Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I'm finding it impossible to be both a mother and a wife. My relationship with my husband is really suffering and I just don't know what to do about.

It's not that I regret anything. Our entire life is different. And it's not that I was naive enough to not think it would be so. But I'm not so sure I am dealing with the change so well. And my husband doesn't know how to deal with me.

I'm not even sure how to write about it.

It's just all fucked.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


He went down like this:
(I always put him this way, even though this photo is from another day.)
He woke up screeching a bit, but I let him be. He fell asleep again. He woke up again. I heard grunts a poops and hand sucking, but I didn't go into to him, I was letting him do his business in peace. Then there was quiet. I just peeked into the room to see how he was doing.

Breaking free of the swaddle, Sacha discovers that he can indeed roll over in his bed. He will, however, be requesting a wider crib for Chanukah this year.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


One of the main reasons I blog is to get things off my chest without having to pay a therapist to listen. Often in the past all I have had to do is type and press publish and my anxiety would lessen. After yesterday's post I actually felt worse after writing.

And then your comments started coming in. And the weight? It lifted. The clouds parted and the sun shone through.

Which brings me to another main reason I blog: the support.

I know I say this time and time again: I don't know what I would do without this community. Thanking you can't get old. It is always wonderful to thank someone (or many someones in this case), is it not? Thank you again and again and again. Yes, you. And you. And you.

So much of what you wrote was helpful and overwhelmingly supportive. While I don't want to rejoice in the fact that many of you new mamas feel the same way I do, by golly does it feel good to know I am not alone.

Some of you asked questions and raised points, and I think it would be great to address them here as a sort of follow up.

Rachel asked if it was possible for me to work in the evening or on the weekends a bit. I do, and it helps. I have no choice... But sometimes I get flack from my husband about wanting to spend "family time" as the three of us. I feel it's a great opportunity to have papa/baby time, but him: not so much. (That post I never wrote about our changing relationship? That's part of it.)

Aurelia suggested trying to coax Sacha into a routine by feeding at certain times and sleeping at certain times. I like this idea... I think that is more what I want than a regimented schedule. And, yes, he is easy going (as in he doesn't usually complain when he's hungry!) so I just may be able to do it. I am not a very flexible person, it's usually all or nothing with me. I realize if I want to implement a routine it will be easier on both me and Sacha if I exercise some flexibility.

I think alot of this is about having the confidence to just feel what I am doing/want to do is right for the baby. (And right for me.)

Oh, and how I love you guys who are with me on independent time. I am just thinking that it can no longer happen in the crib. (I am still not sure about the bumper use. It is in the washing machine as we speak, and I may try it tomorrow on the crib.) Independent play time is getting harder even if isn't in the crib (ie: on his playmat) because he rolls from back to front with such ease and can't figure out how to get back (so I am constantly having to flip him back!)

While this cuts down on time I can be "away" while Sacha is playing, I have to admit that baby development is absolutely fascinating. I can't believe in 16 shot weeks how much this little guy has learned to do!

A couple of you mentioned childcare. I have thought about getting someone in maybe 2 half days a weeks so I can get some solid work done. I will have to increase my workload in order to afford this. When my busy season ramps up in January I will have to revisit the option. Right now it's not something I can spend money on.

Lots of you mentioned diaper output and baby weight. As far as I know we have no problem in that department. Regular pees and poos all around. And I am pretty sure Sacha weighs in the neighbourhood of 17-20 pounds (and he's not yet 4 months!)

Which leads me to the feeding. I have been paying very close attention the past couple of days. Yes, it does seem that I have a fast let down, and Sacha seems to gobble and swallow crazy-fast at the beginning of feeds. Thanks for letting me know that you guys have asked yourselves the same questions regarding "time", and helping me see that we are doing alright.

As for the night feeding- as Serenity pointed out that he actually may not need to eat when he wakes. I have thought about this. I don't know if I have the guts to not feed him at night (I know he won't starve, but still...). He doesn't use a pacifier, so I'm not sure how I would soothe him at night other than picking him up and rocking him. In which case I feel that I might as well feed him.

And finally, a big nod to Robin. Thanks to her I think that I am ready to say fuck you to the Ba.by Whi.sperer. Really, reading her second book is what started this anxiety in the first place!! I think that some good ideas are broached in her book, but I am feeling that being a little more flexible on how I interpret the "advice" will go a loooong way in making my life less anxiety ridden.

(Wow. Did not intend this post to go on for so long.)

So. In conclusion: not enough words to tell you how thankful I am. I can invent a new word for thanks, but then I will have used it, and next time I will have to invent another new one. And well, I have a baby, and work to do, and enough stress already. I hope plain vanilla thanks seems heartfelt enough. I really mean it.

It has been a relief to be free of bad mama thoughts for a day because of all of you.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I am a pretty realistic person (to a fault, some might say).

