“Do you still want more kids, seeing how hard it’s been so far?” I asked J yesterday.
“Of course,” he replied. “It may be hard now, but the rewards will be worth it.”
“Well, I don’t want any more kids,” I told him. “I can’t imagine going through this again, especially if we have another child to take care of. Claire can be an only child.”
J didn’t say anything back, but I could tell what he was thinking: ‘She’ll change her mind.’
It has now been 4.5 weeks since Claire was born, and I can honestly say that motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. And I have it easy: my in-laws come over almost every day so that I can get some rest during the daytime — how many mothers have to go at it alone? How spoiled am I?
However, even though I know that Claire is in good hands with J’s parents, I still wake up whenever I hear her fussing or crying. What’s more, my breasts hurt whenever I hear her crying. My body has developed an eerie connection to my daughter’s distress calls, and although I found it pretty neat at first, now it has gotten plain annoying.
I still exclusively pump. I have tried nursing several times, but Claire remains a lazy and impatient suckler who much prefers the bottle to the breast.
Even if I were nursing successfully, I’m not sure that I would love it, because I honestly hate breastfeeding. My breasts are so large that I constantly have backaches (if they do not go back down after we wean, I plan on looking into breast reduction surgery — that’s how bad it is). Whenever my breasts start filling with milk they hurt. And the hormones that come along with breastfeeding are making me break out like crazy. My bacne is so gross that I cringe whenever I catch a glimpse of my back or shoulders in the mirror. I am getting pimples in places I have never gotten them before, like on my ears. I mean, who the heck gets zits on their ears?
I had originally planned on breastfeeding for the entire first year, but now I am considering stopping after six months. I am already experiencing mommy guilt for this.
Post-partum weight loss is currently at 30lbs. If you recall, I had gained about 50lbs with this pregnancy. (Technically, I gained 40lbs…but since I never lost the extra 10lbs I had gained with the previous pregnancy before getting pregnant again, I am counting that extra 10.) So I have 20lbs to go. The first 30 literally just melted off…but I have a feeling that I will have to work for the last 20. It will be a long road ahead.
This past Saturday we had Claire’s full moon dinner (a traditional Chinese celebration in honor of the baby having survived the precarious first 30 days of life) and I was devastated to see that the only dresses that fit me were my maternity dresses. J asked if I wanted to go shopping to get a new dress, but I refused. To me, buying clothes in larger sizes will keep me lazy — not having any nice clothes to wear until I lose the weight will motivate me to lose weight.
I turn 30 in one month. My goal is to have lost another 10lbs by then.
Claire is a difficult baby. There is nothing — and I mean NOTHING, because I have tried everything I had read/heard — that will consistently put her at ease and let her sleep. It seems like she is like me in that she gets bored easily, because a new method will work for the first day/hours…only to lose its magic once she gets used to it.
We have lost hundreds of dollars and countless hours of sanity on baby soothing techniques: tight swaddling, bouncer, swing, baby wearing, sound machines, etc. (And we can’t “test-drive” or borrow any baby gear before buying, because we don’t have any friends with kids who live nearby.) Our only hope is that she will become less fussy as she grows older.
Yesterday we experienced what was probably the most difficult 24-hour period since she was born. She was fussy all day, would not sleep for more than 15 minutes at a time, and NOTHING would calm her down.
At around 4am, I lost it. I experienced my first mommy meltdown. While walking around, bouncing my crying baby in my arms, I started to sob hysterically and I could not stop. I was yelling at the baby, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHAT DO YOU WANT? JUST TELL ME, SO I CAN HELP YOU!!!” I guess I was making quite a ruckus, because J — the deepest sleeper I know — woke up to both his wife and baby crying, and was forced to calm both of us down despite having an early morning meeting at work in just a few hours.
I feel ashamed to write this…I really do. But the fact of the matter is, I still don’t feel that I LOVE my baby.
Between sobs last night, I told J that whenever I see him with Claire, I see the love in his eyes and that whatever he does for her, he does out of love. But for me, I feel that I mostly take care of her out of obligation. I know — it’s a horrible thing to say and I feel like I’m in the running for the worst mommy of the year award.
The good news is that I feel that I’m getting there. Slowly but surely. I definitely have much more affection for her than the day we brought her home from the hospital. As mentioned above, my boobs have certainly bonded with her cries. And people have told me that whenever I hold Claire, she seems more relaxed than with any other person…and that makes me tremendously happy.
Additionally, I know that at this point in their development, babies’ smiles are not in response to outside stimuli. However, my heart melts whenever I see the goofy grin develop on Claire’s face. And that can only mean that her happiness means the world to me.