Dec 7, 2010  •  In Personal


Today is my thirtieth birthday.

And it is turning out to be the worst birthday that I can remember.

Actually, the past couple of weeks have been pretty horrible overall.

This past Friday, I discovered that J was planning a surprise party for later that night and I became furious at him.

How dare he plan a party at home when the house is a mess and he knows that I’m in no condition to entertain? That whenever we have more than two guests at a time, and/or they stay past 8pm, the baby gets overstimulated and becomes particularly difficult when it comes time to put her to sleep?

How dare he plan a party for 8:30pm when he knows that the baby’s fussy time is between the hours of 8pm and midnight? When the only thing that keeps her from screaming bloody murder is to be held tightly by her mommy, and that even then she’ll cry and fuss?

How dare he plan a party for the day that the baby is scheduled to receive her 2-month vaccinations? Doesn’t he know that she might have an adverse reaction to the shots? Doesn’t he know that she might develop a fever and will most likely be extra cranky? (Which turned out to be true.)

Party canceled.

Crying baby, crying mommy, flustered dad.

I loved him for the effort, but I couldn’t get over the overwhelming sense that my own husband must not know me — our family — well enough to plan such a poorly thought-out shindig.

And that was just one night.

The rest of the week was a flurry of dark emotions and mini breakdowns. I lost 5 lbs in one week. Which is great for my post-partum weight loss plans. But you can see the toll that my thoughts — the pressure of being a new mom, turning 30 and my life not being what I had imagined/hoped it to be, the realization that my life and my body will never be the same again, irrepressible guilt over everything, especially for having these thoughts — had on my body.

So yes. I have a roof over my head. I have a loving husband. I have a healthy baby. I have a dog who goes ballistic at the mere thought of losing me. I have others who obviously care for me and want me to be happy.

I have nothing that indicates I should be having a horrible birthday, yet I am.

I didn’t have to cancel the party. I could’ve asked for a quiet dinner out with close friends and leave the baby with J’s parents. I could’ve asked for at least a birthday cupcake and a candle to blow out. I could’ve asked for a celebratory glass of wine and a toast in my honor.

Instead, I am getting nothing as a result. And I am well aware that it is my own damn fault.

Pity party for one, please.

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27 Responses to “Thirty”

  1. Helene says:

    it's never too late. just ask for whatever u want. j will understand.

    happy birthday jenny.

  2. Fabian says:

    Happy birthday anyway!

    My thirtieth birthday will be tomorrow – I don't know if I should look forward to it 🙂

  3. carrie says:

    Happy birthday. I love your blog and just wanted to let you know that your actions and reactions are perfectly normal. You are hitting all of these milestones – 30, baby, etc. and things are bound to build up and explode at regular intervals. Just remember to take care of yourself and if you want something (anything) for your birthday, just let J know – you've no doubt scared the crap out of him and he'll be over the moon just to make you any kind of happy.

  4. MP says:


    I think you sound quite justified! You have a two month old baby! I promise it's gets better, it gets easier. Somewhere between 3 and 6 months that baby will turn a corner. Until then, say to yourself every day, this is a phase, it will pass, each day is a step closer…

    By the way, I found that when I stopped breastfeeding, I had another hormone crash, which made me extra miserable. Maybe that is making things even worse?

    Happy Birthday!

  5. Tiffany says:

    Sorry to hear that your thirtieth is off to a rocky start… Hoping the day turns around for you, and wishing you the Happiest of Birthdays!

  6. Happy Birthday… I recently turned 29 and got sick of everyone telling me I was suppose to do great big things and have a blast and on and on. It's your birthday and you can cry if you want to! Have the day you need… and if it's a pity party you're in need of right now, I'm right there with you. Life has a way of getting in the way of the fun stuff right? And don't worry about messing up a bday either, they come around every freaking year.

  7. Meredith says:

    Happy Birthday!! I went through a 4 year streak where I cried on EVERY birthday. By your 31st birthday, things will have calmed down and you'll be that much more grateful. Maybe a 30th Birthday Anniversary? 😀

  8. Happy birthday nevertheless. I think you can still have a belated celebration. Chalk it up to stress and frustration. No one is perfect all the time.

  9. Rianne says:

    I'm a complete stranger who reads your blog because I self-identify as a geek, and you came up in my google reader suggestions.

    I've been lurking, in an internet voyeur way since around the time you had your little girl. Please don't take this the wrong way, but you need to talk to your doctor about PPD. To a stranger, who doesn't know you from the next girl on the subway, it's glaringly, heartbreakingly obvious that you're struggling. You start to get your head above water and the next wave overtakes you.

    You deserve to be happy, you deserve to get help. You have to show that little girl that SHE deserves happiness by taking care of yourself.

  10. LHR says:

    I felt a lot of the same emotions. Looking back, I guess I did have some PPD going on. It's overwhelming.

