Its been sixteen days since I cried and for someone who knows me, that would sounds unusual. After Malcolm suddenly stopped nursing right before he turned ten months old, I think that finally broke me. In my last blog I tried to convey the feelings of rejection and despair I felt, trying to pacify an infant that seemed to now hate everything. He resisted every other means of hydration, and continues to get virtually all his hydration from baby purees.
I decided to start taking an anti-depression/anxiety medication to see if it could help me manage my days better and I think it has. Although I feel more even-keeled, it also feels like I’m more two-dimensional. Lately I don’t really miss the three-dimensional depth of feeling, as it was mostly negative. I don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed of being on medication, but I plan to stop as soon as things even out around here.
We had a good week. Nothing seemed too overwhelming and I think we have adjusted to the new normal around here, as well as Malcolm’s new feeding pattern. He still does not get any formula or breast milk, but I plan to try and get him some home-made formula in small quantities when he’ll tolerate it. He eats constantly, so I just try to keep up with it and try not to let him get constipated. My milk supply is now gone and I feel the familiar tug in my gut that aches for the connection he and I had, but its like I can’t access that part of myself fully anymore. Crying was always so cathartic for me, but for now I suppose it will have to wait until life settles.
Third Trimester Preg-somnia. Its my fault for eating garbage and caffeine this evening… I was at a Pizza and PJs MOPS night with the ladies. What a MOM thing to do. I also attended a La Leche League meeting this morning. I used to frequent the meetings for breastfeeding support, and still continue to go even though Vi is weaned to support other moms. Or because I have nothing better to do?
I left the meeting slightly irritated, not really knowing why. It was the same story–tired mothers needing direction in the seemingly never-ending journey of being a food source. I thought I was just irritated because I seem to be the only one who sleep trained their child and wouldn’t accept that she “needed” food in the middle of the night. I suppose that was part of it. But I think I mostly just get fed up with the infant crowd. When you have an infant, especially your first, you’re essentially in survival mode for at least the first year. Everything is a crisis, and you’re so. damn. tired. Your world stops for your child because it has to. They are just too little to have much wiggle room in that area. But its not just that you’re in the trenches…its the interesting ways that moms cope to get through the first year. Since all you do is eat sleep and breathe this baby, the rest of the world is secondary, resulting in a slight superiority complex. You’re absorbed in baby-land and suddenly you’re a mommy blog reader, Dr Sears groupy, and obsessed with the latest baby clothes consignment sale. I’m guilty of most of this. And what else can you do? Nothing really, except whatever gets you through the day.
I’m looking forward to the next infant experience being slightly more laid back. Having an infant in addition to the toddler will be more like having an extra appendage–lots of feeding while wearing him in the carrier while a gather a giant diaper bag of books and snacks for the mobile one. I have enjoyed Viola as a 1.5 year old…I feel a little more sane, and I can contribute to the world a bit more while still missing this Spring’s consignment sale. I’m resistant to the all-absorbed mom mode because I wasn’t a huge fan of the first year. Viola was not the easiest baby and it makes me enjoy the “now” a lot more. I’m assuming the next baby will be a great sleeper and have a cheery disposition. Either because that’s the way he is, or because I just don’t have the time or energy to cater to him.
I suppose the way that a lot of new moms function in the first year is not real-world sustainable, and that’s what I’d like to be this next year. Yes frazzled and tired, but also that I can manage to get out of the house occasionally and buy a latte to feel like a real person.
Cheers to that!
I have noticed something interesting lately when I’m around breastfeeding moms. Since I stopped breastfeeding my daughter, I’m not often around other moms and their “business”. I was fairly shameless in my bf-ing days, whipping out a boob in a room of women and considering moms who used covers in the presence of other females to be unusually modest. Occasionally there would be a situation where a man might be present and the need arose. For example…the last and final two times Viola was breastfed was a hail mary attempt to quiet the squirming child on an airplane bound for Colorado. No cover. It just came out and all were grateful in the end.
One of my friends whipped out her boob the other day and it took me a moment to register what had just happened. I think she saw me take it in a second too long and said “sorry! I’m just so used to it.” No sorry needed. Its just interesting to be back in non-lactation country. As it were.
But not for long.
I was encouraged by an article sent to me written by a woman who listed 10 reasons why having a newborn the second time around is a piece of cake. For example, you’re already conditioned for it – thrashed sleep-wise, you already know breastfeeding hurts for awhile, etc. Maybe I’ll catch the mastitis in time? And this baby has to be different! Please God make it so. I much prefer Vi as a toddler than an infant.
Three months and counting…