Thursday, September 2, 2010

Maybe just a little longer

Fair warning... This is a "poor me" post, and I know that, so if you can't handle it, feel free to skip it.

I bought two more bottles of Fenugreek. They were buy one get one 50% off, so I kind of HAD to. (I'm a sucker for a good deal.) Honestly, I STILL don't smell like maple syrup, and I haven't noticed any difference in production really, but I keep hoping it might miraculously start to help.

After writing my last post I realized that I just wasn't ready to give up on nursing yet. I know a lot of it is hormone related, but I feel like a failure in so many ways these days that I just wasn't willing to be a failure at nursing so soon.

See, I feel like I'm failing my son. I'm not getting as much sleep as I need, so my temper is short. I feel like I yell at him all the time. He's SUCH a cheerful and good kid, and I sometimes feel like I'm expecting way too much from him. I'm completely stressed out because he's starting pre-school next week, and I think he's supposed to be in Pull-ups at least, and he hasn't even STARTED potty training. He's a smart kid, and I think he's mentally ready for it, but he's made a conscious decision to just say "Forget it. It's easier to poop in my diaper." I've been VERY laid back about potty training so far, offering the potty often, but waiting for him to take the lead. Honestly, I'm ready to stop changing his diapers. So ready. I mean, REALLY now. And I'm so worried that the pre-school will be like, "nope, he can't come until he's potty trained."

It also stresses me out when he doesn't take a nap, because see, I still need his nap time. I need some time without him. He is a chatterbox, which is endearing, but also starts to become endless after hearing hours and hours of the same things. He is also THREE as I may have mentioned before. Forget the terrible twos. Three is MUCH harder.

I just can't seem to get myself to relax and be a laid back mommy. Is it really that important for him to be eating with a fork and spoon consistently rather than his hands? Most of what he eats is finger food anyway. Is it really that big a deal that I have to prompt him to say "please" a lot of the time? I've had other Moms go out of their way to tell me that when he's at their houses, he's SO polite. It's just with me that he pushes the limits. I had more tolerance for repeating these things (i.e. "What do we say when we ask for something?") before E was born, but now that it seems like he's just not making any effort to change these things, it's really starting to wear on me, and I too often see a side of myself that I'm not proud of when I'm dealing with him.

I also used to be really good about making sure that D had a veggie with every meal. Lately he's been on a peanut butter kick. There have been days when he's had a bagel with peanut butter for breakfast, a piece of bread with peanut butter for lunch and pasta for dinner (plus some fruit thrown in during the day.) Again, I feel like I'm failing him in terms of nutrition.

Oh, and D needs a haircut too. Another failure. A good mother would find time / be brave enough to go with two children to get his hair cut. (Or she would be able to cut it herself without making it look like she cut it herself.)

I also look at my house and notice the dust under the sofas, and think about how I'm failing as a stay at home wife. Really, how hard is it to grab the Swiffer and clean under there?

And then there's my body image. After I had E, I lost all but 5 pounds of my baby weight in the first week, but now I've gained about 5 pounds back. Another failure. I'm nursing - isn't that the magic post partum diet?? I feel ugly and uncomfortable, and I can't comfortably wear most of my clothes anyway, because they're too cumbersome when I'm trying to breastfeed. I know when my snacking is emotional rather than hunger related, but I'm just not having an easy time saying no.

Then there's the breastfeeding. We're six weeks in as of yesterday. My nipples are much less sore than they were. E is a much better latcher than she was, but she's still a lazy nurser most of the time. I've been nursing her all day - all but one or two pumping sessions, and giving her formula at night to hopefully get her to sleep longer. I was feeling a little more relaxed with nursing for a while, but now I'm back to being stressed a lot of the time because E is yanking on my nipple and crying during her feedings. I'm guessing that it's a result of it being harder to get milk out of me than out of a bottle (in addition to the supply issue - that she's probably not getting much.) It's feeling like a cycle that I can't seem to break out of - She needs to nurse more so that my supply will go up, but she gets so frustrated trying to get the milk out that she doesn't want to nurse at all. But I'm still not ready to give up, and I'm just finding myself getting angrier (not sure if that's the right word - mayber sadder is really the word) that everything I'm doing just isn't making it work. Man do I wish she could talk...

