Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Down in the Dumps, or Just Tired?

Today has been a hard day.

I'm not exactly sure why.

I've been tired for three days now. My visit to the pediatrician followed by visiting a friend's clinic and having lunch with her took it out of me... and I can't seem to recover. That afternoon I could barely pick up my feet, and had to take a cab home with the baby in the Moby (not her car seat), which I felt guilty about. Then we spent the rest of the day in bed. I was asleep before she was.

Later that day, lo and behold, I started bleeding more heavily. Which my midwives had warned me would happen if I overdid it.

But I didn't feel like I did all that much, considering I'm already five weeks postpartum!

And I'm still going through a pad every four hours or so, 36 hours later.

I called my midwife today and left her a teary message. When she called me back, she suggested that maybe I have my period, of all horrid things.

I don't get my period normally because of my PCOS... how could I have it now, when no one (practically), has their period yet? Especially given that I am breastfeeding around the clock!

Yesterday my bladder was being weird... I had to pee every ten minutes, it felt like. I felt like I was back in the first postpartum week.

Today the bladder is better but I just feel very, very tired. And hormonal.

Possibly lending support to Catherine's idea that this is my period... but being tired is always a trigger for my moodiness... the main one.

She also thought the urinary frequency could be related to a period. My uterus somehow freaking out about having a period already, I think?

But the purpose of this post was mainly to just say... I'm not enjoying being me today. I feel guilty that I'm not appreciating Calliope more. This morning, I laid her on the changing table and saw her sweet little face grinning up at me through my teary moment.

This made me feel terrible. Poor thing doesn't even realize that I'm upset. And why should she?

And also, yesterday I woke her up, documenting her Baby.Whispered status... and we've been off track ever since. And so now I feel like a baby sleep failure, on top of everything else.

And oh, sidebar, the pacifier: what a double edged sword. Helps her calm down so much and often soothes her to sleep. Until she loses it or spits it out... and immediately decides she wants it back. And so... Mommy goes to and fro, sticking the damn thing back in. So sometimes I don't give it to her... and then she cries, because she needs its magical soothing powers to calm herself down. Fuck. Me.  How frustrating that can be!

Today we visited my SMC friend Jen and her darling three week old daughter, Luna. Which was wonderful, by the way. We mostly laid on her bed and nursed our babies and talked. The perfect day. Lying on someone else's bed instead of my own. Beautiful.

Then we watched the video of The Happiest.Baby.On.The.Block. Very useful to see video of how to use his swaddling technique and also how to jiggle a baby. I was too nervous before, imagining myself in the ER, trying to justify my baby's case of Shaken.Baby.Syndrome to concerned physicians and less sympathetic police officers.

Anyway, the author of that book says to give babies whatever they need to soothe themselves in the "fourth trimester." So that swings are okay. Even while the Baby.Whisperer author says that swings are the devil's spawn.

I don't know what to do.

Crying seems like a good option.

But I am considering the idea that sleep might be an even better one. (Sleeping for me, hopefully also for Calliope, who is generally agreeable when I am in the bed with her. Of course, she's been swinging peacefully, but awake, for the last hour or so, so I fear she is overtired and will be difficult to get down... but I feel pretty much like a blithering idiot who doesn't know anything right now... so who am I to say?)

Also, I called and hired a postpartum doula to come over tomorrow night. Unfortunately she can't come until after 8 pm, when her kids go to sleep. Ideally, I think I should be in bed at 8 pm.

But considering the fact that I burst into tears right after she asked me on the phone, "so how are things going?," I decided to not be difficult and just go with it.

She charges $45 an hour and I am just going with that, too.

Who knows, by tomorrow I may already be feeling better.

But my friend Jen said that postpartum doulas are sort of like New Mommy Therapy, and that sounds exactly like what I need right now.

So I'm going with it.

And oh, if the bleeding continues, my midwife is sending me for an ultrasound, just to make sure there's no retained placenta fragments, I believe. We are going to talk tomorrow.

Now if I could just get my energy back. This is so not me. I can't even go for walks these last few days. It would sort of be reassuring to find something wrong (nothing serious, god forbid) so that I could have an answer to my question, and hopefully a solution.


  1. Aw! It does get better really! The first 6 weeks or so I felt like a zombie with no sleep. My son had colic or something, would cry (scream) for hours every evening. I feel guilty admitting it but I did say to him "why are you doing this to me!" And now he's 21 months and while I don't think I've had a full nights sleep since before he was born, life is very good (and I want another baby lol).

    As for the baby whisperer or whatever else you read, do what you feel is right, trust your instincts, seriously, whatever you do, your kid will end up being able to sleep and won't walk down the aisle with a soother ;) My son still uses a bottle to fall asleep... I would prefer a soother lol. You could try a nubawub thing, they are easier for baby to grasp and use on her own. And swaddle, swing, whatever works. It doesn't last forever. Sleep when the baby sleeps too :)

    Oh, I didn't breastfeed but my period started at 6 weeks... yeah fun time :P

  2. I agree with Heather - do what feels right. Read all the books in the world, try them out and use what works for you and trash what doesn't.

    And it does get better. Finn ate every two hours (even during the night) until he was 9-10 weeks old. One night, when he was about 6-7 weeks old, my friend Jennie took him around 11 and kept him until 2am. Those 3ish hours of uninterrupted sleep did wonders for me. I seriously felt like a new person. Having the postpartum doula, even if she only comes for one night, is going to make a world of difference. Really. You're so smart for deciding to hire her!

  3. Don't let any book make you think you're doing things "wrong." I happen to think if a book tells you there is one right way to do things, it's time to throw that book out the window. That's one reason I got fed up with the Sears baby book - though I agree with most of his philosophy, it was too one-sided and was making me feel guilty. The swing was a LIFESAVER when Fiona was an infant. She stopped using it at a couple months old and was FINE. Don't worry if the swing helps, use it! You sound like you like to be out and about doing things (like I do) but seriously Abby, lie low for awhile. "Just" taking care of a newborn and doing nothing else is PLENTY for one person. Hang in there!