Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hard Going

It has been a tough two weeks. I swear I hit bottom at some point. 

Cabin fever finally caught up with me. Since I haven't introduced any bottles to Olivia yet, I can't be away from her much. The few times when I headed out for errands, I had to rush back to feed her. I have been avoiding nursing rooms, but I know I would have to get used to them soon so we can be out and about for longer stretch of time.

Then there are the breastfeeding hiccups to deal with. Olivia had watery green poo for a few days. She fed round the clock and slept so little (at least that was how I felt). Not sure if it was because she caught a bug, or due to the foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. I'm not ruling out allergies to something in my diet though I have no idea what that could be. Chili? She was probably also going through the 6-week growth spurt. 

I cheered when I finally saw the mustard-like, seedy poo again. But after a few days of that, the green poo showed up again yesterday. Now I'm wondering if she has diarrhea. She doesn't look dehydrated so I should just continue breastfeeding and observe her closely. It is just so frustrating not being able to pinpoint an exact cause. 

I must admit I'm disappointed too that the milk supply is still not established even though I've been latching baby on demand and expressing minimally only to relieve discomfort in the past 7 weeks. Her constant feeding during the growth spurt has increased the production even more, resulting in slight engorgement every few hours now. I hate the sensations of forceful letdowns and the tingling and shooting pains I feel when the breasts are filling up. Sigh. I miss the times when I get through the days without having to think about my boobs. Already, I can't wait to have them back. 

Adding to the woes were the squabbles I had with the family. Mum said some really hurtful and unreasonable things. It's a myth that mothers should know their kids well. Mine certainly doesn't. She is only capable of making up her own absurd conclusions based on her selective perception. It is pointless trying to explain anything to her. 

In fact, during my confinement, there were several disagreements initially because of our differences. Later I decided to close eyes, cover ears and shut my mouth in order to avoid further conflicts. 

I am still mulling over what she said and though it has been a week since our fight, it hasn't hurt any less. Looks like we won't be talking for a while. At least I know I can't bring myself to. It's a shame and kind of sad to think that she will be missing out on Olivia's growth. But that said, maybe she won't feel the same as I do. After all, she is the one who thinks that grandkids will be closer to her if they only get to see her once in a blue moon. 

What's also not helping my mood is how much I miss just hanging out with little Chip. Sometimes I felt a little left out as the boys played with daddy and I had to be stuck in the room nursing. By the time baby is sleeping and I am finally free, Chip is either in school, out with E or already drifted off to dreamland. 

I tried to spend time with the boys and have managed to sit with them for a few coaching sessions in the two weeks. But there was very little time left for any bonding. When I am not nursing or carrying baby, I usually have to rush off to clean some parts of the house, hand wash baby's soiled clothes, do laundry, prepare meals or wash pump parts. And of course I have to find time to shower and grab quick bites before baby wakes too. 

This is hard. Harder than I had imagined. I have forgotten and hence, underestimated how much time I have to spend with the baby, or rather how little would be left to do anything else. I know it's a phase and it will get better when baby is older. In a few months, maybe even weeks, it will all get better. But there are times in the days when I get teary. 

Maybe it is the postpartum blues. I won't be surprised if it is. After all, I have the history. 

The highlight of the fortnight was perhaps the belated celebration we threw for Olivia last weekend. A casual gathering with just a few people whom I think care for me and Olivia. I'm not sure if it was just the fresh air, or seeing so many friends at the same time that lifted my spirit a little. But while it lasted, it was so good for the soul.


Karmeleon said...

Dear me - mine's 3yo and I still find that he takes up 95% of my time! Esp when he refuses to let me out of his sight, following me everywhere.

suz said...

Awwww! Lots of hugs going your way! Having a little baby is already hard, and you're juggling three kids and the household chores! It's more than most other women can manage. The good thing about having older kids, is that we know that it will get better. Maybe not soon enough, but it will eventually pass! Just take it one day at a time, and remember to breathe...

Jayne said...

I probably felt somewhat similar to what you are going thru now, with my mom, breastfeeding etc. I tried to remind myself that this was my last baby, and I was going to enjoy him no matter what. If it is any comfort to you, things did get better, eventually. But I'm sure you know, it's never going to be easy.

Don't be too hard on yourself, the older kids are more resilient than we think they are, and they know how much you love them even though you can't spend as much time with them. It's just temporary. Soon, you are going to have all 3 of them hugging and kissing you.

To be honest, I still go through periods of lows. It's a different kind of hard when baby is mobile. But I do miss those times when Alex was lying still, just gazing at me.

Take care now. You are a great mom, a super one, really. Everything will be great soon. Hugs and love to you.

Domesticgoddess said...

Thank you Suz! You are such a gem. :> It is so good to have my feelings validated and not be told I'm exaggerating and being dramatic. When you see me looking haggard and blue, you must remind me to breathe. I do tend to forget...

Domesticgoddess said...

Thanks Jayne for your comforting words. I also tried to remind myself that Olivia will be my last baby and to enjoy her no matter what. It does helps to put things into perspective. Thanks for the reminder yet again. When the going gets tough, it is so easy to lose sight.
I must cherish her in this phase before she gets mobile.

Winnie said...

For the 1st few months after giving birth to my girl, I also felt "trapped" at home as I avoided bottle feeding. But it would be better when she starts solids.

I usually don't go looking for nursing rooms when I bring my baby girl out. If I need to breastfeed her, I would find a place to sit down (maybe a cafe) and put on my nursing poncho to feed her.

I read in a book "each day may pass slowly when you're tired and weary, but the years pass quickly. Today your children are totally dependent babies; tomorrow they will be grown and gone." You are a wonderful and capable mum and I believe you be able to work out something soon. For the time being, don't stress yourself out. Take care.

renelik said...

hi there, just sending some support. Hang in there. :)

Handydog said...

Big hug!!! Dont hesitate if you need help, I'm sure my girls love to hang out with your boys. I can understand how tiring it can be, especially now you have three and with breastfeeding you will feel even more exhausted, but it will get better and easier. I forced myself to get out of the house and fed baby with a cover so that I won't feel trap. As for housework, just slow down and take it easy, I'm sure all your boys can help out, good training for future. It's ok to cry and let out, I poured buckets too for the first 3 months. One little step at a time. You are a strong mummy, I know you can.

Domesticgoddess said...

Thanks Winnie for the encouragement and timely reminder. 'The days are long, the years are short'. So true.

I haven't used a poncho or nursing cover before. Maybe will try one.

Domesticgoddess said...

Hi renelik, thanks! I'm only doing half of what you did. Can't imagine what you had to go through.

Domesticgoddess said...

Thanks Karen for the encouraging words and offer.

I should also force myself to head out daily with baby to preserve my sanity. I have brought her out alone a few times and once with Chip, but only fed her once in a nursing room and that puts me off big time. Needs lots of practice at home with a cover first.


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