    I don't think you can expect J to fully understand because his world has not been turned as fully upside-down as yours. Not that he's insensitive, but parenthood can be a whole different entity for mothers and fathers. You've been trained for 40 weeks to be a mom, to worry about these details and put baby first. My own arguments with my husband, during newborn days, mostly stemmed from him thinking I was being a psycho control freak and me feeling that he should contribute more or be more intuitive to what I or baby need. This seems like a pretty common theme among new parents trying to figure it all out.

    It is a phase and it will get better with time. 31 will be much less frustrating 🙂

  11. kalen says:

    Happy Birthday <3

    PS) Everly was doing the exact same thing (screaming at the exact same hours) so we started putting her to sleep at 7 instead of 11. I was for sure it would never work. After one week, she was sleeping 12 hours per night. We were keeping her awake too long and she was getting over-stimulated big time (so she was over-tired and screaming for 3-4 hours a night). Might work for you, too (just do bedtime routine early, put her in a dark room, and start treating it like her bedtime).

  12. Jill says:

    I agree with Rianne above. I have enjoyed lurking on your blog for awhile now (probably 18 mths or so?) and I have felt such sympathy and empathy for you since you have had your babe. I experienced mild PPD after my second baby and it felt/sounded very much like what you are experiencing. Tons of self guilt and lots of irrational (I mean that in the best possible way) actions towards my family in particular. Who knows if it really is PPD or just working through all the adjustments in your life as you have crossed a lot of milestones in a short time. Ultimately, it can't hurt to discuss it with your doctor just to rule out PPD.

    The hardest part of that time in my life was the crushing guilt. It was all self-inflicted and totally horrible. I am wishing you all the best and sending you good thoughts.

  13. hickchick says:

    I second what Rianne said. If you've already been screened once, get screened again. It won't hurt and it could help tremendously.

  14. TwentyFiveFifty says:

    Congratulations on your birthday. I had my 30th a couple of months ago and while I don't have a newborn I did have several breakdowns. They'll pass. Promise. Get J to take you to dinner and don't just sulk b/c you'll remember that more than anything.

  15. Lisa says:

    Sending you so much love, Jenny. Happy birthday.

  16. Teresa says:

    Happy birthday! For your birthday, I agree you should do what Rianne says. Please talk with your doctor about PPD! It might make all the difference in the world!

  17. Catherine says:

    Happy Birthday! I hope it gets better.

  18. Sara says:

    It seems like you tried really hard to have this baby. Why is your life not what you imagined it at 30?

  19. Just wanted to offer you hugs. Hope your day is picking up. You've got much love and support here!

  20. Kit says:

    Happy birthday! You are going to get through all these transitions. You are going to live to tell the tale of being a new mommy and turning 30! It all happened to me too. Turned thirty, had a baby, and have had multiple meltdowns….i even wish sometimes to pop a Xanax and drink a glass of wine- that is how bad some days get! But I make it through one day at a time.
    Go take a much deserved bath with candles, or get a back rub! You deserve a good coddling!

  21. Tanya says:

    1st – Happy Birthday! 2nd – You make your birthday what you want it to be. J can't read your mind, so if you want to get a massage, mani/pedi, go to dinner etc, just tell him. He'll arrange for the in laws to babysit and you can relax and enjoy your day – guilt free. You deserve you time and your in-laws will cherish time with the babe.

  22. Cara says:

    I agree with Rianne and the others; get screened for PPD. You deserve to be happy with everything you have. I hope your birthday gets better!

  23. Tiffany says:

    Happy birthday! I'm so sorry you had a bad day. If it makes you feel any better, I ruined Christmas last year. I woke up, and while Mike was still asleep I went into the living room and took down the tree. Because I was stressed out and in a bad mood. I was an asshole, but you know what? It happens. Don't beat yourself up about it. Get a slice of cheesecake, a glass, no, a bottle of wine, light a couple of candles, hell, maybe even take a bubble bath! Just try to enjoy yourself and salvage what's left of your birthday, if you can. And if not, don't worry about it, there's always tomorrow!

  24. sandy says:

    I don't know what to say except I'm so sorry you are having a hard time. I wish I had the right words to offer the kind of encouragement and support to make you feel better.

  25. thisstephanie says:

    Jenny, I don't have any advice, since I've got a while til I'm a mom, but I will most certainly be praying for you.

  26. Elizabeth kineyko says:

    Happy birthday to you. Sorry it stank. I cringe reading about how your daughter cries at night. I had the same thing with my little girl. It really is hard to deal with. Switching to a formula for sensitive stomachs helped. My daughter was on a formula by enfamil which was expensive and tasted gross to me but she finally stopped screaming all the time. Good luck, your daughter Is real cute.

  27. Rachael says:

    I'm late on this, but I'm sorry you had a crappy birthday week. I get it. I turned 30 last month and had a crappy day on my birthday. I was annoyed. My husband didn't even get me a card. No one planned anything until I called my Mom the night before about something and we decided to go out to dinner. But then I realized I was totally PMSing, so that made it make a little more sense. Anyhow, we all deserve our own pity party once in a while. Happy late birthday!

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