In the just over a week that I’ve been a parent of two, I’ve alternated between thinking this isn’t so bad, that babies aren’t as much work as I thought, and feeling strangely happy and motivated to spend the couple spare minutes I have in a day on household tasks.
The other days are like today, in which I think, holy shit, how do I manage this. Today was the first day I started to feel a bit bummed, as though this is overwhelming. Even looking at email stresses me out because I can’t imagine how I’ll find time to respond to all the messages I should answer.
First River gets sent home from preschool with pink eye, just as he has recovered from a fever. We go from him never being sick at all to suddenly going from one malady to another.
Then we go to the doctor, the whole family, and Willow’s poop explodes through her diaper for the first time, staining her sleepsack and her Bundle Me. I felt like I was a better mom this time around, as I actually brought a spare diaper and some wipes (I often didn’t with River). But as soon as I placed the spare diaper under her bum, she peed. I didn’t have another spare. Nor did I have an extra outfit. We had to go back outside with her dressed only in a t-shirt and plopped into the Bundle Me.
We’re still dealing with the thrush and now the doctor says I should look into having her frenulum cut, as it may be short and this could be causing some of the breastfeeding pain, and perhaps could be an issue with speech later. So I had to make an appointment with a pediatric throat specialist.
The best part of my day was getting the medicines at the pharmacy because I got to walk home, spending a good 20 minutes alone, outside, in the sunshine.
From that point on, Willow has been on my boob for a solid five hours. It’s already like a knife going through me when she attaches, especially on the left side. Even better when I get to spend five hours with her going from one side to the next and back again. We had a sitter around all afternoon, but I couldn’t give her to the sitter and take a break because every time I did, she’d start rooting again.
At the same time, River was freaking out about the drops I had to put in his eyes and nose, and begging for mom to read him a nap-time story, give him his medicine, pay him some darn attention. With the exception of a single storytime and a 30-minute walk in the snow yesterday, I have spent no time with him in the last week. It’s painful to him and to me and is just one more thing stressing me out.
I was getting exhausted and frustrated and felt glued to the chair. My back is killing me from constantly bending over to breastfeed. Finally, I figured out that she couldn’t possibly be eating for five hours straight and that she was using me as a pacifier. I pulled out the pacifier we got from the hospital and voila, she sucked calmly. Why didn’t I think of that earlier?
I’m crossing my fingers that since she spent the whole day awake and sucking, that will result in some good sleep for both of us tonight. I need it. I can’t fathom how I’m going to finish my exam, or do anything else of substance, at this rate.
This too shall pass, I remind myself, and she will only be my 7.5 pound baby doll now. I am trying to treasure it.