I don't believe I ever let my intense desire to have a child with my husband cloud the idea that parenting would not be challenging. The thing is, even with my realistic outlook, there was no way I could have been prepared for how.

As usual I have left too much time pass between posts, and I find that there is so much that I want to say. When I sat down to write this post I thought about which topic to write about. I realized the common theme with all of them: what a hard time I am having with this mother thing. How I so often think that I am just not a good mother.

I love Sacha with all my heart and I am thankful for being able to carry him and give birth to him. And I am honoured to be his mama. I am told that he is an easy baby (I don't know babies, so I couldn't say so myself!). He is a delight, he is delicious. It is amazing to watch him grow and change.

However, none of the above make the role of being a mother easier. There is so much that I am struggling with... Can I share a bit?

I constantly worry that Sacha isn't eating enough. I feed him 5 times a day and one time during the night when he wakes up. I would say that on average he eats for about 10 minutes. I was told from the beginning that I shouldn't watch the clock when breastfeeding, that the baby will eat what he needs to eat. But I couldn't help it. As a newborn he could eat for nearly an hour. By month 2 we had mastered the feeding and Sacha would eat for 20 minutes or so. In the past month we have dropped to 10 minutes, and I find that at some feeds it is even less. Often I have to burp him in the middle (unusual for breastfed babies, from what I understand), and he almost always spits up. His pee and poop is not cause for alarm (he fills his diapers plenty), and he doesn't seem to be lacking in the weight department. I also know that after some time babies suck more efficiently. But less than 10 minutes? That just doesn't seem like enough. When do I worry about this?

Closely related to feeding is, of course, sleeping. I can't seem to get the little guy into any type of routine. Being an easy baby he isn't too too fussy. I find that he doesn't wake up at the same time every day, he doesn't nap at them same times every, or for the same amount of time at each nap. (And as a result he doesn't nurse at the same times.) We do get him to be between 8-9 every night, but he hardly ever wakes in the night at the same time. And he has only slept through the night on a handful of random occasions. He's pretty easygoing: He can be awake for up to 5 hours without getting unhappy. What I am unsure about is this: should I just go with his flow? Is my concern about his lack of routine an issue for me because I like routine? Am I trying to impose something on my child that he doesn't really need? If I don't start him on a routine now is it going to be a problem in 3 months, 6 months or a year from now? Am I not teaching him good habits??

You see, I don't know. And not knowing makes me feel incompetent. Which in turn doesn't help with the feeling like a good mother thing.

Here's another thing that I am struggling with. As I've written before, I am self employed and work at home. While I was able to scale down my work for the arrival of the baby, I have not been able to stop working completely. I don't work every day. But I have been working from the day we have gotten home from the hospital (no work means no money coming in- I don't have any maternity benefits.) I really really really wish that I hadn't had to work for the last three months, and that I could have been able to spend every moment with Sacha. That just not a possibility. And neither is "sleeping when he sleeps", because that is time that I have to take to work. (Or blog! And that's why I don't blog so much! I then I end up with post the length of the Bible.) Adding to this is issue, is, with his lack of routine and unreliable nap length, I have been having to work while he is awake. Which means leaving him "alone" (on his play mat, vibrating chair or playing in the crib.) The other day his leg got stuck between the crib bars and he screamed bloody murder. This morning I found him with his arm hanging out. I am worried that I am leaving him too much and that he is going to get injured. (Please do not call child services on me!) I don't know if I should put the bumper pad on his crib for fear of SIDS. Some people tell me that it is ok to leave the baby, that he should learn to play independently. Which is good advice... but how much independence?

Couple this with my sometimes feelings that as much as I want to it is really difficult to entertain a baby all day long. So I leave him to play because I feel I am going to go bonkers. And that makes me feel bad.

All this is just making me into a stressed-out ball of nerves. I know it's not good for me or for Sacha. I read "the books". And then I feel I can't do what the books are telling me to do. Which in turn makes me feel even worse. Like I'm not doing the best for my baby.

I, of course, have other concerns. How will I ever get him to drop the middle of the night feeding. I am reading that babies should be starting to sleep through the night by now. I don't see this happening, no matter how much of an angel Sacha is. But I feel the pressure. What if I'm not doing something right?

Worse is that people seem to think that I am crazy. (I am neurotic. Those of you who have been her for the past 2 years may recall...) It doesn't help that Sacha is all smiles when The C comes home at night, and I just can't seem to get him to comprehend why I feel the way I do. The women who are my support (my mother, my aunt, my grandmother), tell me that Sacha doesn't seem to complain much, so I should not be so worried.

This post is not meant to be whiny or complain-y. The fact of the matter is that I just don't know what to do. At some point on most days I tend to work myself into being so upset that I think how am I going to do this?.

Please don't go telling me after you read this post that I should just be thankful for what I have. I know that. That's part of the problem.

(I also know that this post is a bit all over the place. Thanks for reading, I hope it make a little bit of sense, at least.)