Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On Early Mommyhood

I find it interesting that having gone through 22 hours of labor (more on that topic later), one of the first things I wanted was my Mummy! To use the cliche--such is the circle of life. Fortunately, my parents are in the country for this year, and so my wish was swiftly granted the day after Blueberry was born.

Having my Mum around for the last two weeks has been such a blessing. I don't know how I would have made it without her cooking and catering and doing laundry and answering my numerous questions, and providing the occasional shoulder to cry on when the whole business has just gotten to overwhelming (not to mention hormonal!) and I think I can't do it any more.

She left on Monday morning, and since then it has been a bit chaotic around here.

Blueberry had gunky eyes, and being a paranoid mommy (although my assumption that it was just her tear ducts not working yet did prove to be correct), we wound up going to the doctor. Did manage to kill two birds with one stone, however, as we also got her two week appointment taken care of rather than having to go again later in the week. Assuming we can avoid getting sick, that's her last appointment until October. That was the first time I'd been out completely by myself with her. Not a little nerve-wracking!

Then Monday night, we discovered that our deep freezer is broken. Basically it's more of a deep refrigerator currently rather than freezer. All the meals that I had prepared ahead of time were thawing as was all of the meat in the freezer. So Tuesday we spent (Chris came home early to help me) cooking up meals. Some we could cook and then refreeze. Some we're just having to eat up. On a positive note, I don't have to cook for the rest of the week. Just heat up whatever dish we happen to want!

Needless to say, as my original "to do" list for those two days was basically composed of sleeping and caring for Blueberry and trying to keep up with the occasional load of laundry...this was a bit unsettling.

Add into all that, Chris is back at work. And while he is available to come home any time I need him, I do try to be mindful of the limited amount of vacation time he has, so I'm trying not to call him back unless I really do need him.

Being now a little over two weeks into this whole business of being a mother, I find it one of the most rewarding and simultaneously lonely experiences of my life. To have someone so completely dependent on me, in particular, for her very sustenance, is rather breathtaking.

The rewards side is marvelous: Holding Blueberry. Loving on her. Cuddling her. Memorizing every wrinkle and expression on her precious little face. And yes, even the cleaning of diapers and changing of clothes (which I'm actually a bit squeamish about doing--I'm always so afraid to squashing her face or suffocating her while pulling things over her head!) are rewarding in terms of making her comfortable and content. Learning what each whimper and squeak and burble means has been fascinating as I realize how quickly I've begun interpreting her sounds into meaning.

Loneliness, however, has also had its part. 2am with only a helpless child awake in your arms, knowing that the rest of the world sleeps in order to carry on about their day in just a few hours--a world in which I don't really feel like I have a role in right now--is isolating. Struggling with nursing (seriously--animals know how to instinctively nurse; why don't humans?) and knowing that for all I can read and talk to people, ultimately it falls on my shoulders and mine alone to help her succeed in this task...again, very lonesome.

Of course the Baby Blues hasn't helped any of this at all. My whole pregnancy, I actually did really well with the hormone side of things. Some of the crazy things that people say or do when they're pregnant really didn't affect me that much. Oh, sure, I had some rough days here and there, but really, for the most part, I was fine. I'm now paying the price for those easier hormone months. I don't think it's postpartum depression--just flat out P(ost)MSishness. I'll be doing just fine and then someone will ask an innocent question or call at just the wrong moment or give me a funny look and I break down sobbing.

Blueberry and Chris are actually my saving grace in those times. Holding her close and feeling her breathe calms me down pretty well. That or having my husband by me is the other good fix for those moments.

I find it fascinating how much I hate to be very far away from Blueberry. Even when I just go to take a shower and someone else is watching her on the other side of the house, I find myself hurrying things up a bit because I feel like I need to be by her. I know she's fine; I know she's being well cared for, and if she needed me, I would be fetched immediately. But still....

OK. That's all the ramblings I've got time for. I'm going to go take one of those showers I just mentioned before Blueberry wakes up again.

1 comment:

Hillery said...

So much fun to read your blog dearest! Being hormonal and feeling overwhelmed, while not enjoyable, is normal. I struggled more after Gabbie was born, I think it is a first baby thing in particular. Just be mindful if these feelings get worse to get help sooner rather than later.

Yes, Mommying can be lonely. That feeling of knowing that they rely on you completely, and you are tired in the middle of the night. Just remember that you are not alone. Millions of other moms are out there doing the same thing and feeling the same way. And then talk to God. Some of my sweetest moments have been with Him while nursing my little ones in the middle of the night.

That feeling that you must hurry your shower to be back with her, normal and wonderful! Isn't it amazing??

And I agree on the whole "why can animals nurse without a problem and we seem to struggle when we are at the top of the food chain?"

Love you lots!