Confessions of a Shitty Wife; T Minus 2 Days

Difficult as it is to admit, I forgot about our wedding anniversary last year. As much as that day was deeply etched into my heart, the fact that we had a baby almost 10 months to the day of getting married threw me off; I seriously thought I had an extra day. I’m sure he got me something nice, or at least a card that’s probably still buried under a pile of stuff somewhere in the Hoard upstairs. Maybe I got him a card, too; I can’t remember what I did yesterday morning let alone a year ago. All I know is that I can’t fuck this one up too; he’s a good man and I’m grateful that he loves me.

To be fair I’m not a completely shitty wife, it’s more of a part time thing. For example, I bought him his favorite beer for Easter and turned his 12 pack into an Easter Beer hunt around the house; watching him & the baby look for their respective items was adorable (although Mommy also purchased herself some beer, and had Daddy hide it as well).

For his birthday? Homemade card, complete with hand drawn pictures and a scavenger hunt for his presents.

It was badass, and I dropped a stupid amount for his gifts, which were a mix of fun (real life scavenger hunt, concert tickets) and practical (new sneakers, work shirts). I’ve been trying to cut down on general nagging and nitpicking as well, which I feel like should count for a lot too.

Last week when I realized that our third anniversary was quickly approaching (whoops), I had not planned to be out doing door knocking for a union campaign in a neighboring county the two days prior (double whoops), so I thought I had more time to work with. But it is what it is, that’s where I’m going after work, and I get stuff done under pressure.

According to Dr. Google, the third anniversary is the “leather anniversary”. It sounded gross until I read a bit more about it: “The 3rd wedding anniversary is often when a couple is aware of their durability of their relationship. That is why leather is the traditional gift for this celebration.” So what the hell do you get somebody that’s made out of leather? He already has a wallet, doesn’t wear jewelry, and honestly doesn’t need any more stuff. Despite some suggestions from my girlfriends, I am not getting him a whip. But a belt? It’s something useful and still symbolizes the strength of our relationship. Perfect!

Wish me luck!

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A Case of the Mondays

So it happened, my little sweetheart finally slept through the night again!  (Edit: According to my husband the baby actually did wake up around 1:30am, I just slept through it.)  I awoke this morning to the beautiful sound of his high pitched chattering through the baby monitor a few minutes before our alarms were about to go off.  I wasn’t necessarily well rested but had more consecutive sleep than I had been granted all weekend, so I was without complaint. So began our work week routine:

He nursed and I sang; after some perseverance and gentle back rubs I was rewarded with a hearty burp from his .  He nursed some more and I told him about a strange dream that had ended less than an hour earlier.  Belly full, my little darling sat up and quietly watched the cats, eyes wide, the sound of his father’s shower audible from across the hall.

As I blindly snuggled his sweet, soft face with my lips, caressing him and professing my undying adoration to him a thousand times over, his small, rose colored mouth opened up without warning and emptied out about five minutes worth of milk onto me, missing my open mouth by less than an inch.

We stared at each other in awkward silence, my mouth still frozen open mid sentence.  My eyes were wide as I felt his warm breakfast glue my hair to exposed skin and continue to roll down my face, neck and down the inside of my shirt.  His gray swaddle sack was also soaked in the front, and I scooped him up to get him ready for the day, only pausing to wipe my wet face with part of my shirt that had escaped unscathed.

My husband walked into the baby’s room, freshly finished with his own shower, smelling delicious and eager to swap places so I could get ready for work.  He began talking and I stared at him.  He paused, letting out an audible “Eeeuuck,” after his eyes focused on me.  “Why didn’t you call me to help? Jeez, looks like a case of the Mondays.”

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(Not) Too Little, (It’s) Too Late

The painful, howling cries of my little cherub snapped me out of a deep and desperately needed sleep around 5am this morning.  He is teething again still, with big, white front teeth beginning to shine through his swollen pink gums; the one on the right is starting to peek shove it’s way through, seemingly in competition with his bottom two front teeth, who have been slowly creeping up for the last two weeks. That being said he has not been sleeping through the night lately, so his Daddy and I haven’t had that luxury either.

After shaking the last drops out of the infant Tylenol bottle into his mouth and changing his diaper he continued to wail, so I figured I’d try to nurse him back to sleep.  I was not hopeful, since nursing has not been going well again the last few weeks.  Ten minutes into the right side and he began to pass out, but when I tried to burp him he seemed to get a second wind.  We began to feed on the left side and I sighed, noting the time.

I hoped to get him back down by 5:30am so I could potentially salvage the last hour before our alarms went off, but something strange happened.

In the quiet darkness with just he and I (and the two cats, who occasionally wandered in or out of his bedroom expecting an early breakfast), he ate, and after a few minutes fell asleep.

I gently slid my right arm underneath his legs, which were crossed at his chubby knees.  He was laying on his right side facing me, his small but solid body gently curved to embrace my torso, and his left hand rested gently on my exposed breast.  His breathing, plagued with congestion for the last three weeks, had become a steady stream of deep snores.  My left arm buried itself under his head and propped it up.  I debated lifting his frame and placing it gently into his crib for about forty five minutes, but my eyelids weighed as much as his entire body, and I leaned back, hugging his body closer to mine.

