Monday, February 24, 2014

Blob Along if You Know the Words

I worked from home most of my weekend.  I stayed up late.  I charged ahead as quickly as I could to feel less daunted by the week ahead and all the additional tasks it would hold.  Last night, around 11, I called it.  You don't mess around with Sunday nights.  There's a certain amount of "sleep" that has to happen to feel capable of tackling something as daunting as Monday morning. 

Ten minutes later, I was settling underneath the comforter, breathing a deep sigh of exhausted relief, when the baby started screaming.  And I was hanging over the side of the Pack N Play, shushing, patting, running out of ideas at 2AM.  She screamed.  She dozed off.  She flailed awake, and we would start over.  Finally, at 2:45AM, Hubby managed to get her sleep.  Then he managed to get her in her bed.  And then she woke up 15 minutes later.

This morning, I woke up angry.  After a broken three hours of sleep, I didn't have a whole lot of emotional padding to start my Monday morning.  Baby smiled at me.  I looked away.  Baby said "HI!"  I muttered it back, but it was clear my heart wasn't in it.  She nursed, and I prayed she would fall back asleep.  She did not.  Instead, she sat up and emphatically signed "ALL DONE!"  She was ready to start the day.  I was not.  I just lay there.  We stared at each other.  She signed again.  I was paralyzed by my own overwhelming exhaustion.  I had no idea how I was going to possibly get out of bed.  She signed again, clearly growing impatient.  I wanted to cry through my rampant emotions.  She did cry.  I scooped her up, and we went to change her soggy overnight diaper.

I was still angry.  I did not feel like a mom today.  I felt like an angry, exhausted, defeated blob.  As soon as the words formed in my mind, I knew they were not true, but it didn't matter.  They were heavy, dramatic words that matched my heavy, raw emotions.  I texted them to my husband.  I sent them to my friends.  I sent those heavy words out into the world, and I hoped they would weigh less if someone else helped me carry them.  It must have worked.  I started to notice all the things Blob Mom had accomplished this morning.  The baby was up.  Her diaper was clean.  She was fed.  She was happily playing with her toys.  No matter how blobular I felt, I had mom'ed the crap out of this morning anyways.

Sometimes being a mom is just doing what has to be done, even if your heart isn't in it.  Sometimes it's faking a smile until your emotions can thaw just a little bit--just enough--to allow you to see the miracle sitting in front of you.  Sometimes it's just pulling yourself out of bed.  Sometimes it's managing to nurse, change a diaper, and fix breakfast as a big fat blob (hey, that's pretty advanced blob behaviour!).  Sometimes being a mom is just being real with yourself until you can feel  like yourself.  And you will.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

One Year

It may have taken me nearly two months to finally get this post put together.  I was not prepared for how busy the holidays would get with our new family birthday.  I was also not prepared for the sleep disaster that 10 - 13 months held for us.  But, here we are none the less.  Slowly but surely, I will catch up.  Here is the letter I wrote to my daughter on her first birthday.
Dear Baby,

It's your First Birthday today.  You woke up a little early, but you sweetly snuggled on your Daddy's chest and went back to sleep for two more hours.  When you woke up, we did your medicine, and then we all cuddled in bed and read "Happy Birthday, Pookie!" by Sandra Boynton.  I brought your brush to the bed, and you started to brush your hair for the first time!  We played in bed for the next half hour until you could eat, and then you happily nursed.  It was time to start the day!

Your Daddy dropped the dogs off at doggy daycare so they could play with other dogs while we had your party.  After he left, we sat down to have breakfast together.  I was trying to get everything ready for the party, so I didn't actually eat with you, but I gave you some carrot chunks to feed yourself, along with some carrot puree.  You were so happy, you did a little carrot dance after each bite.  Toward the end of the meal, you started to get sleepy.  You rested your head on your highchair tray, and you smiled when I said "Aww, sleepy girl!" Your Daddy returned, and it was time for your nap.

You nursed again, and then cuddled on the bed with your dad while I frantically cleaned up and tried to get ready for the party.  My party helpers were running late, so I felt panicked!  I cleaned up while texting friends to see who could help me get everything done in 2 hours.  You did not want to nap and woke up early.  The whole schedule was off, so we did your medicine early, and you played with your Grandpas while your Daddy and I decorated.

You thought the pom poms and birthday banner were so cool!  You kept smiling and looking at them.  We made those just for you, Baby Girl.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sleep: The Biggest Brain Bender of Babyhood

You hear it ALL the time while you're pregnant: "Better sleep while you can!" You smile sweetly and nod knowingly, all the while thinking about what a joke that is...
Why don't you try sleeping with this jackfruit attached to your midsection, and while you're at it, go ahead and enjoy your new dragon status with that fire breathing reflux burning through your entire upper body.  
You read the articles, and you laugh at ALL the products promising to help your baby sleep. You say to yourself, "I'll just do this" or "We'll never do that."

But you don't really know anything about sleep deprivation until that baby arrives, and not only are your exhausted, you are on duty 24 hours a day.  Oh, and by the way, your body just went through something amazing, and I'm sure you're not tired from that at all.

Don't worry, though, because you probably have at least 7 days before people start asking you, "So, is the baby sleeping through the night?"  (True story, 7 days.)  Maybe you'll be lucky, and the answer will be yes.  Maybe you're not so lucky, and the next thing you know, you're crouched over that person with your fist in their throat.  Oops, did I forget to mention something earlier about raging hormones?