Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Fountain

The first week as a new mom was tough. There were lots of people around, I was exhausted, my hormones were waaaaayyyy whacked out, it was really HOT, and Rowan screamed. A lot. You know, once everyone had gone back to their air-conditioned hotel rooms. (Sigh.)

A few days later, everyone left, my hormones calmed down, and the Ambien helped me sleep a little bit. (Doctor approved, btw.) Dr. B was a big help, and things started to get easier.

But it was still really HOT, and she still screamed. A lot.

Then Dr. B went back to work. And I was all alone with her. And I was scared.

The first day wasn't bad, though. She had a few fussy times, but slept well for the most part.

Then came day 2 (bum Bum BUUUMMMMMM!!!!)

After a night where she allowed me a total of 4 hours of sleep (not consecutive), she woke at 5. And didn't go back to sleep. At all. She wouldn't let me set her down for a second, or she would scream with amazing fury. She was gassy, and before each fart would scream. Then she'd fart. Then she'd scream some more. And it was hot. Really hot. So, we sat in her nursery, lights off, fan on, drapes drawn.

She sat leaning on my chest. And nursed a lot. I sweated a lot, the sweat dripping off my greasy, hormonal face. I watched banal morning television, and desperately wanted a shower.

Then, around 9 AM, she pooped. This was great news, as she had some issues with the whole pooping thing prior to this. I happily changed her diaper.

Then, around 9:30, she pooped again.

And again at 10:15.

And at 11.

And 12:30.

I gave birth to the Bellagio of Poop. Holy Crap.

So, I lay on the couch in my underwear and a tank top, eating granola bars and teddy grahams, drinking water, nursing her every hour and a half, holding her on my chest, changing dirty diapers, and flipping channels.

Just as she started to calm down and *think* about sleeping, the batteries in the remote control died.

As I was mid flip.

And I had just happened to land on ... motorcross. Great.

Finally, around 1, she fell deeply asleep and I was able to shower. That lasted all of 20 minutes, and she was wide awake again. And wanted to nurse. Again. My boobs felt like humongous raw sacks of pain.

At 2 PM, I had had it. It was 92 degrees, and I couldn't take another minute in our hot house. I loaded the screaming banshee in the car, and we went for a drive. I was nearly hallucinating from exhaustion, tears running down my face, begging her to sleep. It took me about 25 minutes of driving before she closed her eyes. At 2:45, I returned home, set her car seat down, and fell onto the couch and passed out.

Dr. B called a little after 3 and came home early, let me cry for a while, took her and changed her diaper (I admit, I was scared to check. And yes. She pooped AGAIN.) Then he poured me a glass of wine and brought me a whole box of chocolate truffles.

And she started screaming again.

So we took another drive until she fell asleep, and went out to dinner. For some reason, she slept the whole time. I guess all that screaming wore her out.

Thankfully, the days since then haven't been nearly as bad, and we are starting to develop a bit of a routine. She's not sleeping through the night by any means, but now will go 4-5 hours at a stretch, allowing Mom to sleep more deeply without the Ambien. I am still not getting a lot done during the day, but each day I go without crying is a victory. It's getting easier to enjoy her--watching her take in the world around her, seeing her turn her head when she hears my voice, wiping her face when she slops milk all down her face as she eats. I wish I could say it was easy now, but it's not. The doctor says she's perfect, and is doing incredibly well. She's gained a lot of weight in her first two weeks of life, so I guess I am doing my job right, even though it may not always feel like it. It's hard, but it's getting easier.

But it will be worth it. She is worth it. And when she wraps her little arms around my neck, I can feel the future tugging at my heart strings. And it feels good.


Mel said...

Oh my! I so completely understand. With my first I cried every day for 2 weeks. I had the spit up devil so that just brought me down.
Just remember, this two shall pass. With #2 I really only cried due to being in bodily pain. It does get easier.

Anonymous said...

Treasure even the tears. Soon they are teenagers, and "I hate you" flies out of their mouth, and you stop, and stare and wonder for a minute if they really mean it. Then you remember the hormones they are struggling with and instead of living in the present with them, you think back to the sleepness nights when you held them, and rocked them, and could kiss them any time you wanted to, and you miss it. I promise, you will miss it. Treasure every tear!
Your Cuz in ND

PutYourFlareOn said...

