Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Peace child?

Forget the peace corps. This is the hardest job I'll ever love. Well I am hoping to love it one day...right now it's just damn damn hard.

Please keep the prayers coming. I think we may have gotten over a hump, but I'm still feeling slightly desperate now & then. I did finally give in to some feelings of resentment and anger towards the baby. She's just so screamy. It's like she doesn't know how else to act when she's awake, like she hasn't learned she can be awake and not crying. We had a couple horrible nights (usually when Mom hasn't stayed over), and mostly we're just incredibly frustrated that we can't figure out what's wrong or how to soothe her. She's just too little for most of the techniques we read about to work. I honestly think she's either just freaked out by being awake, or she could be in some kind of pain.

Tomorrow we go to the pediatrician and we're praying she'll be able to help. But it's totally possible we'll just be told she's being a normal, "high-needs" baby. I love her but I don't always like her very much...sometimes I wish I had my life back, my sleep back, and definitely my emotions back. I know I'm acting the total bitch, and I can't deal with being asked any questions or having to make decisions (Mom wants me to pick through baby clothes or decide what we're all eating and I just don't have the brainpower to do this!). Fortunately we talked through it and I guess I'm getting a free pass for a while, so I'm not having to apologize, although I do feel terrible and I know it's not me.

But yeah, this little girl is pushing us very close to the edge, and we bicker a lot (although he's tremendously better now that I realized he was forgetting to take his prozac and put him back on it). I hate how stressed we both are (it seems as soon as the company is gone - mom & dad that is - we are both yelling and I'm in tears within moments). BUT last night was a lot better, and we seem to have found a way to sleep in shifts. I think Mom thinks we're holding the baby too much, but I'm just trying to do what feels right to me.

She does seem to be inching (painfully slowly) towards being more mellow. Maybe she'll learn she doesn't have to cry every time she's awake - that there are other things to do with awake time. We sometimes wonder if she's just bored and doesn't know what else to do with herself.

Her eating is also somewhat problematic in that one of my nipples is horribly sore (it throbs when she's not even on it) and that's the side she prefers eating on. I am trying to make her stick to the other side, but she seems so pathetic when she doesn't eat much and I know if I put her on the sore side she'll go at it voraciously. I don't know why she's got a preference - both sides pour out milk so it's not a supply problem. Maybe the one side is too much for her. I don't know. I think I might try to hit a b-feeding support group this week and try to get help with the painful side. It's so weird - neither was hurting for a while, and all of a sudden the left side just starting hurting like hell. However, most of the time it doesn't hurt through the whole feeding - just as first, then again after she's off.

Oh, her eye is MUCH better. It was very swollen yesterday but has gone down, and she hardly has any discharge at all anymore. I do keep massaging it a couple times a day and put in a little milk to ward off infection. It's a big relief though to see her eye open now & then. She also seems to have some pain from gas - she'll fuss just before a bm or fart. The colic tablets do seem to help a lot with that. And the gripe water. Usually she'll have some colic tablets and then about 5 mins later the gas will come out all ends. :) And then she can sleep again.

J is over there with the baby "slung" right now. She does enjoy that, once you get her in there. It might be part of the "hold her too much" thing, but honestly she's so little, there will be time to teach her to sleep in her bassinet later (and she did sleep there most of the time she slept last night). She seems to be calming down a tiny bit, so I'm hopeful that her fussiness was just related to being new in the world and won't develop into full-on colic (which usually doesn't show up this early). I think she's more fussy than even my mom knows how to deal with. I get the impression she's more fussy than a typical baby, but perhaps it's just the first couple weeks of being out in the world.

She does get SO mad - she's never sad, just angry (hopefully not in pain, though sometimes seems to have gas troubles). She's quite a screamer. For a few days I've felt really depressed and overwhelmed, but I'm trying to get out of the mindset that I got a "bad" "difficult" baby. One morning we both really felt like cashing her in. She's just so demanding. I just pray she'll realize that she's safe and doesn't need to cry all the time, that we really will meet her needs (which is why it is important to me to pick her up when she's crying and try to suss out the problem).

I do get a little jealous when I see older babies who are actually awake and not fussing, who smile and interact with their parents. I am told those days will come, but I'm so tired and it's hard to imagine my life won't be this way forever. It's hard to see past today. I try to go one second at a time and treasure the quiet moments. But yeah, friends were over with a happy 1 year old and I just wanted them to leave because it made me so sad for my crying baby. And mom read a story about "you were born into the world quietly" and I cried again because she WAS quiet when she was born and now she's so NOT quiet and, I'm afraid, not content.

This is so hard. Sometimes I just wander around with her in my arms, screaming, and I'm weeping and feel numb, like the walking dead. Like I have no sense of hope whatsoever.

And then sometimes she'll smile for a while and I do love that. It's no longer enough to make me think she's an angel, because I know better, but for that moment I can really enjoy her, and hopefully that will get me through this time.

Anyway it will be time to feed her again soon so I'd better go psych up for it. I mean, on the right side it's actually not difficult (not quite a pleasure yet, but tha'ts just because I have to constantly tickle her to keep her awake - it's like that side has tryptophan or something), but I should really have her take a turn on the left, as I'm looking down and the left looks about 2 cup sizes bigger at the moment! Owie owie!


JTB said...

best breastfeeding book I had was _bestfeeding_ because it was extremely practical on the topic of positioning and holds, with diagrams and ste--by-step instruction for people like me who are kinesthetically challenged (I only have a vague idea of where my limbs are at any given moment).

And I know this doesn't help, but your narrative sounds exactly like how I felt for the first few weeks. I thought, how the hell am I going to handle her when she's mobile? I can hardly deal with her now, what happens when it gets harder? Then she grew a little and I learned it doesn't get harder, it gets easier. Hang in there.

Jennifer Thorson said...

You're doing fine. It's not just you, and it's not just your baby. Lots of babies are like this.

It will get easier. Be gentle with yourself and with her.

The best advice I found on surviving the first weeks was at askmoxie.org. Head over there if you get the chance. In the meantime, swaddle, sway, feed, and yes, yes, yes, go to the breastfeeding support group.

You're doing fine. Your baby is doing fine.

mochajunkie said...

Hi, been lurking for a while. Congrats on the the birth of your daughter!

What you feel is normal. Really! Get to breastfeeding support group or lactation consultant quickly. I waited three weeks before getting help and I was horribly miserable.

Hang in there!