Saturday, October 27, 2012

Have I Done Enough?

let's just state the obvious- motherhood is THEE hardest job on the planet!! i've worked for the govt with strict policies and procedures, a pharmacy full of ghetto grumpy customers, 2 very demanding realtors and a host of other jobs. they all pale in comparison to this. i knew it would be hard but didn't quite get just how hard, i mean i had nannied for 3 different families so taking care of children is no unknown event for me. and you know why motherhood is so hard? (this i figured out 2 days ago) because you are RESPONSIBLE for another LIFE that is 100% dependent on you for EVERYTHING-learning, development, nourishment in all sense of the word, love and any need they have. in a nanny/daycare job, you go home at the end of the day and are just responsible for their safety and wellbeing from 8-4 with a lunch break and other helpers (if daycare). but this is 24/7 FOREVER. that, my friend, is a lot of pressure!!! that's why it's so so hard. and to top it off, for the first 8 years, i'm accountable for their actions too. eiyeish!

don't get me wrong, i LOVE being a mother and LOVE LOVE LOVE my angel face who by the way i totally WOULD die for if i had to. she is the best blessing i've ever and could ever receive. it's true. the love you feel for this precious little being is something that cannot be described, it is to be experienced and even then it's tough to comprehend.

now please allow me a moment to vent a bit. babies are hard work. mainly cuz they can't tell you what is bothering them or what they need. they can only fuss/cry/smile in their communication efforts. it's a guess work. and when you think you've figured out what "that cry" means, it changes to mean something else different with age. oyvey.

breastfeeding. OMG, breastfeeding! had i known all the finer intricaces and challenges and emotions of it, i'd done a hell of a lot more in preparing for this trial. the number of tears i've shed surpass any tears i've shed over anything else in life, including losing a loved one (not minimizing the trial of this cuz this obviously sucks more but i digress). one thinks-easy, baby is instinctively designed to do it, women are naturally made to do it. so what's the big deal? well, it is something that can be damaged from day one with just one bad experience. the baby can build an aversion with just one wrong move (if sensitive enough), you can experience extreme physical soreness with an incorrect latch. you know what, i can't even touch on all that can happen here cuz there's books written on it (for a very good reason). just here's some advice if pregnant or going to get pregnant with baba number 1-study everything on breastfeeding and the how to's before baba comes so you can be prepared. cuz if it isn't successful, the emotional torment you feel is too much. again, i feel responsible for this little life and as the mother, i'm suppose to provide this miracle nutrition for her. but somehow between day 1 and today, something happened for her to gain an aversion. we did all those things to make it happen like using a cup and spoon to feed her for the first few weeks (to avoid nipple confusion and in hopes of her latching), SNS, blah blah blah. just we did it all and so far she's only done it 6 times in 10 weeks. i've been using an electric pump to keep my milk supply somewhat going incase she decides to nurse and so i can get at least 1 bottle of the miracle food into her. i know of 2 women who's babies took 3 months before they'd do it, so i'm hanging in strong (with the occasional emotional breakdown) until that mark in hopes that maybe she'll do it. i'm grateful that she has done it 6 times tho, cuz it's a beautiful fulfulling experience and also, i know she CAN do it, she's just refusing to do it right now.

