Category: Life

Motherhood is one giant contradiction.

I’m having a bit of a hard time today. I had some family drama go down over the weekend, and my heart hurts to think about it. I’m sure it’s all for the best, but everything is still pretty raw and I’m not quite mentally well-adjusted enough to fully process it. I’ve made an appointment with my therapist, but sadly she was booked up until mid-May, so this might pass by then.

The stress of it all even got to my dreams, which set the tone for my entire day today. Last night my dream was all about the many ways I could fail Lucas as an infant – from not knowing what items to buy, to him not wanting to sit with me, to my nearly suffocating him. I woke up in a panic and haven’t quite shaken the feeling off yet.

He’s growing so well, though. Every day he seems to be more and more advanced, and I think he’s going through the first of the “wonder weeks”. He’s infinitely more aware and awake, but also quite a bit more frustrated while he learns to adjust to the world being much bigger than it was previously for him. I’m grateful this is well-documented online and in books, or it might fuel my fear that I’m going to mess him up somehow.

I know that these feelings are normal and that they’ll most likely pass before I’m too deep into them, but it’s hard to feel this way and also try to be a normal human for everyone around. The last thing I want is a giant pity party, but hearing that I’m “dealing with it just fine” feels dismissive at the same time. I’m currently a walking contradiction.

My little Velcro baby.

I know that the time will come all too quickly when Lucas no longer wants to snuggle constantly. Right now, one of the easiest ways to calm him if he’s having a rough time is to put him on his mama’s shoulder and just wait. I knew even before he was born that he would be affectionate – and I’m so glad my instincts were right.

Sure, I’m not getting a lot done around the apartment right now, and I’m still adjusting to a new schedule, but it’s totally worth it to look down and see that little kissy face that means Lucas is totally relaxed and happy and about to sleep. It makes my heart feel full.

One month.

One thing I can’t say I was prepared for when it comes to motherhood is the fact that my migraines are back in full force. It’s infinitely harder to have a migraine and try to keep a small human content at the same time!

That said, I’m still loving motherhood so much. Lucas is so sweet and snuggly – just as I expected he would be. I don’t know how I could tell before he was born, but I just had a feeling that he would rely on being close to people, and he does. Even when I put him on the couch next to me while we’re up at night, he inches his way toward me until he’s snuggled right up against me. His instinct is to be as close as possible to me at all times, and I am trying to savour it as much as I can since I know that before long he will be “too old” for this kind of closeness.

He’s one month old today. How is it possible that a month has already gone by? And how have I managed to keep him alive and happy? We’ve had no major issues, and I’ve fallen into a pretty consistent routine with him. That said, I keep feeling like his real parents are going to come take him and thank me for watching him. I wonder how long it will be before my brain can reconcile the fact that he really is my son and I’m a mother now. I feel the motherly instincts – I’ve fallen right into taking care of him and am madly in love – but I have a hard time believing that he sees me the same way that I saw my mother as a kid.

Parenthood is so weird.

Adjustments

Right now, Mark and I are “working” opposite schedules. I’m on the night shift, keeping the little man quiet and calm through the night so that Mark can get some sleep. Then when the sun comes up, I retire to the bedroom so that we can sleep while Mark works from home. It’s probably not the most recommended method of getting Lucas on a proper schedule, but it seems to work for us for now.

Lucas is still so well-behaved. He’s had plenty of nights of cluster feeding, but I’m now starting to get more used to it all. I’m amazed by how much love I feel for this tiny little creature, but he’s completely stolen my heart. I know all new parents feel this way at some point, and I also know they all think that their kid is the best, but he’s just perfect.

…I need to get out of the “new mother” haze soon. I’m sure I’m driving everyone crazy with how much I talk about him!

One thing I want to do eventually is type up his birth story. It was quite eventful – the short version is that he was 10 days late, I was induced super early in the morning, 17 hours of active labour went by, and I ended up needing a c-section, which led to me hemorrhaging on the table because my body was not recovered from the long labour. It was a rocky start to my beautiful boy’s life, but I would do it all again to get him here!

…This is what happens when I’m on a weird sleeping schedule. I babble! I’m just looking forward to recovering fully so that I feel more human and can get some things done around the apartment.

Being a mother…

…is the weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced. I’m convinced that this is a temporary situation and this little guy will go to his “real parents” any day now. But he’s mine and Mark’s – he’s not going anywhere and he’s just full of love and neediness and warmth and that amazing new baby smell. I can’t get enough of him.

I find myself watching him sleep just to see all the new facial expressions he’s “learned” that day. He makes little kissy faces right before he falls asleep, and if something startles him, he throws both of his hands over his head like he’s on a roller coaster.

It’s crazy being so in love and so frightened of everything all at once.

Still kicking…

…literally! Little man is rolling around like crazy in there, making me more and more confident that he’s going to be a happy, healthy baby.

The connection you feel to this tiny rolling blob in your belly is really astounding. I feel like I know him, but I don’t even know what he looks like!

I’m coming up to the third trimester, and I’m shocked I’ve made it this far so… easily. He’s been measuring perfectly at every appointment and my symptoms have been relatively mild. Maybe the universe just knew I needed a lucky break!

