Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Enjoy it now; it only gets worse!"

Once again, we left the hospital as soon as we could.  I felt great again, the food was terrible again, I couldn't sleep at the hospital, and I just wanted to go home.

Helping with the baby

I thought FOR SURE, THIS TIME, I wouldn't have the nursing agony.  This was my third time nursing, right?  I should have this down now, right?  No luck =(.  Another 3 weeks of toe-curling, involuntary gasping in pain every time the baby nursed.  And crying...lots of me crying...

PINK!  There is PINK at my house!
When post-partum hit, I was really not seeing how this was going to work.  How on earth was I going to take care of THREE little people by myself all day?  Was I EVER going to sleep again?  How would I ever get the laundry done?  How could I cook any meals?  Before I had even made it to my 6-week check up, I had the feeling there was another little person who wanted to join our family.  ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!  I tried not to scream laughed and got my birth c0ntr0l ASAP.  That feeling didn't go away though...

Marie did the same as David:  for the first 3 weeks she lulled me into a false sense of security didn't do much but eat and sleep, but at the magical 3-week mark she started waking up within 30 minutes if I put her down, and she started the nightly scream from about 7-11 every night.  Again, it was SO FRUSTRATING to try to soothe a screaming baby for HOURS and have nothing work:  no binky, no nursing, no bottle, no burping, no clean diaper, no swaddle, no baby-wearing, no dark, quiet room, no swing...NOTHING helped.  Again, I cut dairy out of my diet (do you realized that dairy includes chocolate?!  WHEN, I would like to know, does a person need chocolate more than when they have a new baby?!), and it seemed to help a little.  We discovered that Marie would sleep longer at night if someone was holding her, so, because he is a WONDERFUL PERSON, Husband would sleep on the couch with her on his chest for one stretch of the night;  I would get 4-5 hours of sleep in a row this way! 

The nightly scream =(
Now I had a 5 year old, a 2 1/2 year old, and a new baby.  Whew!  What exhausting days those were!  I had a hard time going to any playgroups or mommy get-togethers (which might have been nice for me to interact with other women) because of Ian's behavior;  he was loud, impulsive, and he NEVER STOPPED TALKING or MOVING or EXPLORING THINGS.  I felt like I was drowning in it all, and would BEG the older ladies at church to tell me that it got better (to give me HOPE, so I could hang in there!).  There was one certain lady who always cheerfully informed me that it only got worse and I should enjoy it while it was so “easy”.  I am really not sure why she would so cheerfully say that to me, when it was so obvious that I was struggling, but she did.  AND, I think she was WRONG!  Here I am, years later, closer to where she was, and I do NOT think it has gotten worse.  That time of being the ONLY person in the house who could meet the needs of 3 little, relentlessly demanding people (including one who had some really challenging behavior problems) ABSOLUTELY drained me!  My body and spirit were exhausted!  I loved my children, and I was happy with the range of ages we had, but it was hard work!

It is still BUSY now, but it is not draining every particle of my mental and physical energy, probably because Ian has FINALLY grown out of some of his most challenging behaviors, and most of the children are old enough to be helpful so that *I* am not the only person in the house who can do the things that need to be done!  So, if someone has been telling you the same thing, by all means, enjoy this stage of life while remembering what a difficult, amazing thing you are doing;  you are incredible =)!  I DO miss some parts of having all young children;  they are so cute when they’re little, they fit on your lap better, they aren’t having many life-altering experiences yet, and it was nice to be able to keep them all close to me…it’s a paradox, really:  some of the same things I enjoyed about having small children were the same things that were wearing me out =)!  I guess the only thing I REALLY wanted to change about that time was that I wished I had more energy;  I didn’t want the children to hurry and grow up, I just wished it didn’t wear me out so much!


josefinalouise said...

I cannot imagine why someone would say that to a struggling mom, even if she felt it was really true. I am grateful that you have a heart to encourage others, and yes! Mothering small children is a huge, exhausting, IMPORTANT job!

josefinalouise said...
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