I know, I know, I know it has a lot to do with hormones. I really do. I just wish I could convince myself that other moms yell at their kids about things that probably don't matter. That he won't need therapy when he's 18 because of being told, "D, don't touch that!" 8,000 times a day. That I'll be okay if I stop nursing, and I won't have a horrible ache inside for months, and tons of regret that I didn't try just a little harder. That I shouldn't compare myself to other nursing moms (nor allow myself to feel judged by them for my failures) because everyone's situation is different. That I'm not a failure as a human being just because my house isn't spotless. That I'm not a failure as a human being because I gained weight after losing it. That all these things will resolve themselves on their own once the stress level in my house decreases.

Yeah, if I could just believe those things, I guess life would be just about perfect.

(**On the bright side of things, E is thriving. At her one month appointment, she was two pounds heavier than her birth weight. She's generally a happy and content baby. She mostly cries when she needs something, and not just for the heck of it. She's smiling more consistently, and getting stronger all the time. She's very good at holding her head up, and her legs are very strong too. In spite of my feelings of failure, D seems to still be a happy kiddo even though he has to share the spotlight now. He has moments of sibling rivalry, but mostly I think we're doing a good job of giving him enough attention.)


Stacie said...

I wish I had something wise to say, but you already have more experience and kids than I do.

And, this is your blog. You can talk about whatever you want!

I wish there was something I could do to help you.


Anonymous said...

First, you are a great mom. I know it is hard not to criticize yourself when you are being pulled so many different ways.

I can relate alot to your post since I have an 18 month old son and a 3 month old daughter as you know. Some days I feel like it is so hard to give them both enough attention, clean the house, change multiple diapers, nurse the baby, etc. I feel sad I can't play with my son as much as I used to.

It WILL get easier. You are doing the best job you can. E is happy, healthy and getting enough food whether breastmilk or formula. D will be ok without veggies for a few days or a week. I am a worrier and I realized after my daughter was born I needed to just ease up on myself ALOT.

Sending lots of hugs!


CeCe said...

The vent is understandable. You certainly have a lot on your plate. I am impressed with how much you are able to handle. Sending you big hugs- you are doing great!!

Karen said...

well I do have more experience so I feel free to say that I'm pretty sure you're doing better than I was when mine were newborns. My house didn't just have dust under the sofa... there was rotting food in the fridge, overflowing trash cans, piles of dirty laundry, etc. And I never lost the weight to be able to gain it back. And my kids subsisted on fries and cookies. And I completely tuned out my older kids as they rattled on about things that I should have been paying attention to, that a good mom would care about. And my youngest will be four in a week and still won't poop in a diaper and I lied to the preschool and told them he was potty trained because I know that he can hold it for the few hours he'll be there (since when I won't give him a diaper at home he just holds it until I do). Oh, and he will pee but his prefered place to pee is in the grass so I imagine recess will be interesting for them, but I didn't mention that to them either.

As far as breastfeeding goes, all I can say is I think you're doing great. I know it's not easy and I know she's frustrated and not getting much milk. But she IS getting love and care and that's the most important part. And she's doing great with her weight so that's good too.

I found that it helped my production to smell my kids' hair just before nursing or whenever I needed to switch sides. It kind of helped make my milk let down better. I also think it helped to get some skin to skin contact. But I know that there's no magic fix that makes it work. And I totally think that any way a parent makes sure their child gets fed and snuggled is good enough.

Can your husband maybe take the kids out for an afternoon (and a haircut) so you can nap? Sleep helps. It really does.

cheryllookingforward said...

I think you're doing great! I am in awe of anyone who has more than one child and survives each day. Don't worry about the housework - you'll get to it someday and the house isn't going to have issues because of neglect! And how can you dust when you've got such a cutie stuck to your boob??

I gained weight at my 6 week pp check up. I wanted to scream and punch things. It took a little longer, but it started to come off again.

You are awesome. You can get through the tough times. Screw the dust bunnies!

Ibis said...

Miles often yanked and fussed at the breast in the early months. I still am not really sure why, but I know supply wasn't the issue... flow too fast, too slow, who knows...

Despite only having one kid I can relate to everything you wrote. I will probably be right there with you on this post if we have another some day!

Shannon said...

Aww *hugs* hon.

I only have 1 and I yell at him sometimes. I feel so guilty about it. My mom yelled at us from time to time and we all turned out fine.

I imagine that where are right now is where I will be in a couple years. I can only imagine how hard it is to care for a toddler/preschooler while getting very little sleep, PLUS a newborn, plus worrying about breastfeeding.

Don't worry about the house. Really.

I'm sure you're doing a great job, you wouldn't be worried about these things if you weren't such a caring mom. Hang in there!