My baby was up for two hours in the middle of the night last night. Again. She did the same thing Sunday night. Off to sleep as normal at 8 pm, slept for a few hours, then boom. Up. Playing. Not crying or wanting to eat. Just playing/crawling/pulling up/babbling. As you know, my baby sleeps with me. We put our mattress back on the box springs and put her crib up right next to it, leaving off the side rail (it converts to a toddler bed, thank god, otherwise it would have been a totally wasted purchase) so instead of being panicked that she’ll roll off onto the floor I just let her roll into it and she sometimes sleeps there for a few hours. So that’s where she plays in the middle of the night. And then head butts me to try to get me to join in. What. The. Fuck. Is it the teething? The crawling? The now trying to stand up? Her just being a turd? What?! Help me out here. My husband and I were both so frustrated we were yelling at each other and at her which resulted in her screaming and him sleeping on the couch because he has to get up at like 5 to go to work. JESUS. And so. I feel like a terrible mom. There. I said it. And not just because of the not sleeping. It’s also because I never started her on a bottle so now that the weaning process is looming on the horizon I know it’s going to be super difficult (and I’m absolutely dreading it). It’s because I taught her to only go to sleep by breastfeeding and again, weaning – looming – dreading. How the fuck is this going to work? Hi, baby. Please figure out another way to wind down even though you’ve known nothing else for the entirety of your life. Oh, and you have so much energy I wonder if you have a secret crack stash.
But mostly I feel like a shitty mom because I am depressed. Depressed depressed depressed. I coped with being unmedicated during the pregnancy (probably because I was way too anxious to worry about the depression) and have stubbornly lied to myself for the past 9 months since Lou was born that I would be okay, I needed to keep breastfeeding and I didn’t want her getting drugged through the titties. And slowly but surely I am drowning. I love my life. I love my husband, my baby, my job, my apartment – pretty much all of it. But I can’t be happy. That’s the thing that sucks about mental illness, there’s no reason for it – you should be happy, but you just aren’t. I am constantly negative, critical, self loathing, dark, angry, sarcastic, mean etc etc. And then I feel guilty (a mother’s specialty, no?) because sure she’s getting the fantastic benefits of breast milk but she’s also getting a shitty me. Wouldn’t she be better off with a happy mom? One who doesn’t sometimes want to scream when she tries to bite my nipple off or climbs on top of me all day long. See what a shitty mom I am? Fuck my brain chemistry, man. For reals.
So a couple of weeks ago the husband and I had a gigantic screaming fight. Over what? Who knows, but I screamed and threw things and swore and called him names. All in front of our child. Wow, am I ashamed of that moment. And so the next morning I called my doctor. And made an appointment. And went to talk to her about getting back on the magical happy pills that make me less… me. Because me? Kinda sucks right now.
And still I waffled. She wanted me to talk to Lou’s pediatrician to see if it was okay to takes the meds and keep on breastfeeding. I did. It’s not ideal, but you weigh the risks and the benefits, she said. So again I felt guilty. And kept on keeping on. And on. And on. And then yesterday I had some kind of moment of clarity where I realized that I need to be better, happy, normal. Even if that means taking drugs while breastfeeding. Even if that means weaning earlier than I normally planned. And so I called my doctor to say “SIGN ME UP”. And so I checked out books from the library on weaning. And I felt… better… Still depressed (dark, angry, bitter, caustic, toxic…) and guilty, but better.