The Crazy

It doesn’t matter how many years a woman has struggled to have a baby—she is not immune to The Crazy once the new baby is here. I’ve never judged an IF woman for describing her post-baby Crazy, and I hope no one will judge me. I just need to let this out.

Sometimes I feel CRAZY.

Up, down, up, down. Better now that the hormones seem to be evening out somewhat. (Hormones so nuts—I soak my PJs, sheets, blankets, and mattress when I sleep.)  Better now that we have the acid-reducer for ST. Now we are trying a hypoallergenic formula for some other symptoms and are already seeing some results (yay!) but it’s slow-going.

And even if the babe were not struggling with some GI stuff, he’d still, of course, cry a lot. He’d still experience discomfort, even pain. And we have nothing to compare this to, so we worry that we overreact. Then we worry that we are not reacting enough, doing enough. Then we remind ourselves that all we have to do is love him, and that he is gaining weight, and absolutely thriving.

For example, this guy is not even four weeks old yet, and already he is smiling in response to my singing and my smile. It’s so amazing to see. And when I tickle his feet, he chuckles, I swear. That little he he he he. I know that this is just the beginning.

I give him baby massages all over his body, and he sighs with delight. He stares and stares and stares at me. I stare back. I will often feel certain that we are communicating volumes with our eyes. That I am looking at his soul. We talk about the pregnancy. We talk about everything we’ve gone through together. It’s pure magic.

So—all of that is beautiful.

But then there is The Crazy.

Which is not being able to do anything without doing it as though my ass is on fire. Shoving food in my mouth. Not noticing what the food is. Quickly, quickly taking a shower, while taking many breaks to reach out and rock ST, who is crying.

Trying different ways of going about our day. Skin-to-skin in the Boba wrap. Works for a little while, then crying, so I take him out. I cuddle with him for long lovely stretches, keeping him mostly upright against me because of the reflux, but then I need to pee, or eat something, or take care of my wound (my C-section incision is infected), or do my love.nox shot, but then it is time to feed him again and he begins to cry. Or change him. Or soothe him.

Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes it is absurd and funny—me trying to figure out what to do for myself and our household next, and how to do it. Me trying to figure out what to do for him next, and how to do it. Never feeling like anything really gets accomplished, my stomach burning from lack of food. Sometimes I don’t laugh. I cry.

Sometimes I feel like I am doing everything right. I feel like a wonderful mama. All needs met, and I’m taking care of myself at the same time so I can take care of him better. This lasts, sometimes, for a couple of hours at a stretch…maybe even an afternoon…before I begin to feel bewildered and frazzled again.

When DH stays home, it is great. It is wonderful. The passing back and forth. The helping each other with small things. The big block of hours of sleep (4 or even 5!) he gives me, and then I give right back to him.

But today he went to work, and last night he slept for 7 hours, and I slept for maybe two. I thought I would be able to nap throughout the day, but it didn’t work out like that. Sometimes it simply doesn’t work out. “Sleep when the baby sleeps!” everyone admonishes. Yes, yes—I would! I promise I would! But it doesn’t always work out! Gahhh….

Yesterday, I had to go to the OB because of this C-section infection. First time out, driving, without Papa. I’d never prepped the diaper bag by myself, never gone down the steep stairs with ST by myself, never put in or taken out the car seat by myself. (I’ve had some trouble lifting things, carrying things, even ST, with this incision and infection.) I could not make the appointment on time—impossible, as his hunger came right at the time I should be going out the door, as well as a giant poop. So called and begged for later. Feeding, soothing, changing. Figured everything out, got the baby in the car, and he was an angel. Success! Only had to pull over once to peer at him to make sure he was okay…

At the OB’s, never had so many strangers talk to me. People are so drawn to him and think he is really beautiful. It is lovely to talk to people and to feel their warmth—but I often find myself thinking of my sisters who do not have babies, and who want babies desperately, and how strangers don’t come up and grin and talk to them lovingly. They need warmth. I needed warmth all those years. Of course, it doesn’t work that way. But I remembered that sense of unfairness and isolation, even while I enjoyed the strangers’ warmth.

Once in the room, in my gown, ST begins to do his telltale signs that he is hungry and about to get loud about it. But I reach into the bulging diaper bag, the one in which I have packed every item we could possibly need for the rest of time….except for one important component of the bottle itself. There will be no way to feed him. (As if I don’t feel horrible enough about not breastfeeding, stuff like this happens.)

In a panic, I go out into the hallway in my gown, my buttocks exposed. I don’t care. Because once the wails start, the hunger wails, they are very hard to soothe. I grab a nurse. Do they have formula samples here? Incredible–they do! I take one and minutes later am feeding my babe, my gown come loose and now just about all of my post-pregnancy body exposed.

My OB comes in in a mad rush, and before I know it, she is puncturing my infected incision with a giant needle, to get the pus to come out. “Oh–that doesn’t hurt like I thought it would,” I said, and then she put the needle in further, and I yowled. Then she tugged on a stitch, and tears streamed down my cheeks. She tugged open a hole, so that the infection can drain better throughout the week. It was—insane. Just insane.

