Saturday Morning Afternoon

I’m sitting here, drinking my coffee on this Saturday morning afternoon–a thing that happens only when you’ve been up all night, and don’t get up until 12;30, don’t shower until 1, and don’t make your “morning” coffee until 2:30.  It used to happen in college, when we’d work until eleven, order pizzas, and stay up late, late, late watching movies, cartoons, or Iron Chef America (which I must admit I really, really miss).  Now it happens when I’ve been up with the baby at one, before I went to bed, then again at 3:30, 6:30, 9, and 11.

Things are not easier…yet.  I still have faith that they will be at some point, which is a good sign.  Yesterday was definitely one of the worst days, and it also happened to take place after one of the worst nights, and also on the day when Andreas was at work, then had after-work paintball with his fellow programming buddies, so I was alone.  All day with a very grumpy, screaming, not-sleeping baby.  Last night was much better, since Andreas was going to be home the next day, so he could help in the night.  But while I’m still quite sleepy, there’s not that nagging feeling of desperation that appears when it’s just me and Theo–no one else to intervene, or to wake up and take the baby when I’m so tired that I can’t seem to make my hands work together (this happened while I was trying to burp him, and was one of the most surreal moments of my life.  Then I realized that this lack of control over my body is probably what little Teddy bear feels at all times.  He has my sympathy.).

So, in short, there are still some okay days, and some really awful days, and still some hope that there will be good days on the horizon.

If all else fails, I’m going to try giving up dairy.  That’s when you know it’s serious.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand now for a photo dump:

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Quick Update

While I wait for Theo to be ready to eat, I thought I’d do a quick update.  Things are still really up-and-down.  How I feel depends so much on the day, and how much sleep I got, and how many naps Theo took, and how many hours he was fussy that I never really have an answer to “how are you?”.  But I am surviving.  I can say that much at least.

Theo’s had a couple of good days, but last night was that whole up-from-9-pm-until-4:30-am thing again.  Even though it’s followed by a five-hour stretch of sleep (screaming really tires the little guy out), it’s so not worth it.  I’m really not looking forward to Andreas going back to work on Monday.  It’s not even the time he’s gone during the day that I’m worried about, it’s dealing with the late nights with a fussy Theo all by myself.  Taking care of a baby is much, much harder in the wee hours of the morning when it’s dark and you feel like you’re the only one awake in the world.  Staying sane during it is even harder.

We had a visit from the….health care worker, I guess I’ll call her.  They do some routine visits with moms and babies after they’re born, which is really nice, because you can save up some questions to ask, and it’s usually a rather comforting visit, getting advice, being reassured that you’re not doing everything wrong, and that babies are just hard sometimes.  But the visit came after one of the not-as-good nights, and I was tired, emotional, and not doing so well.  This was rather obvious, as I started crying as soon as she asked how I felt about Andreas going back to work, and I don’t think I stopped until she left again.  She scheduled an extra visit for next week to check up on me, and gave me an “assignment” to get out and take a walk with Theo in the baby carriage every day when Andreas is gone.  The hardest part about that is probably going to be getting the baby carriage down the six steps and out the door, since it’s almost comically large compared to me, but I did a practice run yesterday, and I should be able to do it.

We had an outing yesterday, to the international parents group that I’m a part of.  I wanted to go for the first time while Andreas was still home with me, as an outing into the middle of town with a baby on my own was a bit too much for me.  I decided I’d also check out the H&Ms around there, as they didn’t have any nursing tanks in my size at the one nearest us.  I was actually quite eager to go, as I’ve basically had two shirts to wear for the past several weeks, and I was getting tired of going around with milk, spit-up, and baby-pee stains on my shirt until wash day.  So anyway, the parent group went relatively well, although there were many more moms than the past couple of times I’ve been.  I think we were up to about 20 people!

Afterwards, we headed out to H&M on a nursing-tank hunt, but unfortunately everyone in Copenhagen is small, so after looking at three different locations, we gave up on ever finding some in that size and went home.  Theo was a champ through the whole morning, sleeping through everything, and only waking up to nurse for a bit while we were at the parent group.  Now why can’t that behavior carry through to nighttime?

