Tuesday, October 30, 2007

10 Years

I better write this now because tomorrow is Halloween, and I never get time to blog during the day anymore.

Thursday is mine and D's 10 year wedding anniversary. The first 2-3 years of our marriage went by in a painful crawl (it took us that long to work out alot of the kinks), but time has flown by since then especially since we moved into our current home.

I am usually really good at bitching about D rather than discussing all of his great qualities, so I thought I'd post some of the reasons why I'm glad I married him.

D is a nice guy....the nice guy that never gets the girl in movies. Despite being only 24 when we married (and therefore still mostly an idiot with zero life experience) I somehow knew he would never be the type of jerky dude to hurt me. He's just a good, sensitive and affectionate fella who really adores his family.

He HATES sports just like I do, and, believe me, this fact played a big role in my attraction to him. My dad and brother lorded over the tv when I was growing up, subjecting me to YEARS of watching football, basketball, and golf. I have never had to argue with D over watching a televised game of any kind or had to hear about some game he went to see over the weekend.

D is totally ok with me being a complete psycho spazz---he sensed I had mood issues long before they were diagnosed and married me anyway.

I'm so not good at lauding him via blog, or even telling him. I just couldn't imagine being married to anyone else but him. I used to always think to myself that D is my best thing...of course, now I have to extend that title to N and G as well, but without D, they wouldn't be in the picture.

I am so very fortunate to have such a great husband and wonderful family. I'm ready to re-up for another 10.

Random thoughts from a sleep-deprived brain

I have only partial brain power these days, so my thoughts here will be all over the place.

First, I love both my children, but the same things happen with one's feelings toward an older child when a 2nd child is born that happens to one's feelings about one's pets when a 1st child is born. Before you have a 1st child, you think you can't love anyone as much as you love your pets. Then your 1st child arrives and not only do the pets move down the totem pole of importance, but you actually start to really dislike them because they are a hassle when they meow for food 11 million times a day or yak a hairball in the middle of the kitchen table. Well, 2nd baby comes along and you sorta feel similar things about your older child. (Or maybe it is just me).

Second, bonding for me is different with G. With N, I was over-the-top in love instantly (and probably the start of a not-too-healthy obsessive love on my part). Perhaps because of N, I am not seeing parenthood with rosy glasses and so my bonding with G is slower (plus I just don't like the wormy stage of infancy).

Third---I now have a closet full of skinny clothes that no longer fit me. I had to go to Wal-Mart and Target today to buy some new pants, belt and underwear. I am only 7.5 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight but I think things have shifted. I actually look like I have some hips now.

Yesterday I managed to take N and G to Hallmark, Blockbuster and Wal-Mart. While exhausted, no one cried, ran off or lost their minds. Hooray! I think I can do this.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Adjustment Update (1 month)

So the L family has a month of life with it's newest member under the belt. How are we faring?

G is said newest member so he is in his own little world of sleeping, eating, pooping, and pissing. How nice.

N really seems to like her little brother. She will check on him for no apparent reason and is eager to have pictures taken with him. She hates it when he cries and is forever jamming his pacifier into his mouth. I told D the poor boy won't say his first words until he is 15 because he will be dodging a rubber nipple until N is off at college.

Now this is not to say she is perfectly thrilled with having a baby in the house. She has been waking up at night and wanting to come into our bed, especially when I am nursing G there. And her sassiness with me has grown to new heights, which could be attributed to baby brother or just being exposed to new and equally obnoxious 3-year-olds at preschool.

D is being so helpful with G...he is so much more at ease with G than he ever was with N during her infancy. He is sleep deprived but a good cheerleader for me even on his worst days. He has some stressful projects at work so he is facing chaos on 2 fronts.

And then there is me...Miss "It Will Take Me At Least Until 2010 to Adjust to This New Life." I am tired....very nearly bone tired, although today I took both kids to my parents' house so I could nap. Feeling guilty because I can't keep N as occupied as I would like or give her as much attention as I would like, and I am patient up until about 8:00 pm when the tiredness hits utter exhaustion level. It is at that point that I simply can't stand being "on" anymore. I hear myself saying "Now" a whole lot more, as in "Get your pjs on NOW," "Brush your teeth NOW," and "Get the hell to sleep NOW."

