Week 15

january-63

So what I first thought was very bad mastitis then thought was food poisoning might have been an awful 24 hour stomach bug? Either way, the last four days have been almost as bad as baby’s week 7 – if you’ll recall, that is when I stared into the void – and something I don’t care to ever repeat. It was just a series of bad and terrible coincidences that started with holding a bucket to throw up into while taking care of baby and ended with sleep dep break down.

You know how when you’re sick it sucks and you have to sleep all the time? Well, with a baby – and no help because both parents are sick and you live in a new town 10 hours from closest family and no friends – there is no sleep. There is only drinking coffee even though you’re queasy because you have to keep going, have to keep moving. There is having diarrhea but not being able to take immodium because you’re breastfeeding. There is setting a timer even when your baby is in daycare and you should really keep sleeping, because you still have to pump. There is dragging yourself out of bed to pump and then throwing up on the way back to bed from the effort. And then there’s your baby deciding that those nights when you desperately just need an hour or two of sleep are the best nights to wake up every 30min to 2 hours.

We’re out the other side of it now. Thank god. I hope to never have a repeat. I also hope I can have a friggin chance to make some friends before something like this happens again. It’s hard enough doing it alone. It’s even harder knowing that if we were back in AZ, I’d have had someone to hold the baby for an hour or two while I laid down. I was even going to hit up a library baby reading session on Monday, but obviously those plans got canceled.

Phew. Sorry. Sometimes being a mother is really, really hard. I keep telling myself that it’ll get easier as she gets older. I know, in some ways, it’ll get harder. But I can’t imagine it getting harder than this.

As for Lady Jr herself and week 15, well – she’s doing fine. Daycare was traumatic for the first day, but the second day she actually slept and came home much happier. I have no recollection of the third day, but probably fine. She’s going back tomorrow and I feel much better about it, although I’ve taken your advice not to visit for a little while. Not visiting has made the separation a lot easier, and it gives me time to take care of myself. And fuck, we all know mamas need to take care of themselves in order to take care of their babies.

She’s going down for naps so incredibly well I’m almost afraid I’ll jinx it. We have gotten to the “put down drowsy but awake” stage and it actually works! Once or twice I’ll have to go back in and hold her for a moment until her eyes start fluttering, but that’s it. She’s sleeping in her crib for most naps. And, in fact, a major milestone: she slept in her crib last night! Woo! Goodbye bouncer!

She wants a lot of interaction while she’s awake still. Sometimes if we take her diaper off and put her on the play mat she’ll babble and entertain herself for an hour, but not always. I introduced youtube this weekend when I had no energy to do anything else, and that was a hit. She also skyped with her grandparents for the first time – the ones who had been here for 3 months – and she seemed to recognize them because she smiled and laughed.

She’s a good baby. I love her.

Now hopefully one of these days she’ll start sleeping more than 3 hours again…

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Week 15

  1. Ugh, I am sorry that you’re so sick – being sick and parenting a young child is pretty much the worst. She is really, really cute though.

    I think you’re right – it does get easier, and in other ways harder. The rapid pace of child development seems to keep you on your toes. Overall I’d say toddlers are easier than infants, but in some ways, not so much. I think the intense sleep deprivation of the early days is worse than even the most difficult toddler behaviour, but they are such different types of challenging.

    • For sure. I’ve been around family and friends’ toddlers quite a few times now and they’re so *on* all the time, but at least they sleep at night. A little bit of this, a little less of that. But at least when she’s a toddler I’ll feel less guilty about taking her to daycare.

  2. AndiePants

    OMG being sick as a mom is the hardest!! I’m so sorry you don’t have a community of people to help you, either. I hope the sleep gets better soon, too!
    Also, as an FYI – immodium is totally safe to take while nursing! Not sure if you were told otherwise, but lactmed lists it as safe.

  3. Oh my friend. You deserve a badge of honor for surviving that sickness. I’m so sorry it got so bad.

  4. Amy

    Wow, that sounds like the toughest thing a new mom can go through (providing baby is healthy). I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy! So glad you finally made it out the other side. Being a mother is definitely fucking hard. I just read The Gentle Sleep Book and the author talks about how, from an anthropological perspective, mothers aren’t meant to do it alone. I hope you find your local community soon.

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