I'm going to apologize ahead of time - this post may be a bit rambly.
I get it now. Breastfeeding is seriously hard. Some people get the hang of it easy-peasy, others struggle. I do not blame anyone who gives up, because it's f**king hard. And not just physically, but emotionally too. The pressure and guilt we mommas inflict on ourselves is brutal. I never doubted I would breastfeed my child(ren). It's what is nutritionally best, it is a special gift and bond between mother and child, and it's natural - Hello! But here I am 9 weeks out of the gate pumping every 2 hours. (or as close to every 2 hours as I can, Madeline doesn't let me set her down for very long before meltdown number 836 of the day starts up.) We have latch issues up in here! At first I was using a nipple shield. That was an inconvenience, but it got us nursing so it was worth it. But then her suck got too strong and she started injuring my nip. (I'll spare you the gory details!) There is also the reoccurring thrush. Thrush was, obviously, invented by Satan himself. I've had it 3 times in 2 months. I'm trying to get rid if it currently. I am not strong like other mommas and can NOT nurse through that pain. So, I pump and bottle feed her my milk. I've spent probably close to $500 on getting help from Lactation Consultants to try to fix her latch and buying supplements to try to increase my supply. It's emotionally draining to feel like you're UNABLE to do what you're supposed to do. I figure I'll give nursing one more Hoo-rah after this thrush is (hopefully) completely gone, but if I'm in tears again at every feeding I'll just suck it up and continue pumping for as long as I can.
Ok, I want to give all you moms with happy-go-lucky babies a high five. Actually, out of pure jealousy and immaturity, I want to give you the middle finger. I know it's not your fault, but it's not fair dammit. Madeline is a fussy baby. She's opinionated and a bit of a drama queen. She's crying or screaming more than she's smiling and cooing - and she makes you work for her smiles! (But, oh! I love them so!!) I totally get that people want to see/hear happy babies. I get that they want to "fix" an unhappy baby. But they need to get that Jeff and I are trying EVERY.SINGLE.THING we can to get Madeline to simmer down, but she's not having it. (we've consulted her pediatrician who has assured us she's perfectly fine and healthy - just fussy.) So, we try to remind ourselves to take a deep breath and just ride her waves. This too shall pass. She will eventually realize that we're not trying to starve her to death if her bottle isn't ready BEFORE she wakes up. She will eventually realize that we're there to help when we lay her down to change her diaper. She'll eventually realize that if she startles herself awake while napping that WE didn't pinch her awake, it's not OUR fault! She'll eventually realize that when we put the onesie over her head we're NOT trying to snuff her out! I have a feeling that she will always be an opinionated, emotional, outspoken child (what goes around, comes around I guess!) but I can hope that she learns to reel it in a little bit before I lose my marbles!
People have asked me, "How are you doing? Any baby blues?" And I'm not really sure how to take it. Do I look like I'm at the end of the rope, about to snap? I mean, sure. I'm exhausted. I'm emotional. I am not all sunshine and rainbows 24/7. But I don't think about hurting myself or Madeline. I'm just overwhelmed. I'm still adjusting. I'm throwing out all of my preconceived notions and trying to figure this child out. I don't think I have PPD. Thank you for any concern though. Being a mom is hard work, though and I just need some time to get used to it. Not to mention the other non-motherhood-related stuff that I have going on.
For instance, my grandfather passed away on October 9th. Even though we knew it was coming since he'd been sick for so long, it's still hard. It's hard to know that I can NEVER talk to him again. It's hard to not have any grandparents left. My grandmother passed away suddenly while I was pregnant, and now my grandfather is gone too. It's definitely hard to grieve when you've got a baby. You don't really have time to reflect and mourn the loss. You don't have time to break down. So it builds up and you end up crying, dripping tears on your child's head, at 11:00 at night when she just WON'T.GO.TO.SLEEP.
I'm trying though. I'm trying the best that I can. I'm not trying to be Supermom, I'm just trying to not ruin my daughter. Hopefully all the work and worry will pay off in the long run.
On a positive note:
Fellow hippies rejoice! I LOVE cloth diapering! Besides the environmental benefits, I love matching her diapers to her outfit! She just outgrew the newborn sized BumGenius diapers and we've moved into primarily size Small FuzziBunz. However, some of her convertible one-size diapers fit her already! They're much bulkier than the sized diapers, but still sssooo cute and fluffy! I love diaper fluff! I just ordered more size small FuzziBunz in BRIGHT colors and I'm super excited about getting them in the mail. Cloth diapering is like an addiction. I literally have to talk myself out of buying every cute diaper I see!
Madeline and Jeff (and other people sometimes, if you're lucky) play this game where Jeff will stick out his tongue at Maddy and she'll scrunch up her eyebrows - concentrating - and then do it back. They both laugh about it, and then they start over. It's the cutest thing to see the gears working in her mind. "Ok... how'd he do that? Can I do it too?" and then she does it. She's so proud of herself when she does it back to him. And as silly as it seems, I'm proud of her too. She's a smart, curious girl and she LOVES her Daddy. ♥
Hopefully it won't be as long till I update again, and hopefully I'll have more pictures to post. But until then - xoxo!