Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Good, the Bad and...Well Everything in Between

I've been thinking about this for days...which I suppose just backs up my point (you will understand shortly).

I want to begin by saying that I absolutely love my daughter. I have since the doctor placed her in my arms, and even before. With that being said - she is really frustrating sometimes.

Sleep Deprivation

I thought I was ready to have a baby. Turns out - you are never prepared for a newborn. The only real struggle I've had with Zoey is the lack of sleep. I am realizing that I am more sleep deprived than I thought. Even now I'm having trouble making coherent sentences (and thank goodness for spell check). I try to nap with her during the day, but it seems all those scientific studies about needing 8 hours of consecutive sleep (the earlier in the evening the better) were right. Even if I can manage to get 8 hours of sleep during the course of 24 hours I don't feel rested. I'm not sure what to do about this except wait it out and do the best I can in the meantime.


Sleep deprivation is the only struggle that has affected me physically, but there are a few other things that frustrate me. The most frustrating is being the bottles. As a breastfeeding mom I feel somewhat trapped. It is ironic that I feel trapped and my husband feels useless because of breastfeeding. His feels that way because when she is hungry (which is rather often) there is nothing he can do about it but get me.

I am very jealous because he can leave the house to go to the store or wherever on a whim. I, on the other hand, can't go anywhere without stopping to check when the last time she ate, then I have to feed her which can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes so I don't want to go out anymore anyway, and even then if she has a full belly I can only be gone a maximum of 2 hours and I wouldn't even risk that long. If I take her with me it's the same battle plus more prep time. It is very frustrating. I feel tied to the house by a string when all I want is to get out and have a little bit of time to relax in another environment. I don't mind taking her with me, but if I just want to go to the library, for example, it seems silly to strap her up to go when someone else is here and I should only be gone 30 minutes or so.

The other thing that is frustrating about breastfeeding is that I have to stop whatever I am doing when she is hungry (and she is not patient when she is hungry). Most of the time I don't mind, but the other day I was in the middle of cooking dinner and she started sounding off. So I could either let her scream (which isn't something I tend to do) or stop cooking which puts off dinner by like 30 minutes while the food burns or gets cold. This is extremely frustrating. Thankfully, Stephen has been here to help so far, but next week he's off to work for good so I'll have to figure it all out on my own.

Also, she often wants to eat just as I'm about to eat. This is something that we have joked about for years with various nephews and nieces, but it is even more frustrating while breastfeeding. There are just some things I can't eat while I am feeding her, for example, chicken wings.

So even after all this complaining about the inconveniences of breastfeeding, I won't result with using formula. I want to, I very much want to, but breastfeeding really is so much better for Zoey and me that I won't give it up. I am however going to need to figure out a game plan as life is slowly beginning to return to normal (at least it isn't on slow mode anymore) and the ever looming time when I will have to go back to work.

I've been trying to pump milk, but it isn't really going very smoothly. The worst part is that the pump hurts my breasts, much more than Zoey ever has feeding. The other part is that the breast pump doesn't really seem to be that good. I pump for as long as I would feed and it barely gets over an ounce. It says it will only get 1-3 ounces at one time, but I can still feel milk in my breast but it isn't pumping it out anymore even on the maximum suction. I'm also not a hundred percent sure if this is normal or a malfunction of the pump. I do know that when Zoey is given that amount of milk she is still hungry. Which then brings up the question if I can't pump enough milk for her when I do need to be away then can I go back to work or will we need to supplement formula for those times?

My Body

The other thing that has been frustrating me lately is my body. I was never self-conscious of my body while I was pregnant, but then again the belly hid the love-handles very well. Now that the baby is outside my belly, my love handles are prominent and so is all the extra skin. This has been bothering me more and more, especially since Zoey will be a month old this week and I am still no where near getting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes (not without them looking horribly tight at least and the pants have no hope).

I think it frustrates me the most because I have about two outfits I will confidently wear. Those two outfits are maternity clothes but even some of my maternity clothes don't fit right. Besides, I'm ready to be done with maternity clothes. After thinking about it, I probably should just go out and buy at least one outfit (non-maternity) that fits well and makes me feel good. However, money is a little tight due to the crazy costs of having a baby that it isn't really an option right now.

I can't wait to exercise! I've been walking a couple times and I will continue to do so, but it doesn't feel like it is doing much. I want to go back to heavy cardio and I may be crazy, but I miss sit-ups. However, I can't really do anything heavy until after my postpartum doctor's checkup to let me know my body is healed enough (but that is still over two weeks away). I suppose there is reason for it since I'm still tired, and even though I feel healed enough there is a lot going on that I don't know anything about.

In Conclusion

Everything I have read says that you will feel rested again, you will become yourself again (for the most part at least, perhaps slightly altered, but still recognizable) and you will get your body back (if you work for it). The rub is that it could take a year or more. *sigh* I look into my daughter's eyes and know without a doubt it is all worth it, but I miss feeling like I have a life. I'm sure my husband is ready for my mood swings to stop too, or at least return to "normal." He says (and I agree) that I've had more mood swings in the last two weeks than I had the entire time I was pregnant.

So this has been a venting episode, but there are plenty of good times...I'll have to write about those sometime.


1 comment:

  1. Your post is nearly verbatim what I would have said 1 year ago! 1st, I hope Zoey will sleep through the night for you at an early age! Life feels sleepless for the first few months, but it DOES get better and then you forget how tired you really were. 2nd, stay strong with the breastfeeding! I got very brave after several months and nursed in many places including restaurant booths, Goodwill, church, friends' houses, Kohls dressing room, mall family rest-rooms (YUK) and many other places... I wasn't even shy around my friends' spouses! Just make sure you have a good cover that goes over your head to nurse in public. People are very understanding. You may need to wait a few months before you feel more comfortable with it. :-) Also, I started my 1st year of teaching when Michael was 2 months old. I had other side jobs too so I got a lot of time in with the pump. I used a medela double pump with the adjustable motor so you can start it at a low setting until your milk gets flowing, then turn it up. I was pumping on my 30 minute lunch break everyday whilst eating lunch!!!!!! It's crazy but looking back, I am so proud that I did it. At Zoey's age, you probably aren't making nearly as much milk as you would think, but your body will make more as she grows. lastly--- the body issues are exactly as you state them! I bought a few meager pieces of clothing to get me by and felt much better in 'real' clothes. I wore maternity jeans for 6 months though! I must say that even though your body may not be exactly the same, it does miraculously get better around 6 months. So hang in there... let me know if I can share any trying moments with you to make it better! Talk to other moms!