Baby Update

Yep, it’s been a few months. I thought I’d want to write more about this pregnancy but it’s been pretty hard on me mentally and emotionally. Physically, I have very few symptoms – some pain and some nausea but nothing I can’t handle. Mentally, I’ve had it rough – paranoia (being convinced the whole pregnancy is a big joke and everyone’s in on it), anxiety (I’d be fine after an appointment, and by the next appointment 4 weeks later, I’d be convinced there was no way the baby survived), and just overall stress and exhaustion. I have a good support system, both medically and personally, so I know I’ll get through this. I’m just trying to stay positive and keep an eye on it as I go.

Baby is doing great though. We found out last week that we’re having a boy! It was funny, because we had no trouble picking out a girl’s name, but we finally said we’d just have to wait until we knew for sure it was a boy to agree on one. But we did – he’s going to be Lucas Andrew! So far all I know about him is that he’s the perfect size, has all his body parts, and really likes iced shortbread cookies. As soon as I’m done eating them, he squirms like crazy!

Being able to feel him kick and move is a new development – just within the last few days – but it has made a world of difference in my mind. When I feel him moving, I know he’s doing alright and I can relax for a little while. It’s nice, after 5 months of doing nothing but fearing for the worst! Only 18 weeks to go…

Blogging to nobody

My comment in my last post about how this was a safe space to talk about my pregnancy because nobody really read it anyway got me thinking – how many people continue to post because they don’t think anyone is reading? Presumably, the whole point of blogging and putting your thoughts online is so that other people can read them and share input and feedback, but what about people who don’t have a lot of (or any) followers? Does everyone just give up if they’re not going to be remotely internet “famous”, or do people continue to post and share their lives online?

The only thing that’s kept me from posting for the last while is the fact that I thought people would read it that I don’t want knowing all the details of my life. I am starting to come to the realization that it’s not so much what people know that’s the problem, it’s what people decide to share. I feel a lot of times that people’s interest and concern for things going on in my life is less genuine than collecting gossip fodder, and that frustrates me. It’s why I shut people out. It’s odd though, because I’m a completely open door with people who don’t have anything to gain from my news.

Even a question as simple as “how are you feeling?” feels disingenuous to me from certain people. It feels more like a way to say “I spoke with Angela, and she’s feeling ____” as opposed to actually wanting to empathize and talk about my current situation.

My therapist has a theory as to why this is. I might go into this later once we’ve talked it out some more – it makes perfect sense, as most of her theories do. I’m lucky to have access to someone impartial in my life – someone who isn’t influenced by the things and people I’ve fought to get over.

13 Weeks.

Today, I’m 13 weeks and 3 days pregnant. It’s been a bumpy ride so far – we had some uncertainty for a while but baby seems to be holding on strong now. Let me start at the beginning…

I took a test on a whim one night, and it was positive, but only very slightly so. I only had the one test at home, so I waited until morning and bought a second test – which was negative. I brought a photo of the first test to my doctor and we had blood tested, which was also negative. I assumed it was a chemical pregnancy or early miscarriage, and moved on with my life. Two weeks later, another positive test. This time, blood tests were positive, and increasing as expected. At that point, it was very real!

We had a dating ultrasound where we got to see the little Peanut, though at 10 weeks it was more of a gummy bear-shaped blob than anything remotely human. A couple weeks later I went in to see the prenatal doctor, and got to hear the heartbeat! I told Mark that I couldn’t believe I could be so enamored with basically the sound of a washing machine.

Things have been a bit rough – I haven’t had a ton of morning sickness beyond nausea and heartburn, but what I’ve had has been brutal. I keep saying I wish I -could- throw up, because then I might get relief for a few minutes. Fatigue has been the worst part – any days I have any free time, I’m either sleeping or preparing for sleep. I’m hoping this will start to calm down as I get into the second trimester, but for now I’m just trying to take it as easy as possible and rest when I need to.

I’m being a bit selective about who I tell and who I don’t, which is a bit odd given that I’m posting about it here. It’s not so much that I care who knows, but I care who tells the news. It’s an odd, complicated sort of thought, but I want this story to be mine and Mark’s, not everyone else’s. This is a good place to get my thoughts out without judgment or (to be honest) much chance of anyone reading it!

Itchy.

So, it turns out that I’m allergic to Zest soap. Something I’ve used on and off for years. I got home Friday, took a hot bath and then a shower, and an hour later my entire body was covered with itchy red splotches. We went to a 24-hour grocery store (a surprising rarity in the Halifax area – everything closes absurdly early here!) and tried to get some Benadryl, but because it was 10pm, it was all locked up. I grabbed some off-brand allergy control pills and some Aveeno body wash and new shampoo (just in case it was the shampoo I used in the shower), and went home to wash all of the traces of the soap off of myself.

So far, it seems to keep coming back, but not as badly as that first night. The first night, one of my ears swelled up like crazy and was burning hot, and I felt like I was covered in fire ants. Now it’s an (admittedly intense) itch on my wrists, forearms, backs of my hands, chest, lower back, knees, and shins. I joked to Mark that I looked like the kind of cow that would make strawberry milk.

Other than that, it’s been a pretty relaxing weekend. We saw Warcraft on Saturday, which was pretty good. We picked up some prescriptions, played some games, and I did a bit of scrapbooking and cleaned up the Ang Cave a bit.

I’m thinking tonight will be early to bed – I’m trying to rewatch Orange is the New Black before the new season comes out but I’m worried I might not finish it in time!