/ The RE's Muse: Maybe it's the hormones?

The RE's Muse

After 4 years of infertility, 2 surgeries, 1 miscarriage, and 19 months of high risk pregnancies, hubby and I now have two little women in our lives--one a toddler, the other not far behind. Buckle your seatbelts, it's gonna be a wild ride.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Maybe it's the hormones?

Before I begin, I must preface this by saying that I love Juliana more than I thought it possible to love another person besides my husband. She is incredible and I say my thanks for her every time I look at her, kiss her, change her, you get the picture. I wouldn't change a thing about her...not conceiving her, not 'cooking' her, nothing. As A said to me minutes after she was born, he's grateful for all that we've been through the last four years, because if we hadn't gone through it, we might not have gotten her specifically.

Yet, these past 11 days have been completely overwhelming for me. I am tired, so tired. And I am lacking in confidence in my mothering skills. How do so many women do it and make it look easy? A says I'm doing everything right and as best I can (as does his mom, who stayed with us this past weekend, and his SIL).

I feed her, love on her, change her diapers, soothe her when she cries, and more. So why do I feel like it's not enough? That I'm somehow letting her down? Why am I so terrified when A leaves for work in the morning, leaving she and I alone with one another? Why am I crying so much? I feel kind of like I did in the days following my miscarriage last August--when A leaves, I feel incapable of functioning without him by my side, of breathing without him nearby. He is my safety, my security blanket. And he is an incredible father and partner. It kills me a little bit when he leaves. Why, I don't know.

I do know that today I feel a bit more confident. Today has been a good day. I think I've only cried once, a start--and very different from the 5 - 10 bouts of crying a day every day prior. I managed to get some sleep last night, so very difficult when breastfeeding and the lactation consultant recommends you feed the baby every one and a half to two hours (that's from the previous feeding's start--not end--time). Yesterday she suggested we wake and feed Juliana every two hours or so right up until bed time and then not wake her up to feed during the night, instead letting her wake us, hopefully no more than 4 hours from the last feeding. And it worked, so I feel slightly refreshed today. Maybe that's why I'm feeling a tad bit better. But I'm waffling on how long I can continue to breast feed, how long I can continue to function on little to no sleep. Does it get any easier or, if not easier, better?

Friday I have an appt with Dr. Hot at my OB's office. I'm concerned I've got PPD and not just 'baby blues' so they made me an appt to come in and talk with the doc and see what they think, and what can be done for me if so. Compounding that, and here's some mortifying TMI, since labor/delivery/and the epi/tear, I've been virtually unable to control my bowels if I have a loose crap (but yet, I can control a normal, solid BM). So far I've crapped myself four times in three days (fortunately, ruining only a few pairs of maternity panties). So far no ruined panties today, knock on wood. So the doc's office is wondering if perhaps I need another stitch--'cause it won't be too embarrassing to have the doc sew another notch into my pucker hole now will it? In the meantime, they advised me to take Mylanta and I did that yesterday, which is perhaps why my crapper is working normally today. The nurse did mention that it might just take a little time for my ass muscle (my terminology, not hers) to regain strength after the epi and the trauma of birth (oh, and not that you asked but I pooped during delivery, I guess nothing is sacred anymore) and that it may resolve itself soon. Crossing my fingers that it does or I may never be able to leave the house again without an adult diaper on.

I imagine the possibility in my mind of being fecally incontinent for the rest of my life and the post-partum hormone stew have combined to hit me two-handed. Or maybe it is PPD, which the doc's office thinks it sounds like. But we'll see. I just want to feel "normal" again so I can be the best possible mother to Juliana that I know I have it in me to be. And if that means me taking anti-depressants, knock me if you must but I'll do just about anything to get to feeling like myself again (I guess that means Tom Cruise and I won't ever see eye-to-eye).


At 7:11 PM, Anonymous A. said...

It gets MUCH better and MUCH easier. EVERY new mom worth her salt questions her ability to mother. I used to wonder crazy things like, "What if I accidentally hurl the baby out the window? What if I accidentally put the baby on the floor and then jump up and down on her?" Seriously -- you've got massive hormone imbalance, and you will think crazy things. As long as you are not acting on them, you are fine. Get out of the house every day, even if it's just to get the mail. Put the baby in a sling or a stroller or whatever -- or, heck, just carry her, she's little -- and take a 5 minute outdoor breather. Does a world of good. Also, when other people are in your house, SLEEP. Sleep is good -- everything is impossible when you are sleep-deprived. Also, don't forget to eat. I used to forget to eat all the time in the beginning, and it made everything so much harder. I have 3, with one more on the way, so I swear, it gets better. (And still, whenever I have a newborn, I question my ability.)

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Jen P said...

Dee, I can't thank you enough for posting a 'real' post like this. I don't think enough women get real about new motherhood and from all the crap I've been reading, the first 6 weeks feel like a merry-go-round but no one states WHY.

I hope your doctor can do something really great for you and that it's truly the hormones. And if you need ADs, who cares?? You shouldn't need to suffer, your daughter needs her mommy at 100% and the rest of the world can stuff themselves.

I'm looking forward to the birth, but the days after scare me. This actually gives me confidence, because if you can name your demons, you can beat your demons.

Please know I'm thinking of you heaps and hoping all sorts itself out.You're doing a great job and I wish you so much good.

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have articulated exactly the feelings I had the first few weeks after my son was born. It was SO, SO hard. It truly does get easier and better as you go. Take confidence in knowing that you're not the only one.

By the way, I came across your blog a few days after you found out you were pregnant. It has been amazing to read about your exciting journey to becoming a mom. Congratulations!!!

At 12:13 PM, Blogger ThreeBees said...

I gotta say that I second Jen P on this -- thank you for the real post. For someone getting prepared for birth, this is far more comforting and helpful to hear someone talk about what it is really like. Hoping that everything gets better and better.

You daughter is lovely! Thinking of you often and checking in just as often ;)

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter is 6 months old, and I can still very clearly remember thinking the things you have and feeling the same way. As the first poster said, a hormone and sleep deprivation cocktail definitely throws moms into a tailspin. I STILL question whether I am doing enough or not, though not like I did in those first days after her birth. Things got better for us when she started sleeping more at night, around 1 and1/2 months. Even if Juliana doesn't respond to it at first, I would definitely get a bedtime routine started. I started around 2 months, and my daughter really didn't get it until 3-4 months, but it saves my sanity at 8 o'clock every nght now! (That's not to say that she always goes down easily.) She still gets up once a night most nights, but with longer stretches of sleep (for me!) everything feels so much more manageable. Sorry for such a long post - just don't want you to feel alone:)


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