Next week is a busy one. Monday is G's 1 month dr. visit. Tuesday is N's Halloween party at school. Thursday is mine and D's 10 year wedding anniversary (and you know we won't be doing anything to commemorate it including eating out, purchasing presents for each other or having wild monkey sex.) A peck on the cheek before collapsing into bed is all we are up for at this point.

Speaking of collapsing, it is quarter after 9, so I am due for a shower and a collapse soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Survival Mode

So I am able to keep everyone fed and relatively clean. That is about it.

Although I feel guilty not playing with N when G is sleeping because I am so tired and zonked (from every 2 hour nursing sessions at night), I simply don't have the energy to act and eliminate the guilt. And my brain is so fuzzy that the guilt doesn't bother me as much as it might normally.

N is going a little crazy, I think, from boredom. She has asked me to go to AAK to play. She even suggested going outside today to play. Now had I taken her up on any of these suggestions, she probably would have immediately gotten interested in watching the 5 DVDs I rented for her yesterday and been perfectly content to ignore me. Such is our relationship now. She turns me down when I want to play, and I turn her down when she wants to play. We are out of sync.

All G does is suck on my teats....constantly. With N, I adored breastfeeding. With G, I tolerate breastfeeding.

Tomorrow G is a month old. The month was a blur, and thank God for that because who wants to savor moments of anxiety, exhaustion and frustration. While I don't want him to grow up too fast, I will be excited when he sleeps even 4 hours at a stretch at night (at this point, N was sleeping 8 hours a night). I love my son but this wormy stage of babyhood really sucks.

N is patiently sitting here waiting for me to finish typing so she and I can look at the Disney Princess web page, so I'll be off.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More semi-twin like pics

This is N.
This is G.
This is N.
This is G.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Breaking my formulaic thinking

Here is the thing about OCD (and anyone who has watched Monk episodes will understand): People with OCD tend to be very extreme thinkers, as in things have to be either "this way" or "that way." There isn't comfort in the middle, in the muddle. For example, Monk's household items (cups, frames, utensils) have to be just a certain way...the way he finds comfort and order in them, and if they get out of that "just so" order, he freaks out.

My utensils don't have to be lined up perfectly in my kitchen drawer and my hangars don't have to face the same direction, but where I get very "rigid" relates to certain ideals I have relating to children, childrearing and parenting. Some of these have been blown wide open since my nervous breakdown in 2004 and some I am still working through.

For example, with N, I was hell bent on natural unmedicated childbirth. I was obsessed with it. There was no compromise in my head---I couldn't accept or tolerate the idea of ANY intervention. No breaking waters, no stripping members, no shot of demerol, no forceps, no internal monitoring--nothing that would veer my experience from the ideal in my head...because the ideal was safe and comforting. Now with G, given his breech position, I had to accept the possibility of a c-section and that was the reality. I don't have any unresolved, upset feelings about this.

So here is the one I am working on, although with a breakthrough under my belt.

With N, I was, again, hell-bent on breastfeeding for at least a year, and actually I said I wanted to nurse for 2 years. We had a rocky start, but then things were golden until she was about 7-8 months old. I developed a yeast infection and mastitis in the right breast at the same time and then began experiencing eczema issues on my right nipple (no wonder the poor thing doesn't work as well now). I had never pushed the bottle with N and didn't try formula with her until all my breastfeeding problems started, and she wouldn't have any part of it. So I felt trapped and anxious. How is my baby going to get her nutrition if I can't nurse her? So I nursed in pain from October to February, eventually just letting my right breast dry up and only nursing with my leftie. I was so glad to wean her 2 weeks before her 1st birthday.

So along comes G and I started experiencing nipple pain (worse with rightie) and all of those feelings of entrapment come back. How am I gonna nurse him for 6 months in pain? And maybe feeling all that anxiety was affecting my milk supply (or maybe boys just eat more than girls)? I just felt like G wasn't being fully satisfied by nursing and my poor nipples just can't tolerate him nursing and nursing and nursing (I guess these would be cluster feeds).

