Letters To My Dead Mother: we arrive home

September 30th, 2006 (or whatever day it is) J

Mommy,

When we showed her our house, it struck us. Who allowed us to bring this precious child home? Who allowed us to be parents?

Only time will tell if we could handle it together and alone. I was not ready for the awesome responsibility of being at full time mom.

The first week was hell. While I was trying to repair internally I had so much pressure to formula feed her. After only three days the home nurse scared me by stating that I was not giving her enough so I had to feed her with formula. Trinity had dropped three quarters of a pound. My milk had not come in yet. The nurse kept repeating that it SHOULD have been by now. I felt it was too soon to give in but my husband kept up the pressure. I was so burnt out from not sleeping for over a week that I gave in. I wanted to give her everything even if it went against my instinct. That same night she cried for so long (forty minutes) I called the helpline who told me that I should take her to the hospital. When I was going to hang up Trinity stopped crying. So we did not take her.

The next day we went to the doctor for her first check up. We told the doctor everything that transpired the previous day. The doctor told us she was not worried about the weight loss. It happens. If it were more dramatic then there would have been a problem. She was still optimistic that I could breast feed. She gave me a prescription that would help speed it up. In the mean time then we could supplement with a dropper. Whew. Between the books, the nurse and my mother-in-law I was so stressed out. I had not had a chance to sharpen my mother’s instincts. In hindsight I wish there was someone who actually had my back with the knowledge of what I was really feeling. Normally I have a strong yet sensitive backbone. I could take on anything and not be afraid to speak up. However after adjusting to a newborn, sleep deprived and having a marriage to lean on each other I was very weak. The books state “facts” which are not always the truth since no two newborns are the same. This is also true for well meaning family members who spew what they think are facts (though out-dated) based on their experiences. Where we lacked great back up daily help we were blessed with out in-laws (for both sides) in town. I am sure we would be swarmed on a daily basis if that were the reality.

Within two weeks I had gained a bit of the reins more. I was not going to let our little girl cry without reason. Babies do not manipulate. They cry when they are wet, hungry, tired or need their parents. If their needs are met then they will always know that their parents are always there for them. That is why we had a child. (Why my husband wanted one) was to teach them what we knew plus do it better than we had it. We both had absent, alcoholic fathers. I also had an abusive one. It has shown that absent fathers can equal delinquent children. My husband is proof of that. He had his spell when he was a teen. He got the strength to not continue down that path.

I did still struggle with depression. I did not feel like I had post partum depression. I heard many scary stories of women who fought the disease. I did not feel like they did. I did feel lonely and isolated. I still did not want to let go and let someone baby-sit or change diapers and so on. She is so young and I do not want to miss a thing. My husband feels that way too.

I dusted off an old habit writing in a journal. I still had a hard time keeping up with the household needs, my husbands and mine needs. I put that pressure on myself as well. I tried to be super woman. What you are about to read is my world post partum. My therapy, if you will. I kept my head up (barely). Oh yeah, never did hand out the birth plan. You can have all of the best intentions in the world and it all goes out the window in a second. Be flexible is key (physically flexible won’t hurt either).

 Feels like it has been ten years already. Time has flown. I went thru seventy hours of labor. 

Every hour there is something new with her. I am so exhausted. Days are better than nights. I hope to get at least five hours in a row at night with her. I can function on at least that. My head is so foggy. She is so sweet and so precious. How did I not need her before? Just need to help Alex ease off the juice a bit like we promised each other. He is having a hard time having the best of both worlds. Also I miss HIM. I love hugging him so close to me without my big belly.

The first week was so tough. I was healing and trying to breastfeed. I can’t sleep thru the night now. My dream goal is to have her in her crib and me in bed with my husband at night. Now she will only sleep on me then I try to ease her in bed.

                          Need to fly,

                                     N

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