As I sit here writing this (two days after I started it, actually), I look at him sleeping beside me on the couch with a mixture of dread and optimism.  The thing is, he tends to start getting really hard to handle around this time of night (8 pm) and continues until around 3-5 am.  We figure it’s a bellyache, mixed with overtiredness, but…he’s a baby, so we’ll never really know.  So, every evening I get a sinking feeling in my belly as memories of last night come back to haunt me, but also a forced buoying optimism, trying to make myself believe that maybe tonight will be different–and that’s mostly what keeps me sane.

Andreas and I plan on having “cozy time” tonight, watching a movie (my pick!) with snacks and everything, which I’m really looking forward to, but cautiously, as it’s hard to cuddle when you’re passing a screaming baby back and forth, trying everything in our arsenal to just get him to shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Anyway, tomorrow is Andreas’s last day off before he returns to work, so here’s to hoping tonight is the turning point!

A treat for reading my last post

Theo is sleeping late today (thank goodness!) which gives me a little bit of time with TWO hands on my COMPUTER!  Things are not exactly getting better (5 am is not a suitable bedtime) but an hour up and about without a baby attached to my boob?  I’ll take it.

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Sporting baby clothes worn by Andreas and his siblings

Sporting baby clothes worn by Andreas and his siblings

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My boys

My boys

First cloth diaper

First cloth diaper

The first weeks

I said in my last post that I would update as nap times allowed. And I have. In short, my newborn hates to sleep. He’s typically awake for a good 7 to 8 hour stretch daily (between 7 pm and 3 am, unfortunately) and it’s really killing me. I feel a strange smouldering rage towards whoever it was that made it common knowledge that newborns sleep an average of 16 to 20 hours a day, because to that, I say: Pa-hah!

It’s rare that I have the use of both hands, which is why my posting and writing back to people is severely limited. Even now, Theo has one of my arms trapped under his huge head, but with a strategically placed Kindle, I’m able to update.

There’s another reason I wasn’t so eager to write, and that is, plain and simple, because I’m having a hard time. A really hard time. It started with the crazy blood loss and consequent weakness, then rolled into ravaged nipples which made nursing a nightmare, then a breast infection, followed by low supply and a consequently hungry, screaming baby. Things are more ”normal” now, though Theo is really quite fussy, especially late at night when it’s hardest to handle.

The truth is, that none of this is how I ever pictured it. I find myself jealous of Andreas, who gets to play his video games and live a lot of his life like he did before. I find myself doing one of four things at any given moment: feeding the baby, trapped under a sleeping baby, trying desperately to sleep while the baby sleeps, or taking a really fast shower and praying that the baby doesn’t wake up while I’m in there.

There are good moments, of course, and I love our little Theo, but this is harder than I ever imagined. It’s hard not to get run down and depressed. It’s hard to not freak out when I realize that Andreas is going back to work next week. I’m not so much worried about being alone during the day, but of having to spend the dark hours between 11pm and 3 am alone. I’m having trouble seeing through the newborn fog to a time when things are better.

This is all incredibly hard to admit to, and if it wasn’t half past midnight, I probably wouldn’t have the courage to post it, but I want to remember this for myself, to look back on and remind myself that it did get better (hopefully) but also to share with someone else who maybe isn’t having the easiest time in these fast few weeks when we’re supposed to be falling madly in love with our precious babies, but we’re instead just longing for a bit of rest and an escape from the guilt of not feeling like everything is perfect and life is now complete.

I can’t do the whole picture thing on the Kindle, so instead of cute pictures (I know, I know, that’s why you’re here in the first place. I’ll get around to it soon.) I’ll end on a positive note. When I lay in bed in the early morning, after laying Theo down between Andreas and me after he eats, I just stare at the two of them, thinking, in those few seconds before I black out into that deep, sleep-deprived sleep, how lucky I am to have them both, and how Theo has his eyes.