This may start out as a rant, but I promise it gets better. Ranting is like cleaning your room- you have to get all the junk out from where you've kicked it under the bed and make the room un-recognizably messy before you can organize it into piles that will eventually get put away.
It's pretty messy under my emotional bed...
Truth: I've been feeling a little down lately. I feel fortunate (and surprised) to say that I haven't felt down since Whit's birth-- only the last few days. As I wrote in Whit's One Month post he is a very serious child. He seems like he's still figuring out this world, and hasn't decided if he likes it or not. On top of his complacent demeanor, here's a little-shared fact of parenting: BREASTFEEDING SUCKS. (Pun intended.) The American Academy of Pediatrics and my own midwives would cringe to hear me admit that I HATE BREASTFEEDING. I'm sore, all my clothes (and most things around our house) have gotten dirty, I can't give Ben a proper hug, and Whit has a negative reaction to it because of his acid reflux. It takes a long time for him to begin, and when he does he wriggles, cries, and basically seems to be in torture. I feel like I'm causing my baby pain, and I KNOW I'm in pain, which adds up to a very, very emotional and unpleasant 30 minutes ever 3 hours. I've been waiting every week, every day, every feeding for things to get better. I try to look on the bright side. Things get easier with time, right? Well, after a month of things NOT getting better, I'm actually in tears half the times that I feed him!
In a typical role reversal, I, the mommy, am now pretty jealous of Ben, the daddy. I feel like I have Whit when he's crying and when we both hate breastfeeding, Ben gets Whit when he's sleeping, burping, or at least generally calm. I have worked so hard to create a nice atmosphere for him and tried to become a good mother (which I think I am, so no pity comments, please), but the "most intimate and bonding times" are the worst of my day. I give him all the tenderness and patience I have, but inwardly I'm in screaming down to my tippy toes.
I am just waiting for the time when he smiles on his own and can give me a hug. And didn't all the parenting websites I subscribed to say that my voice would be his favorite sound, and I would be his favorite person? Then why does he seem to hate being around me? When will he smile just because I- his mothering goddess- just walked in the room? I guess that will come later, too, but for now I get no recognition from this little person that my efforts are doing any good, which feels so terrible! I know I'm a good mom and there is no way I could love Whit any more, I just wish he could show that he loves me back. And me front :)
I heard this morning that a close friend delivered the two remaining of the triplets she was pregnant with. They were all three stillborn in the last couple of weeks. Her first child, a girl, was stillborn 5 months before I had Eleanor. My friend was a tremendous help and blessing to me during that time. She helped me feel like I was not alone and process how I was feeling. Now she has lost three more, and I can't begin to understand her pain. Learning of her loss reminds me of my own, and I can't imagine going through that experience three more times.
I had a plot near Eleanor's picked out for Dragon the entire time I was pregnant, and even now that I have him I recognize that SIDS and other conditions could take him from me at any time. But those are just fears, and I need to recognize the difference between fears and reality. The reality is that Whit was born safely and healthy and is here with me now. Today. In my arms AT THIS MOMENT. He may be crying and arching his back in discomfort, BUT HE'S HERE AND HE'S MINE. I watch his skin turn from deep purple back to white as he transitions from screaming to sleeping and I appreciate every time I've been peed on, having to wear itchy nursing pads, doing tons of laundry, changing two poopy diapers in as many minutes, rocking him more awake than back to sleep at 5 am, and every other "joy" of parenthood.
So just one question... how selfish am I?!