It does get better!
"It's baby steps, but hey I only produced a whole new life seven weeks ago!"
I've just been chatting to a lady in a coffee shop who was cooing over the tiny one who is now seven weeks old. I now have the ability to chat to strangers and I'm enjoying showing off my not-so-tiny, almost 10lb, baby. At the end she said, "You look so well. Unbelievably well in fact." And at that point, I no longer felt like a fraud. I do actually feel better than I have. Don't get me wrong, I'm not 100% yet, but things are improving.
It's likely I'll have to have another surgery soon so physically that's a setback, but feeling better emotionally is really helping. Plus who wouldn't be happy with a hot chocolate, whipped cream and a big fat slice of carrot cake for breakfast? But seriously, I'm not crying all the time and not wandering around like a complete space cadet feeling unable to cope, and I'm laughing again. It's baby steps, but hey I only produced a whole new life seven weeks ago!
Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean it's easy. Far from it. I feel like I'm stretching myself so thin and constantly overcome with guilt when I can't meet the demands of my young family. But I'm giving as much as I can. After the girls have had my all, there's nothing left for L or me but I do know it will get easier.... maybe in 18 years!
I've had to lower my standards a lot. The baby was out in non-matching pink clothes yesterday and G went to nursery with two pairs of knickers on this week. I noticed when she was on the toilet before nursery, but by then she had her trousers on and shoes so there was no way I was even going to try and rectify that at 8:45am when nursery starts at nine. The next day, I completely forgot to put her in the shower after she'd wet the bed in the night so off she went to nursery, probably smelling like pee. Poor soul.
But in fairness, I was flying solo as L was on holiday. Well, she'll tell you she was away with work but she stayed in a hotel, ate hot food in a restaurant and drank alcohol with friends. That sounds awfully like a holiday to me! She says she's just getting me ready for when she jets off to Vegas next month with her bestie. Don't worry, I'm making a note of all of these trips and I'm sure by the end of the year I can cash it in for a month in the Maldives ALONE. I daydreamed about it in the bath. I closed my eyes while the big kids were in bed, and before the milk bandit struck again, but just as I was feeling a little bit relaxed I heard, "Mummy, I need a wee."
After an eye-roll and a few choice words muttered under my breath, establishing if she really did need a wee as Mummy was in the Maldives, I got up and took her to the toilet. Then I got back in the bath while she sat on the toilet having a FAKE wee as she's already had three wees before bed.
"Mummy, why are your eyes closed?"
"I'm wishing I'm on a desert island alone right now."
"Why's your bath big, mummy?"
"Because I'm big. Now, have you finished your wee?"
"I need five more minutes, Mummy."
I give up! I just wanted five minutes of nothing.... who am I kidding???
I can't stop thinking about how lucky we have been with our little newborn. With her being so content and relaxed, it has made all of the heartache and struggles I've been feeling so much easier. Then we got to four weeks. Now, we always have a little chuckle when people have just had a baby and they're all excited still and there's a million pictures on Facebook of how great they are all doing and how good their baby is. And you know, it gets to about four - six weeks and things change. The baby stops just feeding and sleeping and starts fussing and you have no idea why or how to stop the terrifying sound of a newborn shriek and you realise you're still learning about what they like and what will soothe them.
Well, that's where we have been but thankfully we're coming out the other side. It's when the honeymoon period is over, the adrenalin has dried up and the tears are flowing... from all of us. The low point was when it took me three hours to settle the little one for bed one night. I'd feed her, she'd settle, then she'd poo so I'd change her. She'd cry, then feed, then poo. This went on for hours. The last time I changed her, she peed on my bed. L was asleep next to me, so I couldn't even change the sheet. To say I was pissed off was an understatement. So I got a towel to cover the wet bit and tried again to settle her. Then the screaming started again. It woke L and then we ended up having a row about what was wrong with the baby and I asked her to go to the spare room and leave us alone. I don't see the point in us both being tired. Not just because L is like a bear with a sore head when she's not had enough sleep, but because she has to go to proper work tomorrow. Anyway, she left, then the baby cried and I cried. That was that.
I've now purchased a dummy and I'm hoping that helps with the 6-9pm witching hours. Obviously, I stood for ages perusing the dummy aisle with heart-wrenching guilt coming through my body that my baby shouldn't have a dummy. But I managed to stop the tears and have a word with myself. I'll not be upset about it tonight when it keeps her calm and quiet while I'm catching up on Greys Anatomy!
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