For quite a bit of my life I have been a terrible insomniac. Even in high school there were periods where I just could not sleep. None of those times prepared me for the constant sleep deprivation that is being a mother. My husband keeps telling me to JUST SLEEP, but I can’t sleep when the baby is awake. Even if she is just laying in her little basinet cooing and kicking, I have to be up with her. And even when she IS sleeping, I wake up at every little noise she makes just to make sure she is sleeping. And I’m still suffering from that whole must-check-if-baby-is-still-breathing-every-30-seconds disease. Am I the only one? Please tell me this is normal for every first time mom? If not, what the hell is wrong with me and how do I make it go away? I’m never going to sleep again, am I? Sigh.
And then there’s the stress. Geez. I thought my pregnancy was drama filled, apparently my baby’s life is going to be much of the same. We had to go to the pediatrician last Friday to follow up with a bunch of BS because my daughter was born 3 days shy of 37 weeks gestation. (As an aside, would those 3 days really have made that much of a difference?) First there was the jaundice for which she remained in the hospital for 2 extra days. Then there was the swelling/bump on her head (I forget the technical name for it) caused by her journey through the birth canal (yes, my mean ol’ vagina apparently squeezed her head so much that she has a big ol’ swelly bump on it, how guilty does that make me feel?). And there are the 2 little holes in her heart that are apparently quite common (especially in babies born early (again, 3 days, really?) and that usually close up all on their own. Then when we went to the doctor on Friday, Louisa wasn’t gaining weight. I suspect that it was just taking her a few days to catch up after being back on just my breast (and not the bottles they had been feeding her at the hospital), but the doctor was of course paranoid and wanted me to pump and feed the baby the extra milk after every feeding, and then take her back on Monday just to make sure she started gaining. So all weekend long I was either feeding the baby or pumping my breasts. And the baby is starting to wrestle me when I try to feed her. She’s quite strong and wrestles me and my husband all the time anyway (during diaper changes, while we try to console her screaming etc), but the breast wrestling is especially annoying because it usually happens in the middle of the night when I’d rather be sleeping. Anyway, I almost gave up. I kept thinking to myself that I would just pump all of the time and always feed her out of a bottle, because DAMN who wants to wrestle a freakishly strong, ridiculously stubborn baby all of the time? But my mom talked me down and things have admittedly been a little bit better. Monday was incredibly stressful because I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night, and Jason was back at work so I had to take Louisa to the doctor alone. Wow did that ever suck. But she had gained 3 ounces – perfect! Then the doctor checked her bilirubin level. And it has gone up again. Not enough to be alarmed, but high enough that again I have to take her back to the doctor this Friday. So yeah. I’m stressed. And tired. And have been crying a lot in secret. Sigh.