Sustainably Single Parenting

Making the most of life's journey alongside my three!!!

I Just Forgot March 8, 2013

My little rebel - 2wks old

My little rebel – 2wks old

I forgot about the growth spurt that occurs between the first and third weeks after birth. The typically complacent baby now constantly fussy, red as a grape tomato, and clawing at my breast with small, jagged, never-before-clipped fingernails, suckling night and day to make my breasts produce enough milk to meet her daily intake needs.

I forgot how, insignificant as it seems, those tiny nails produce tiny scratches that lead to very sensitive nipples.

I forgot just how much poop can come out of a bottom the fits in my hand. While pregnant I figured, why set up the changing table? I can just change her diapers on my bed! I’ve been reminded of why changing tables are wonderful. I’d never needed to wash my linen on a daily basis before now.

I forgot that  I should have made time in my daily schedule to pump my breast milk. Even with an expensive electronic pump I’m spending up to one hour each day filling BPA Free 5oz bags. My freezer cannot hold much more.

I forgot the intensity of the nursing thirst. I feel like I can never get enough water. And the hunger, even at night I want to keep eating. I didn’t eat this much my entire pregnancy. And the cravings! Veggies are back on the menu, but for some reason corn, chocolate, and ice cream didn’t leave.

N2I forgot about the fatigue. I don’t know how I survived the majority of my pregnancy on three hours of sleep each night. Even though I go to bed shortly after putting my older girls to sleep, and even though I’m only waking to nurse and pee and change the baby’s diapies, even though we co-sleep, I still wake up low on energy. Like I haven’t slept a wink. What is wrong with me? By 1pm I’m always yawning.

I forgot how quickly the laundry accumulates when you’re cloth diapering. I’m happy to have made 35 gallons of laundry detergent before Baby’s arrival, but I’m still bewildered by the fact that I’m actually doing one load of diapers each day to keep the right sized fitteds, contours, pockets, and covers in rotation.

I forgot about the leaky breasts soaking an entire shirt in minutes. I forgot how time consuming burping a baby can be. I forgot how spit-up only comes out when you’re not protecting your clothing. I forgot how an onset of the hiccups can ruin everything.

But I also forgot how sweet those smiles can be, when they’ve fallen asleep after nursing, and they’re dreaming, but you’re hoping that they’re smiling because they’re dreaming of you.

N4

And I forgot how perfectly unscented their skin is, and how soft their hair, and how chubby their chins, and how round their bellies, and how sparkly their eyes, and how humbling their affection. I forgot how complete it feels to care for a baby. I forgot that my heart would expand and melt simultaneously.

And I never knew how incredibly cute two big sisters would be; eager to help with their baby sister, constantly wanting to hold her, kiss her, never wanting to miss anything.

I suppose there’s a reason I’ve forgotten many aspects of parenting an infant, but there are certain memories that I’ll work to keep with me from now on.

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Insomnia-60 Me-16 August 8, 2012

Filed under: Mama Moments — B_Momof3 @ 11:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Insomnia is draining me.

After reading stories, brushing teeth, and sometimes a bit of singing, the girls and I all settle down to go to sleep. Lately everybody sleeps with me. Terra is typically asleep before I turn out the light, but wakes up several times throughout the night needing to be calmed and taken to the potty. Amara flits about for 10-30 minutes before falling asleep, but she’s peaceful until morning once she’s dreaming.

I cannot sleep.

Exhausted, but wide awake, I lie in bed listening for heavy breathing. Every sound conflicting with their respiring jolts me from near-sleeping and I am vigilant once more. Is there someone outside of my door? Outside of my window? Will this be the night that the house catches fire? That the phone call will come? That he will seek revenge and we will not be ready to run?

If I do fall asleep I usually have nightmares. They are horribly vivid and unshakeable upon waking. Waking is constant. When did I fall asleep? How long was I sleeping? I try my hardest not to think about how impossible it will be to fall asleep again. But I cannot help wondering what made me fall asleep? That meditation technique? The white noise and fan oscillating? Will I be able to stop thinking about not being able to sleep long enough to let the sensation take over me?

I cannot sleep.

Thinking about my inability to fall asleep solidifies my failure. I stare at my ceiling, rehearsing for the courts, replaying my marriage, imagining the birth, recalculating expenses, trying to make a plan for the future, trying desperately not to commit to thinking, because I want NEED to get some sleep. After I’ve spent a significant amount of time changing positions, making trips to the bathroom, kissing my daughters’ cheeks, watching the sky change colors, and narrowly avoiding dreaming, I admit my defeat.

With the sun just starting to rise, the girls will still be sleeping for three to five hours. I do have a lot to get done, so I drag my feet and make my way to the living room to handle the business that danced around my head while I lie in bed. But of course, now the ease of remembering details and coming up with brilliant schemes does not come. So I sit, slumped in my computer chair, clicking random news stories, looking at blogs, filling online shopping carts with things I cannot afford, and debating on whether or not I should retry sleeping. I sit that way for hours, until finally the girls are awake and there is motivation to start my day.

I try not to contemplate sleeping, but I’m yawning while they’re eating breakfast.

By bedtime I will have the renewed strength to fight fatigue; that insanely-helpful-during-a-battle built-in defense to keep me going, that which will ruin one more night of possible peace. I suppose I could talk to someone, or take melatonin, but medicine worries me. I don’t want to be in a deep sleep if my children need me, it’s a risk that is not worth taking. I suppose being a zombie during the waking hours isn’t healthy either, but at least I’ve gotten the hang of doing that safely.

I suppose I should at least keep trying. Every once in a week I get a decent amount of sleep and do not wake up with haunting images from my dreams. Maybe tonight sleep will come easy. Maybe the calm of meditating will not be overrun by the jam-packed to-do list and the unpaid bills. Maybe I won’t drive myself crazy worrying about possibilities. Maybe…maybe…

I’m getting sleepy.