Wednesday, May 15, 2013

just sayin'

I spend a lot of time alone with Gummy. I talk to her in English, then in French. She gurgles and smiles sometimes. Or grunts. Sometimes she farts, often to register disapproval, like when I change her diaper at 3am before feeding her. 

But mostly, I'm with my thoughts.

I had a pretty lonely week last week. I wondered if it was PPD (postpartum depression) visiting. I felt like PPD and I we were two cats on a fence, vying for the same backyard. We were checking each other out, ready to pounce at the first sign of weakness in the other.

I think I won that round, though. It was just loneliness. I didn't have too much scheduled and what I had scheduled fell through.

Monday: I went to the community centre for parent and child time. The place was crawling with toddlers and moms of toddlers who were way too exhausted to talk to me and my angelic looking infant. The moms that had infants also had toddlers, and were busy intellectually stimulating two progeny instead of one. So, no chance to make a connection. I left. One facilitator ran after me and said I should go to the infant time.

Tuesday: The other Augusta was nursing a sick baby. So, they didn't come to yoga. Only that annoying woman with the cute baby boy who she WON'T VACCINATE* was there, so I made myself scarce after class, lest she wanted to hang out again.

Wednesday: I had planned to attend the infant time at the community centre, held at their location at the mall, and to arrive early to get Gummy a sun hat. I realize early that the infant program runs on Tuesday for parents and their infants of 0 to 6 months, and Wednesdays for parents and their infants of 6 to 12 months. I had until then believed infant time was both on Tuesday and Wednesday, regardless of said infant's age. Plans foiled again.

Thursday: I planned to stay home and work on Gummy's napping (and get thank you cards all done. ha!). It sounds so ridiculous to write it like that, but that's what I thought at the time. We'll stay home and I'll put her down for several naps and she'll be blissed out on sleep and I'll win a "mother-of-the-year-award". Snort. She had terrible naps and went to bed cranky and exhausted at 8:45pm. No awards were handed out.

Friday: Mom's group at my house in the morning and out-of-town friends visiting in the afternoon. It was a lovely day. Gummy had great naps.

In that lonely week, I was often lured by the dangerous and seductive self-shaming thought that goes like this: "you've waited so damn long to have a baby, now that you have one, you need to enjoy every second of being a mother" I was helped by convincing myself that having the baby you wait so damn long for does allow you to press the reset button and become like every other mama out there. New parents are allowed to struggle and find some areas of parenting difficult. They are allowed to have an adjustment period to parenthood. Why shouldn't I also be allowed to adjust?

Consider yourself pressed, reset button. I'm just like any ordinary mother out there with my cute DE baby.

 
*Don't get me started on that

14 comments:

  1. Wow. I am about to do DE cycling (maybe as soon as August) and it's helpful to read your post, to think ahead to a time of allowing myself to have normal parenthood-adjustment feelings---I already feel a little as though, when/if it happens, I should be able to enjoy every second of being a mother, as you say, after having waited so long and gone through so much. It's going to be odd to struggle through normal struggles after IF, it's going to be odd to not enjoy every second. But of course that's what I want---the whole experience of motherhood, the difficulties and all. I don't actually want to enjoy all of it. I just want to be a mom.

    I have to tell you how beautiful your daughter is. I just smile when I look at pictures of her on here. She is gorgeous, breathtakingly lovely. She gives me such hope!

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  2. I freaked about sleep more than anything else. Those first few months were very lonely. It wasn't until month four that E became much more engaging and a whole lot of fun. Walking was my only salvation.

    I do love this Augusta. I eat up these wonderfully normal parenting posts and very much look forward to more. Reset. Truly.

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  3. Hun, it wouldn't hurt to get checked out for ppd. Had it twice and I felt similar at first.

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  4. It can feel so isolating at first - so many changes to your world. Naps can be so challenging, to me it feels like we finally get into a pattern and then in a month or two it changes! hang in there :)
    I am always here for a Skype "date" if you want!

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  5. In my own experience, what started out as loneliness slowly morphed and helped to feed my PPD. Originally I would plan on outings and, as the loneliness crept in, I stopped planning outings and preferred staying at home with my sad. Be alert and take care of yourself!

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  6. That is one of my very-few criteria for "I will never talk to you again."

    I don't know what Gummy is like but I found that Tatoe would nap in a carrier when it was naptime pretty well. Since he has an older sibling, I didn't have to feel as guilty about having my own NEEDS because I could pretend we were leaving the house for the toddler's benefit. Also, I was totally extremely lonely and wandered around with the baby on long walks, the first time. It's so hard to meet other people, especially if you're going back to work! Hence the phrase "mommy-friend" - someone who is your friend ONLY because you are both moms (and, presumably, because she also vaccinates her child).

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    1. What I meant was "To people who won't vaccinate their children: I will never talk to you again." Just to be clear- I don't mean YOU!!

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  7. Yup, yup, yup. Certainly there are infertility and DE specific parenting issues...but navigating exhaustion and loneliness of new parenthood? That's yours to claim, too. Gummy's about three months? With LG that was when I really started getting out and about...and by four months with both kids had part time childcare. Maybe you need some Augusta alone time, too?

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  8. In this modern legal era, no matter how they are concieved, we have chosen to have them, so it is easy to get caught up in all the, "shouldn't I be happier?" fears. Well. I will tell you (and this is just my experience)there is a lot about parenting that IS. JUST. BULLSHIT: Lack of sleep, struggling to learn each other's languages, other people's expectations (or perception of them)(like, the vaccine debate.), all the crap that the magazines or books or your great aunt thhinks you should or shouldn't do?! ugh. No matter how they came into the world, this is true. Just name it, then do your best to set it out next to the recycling.

    And FWIW, I do like the weekly schedule: library day, yoga day, nursery group day. Really, whatever it takes. I wouldn't try too hard to get too much else done. Not unless it's something you really want and can really envision making happen. Screw the rest.
    Momo

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  9. *Hands you a mother of the year award* YOU HAVE FUCKING EARNED IT ALREADY.

    I was totally unprepared for the loneliness, as you may recall. And I think it's pretty universal, unless you're one of those people who's thronged with family and friends, which sounds awful, too. It does sound like you have lots of good resources and some support, which I hope will rally round you next week.

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  10. Oh Hun...I could have written this post 20 months ago. Adjustment to parenthood and the guilt of what it took to bring LN10 into this world was freakin' HARD! You hang in there. Life does get much much easier. Not to mention sleep deprivation makes a person go COO KOO?!!

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  11. I love the library sessions. Except one day when I forgot my mother fucking card. I returned books - cant you just look up my card? I mean, a visa is more important that a library card.

    Sent home w no books.

    Cried. And gave dirty looks so mean I couldnt go back for a couple wks. Shame. But they were assholes.

    Keep trying to find your rhythm.

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  13. I love your image of two cats on a fence. You have really captured the way it feels to be just on the verge of something -- not quite having a problem yet, but knowing it's there just waiting for you to let your guard down.

    I am pulling for the Augusta-cat to vanquish the PPD-cat forthwith.

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