Monday, October 28, 2013


I know that last post was kind of a downer.  I don't want anyone thinking that I don't love Sam.  As challenging as he can be, I wouldn't trade him for anything.  I love how he's giving me so many experiences.  He's so different than Andrea and that was immediately evident.  From the moment he exited the womb he was calm.  There was no wail or piercing cry to announce he's entrance into the world.  There was a gentle silence as he looked and studied the blurry faces around him.  Every nurse at the hospital was in love with his sweet spirit and gentle temperament.  And generally, he's still like this when he's rested.

He's so affectionate and cuddly. Andrea did NOT like to be cuddled.  She still doesn't most of the time.  Sam, however, loves to be held.  He loves to hold my fingers and gently run his hands on my skin as I nurse him.  He willingly rests his head against my chest and sleeps when we walk through the grocery store or to the playground.  When I kiss his face he almost always smiles a big open-mouthed grin.  He giggles when I kiss his neck and threaten to eat his fuzzy ears.  He tries to eat my nose kiss me with those drool-soaked lips, and he searches for my face whenever I'm not in his immediate vicinity.  I know Andrea loved me, but I KNOW Sam loves me.  It makes all of this exhaustion a little easier to bear.

Years ago, I stood in my bedroom getting ready to leave for work.  After I brushed my hair and put on my makeup I turned to leave the room.  As I turned I saw a little boy run past me.  Startled, I glanced around to spot the intruder, but the room was empty.  Though I was unsure how to interpret what had just occurred, I was sure of one thing. There was a male spirit connected to me, and I felt as though it was one of my children.  From that moment, I began to long for a son and a chance to meet that spirit again.

When I found out my first pregnancy was a girl I was excited but also a little sad.  I wondered how long I'd have to wait for my son.  I think that made the miscarriage more difficult because I felt so strongly that baby was a boy.  As my body rejected that vessel I became very upset because I was playing the waiting game again and unsure if my wait would lead me into eternity.  But the moment Sam was placed in my arms I recognized his spirit and knew I was finally holding that boy that had visited me years before.  For the first time since the day before May fourth, I felt whole.  He's definitely one of the loves of my life.

Andrea made me a mother, but Sam made me complete

Thursday, October 10, 2013


When you're out in the world you may run into a mother who's ventured out with her new baby. You may say hello and ask her how life is with a new baby. She may hesitate to answer as she ponders the question because it's been three months+ since she's gotten any sleep and at least four days since she's showered. Spit up adorns the shoulders of her shirt, and her hands are thankfully washed clean of the poop she had to rinse from a onesie after a rather explosive bowel movement. At meal times she searches through the fridge for food she can eat one handed rather than something nutritious. Dinner times are getting later and later as cooking with a baby draped over one arm proves very difficult. Her body seems to shift and morph everyday as it peaces itself back together from nine months of growing a child, and everyday she sees a new image in the mirror. She never has a moment to herself yet she's never been so lonely. She loves her child so much it hurts but by the evening she finds herself so overstimulated and overwhelmed that holding her child almost repulses her and her breath is labored by the battle her muscles face to hold on regardless. She cries herself to sleep because she dreads another night of six or seven trips out of bed to calm the restless infant. Some days the little smiles and soft snuggles are not enough to balance the hormonal ravaging she endures in her mind that bring about so much guilt and shame. She loves her child but wonders when life will feel manageable again. Some days she feels like tearing her hair out because the disconnect between her body and mind make her feel unbelievably crazy, and no matter how much she tries to make sense of all her thoughts she just can't.

In a split moment all those things flood her mind. . . She smiles tiredly and answers the question with a quiet "Good."

If you bump into that new mother you might just have bumped into me. I'm a currently the poster girl for overtired, overstimulated, postpartum depression mothers everywhere. My sweet baby boy who used to sleep for six to seven hours stretches at a time decided to stop sleeping. It began during my stint with mastitis so I chalked it up to replenishing my milk supply, but after a couple weeks I gave up hope my old normal would return anytime soon. Every night I average 2-3 hours of sleep and each consecutive day of child-induced insomnia I become more haggard and depressed. Every day is like swimming through mud.

Because Sam is sleeping so poorly, my sweet and chill little baby has turned into a fussy fellow with a hair-line trigger. I spend most of my day holding him, especially for naps  Then I spend my night in his room rocking and nursing him back to sleep. Because I have essentially no breaks from his constant touch and presence I'm so overstimulated that being touched (by anyone) has become physically uncomfortable. Sunday evening Paul took a turn holding Sam for a bit, and when he tried to hand him back to me I had a full-blown anxiety attack. I couldn't breathe, and between my gasps for air I sobbed.

Sunday night, after being drugged* with gripe water throughout the day, Sam only woke up three times. Monday was wonderful.  Sam played on the floor, napped in his bed,  and hardly fussed. I felt relaxed, happy, rested, and desperate to eat my deliciously sweet baby in the most affectionate sort of way. Andrea finally got some attention from her mom and got to play with her best friend/brother who happily allowed her to hold his hands, hand him toys, ask him questions, and repeatedly rub his head.

Monday night he woke up five times. The next night it was six. Last night I lost count. How I wish every day felt like Monday.

*I gave him the recommended dose, don't worry.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Because Paul works for an AT&T dealer he gets a pretty sweet deal on phone service.  However, much to his embarrassment, we've been locked into a T-Mobile contract.  Last week, however, our contract expired and he was able to get a new phone with his employers.  I opted to stay with T-Mobile (the deal he gets doesn't cover spouses) and inherited his old phone.  It's my first smarty-pants phone and I got very excited to delete all of his stuff and make the phone my own.  When I noticed how cheap phone cases were I begged Paul if I could buy one.  He laughed and agreed because he knew Andrea would never accept my ownership of his old phone unless it no longer resembled his old phone.  Right away I knew what case I wanted.

Zebra print.  Yeah baby!

You see, the inside of my purse is zebra print, and although my old phone was blue, I could never find it in there.  Occasionally, I would dig and dig and dig through the contents without any luck spotting that blue phone only to call it and find my purse vibrating.  Embarrassing!  But it didn't seem to matter how much or how little sleep I got, I could never find that dang phone.  Pardon my French.  So I'm trying a bit of loosely-defined reverse psychology.  I figure if I couldn't find a contrasting object, I should make the object blend in.  Now that my phone bears the same print as my purse lining I have yet to lose it.  It's actually easier to find.  Who knew?

Lastly, I think the zebra print adds character.  I've named the phone Bertha.  She's an older phone and reminds me of a spunky senior with tacky animal print glasses.  I am loving her!