Five months – a photo retrospective

I’m sitting here on the couch listening to Moira crying in the other room and I feel like the Worst Mother in the World. I’m not looking for comment-love here – I know I’m not the worst Mother in the world but this is hard. I’m not just talking about the crying. This whole motherhood thing is hard (not that I had any delusions going into it – I’m just venting). Moira is 5 months today and still nurses every two hours. She has turned night time into one long nursing session lately (last night: 11:30 p.m. 2:30 a.m., misbirth 4, pancreatitis 5, 6:15). I let her do it too – why? – to keep the peace in the bedroom, to keep things quiet and let the Mister sleep since he has to get up early for work. Me, I’m just working all the time.

Moira is a sleep fighter. She almost never naps and is cranky all day long – thus the reason she is in the other room crying/complaining because that is what she does when she is tired but won’t sleep – she cries. I’ve spent the last 5 months holding her while she cries: walking her around in the wrap (she doesn’t like that anymore), laying down with her – and getting screamed at in my ear. When she is tired, she cries; if I hold her, she cries; if I put her down – you guessed it, still crying. She. Just. Cries.

Is she hungry? I don’t even bother counting the number of times I feed her during the day. I started her on solids recently since she seems hungry all the time (the result: two days of interest, but now she just cries when I try to feed her). So far we are just doing cereal – and I would love to mix it with breast milk but I can pump until the cows come home and still not get the measly two tablespoons I need. You can guess how pathetic that makes me feel (also, it means I can’t go far since she eats every 2 hours) – and worried too that maybe she isn’t getting enough milk from me and maybe that is why she cries (although she seems to be gaining weight steadily)? I worry. I fret. I Am Zombie Mommy. My skin is crap. My hair is defecting from my head faster than a troupe of Chinese acrobats. I’m hungry All The Time.

The Mister says he feels as though he has lost his best friend and laments the fact that we can no longer just sit around and watch movies all day on the weekend. This makes me worry that he will end up resenting me for bringing this other person into our lives. It also makes me put on the “best face possible” so that it seems like everything is wonderful. This “fake it ’till you make it” attitude is tiring.

The worries compound.

I worry that we will be poor forever. I worry that we will never be able to afford anything but this apartment and that the three of us will always be in the same room. I’m done with us all being in the same room (lately I have been dreaming of a room all to myself – no snoring or crying allowed). I would love for Moira to have a room of her own – I think it is important for her to have her own space once she becomes more aware. But it won’t be in this apartment – not while we need some space for an office as well. Also, the co-sleeping isn’t working for us anymore. I’ve never been a great sleeper and since Moira isn’t a great sleeper we need our space. We sleep better apart – once she is actually asleep.

I know that these worries are exacerbated by a lack of sleep. Sleep is a great coping mechanism and so I am letting her cry because that is the only way she gets to sleep. That is the only way I’m going to get any sleep.

It has taken me 2 hours to write this (actually, it has taken me 2 weeks of stopping and starting). Moira is asleep right now. For now. It only took an hour (although not an hour of hysterical crying so please don’t get on my ass about this – I’ve been in to check on her/comfort her many times). I guess this is my  “me time” – you know, so I can finish washing those sheets and clean the kitchen. Oh goody! Really, I should go to bed As Soon as she is asleep so that I can get some sleep.  Instead, I’ll finish writing this and post it even though I already feel a little guilty about complaining so much. Then, I will go and check on my daughter and, if I think she is asleep enough, lean in and breathe deep to remind myself of all the good things while (silently) chanting: this too shall pass.

From top left:

  1. A couple hours old
  2. Two days – little gremlin
  3. Two weeks – hand eater
  4.  Four weeks – camping
  5. Six weeks – emo baby
  6. Ten weeks – the last time she slept (okay, surgery
    not really)
  7. Twelve weeks – hanging out in the park
  8. Fourteen weeks – talking
  9. Sixteen weeks – scootching
  10. Nineteen weeks – teething
  11. Twenty weeks – rolling over
  12. Twenty one weeks – the little thinker

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