Hey Hon... you're doing great. You have a way of writing your feelings that just make sense to all of us who have gone through this stage of motherhood. :)

Just wait until she smiles at you for the first time! WOW! Talk about taking your breath away. I cried right on the spot when Maximilien did it. Amazing.

Hugs to you and the family...

Dana said...

This sounds very similar to what my sister-in-law went through. I think it is good for new moms to read stories like this so that they know they aren't alone and things aren't always perfect.

Hang in there. It will get better!

mage2001 said...

Good on you R..
it is tough - the brand new mommy thing. nice post by the by - well - minus the poo fountain for you.. .but makes for a funny story.
but at least her insides work well.

Anonymous said...

The first few months of the newborn stage can be overwhelming but this is pretty standard occurence. Enjoy the small quiet moments and sleep when you can.... Boy sleeping a couple of 4-5 hr stretches is pretty good for a 2 wk old !!I remember the days and nights without sleep but this does pass eventually. Look at the bright side, At least she can't move around yet and get into things when you are trying to move. Enjoy the cuddling and the sweet baby smell....that is the best isn't it?? Auntie B

lauren said...

Awww! I don't even know you ut I just want to give you a hug. The first few weeks are absolutely so hard. But it gets better. Really, soon nursing will be so easy. And I used to say that "I didn't get much done today", until one day I thought about all that I did in a day, soothing, carrying, nursing, entertaining, etc, and I realized that I was getting so much done! So have a good cry, have a snack, and just take it one hour at a time. Or ten minutes at a time if you need to.

Kel said...

I have come across your blog and can totally relate to you. I have an 8 month old who spent the first four months of her life crying (not to scare you at all). She is now much better, and is a very happy girl, although far from sleeping through the night, which is exhausting. If your little one's problem is gas, you should try this product called gripe water. It worked wonders for my first little gassy girl. You can usually get it at the health food store, although I see they have it at some grocery stores now. You can also try mylicon, but I found the gripe water to work better. I am sure you are sick of unsolicited advice, but I feel for you...I know what it is like. Take care of yourself.

Doc said...

You're doing GREAT!
and one day, trust me you'll get there, you'll look back on the 'We were this close to selling her on eBay' days and laugh. It'll be the laugh of one who has gone way beyond the edge of insanity, but it'll be a laugh...

~steph~ said...

Yep, the first 100 days are THE WORST!! :) Thats what my doc said and it's so true. 4-5 hrs of sleep is good! I was up every 2-3 hrs with E. He didn't sleep thru the night till he was 2 yrs old. That was fun. As you are knee deep in diapers, I have finally seen the last of diapers, pull ups, and dirty underwear. He just uses the toilet now! YEAH!!
I should get Scott's gf to read your blog to prepare...LOL
Take care ! Sleep when you can sista!

Estelle said...

Oh my dear R, I so understand. I went through it years ago. I promise that the tough spots will be just a memory in short order and you will be so so happy. My mom used to say, "now that you have a daughter, I can rest."
Take good care of yourself and when you are not babying her, please baby yourself.

Anonymous said...

I totally remember those first few weeks - my time with F. was VERY similar. I remember calling my mom in tears because I couldn't calm her down and being told, "Go put her in her crib with a cool fan running in the room. Shut her door. Go into the bathroom and shut the door. Take a quick shower. Check on her in ten minutes. You'll feel better and she won't be in danger." BTW, she was totally asleep when I checked on her in ten minutes.

F. loves babies - let us know if you need a break and we can bop over.


Anonymous said...

I know it's not funny now...but eleven years after my "raw sacks of pain" phase, I am laughing my *ss off at your most excellent description! I remember the first day my husband went back to work--it took me four hours to eat lunch.

If she doesn't mind the noise, the mall is a nice, cool place to go...

afoos said...

One of the hardest things for me at this stage was not being able to get anything done. I felt like I spent the day changing diapers, cuddling, feeding, and rocking. And, I needed to sleep, badly. The problem was that when I could sleep, there were dishes, laundry, and this and that. Not that I think that sitting there rocking and cuddling aren't productive, but I need to always be doing something and it was that clash between not being able to get things done and needing and fighting sleep that just got the best of me. Etienne would come home from work and wonder what I did the whole day and I was incapable of telling him that I did anything productive, and that just stressed me out. The good thing is that things will get better and much easier. As soon as she's doing her nights, you'll forget about these rough first few months and you both will find a rhythm and things will feel more harmonious.

Hugs to you all!

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