A hard days’ (day and) night

oh boy. here comes a shit storm. i just need to get my thoughts out because it feels like there are so many that i can’t have one coherent thought. so this post won’t be pretty.

so its 3.5 months into having two kids. how is it going? hmmm. it is hard. really hard.

i am loving the baby (biggie smalls) this time around, ah so easy, nice snuggles, googoo’s and gaga’s, smiles and laughs, etc. it is great. and biggie is soo great, just a wonderful little baby. what is not so great is…

1. having only one body to take care of two children with such opposing needs,

2. dealing with a 3 year old (the todd). period.,

3. feeling REALLY angry with the todd ALL THE TIME,

4. getting little sleep,

5. having no time to myself,

6. missing my husband,

7. feeling totally scattered – no plans, no routines, just surviving,

Biggie smalls is so much easier for me to deal with than the todd. so i mostly get angry and frustrated with the todd for making my life hard. fair? no. understandable? yes. everything the todd wants is in direct contradiction to what i want and what biggie needs. it is a constant battle.

the todd is BUSY. never sits still, rarely sticks with a thing for more than 5 minutes and ALWAYS wants me to play with him. the sentence, “mama, plaaaaaay with me,” gets uttered non stop and grates at my nerves like no other. it incenses a desire to poke my ear drums with chop sticks.

i want to want to play with him, but the truth is, i don’t. i hate playing games. but when there was only the todd and i was sleeping, i had the energy to pretend to like it and do it. these days i can do it but often find myself muttering obscenities to myself and being fully annoyed while playing and then thanking my precious stars when biggie needs to sleep or feed and i have an excuse to stop.

but then comes the hitting, whacking, kicking, squishing, scratching from the todd…the violence is directed at me and at biggie, and daddy when he is around. sometimes i need to physically restrain him. and sometimes i feel like i want to punch and kick and hit him back. I AM SO ANGRY!

writing all this “outloud” makes me feel like i sound like an evil mother. its selfish stuff. it sounds like i am unfit to be a parent. why did i have kids if i hate playing? why am i choosing to stay at home with my kids if i don’t want to do the things a kid needs to do?

i know i don’t need to be perfect, in fact perfection doesn’t exist when it comes to parenting because we parents are humans. but i deeply desire to experience something more than just barely surviving. whatever i am doing now is not working. when things are good it feels like an accident. i don’t want to be so angry and i don’t want to be in constant battle and restraining myself from whacking my child. that is all i got for now…solutions to come…i hope.

You are not done, this is the fourth trimester

Ooh this is hard. hard hard hard hard hard hard hard. I feel like my body has just shut down on me. nothing is working very well it seems. I have had extreme neck pain and headaches since J was born, along with hot and cold chills and excessive night sweats – “normal” postpartum hormone stuff apparently, very common anyway, suffer away with the scores of women before you Zoe!

Now I have a got a bit more to add, some sort of breast issue – probably a plugged duct and a ph imbalance – sure it’s better than mastitis or a full-blown yeast infection – so I’ve been concentrating on kicking them both. Back to basics…lots of rest, fluids, calm, and baby snuggles and round the clock nursing to release this block. everything seems to be working, or, at least it hasn’t become worse. I went too fast, didn’t listen to my inner deep gut saying, stay in bed as much as possible, you need this. But I shoulded myself into doing more than my body could handle. No more shoulding!

I just remembered something crucial called the fourth trimester. My baby may be on the outside but he is still growing and learning to adapt to this new world and my body is going through perhaps the roughest transformation yet. Keeping this in mind helps me to know that nothing last forever. I wonder how long I will think that for this time? Lets go for 48 hours!

Day Seven

I am going to try and write as much as I can, even if it’s just a few short sentences, to document my postpartum experience this time. I also have the intention of using this as a release mechanism for any thought or issue I need to let go of. It is my journal, my public on line journal.

So it is day seven! Baby boy J was still in my womb a week ago. Yes I can believe that, no it doesn’t feel like it has flown by. I have been acutely aware for every minute of it, even while sleeping. His birth was a quick one. I will write the birth story soon but not yet…

Things have been very slow, quiet, and restful. The past week has been quite incredible actually. I have had a totally new and different experience than with my first son. It has been easier in every way except for one. The fact that my first has to be without his momma a lot and that has been exceptionally hard for me.

He is doing pretty well, his wonderful dad is home for four weeks spending every day with him right now. I am sure I am the one having a much harder time. The thing I have cried about most has been him. I miss him. I miss just me and him. I miss him feeling so small in my arms – now with a newborn I see him in a new light – all of a sudden he is a giant and he is going to grow up and leave the house. It makes me so thankful for all the time I have been able to spend with him and yet I am grieving the fact that it is over. I want to do it all again with him!

Last night our oldest was sad, I could see it in his eyes and in his quivering lip. He wanted me to sleep with him. He was asking so sweetly. And I was crying, just like I am now. Holding him and rocking him; he said he wanted a snuggle bug from me. The baby was hungry, I felt my heart ripping in two directions…must feed the baby, must hold my sweet toddler as tight as I can. I sobbed as I held him, as I am right now.