There was such sweetness in that moment, between the rustling of soft fur on the cats and the nasally groans of my eight month old, that I decided to embrace the awkwardness that would undoubtedly leave me with a stiff neck and darker circles under my eyes than normal and leave everything as it was.  Somehow in that blurry, sleepy state I remembered all the advice from all the articles and mothers of older children; every parent who I’ve ever had a conversation with has started a sentence with, “It went by so fast…” before their eyes get far away and their voices trail off.

I closed my eyes and prepared to be able to sleep for about a half hour, until about fifteen minutes later the baby began to rustle.  He stretched and kicked out his legs from my grasp, stretching his arms wide and contorted in several ways trying to get comfortable.  Not wanting him to wake just yet, I lifted him up and gently bounced him back to a state of calmness; he stretched out wide in his crib before he rolled over onto his belly and began to snore again.

As I crawled into bed to enjoy the last ten minutes before our alarm clocks began to sing scream, I was overcome with sadness.  I had tried to hang on for dear life to his babyness, clutching to the same position he laid in on the first day we brought him home.  But he, with growing limbs practically bursting out of his body, had other plans.  Soon he will no longer fit on my lap, so I will try my best to enjoy everything that still makes him him in these beautiful moments while it lasts.

Ode to Goodbye

Simply put, I had forgotten about you.  It certainly wasn’t intentional, but good intentions, as this proves, often get us nowhere.

You waited for me to arrive and pluck you from the darkness, hours slowly ticking by; how agonizing that must have been, feeling yourself slowly decompose. Were you angry, hurt? Or did you turn over with grace, resigned to the idea that you would pass without the fanfare you so righteously deserved.  You possessed a subtle strength and an often untouted beauty.  You loved physically, and there is nothing more amazing than that.

When I found you the next morning you had been long past your expiration, a yellowish hue framing your usually pale body.  Full with grief and regret I kept you cool and desperately searched for some way, any way, to keep you.  No amount of sorcery could save you, and last night I was finally ready to let you go.

Although our time together was so short I will always remember you, and the plans that I had for you, with the most sincere fondness.  Goodbye…

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(Pours down sink)

Trial and Error

My milk supply is waning and again the deep seed of disappointment is beginning to sprout inside my heart. My little bug is going to be eight months old this week, and my goal is to try to nurse until he’s (at least) a year old.  Usually I’m able to nurse him on the weekends but yesterday it was never enough for him….  After trying to nurse, sometimes for only a couple minutes, he’d get so frustrated because he couldn’t get anything (and he was obviously still hungry) that I’d have to make him a bottle.

I had half a bottle of fenugreek capsules left but this week they made me gassy (a big issue when you work with the public!) and just not feel good.  I had been drinking a blessed thistle mix for over two weeks with no tangible difference noticed in my supply so when we ran to Walgreen’s yesterday I thought, Why spend the $15 if it’s not going to work?  

The only other alternative Walgreen’s has is this product from Motherlove, which is a mix of fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle herb and fennel seeds, and is certified organic. It was $25 for 60 capsules, which is kind of steep considering I ordered some (even more expensive) supplements online but they won’t be delivered until next week.

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I only have three bags of milk to give daycare for the week (he gets one bottle of breast milk a day), so desperation is kicking in.  Here goes nothing!

Mom Poem #1

Shrieking, squealing with delight
Chubby fingers gripping tight
Cherub face with toothless smile
I just want to stay with you awhile
And hold you, flailing, in my arms
But I must heed to the alarm
I wish I didn’t have to go
Darling boy, I love you so

To pump or not to pump?

The last few weeks I’ve been struggling with the idea of weaning the baby.  There are many factors to consider and I feel like it’s a pretty big decision that deserves a lot of thought.  After hours serious contemplation I’ve decided I’m getting too many mixed signals from my body and baby to make a decision right now.

From what I’ve been reading the weaning process is a lot more successful if initiated by the baby… But with my little cherub being pretty laid back (and loving to eat) I’m not sure if he really cares where he gets his food from. We’re down to two feedings during the week and they can be lengthy (forty minutes on one side alone last night), but I’m not sure if that is more of a comfort thing for him or if he just enjoys the milk!  He’s eating baby food up to three times a day, so his interest will probably be waning soon.

Personally I’m not ready to give it up.  Some of my favorite times are early in the morning when it’s still dark out, the house is quiet (except for the cats), and we’re both just waking up.  I love how his little body still fits perfectly cradled in my arms, the soft noises he makes and how I have that peaceful time all to myself to admire how beautiful he is.  When I scoop him up and take him upstairs to feed him before his nap after work, every part of my day that was shitty, stressful or stupid completely melts away when I’m with him.  Unless he’s not hungry, fussy, smacking me in the face, tugging at my hair or trying to give me niplash, of course.  Even then it’s still worth it.

Mom Poem # 2

There’s no beauty in monotony
No excitement in the mundane
No time except to work and sleep
I may just go insane.

The kitchen floor needs to be swept
The living room’s a mess,
With piles of laundry multiplying
I’m in acute distress!

No creativity to be found
Long dusty, on some shelf
I feel that I’ve left far behind
Goals I had for myself.

My husband simply couldn’t know
The baby doesn’t care
If nothing changes pretty soon
I may rip out my hair!

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