But no time for recovery, as I needed to get to CVS to pick up the new formula the pediatrician recommended, and we’re to start it ASAP. Soon, I was lugging this very heavy infant car seat into the drugstore, incision killing me, and packing items around the baby—A & D ointment, wipes, acidophilus for me, etc. Picking up my meds and the formula. Picking up McDonald’s on the way home because am famished. Pulling over and eating it at the side of the road, because if I wait to eat it until we get home, I can’t be sure ST won’t wake up…which could mean I wouldn’t get to eat for another hour or so…

Laughing as I shove french fries into my mouth. Realizing how very little I’ve eaten in the past two days. Listening to Terry Gross interview Billy Crystal. Remembering for half a second that I am an adult with adult interests.

So! That’s a little taste of The Crazy.

I am typing this right now because I have been in the house way too long and I need to feel like I am communicating to the outside world. So thanks for being there, sisters.

Now, back to one of several (thousand) tasks. And guess who is stirring? My darling, my soulmate, my sensitive little tyrant in the baby-dinosaur swaddle…

 

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14 Comments

  1. This is awesome. Real, raw, honest! Just because it was a struggle to get little man here, doesn’t make the adjustment a walk in the park. It’s ok to let the crazy out, and no one should ever judge you for that. I like the crazy ;) Also, I really hope your incision site heals up quick so that you have some relief ! Hugs! Can’t wait for more pictures of your little prince!! XO

    Reply
  2. lol, I could have written a lot of this but I never have time to update my blog with “twinsanity” over here!! We are in the witching hours the past 2 nights–screaming for no reason. Good stuff. Sorry about your csection incision. That sounds ghastly! One thing I avoided thankfully..

    Reply
  3. I am so thinking of you — your trip to the OB’s and everything that happened there and then all the errands after made me feel completely overwhelmed and exhausted, and that’s not even close to my reality. I love your honesty. I am so glad they had formula samples at the OB’s so you could soothe, and that incision nonsense sounds horrific. I hope it heals up soon!

    Reply
  4. I am loving how painfully honest you are being about all of this.

    Reply
  5. Haha this is like I could have written this circa 6 or 7 months ago. Even shoving drive-thru in my face so I can finish before I get home, and the part about the incision. Lord that is just one more thing no one needs to have in the background while trying to get the hang of caring for a newborn. Every small task or outing seems monumental, and the lack of sleep doesn’t help. You will get into the swing and a semblance of a routine will emerge, and it will seem normal to take an hour and a half to get out the door with half your house in you diaper bag. You’re doing awesome.

    Reply
  6. Julia

     /  December 31, 2014

    Thank you for writing this.

    I am right here with you. It’s like regular new Momma stress with the added guilt of being “on the other side” and feeling the pressure of needing to love every minute of parenthood…

    While I feel eternally lucky to have my boy- it still doesn’t mean that this isn’t hard, you know!

    Reply
  7. Haha the ups and downs continue! Some says i feel like super mom- i cook, do laundry, make phone calls, clean, etc. And some days i just feel relieved that i have kept them both alive! Hope you are all healed soon – that sounds rough!

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  8. I love this post so much. I remember crying at bedtime because I couldn’t face another night of waking, crying, feeding. Changing soaking pajamas and chugging Gatorade like I was on the brink of dying from dehydration in the middle of the night. And I had the strangest thoughts about all of the horrible accidents, illnesses, etc. that could happen to my baby. Embarrassingly ridiculous to think of now, but very real at the time. Yes. The Crazy. But also ancient history now. It’ll be over in a blink. Hang in there, sister. ST won’t remember any of it anyway!

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  9. This is EXACTLY how I felt a few months ago too! Those first few months are so unbelievably hard. There were stretches were I cried every night just thinking about wether I would be able to make it through one more day. all I wanted was for someone to tell me it would get easier (and when :)). It does get better, I promise!! By 3.5 months or so things got so much easier and more fun, not a constant struggle. I know that sounds like a really long time, but just take it a day at a time, you’ll make it and I promise it’s totally worth it :).

    Reply
  10. Just commented on another blog that had a similar post. This stuff scares the crap out of me, but I’m glad you posted it because it will help me to know I’m not alone when I’m going through The Crazy myself in a few months!

    Reply
  11. sending love and thoughts your way. early parenting is ROUGH. And the c-section, and then c-section infection make it rougher. you are doing great. hang in there, and be gentle with yourself. this too will all pass (for me A LOT of it was getting a little more sleep, which was MUCH better by about 5 months). Until it gets better, one day, one task at a time. And trying to remember you are doing a GREAT job. This is tough stuff.

    Mo

    Reply
  12. So true! The crazy is so real. It does get better, though! And then one day you realize you have moved out of survival mode into regular old mom mode. :)
    Happy new year!

    Reply
  13. Wow! That sure is a bit of crazy! Poor you! Hope that infection gets better and quickly! Im pretty sure all the crazy is worth it when he smiles and coos at you…hope it all gets a little better…

    Reply

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