I am starting to get some clarity on my feelings about this loss from writing all my feelings down. I know it’s not forever, I know I will like the new normal better than the old one eventually. I know that I have not lost my son or his love. I will be able to cuddle him to sleep again soon.

Waiting for the sky to fall

As I wait for our second child to come, (today is my estimated due date), I also lie in wait for a repeat experience of Postpartum Depression. I am not guaranteed to get it again but because of my history I am at higher risk.

Rationally I know that: I have the resources I may need all lined up to help and support me and that the depression will eventually go away. Nonetheless this is scary for me; and waiting for dark days can be paralyzing. It is hard to feel positive and hard to be excited for the arrival of a new baby into our family when I also feel like I could be welcoming a dark demon into my brain.

I didn’t know I was feeling this way until yesterday, I thought I was all good. And then something released after a massage earlier in the day and I was overcome with a sense of fear and dread. I let it all come out in the form of tears and my husband sat beside me waiting for an explanation. At first I could only connect with some of the practical fears…

Post writing interrupted – went to midwife appointment, went into labour, had baby.

ZLG has NVP

Woo! It has been a long time since I visited this space and put my fingers to the keys.

What to say, what to say?

I am pregnant with our second child. Boom, that was thick reading that sentence. I am a whirlwind of emotions. I was so happy when I found out I was pregnant – couldn’t keep a grin off my face – but after a few days I started to feel more trepidatious about this new adventure. Intense nausea and fatigue didn’t help the joy feelings come out nor does constant dry heaving and gagging on smells from the ordinarily delicious (coffee) to the obviously gross (toddler poopy diapers).

Luckily (what!?) I had morning sickness with my first pregnancy so I knew where to go for help. I promptly called the Motherisk hotline for NVP (nausea and vomiting in pregnancy). Seriously, they have an North America wide hotline for this affliction out of Sick Kids hospital in Toronto. And they should, it can be real nasty. They were so helpful and knowledgeable, I felt really lucky to have access to this service.

I got myself on all the “safe” drugs I could, I am eating the “right” foods, and resting as much as possible. Things improved but not by much. Then I serendipitously came across the name of a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor and Acupuncturist who specializes in pregnancy, fertility, and everything ladylike. After two sessions with her things dramatically improved. I’m alive! I’m alive!

Now that I am feeling some what closer to normal I can feel some joy and excitement about this new little babe coming into our lives. That is a pretty big perk from getting rid of NVP.

Think, Do, Act, Reflect, Change accordingly

I realized I use this blog to air my insecurities and questions and beefs but what is missing is reflection back to the questions I am asking to show growth or movement. I know I do this but I need to consciously write about it and share it so that the movement is indeed on “paper”.

I read something today that was very fit well with this realization by Dr. Laura Markham at ahaparenting.com, “The key is making time to reflect throughout the action. That’s the only way to notice the places where we keep stumbling, so we can come up with ideas to course correct in the heat of the action.”

So last post was about routines and how I am terrified of them. After I wrote the post I posed a question to my online parenting group about the perceived benefits of routines. Their answers were astonishing; not because they were introducing new concepts to me, no, they rocked me because I realized I totally do routines just like they do and in fact I am not such a “free spirit” as I touted myself to be. How and why did I think routines were totally foreign to me? Certain words can mean such different things to different people, I think it was a case of mis-perception on my part. I honestly thought people who had routines did the same thing every day at the same time. And maybe there are some people who do, but routines can look different in every household, in fact they do.

So, lesson learned, again, just because a word gives me the heebie jeebies doesn’t mean I have to be afraid of the concept.

The other lesson I learned is to be more confident in myself and my ability as a parent. Advice from other parents, however similar and respected and seasoned they are, doesn’t have as much weight as I often give to it right away. The truth is I know my son, I know me and my husband’s parenting style, I know we are doing this as thoughtfully as we can. But I appreciate and seek out other opinions and practices because it helps me to reflect. It helps me to challenge my routines and thought patterns and find any “bad seeds”. So I am still going to ask questions and search for the right(er) answers but my new intention is to do so with more confidence in what I am doing and remember to take everything with a whole shaker full of Fleur de Sel.

Raging against the routine

When I came up with the theme and title to this post (just now in the shower), I was inspired by some advice my physio gave me earlier today and Rage Against the Machine’s song “Killing in the name of”; specifically the lyrics “fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me”.¬† The advice was good and so is the song so why is it when I think about routines, and creating some for my son do I feel like I am a teenager again, driving really fast on a curvy highway, just outside of Nelson, with the windows down, screaming the lyrics to this song? It seems like a small over reaction.

I had some time to think on my (over)reaction and realized I am terrified of routines because I don’t know what they are. Disclaimer: I do have one routine, I have a coffee (or two) in the morning. Other than that I am a free spirit and always have been. I have never been happy under someone else’s routine, i.e. school, work, etc. But the question I ask myself is am I doing M (and by proxy me) a disservice with my will-nilly approach to everyday life? Hmmmmmm…