the basics. well, we've covered a part of eating but as you see i can only do 1 bottle a day and of course that's not enough. so enter formula. i'd cry everytime she had to eat for the first 2 weeks of her life. i'm grateful my husband is awesome and fed her during that time. not only did he feed her, he had this great commentary going on to entertain her and i. but now, we use bottles so there's the washing and careful preparation of formula. and this woman likes to eat! she's got my appetite. she wants to eat every 1.5-2hours, even though the books say baby should be eating every 3-4hours now. first off, do any of you out there go that long without passing something through your lips whether it be water, gum, or a snack? so why should we expect that of a baby who gets their drink, snack, nutrition, etc from their milk? plus, they're growing. next, cleansing. again i'm grateful for a hubby who's so helpful cuz bathtime requires 4 hands. baby loves bath time so it's fun for all of us. but the tricky part is drying her off well. she hates getting out of the bath. she is afterall naked and wet. uncomfortable. but babies have creases that are tough to dry properly. especially with a baby that moves as much as mine! and clipping her nails? o my! she don't keep her hands still unless she is eating. plus they're so tiny i can't see very well so i have to be extra careful. you know, more careful than i already am with my precious baby. and lastly, toilet etiquette. did you know that babies are born potty trained? they just lack the ability to get up and use the toilet. they don't like to pee/poo themselves. i mean, really, who does? we, "civilized" people, diaper train them. that's why baby will often pee AFTER you take off the diaper. that doesn't bother me. none of the diaper/toilet stuff, surprisingly, bothers me. it's just that she pees a lot and thus taking naps becomes an issue. who can sleep comfortably with a wet bottom? plus, again, she moves a lot making diaper changing a workout for both of us. plus she screams bloody murder 99% of the time during a diaper change. perhaps she's embarassed to have peed her pants.

sleep. or lack thereof. i knew i'd get little sleep. but the thing is, the sleep that we do get is interrupted sleep. that's the hard part! waking up naturally is nice. being woken up abruptly is not nice. i don't want to sleep like a baby. i want to sleep like an adult. who's the idiot that coined the phrase "sleeping like a baby" anyway? the other hard part is once you're woken up abruptly, you have to get moving quickly to the demands of the little noisy one that woke you up abruptly. you know that feeling when you first wake up, the one where you need to learn how to walk and see? try doing things in that state carefully with a precious baby.

mother. the one who gets put on the back burner. i don't mind putting myself off to the side to love and care for this cutey pie but i do miss some things like eating a meal all the way through when i'm hungry or showering. i've been trying to cut my nails for days now but there isn't time between expressing milk, washing bottles, preparing formula, changing diapers, cuddling baby bear, soothing baby bear, activity time, tummy time, story time, getting baby calmed to get some nap time, etc. and i really really do need to get back to exercising cuz my pre pregnancy pants dont fit nice! but when and where shall i accomplish this? the good thing is my biceps get their workout with growing baby.

household chores...get put to the side, sorta. if i was a normal person, they would totally get put to the side but i CANNOT function in a chaotic environment so the house does get some small attention. my husband, again, wonderfully takes a leadership role in accomplishing this. he has also become the head chef. i rarely cook. i don't have time. instant oatmeal and toast is my friend. baby does love to go hang laundry with me. she could be crying, but will stop when we go outside...most of the time.

emotions. you start to think about things you wouldn't normally consider before baby. such as, i can't take the stroller by the flowers cuz a bee might sting her or it's windy and i'm worried a contagious disease may be blowing in the wind. i cant even pee without taking the baby to be within my eye view. before my bedtime i wonder "have i done enough today?" did she get enough cuddles? did i feed her too much/too little? was she comfortable? was there enough tummy time? was she warm enough when we went outside? did i express enough times to maintain milk supply? did i engage her intellect enough to grow and develop? etc etc etc my husband wonderfully assures me that i'm a wonderful mother and he thanks me for all my hard work and continuing to express milk and not giving up (even though he told me in the beginning i can stop anytime and we can just do formula if it's too demanding or stressful for me)

all venting aside (is stating the obvious venting??), i love motherhood. it's something i'd been looking forward to since i picked up my first dolly. i'm glad my time is here. i can't believe it sometimes. when my baby FINALLY falls asleep, i watch her cutey face and wonder when she'll wake up so i can cuddle her and shower her with kisses again. she's been having a good afternoon nap right now :) this is good cuz she won't be grumpy. i'm sacrificing other things to write this long overdue blog (a nap myself and cutting my nails) but it's time to write. writing is therapeutic and an eye opener for me.


and i do have the best husband who helps at every turn and then some.