So Friday night, after nursing G from 9pm until after midnight and him still not being satisfied, I let D give him 2 oz of formula, after which G fell sound asleep and was happy. Now D felt great giving him a bottle--finally he can satisfy a need the child has. And there I stood watching my baby take a bottle of formula SOBBING. Having to leave the room numerous times to go blow my nose because I just felt awful. And then after getting G off to sleep, D had to hold me and listen to me blather on in between weepy outbursts.

How do I feel now?

Still working through it. Obviously, I can't tolerate the idea of G being hungry, and if my milk supply (despite drinking Mother's Milk tea and taking Fenugreek capsules) isn't cutting it for him, then he needs supplementation. And I am doing everything I can (see parentheses above) to help boost my supply and nurse him. But I also have to accept that maybe a compromise is ok---for whatever reason, my nipples cannot handle nursing him in back-t0-back feedings every hour. My breasts need time to rest and fill back up with milk, and if this means giving him 2 oz of formula a day, then so be it.

Sure, it isn't what I prefer or would want, but my experience with my son so far is that he seems to have an agenda all his own that makes my "plans" spiral quickly down the toilet. Didn't want a c-section ever; had a c-section with him. Didn't want to give formula; giving formula to satisfy him and keep my nipples from feeling and looking like chopped ground beef.

I believe I have met my match.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Relearning and Re-Remembering

Mother Nature is a tricky bitch. A brilliant gal, but tricky to the core. She makes women forget all the unpleasantness of pregnancy, birth and early child-rearing so that we want to do it again and again.

Although this is my 2nd child, G might as well be my first because I am completely clueless as to what he and I are doing. I forgot how often N nursed. I forgot how badly my cracked nipples hurt. I forgot how much N slept during the day and how little I slept during the night.

D says he is going to start recording crying spells (G's and mine) and the other sundry parts of this new baby experience so in 3 years when I start talking about kiddo tres, he can whip out the tape and persuade me that it is so not a good idea.

D has encouraged me to try to sleep when G sleeps, but that is impossible. Sleep when the baby sleeps is only useful with your 1st child. Although N has been wonderful with him, you just never know what a 3-year-old might do with Play-Doh and her baby brother's nasal passages while mommy snoozes on the couch.

I visited the lactation consultant yesterday and got some nipple ointment so keep your fingers crossed that I am on the way to speedy healing. I also learned breast compression for my "dud boob" (the right one is seriously LD) so hopefully that will prevent G from getting so pissed and trying to yank off my nipple out of frustration.

Checked in with my therapist too. I have my good moments and my depressed moments (sometimes within the course of an hour), but I can say I feel more assured this week than I did last week. Getting N to preschool Monday and Tuesday of this week on time and without incident was affirming. Tomorrow I might try to get an allergy shot with both kids in tow.

Baby steps.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My kiddos

G getting a body scrub.

N after having a body scrub.

N laying on a blanket.

G laying on a blanket.

Mommy & N

Mommy & G

So they aren't twins, and we suspect G has a big honking Langford nose, but they both resemble older gentlemen with receding hairlines (their Papaw Tommy).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pics of G

When G isn't hollering, I may get time to post some pics of both he and N during infancy. They look strikingly similar.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My demons

Well, as much as I hate to admit it, my demons are rearing their heads again. I had hoped my medication would prevent any weirdness, but I think the stress of a new baby coupled with breastfeeding difficulties and lack of sleep are taking their toll.

I have my psychiatrist appointment in 3 weeks but realized I need more immediate help so I'm starting back into therapy this coming week.

D has been instructed that his role is a cheerleader, reminding me that I'll get through this and things will get better, yada-yada-yada. He and my mom are both concerned because I am obsessing about breastfeeding and getting back into the mindset of "everything for the benefit of my kids even if it is to the detriment of myself."

I am really struggling with nursing, and I'm not sure if it is because G has the jaws of death munching on my breast tissue or because my skin is so ultra sensitive (or a combo of these). I see a lactation consultant at my ob practice on Tuesday a.m. for help. Regardless, the pain I feel triggers unhealthy, negative thinking.

