know who I don’t like very much engaging in conversations that don’t interest me. Social Media FAIL… 😦 I just want someone to talk to that’s going to tell me I’m great no matter what. My self-esteem is so low right now, I just feel defeated 😦 I feel like no one likes me. I feel like I don’t really like myself. I feel immature a well. Or I should say, I feel like my feelings are immature. I don’t know. What’s more is I am a homebody and probably an introvert. I prefer to be at home and stick to myself. People ask me how I don’t go stir crazy. I dunno, I just don’t. I’m most comfortable at home. It’s easy for me to take care of the babe with everything we need at home. Going out into the world at 3 months “just because” is more of a hassle than a pleasure. Not to mention having to breastfeed in public. People are so rude… I’m just feeding my kid… GAWD! If you don’t like it, don’t look.
Well, I hope I haven’t bored to many of you and hopefully there’s someone out there than can relate to me. I look forward to your comments. Please share your experiences and if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask 🙂 Thanks for letting me rant and rave.
Until next time…