Wednesday, April 29, 2009

post pile-up

I've done that thing where you wait too long to post and then what you meant to say isn't even applicable anymore. In my defense, every time I sit down to write something, I'm interrupted by a needy baby. And I thought I had trouble finding time to blog before he arrived! Then, Elliot and I hopped on a plane and spent 10 days visiting family and friends up and down the west coast. Somehow we managed to stay with the half a dozen relatives that have no internet. (I say this as if I'd have had time to blog anyway - ha!) Fortunately, I've saved several partial posts during my hiatus so the sentiments are belated, but not lost altogether:

The cold, hard truth (4/6/09)

I've been agonizing over if and how to write this post. It feels wrong to think these things, let alone record them somewhere, but... that's kind of the point, oddly enough.

Life with a newborn is hard - unbelievably, ridiculously crazy-hard. I don't know if no one told me this before he came (I mean really told me), or if they did and I didn't listen, or if I had some crazy notion that how long and how badly we wanted him would insulate us during the rough patches. I suspect the latter. However it came to pass, I was unprepared for how this experience has unfolded.

Please don't think for a minute that I don't know how lucky I am. I'm living the dream, or at least I'm supposed to be. I have the one thing I've been working for for the past three years. Knowing all of this makes me feel even worse when the negative thoughts creep in. It's a strange dichotomy: Loving him so much it hurts and being deeply grateful that he's here and he's ours, and at the same time feeling terrified that I'm just not cut out for parenthood. I know it will get easier, but right now we're all feeling the strain. 

Co.lic: The-only-child-maker (4/11/09)

It's been a rough week. We've been playing the "is it or isn't it" game for a while now, trying to determine if E's reflux had evolved into col.ic or we were just wimps. Well a few days ago, our question was answered: No, we hadn't experienced true co.lic just yet, but boy did it come to town the other night. And at that point, the difficulties we'd experienced thus far were a blissful memory.

On Wednesday night, Elliot screamed inconsolably for five straight hours with no breaks. I kid you not. I think he only stopped because he physically couldn't stay awake anymore. It was one of the worst nights of my life. M and I were doing everything in our power to soothe him and it wasn't even scratching the surface. We pulled out the secret weapon we'd been saving for a night like that (the final OTC remedy our pediatrician recommended) and I swear it made it worse. He was in agony and there was nothing we could do to help him. It reached a point where it seemed like us simply touching him made it worse. I'm pretty sure there are few things worse than watching your child suffer. The next day, we obtained and started a prescription treatment and - knock on wood - things seem to have improved. He's still uncomfortable, but M and I are able to calm him a bit and help him through it. We've been advised never to count our chickens - apparently the palliative effects of this treatment can be outgrown in a week or two so we may be adjusting dosages and so forth before too long.

On the same day that E started his medication, I started one of my own. It turns out the misery I've been chalking up to normal c-sec.tion recovery has actually been the result of a side effect from the drugs they gave me for my infection. I'm only a couple of days into my antibiotics but I feel better already. It had gotten to a point where I was terribly dehydrated and had no energy - I could make it through a shower, but I'd have to sit down to brush my hair and teeth because I was too wiped out to stand any longer. Peeling myself off the couch to tend to the crying baby felt impossible. I didn't realize how much my physical limitations were impacting my mood until they lifted. I feel like a different person already and I'd say I'm only 40-50% recovered.

I'm a fan of month #2 (4/16/09)

We're only a couple of days in but E's transformation during that brief period has been amazing. He's started smiling in earnest (and often!) in response to our voices and faces, tracking us with his eyes, spending more consecutive time sleeping and awake, and all sorts of other fun stuff. I feel like the person he is going to be is starting to unfold in place of the brand new baby we couldn't relate to or communicate with. His refl.ux continues to improve and our quality of life is being pulled up along with it. I hope this trend continues


And now, today...

I have tons to say about our trip (super plane traveler, long stretches of sleep somewhere other than my arms, and laughing - oh my god, the laughing is the best freaking thing ever) but M's headed out for the evening which means I have to go back on baby duty and he's not going for the swing at the moment. I also have a birth story to share, or I will soon, at least. I'm feeling rather ashamed of myself now that vee has part 1 of hers posted (good for you, vee!!) and I've got to get with the program before it's gone from my memory altogether. Maybe this weekend...


bleu said...

Oh sweety, I DO know how awful it is to listen to your baby suffer. It is the worst most painful thing I have ever endured. Thank Goddess you have great docs doing things, we spent 3 months before we got help.

Newborns ARE hard, but all the hard is also with the awesomeness and it is so hard to tell anyone who hasn't been through it, you either sound like a negative wench or a jerk and either way no moms to be really hear it.

The laughs, they ARE the best things EVER!!!

I am so glad you got your meds changed, being sick is way not ok to be dealing with all you are.

Much love and should you need anything or to vent I am here.

tireegal68 said...

Great updates - it sounds so painful to deal with the little one's endless misery. I am so sorry. I hope that he continues to do better.
I hear you on the it's really hard being a new mom of a new baby issue; I have suspected as much from my friends' stories and it seems that even though we know it's true there is something hell bent in us on doing it anyway.
I hope there are even more laughs and less colic real soon!
take care and don't feel bad if you can't blog when you want to - it's great to hear from you whenever you have a chance.

mulberry said...

even though i was a nanny in my youth and took care of a newborn (a toddler and a 5 year old) everyday, that is not the same as living through the sleepless nights and the pain of not being able to soothe your own child. even though i FULLY know that intellectually, i am SURE that i will be floored by how unprepared i am when we finally have a baby. so glad you are on the other side of colic mountain.

Anonymous said...

Oh it is good to hear from you, really good to hear the hard things about new babyhood. I am happy things are going better with E. and that you are now on better medication. I don't think you should feel bad about writing about the hard stuff too. (although i am sure I will struggle with that too. )... xoxo L