I want to nurse for 6 months (preferably more, but I'll feel like a champ if I can go that long), but I fear that I will continue to feel such extreme pain and will want to give G formula and then feel like the world's worst mom for giving up breastfeeding. In my head formula equals poison, which I realize is TOTALLY irrational, but that is my mind for ya.

So I am stuck right now in a cycle of pain, fear of wanting to quit nursing, guilt over possibly stopping nursing before 6 months, and sadness over the whole thing (the pain, the fear and the guilt). And the worst thing is that I do recognize that if I did decide to give up nursing it would be after doing everything in my power to salvage it and would only be done because I simply couldn't stand the pain anymore. But that doesn't make a difference to the rest of my head (the nutso part that is much stronger right now that the reasonable part). The only thing that matters to the nutso part is that I would have quit (and thereby let my son down).

None of these thoughts are healthy but that is what my mind does to me. I have felt myself slipping back into depression and hopelessness. I should have known some kinda shit would hit the fan because I coped really well with having a c-section. I am clearly not coping well with nursing or mothering 2 children. I am in a constant state of guilt right now, over what I have done, what I have failed to do, and what I may either do wrong or fail to do in the future. I thought I had worked through a lot of this stuff after N's birth, but I clearly have some more emotional and mental housekeeping to do.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Exposing Myself

No, this post doesn't have a thing to do this breastfeeding in public and being reprimanded by Applebee's employees.

It is about having sent the link to my blog to various family members so they could read about G's birth story (and all the other sundry details of my life).

My mom checked out my blog, which is a little weird. She has always known I am a nut-job, but I think reading my thoughts is a little too much for her. She thinks I am bonkers for worrying about how good of a mom I'm being to N and G. I don't know if this is because she thinks I am such a good mom that I have no reason to second-guess myself or because it is just fruitless to stew over everything the way I do (or maybe it is a combination of both).

Anyway, as I've noted before, this blog is therapy for me so that I don't have to go to my therapist and drop $58 per week. It is critical for me to get my thoughts down where I can read them and process them rationally. Plus, since so many of my issues are mom-related, it gives my mom friends a place to offer support, and, Lord knows, I need all I can get.

Excruciatingly Tender

Yes, this is a brief blog about my nipples.

All I can say is that no matter what the books say and no matter how many lactation consultants examine the latch, a person with skin as sensitive as mine doesn't just slide into nursing (even kiddo #2) without pain.

When a voracious little bugger like my son sucks on me approximately 12 times a day for 40 minutes each time, it tends to irritate that ever so delicate nipple skin.

I continue to take my Super Motrin not for my c-section incision but for my boobs. Oh, to be one of those hardy, chesty women who suckle without incident.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Mom to 2 Panic

I keep thinking of my friend B who for months after having her 2nd child would say she felt like she was flubbering around and couldn't understand how other women seemed to do it so flawlessly....or if not flawlessly, without being on the verge of a meltdown on a daily basis.

So I have written off from now until Dec 26 (3 months) as survival mode/damage control, but despite this I find myself stewing over how G screams to be nursed at exactly the time I want to read to N for her afternoon attempt at a nap (thereby resulting in no "N and mommy alone time" as well as a forfeited nap). And I find myself worrying about how N's brain is going to rot after watching Barbie as Rapunzel and the Care Bears Big Wish Movie non-stop from now until she starts kindergarten. There is a whole slew of other worries that have been roaming around my head since returning home from the hospital, but I am too tired to remember what they are.

I guess the good thing, if one can call it a good thing is that I have been a pretty crapola mom since January, really, when I first got pregnant. We had a good 15-week run there in the 2nd trimester, but the first 15 weeks I was sick on the couch and the last 9 weeks I was too tired and uncomfortable to do anything fun or useful. So the fact that I have no energy and aren't worth a darn is really no big change for N...and she hasn't turned into a stupid vegetable during this time frame.

Thus far I don't really worry too much about how G will fare, I guess because I figure he will be used to a much less attentive mom than what N experienced. I just feel like I'm boring her, or letting her down.

This too shall pass, right? Isn't that my saying for everything?