So, the general consensus seems to be that little Baby Blueberry is adorable. She’s cute, she nurses well, she’s very healthy and already in the 50th percentile for height and weight. She’s perfect. When people ask, “How are you doing? How’s the baby?” that is typically what I will rattle off, sometimes with the added mention that, “I’m tired.” Because DUDE – I’m tired. I think that’s a given what with the whole two week old baby and a three year old thing – yeah I’m tired.
But you know, there’s more I could say, that I generally don’t say – because well, it’s like when you pass a casual acquaintance on the street and they ask, “How are you?” and all you are really supposed to say is, “Great, you?” You aren’t supposed to tell them that you have a raging head ache and eight loads of laundry to do and all you can think about is the chocolate souffle that isn’t in your kitchen and won’t be anytime soon. If you can’t say it in less than five words, it’s not really welcome information. At least that’s how it has always felt to me, but maybe I’m mistaken?
So I haven’t talked much (to anyone except my husband) about how I’m feeling. Partly because I’m sleep deprived and probably feeling everything at like 500% magnification – I don’t want to go complaining about something and have people worrying when it’s really nothing. But this is that place where I am supposed to be chronicling what’s real and writing it all, the good and the bad, so that’s what I’m going to attempt to do before BB wakes up for her next feeding or diaper change (my Moby wrap, by the way, is the item responsible for me being able to post this – baby wearing is maybe the best thing ever).
First off, let’s talk about the Mommy Guilt. I’ve been feeling it in droves, towards MM specifically. When I came home from the hospital I was so excited to finally have time to spend with both my children – I’d missed MM like crazy despite being totally smitten with my new baby girl. I wanted both my babies. But what I came home to wasn’t a baby anymore. I swear he grew 10 feet while I was gone. Everything about him is longer, louder and larger than life. He’s really doing terrific, overall, with the new addition. He seems smitten with her at least once or twice a day. But I can’t help but suspect he’s also a bit miffed. He used to be the absolute center of my universe and now, well, he’s not. And so every time I kiss her cheek or show any affection towards her, and I notice him watching or he’ll come in the room mid- snuggle. Guilt. All I feel is guilt – how could I submit him to my PDA with this new tiny baby that isn’t him?
Meanwhile, what with the nursing, this little girl is attached me all day. All day I have to say, “I’m sorry MM, I can’t get you water right now, I’m feeding the baby. Can you wait a few minutes?” And you know, newborns are ALWAYS eating, so I’m always making him wait for something or the other and I hate it. I crave more time with him, just him, my first love. I want to walk away from this new part of my life and just hold him and play with his toys with him and laugh with him and baby him. So far the most I’ve really gotten is five minutes at bedtime and one amazing walk to the mailbox – another 5 minutes. I want MORE than five minutes with him. I feel sometimes like we broke up or something and I can’t figure out how to feel whole about it. I think I’m probably exaggerating these feelings but honestly just typing this out brings tears to my eyes, so even if it’s an exaggerated feeling, I know it’s also real in some small way.
So there’s that. My small little pile of emotional baggage that probably isn’t made much better with the sleep deprivation. And then the nursing, which also makes me tired. Don’t get me wrong – I love nursing and I have no intention of giving it up. It’s going so much better than nursing MM did, even with the soreness and the leakage and other things that don’t seem proper to write about in a public forum. It’s going really well and the cost savings is just huge. I hated supplementing formula with MM and the pumping all that other garbage and it’s a relief to not be dealing with those things now. But I’m also anxious to become a bit more mobile. I sometimes feel like all I do is feed her, change her diapers and then try to get as much done as possible while she’s sleeping (like typing this right now feels like a huge waste of my invaluable spare time…). Rinse and repeat. Newborns nurse a LOT. I really wish I could get the hang of nursing in my Moby wrap but it really doesn’t work. I want to try a ring sling but I don’t want to spend the money (they are expensive!! At least the one I want is). I don’t want to spend ANY money and yet with a new baby, sometimes it seems like that’s all we do (when I’m not nursing and changing diapers)…
Oh god and the diapers. We’re cloth diapering. I’ve mentioned it. I’ve raved about it right up until BB was born, so excited about our prefolds and Thirsties wraps and snappis and the cost savings and how wonderful it would be to not have to buy diapers. So it kind of pains me to admit this, but I kind of hate it. I don’t know what my problem is. It’s not difficult. Cloth diapering is very easy in some ways. I do one load of laundry for the cloth diapers a day which isn’t really that big of a deal with a washing machine and dryer right in our bedroom. But it is a big deal because I also do an additional load or two of baby clothes each week and the cloth nursing pads that I also wash every day and suddenly I feel like an over burdened housewife and instead of spending quality time bonding with my baby, I’m cringing every time she poops because all I can think about is the LAUNDRY and also… the smell. I know poop smells. But I swear – poop and pee and cotton smells worse. At least to me. But the thing is – Dan actually loves it. He thinks cloth diapering is the best thing ever. So I’m trying to get over myself because there are so many advantages, but sometimes it just feels like that one.. more… thing.
All of these things by themselves would be nothing, but all of them combined with sleep deprivation make me a pretty irritable new mom. I’m trying – and I swear I’m probably happy for over half the day. An hour from now I’ll probably be all, “Aren’t those the cutest little fingers ever?” and MM will say something sweet and my amazing husband is going to come home tonight and cook dinner like he does EVERY night now, which I’d feel guilty about if it weren’t his preference, too. My amazing husband also offered to change all the night time diapers in an attempt to make this whole CDing thing less of a burden for me. Because he’s amazing and he has it together and he’s just a glowing, happy new dad and having a grand old time of it all. Unlike me, the mess.
Now the big question is, do I publish this?