how is your mental and physical well-being?
how is breastfeeding/bottlefeeding going? baby's weight gain?
any significant outings with the little one?
** Ramble warning. I guess I needed someone to talk to! Thanks for reading, if you so choose. I just needed to get it out... **
Mentally, I'm somewhere in the clouds - neither here nor there. Mostly happy, or pretending to be; I'm way too self-sufficient and codependent to say I need help - so I'm fine, even when I'm not. (Know what I mean? I just kinda suck it up.) How could life be hard at all with such a sweet one? I love her SO much!!
The reason for any ambivalence there is my reluctance to go back to work. DH is pressuring me to return, and I'm cobbling together little parts of my former life to bring in something like the cash I used to earn. (I was always the breadwinner; I saved like heck to allow for three months off, and he's been really "heroic" about providing for us while I'm on leave. Ugh. But at the same time, sweet. Kinda.) I collected bags of unsorted papers from my employer and have been slowly working on categorizing and filing them; I'm due back tomorrow to start on her laundry and household organization. I'll bring Olive, but we visited her and her crazy boys the other week for lunch and Olive got sooo overstimulated; I'm worried about spending too much time there. Hence the paperwork at our apartment. Also, I'm helping my mom with her paperwork and providing her meals for her post-op recovery (she had her gallbladder removed and the surgeon recommended a vegan diet, much to my delight) so she's paying me a little... also, I'm making food for the farmers' market, so hopefully I'll bring in some profit there.
That, along with the pile of thank-you cards that I can't seem to wade through (30+ people to thank just from the shower, then another 20 from people that just keep sending things. I never ever wanted this! I get it, it's love; it's just material love and it's hard for me to accept it. And I'm SO bad at thank-you cards; it takes me forever to write them and I just feel guilty every single day. I'm SO grateful for all of the support - it's amazing how loved we are/she is!) and the messy house (I can stand it a little messy; DH can't) and my yearning to just be in the springtime with my babe... it's all got me a little --- overwhelmed, I guess.
My sister (the doula that trekked out from CA to help me) has been difficult for me lately, too. She's got a really strong personality and I always forget that we clash. Also, she has some really strong opinions on baby care (rules, "shoulds," schedules, etc.) and was kind of offended when I didn't take much of her advice. Whoops. I need to think of a (cheap!) way to genuinely thank her for coming out before she leaves in four days...
I'd wanted to start a blog for Olive since I learned I was pregnant, and I finally started it - and wrote half of the first post. That feels good. I've learned to lower my expectations. ;) I have a paper journal for her, too, and I've tried to be better about writing in it, even if it's just a few totally unprofound words.
My body is feeling soft. I'm still -5 lbs prepregnancy, but I feel like my lower belly has filled out and gotten gushier. My midwife said I have a bit of diastasis recti, so I have an excuse to do ab work, but I find myself caring less and less. Also, DH has been hounding me, and I have absolutely no desire to dtd, so maybe it's kind of a deterrent for me (for him to me) - even though it doesn't work. He seems to see something lustworthy in my body, even though I see it as a soft nurturing vehicle right now, not a sexual object, and that's totally fine with me. I just feel a little guilty that I'm so turned off. He's been super needy lately, which is tough too. (Not so attractive for me.)
Guilt has always been a theme in my life... no surprise it's hitting hard right now. I'm feeling guilty about not providing financially, about not contributing to my marriage, about not being socially responsive. I don't feel guilty about leaving Olive, because I haven't yet and I don't plan on doing so anytime soon. She's been apart for me for maybe 15 minutes, max - when DH took her on neighborhood walks, twice so far - and I was beside myself the whole time, wondering if she was okay. DH isn't comfortable with her yet (or himself, but that's another issue - we're dealing with that right now, too, ugh) and she can feel it, so she always works herself up with him. I know that more time alone together would help them, ultimately, but until they reach that point (and until DH works on his self-love and confidence) it's gonna be hard-hard-hard for all three of us. We need therapy, man.
Breastfeeding is a dream. Really. It's our favorite thing! We're super comfy with NIP anywhere, thank goodness. I've been pumping sporadically since she was seven weeks old, and offered the bottle a couple of times. I'll get serious about it when I'm serious about possibly leaving her. I'm not worried, though - she takes it well enough that if she needed to have it, she'd be fine. I was really psyched about pumping to donate (or sell - would be great for the income - is there a premium for organic whole-foods vegan bm? I don't even know how to get started) but I felt like my supply dropped from its crazy happy oversupply to just enough for Olive. It's a lot of work to create oversupply, man! Pumping, oatmeal, teas... there's already so much to keep on top of. I don't know how you do it, mamas. (I'm looking at you, HOP, with your amazing pumping sessions!)
Speaking of keeping on top of things - EC. I'd really wanted to be on top of it, but I find myself only doing it super casually. Another guilty disappointment!
Baby's gaining beautifully. I'm so proud! She's chunky and delicious. She was 12 lbs at seven weeks, and (at 11 weeks now) I feel like she's got to be closer to 14 lbs. Crazy. She's in six-, nine-, and some twelve-month clothes. We're going to have to hit up the consignment & thrift stores soon, before the grandmothers threaten to buy brand-new stuff for her.
Out. We go out all the time. I get restless if it's nice out! Lots of walks, groceries, library visits and coffee shops. DH works at a nature preserve so sometimes we bring him lunch and have a picnic by the creek. We've been exploring all of the local outdoor activities that we never had time (or "touristy " curiosity/shamelessness) to check out before. She's a champ in the car, and mostly we go out by ourselves, though it's nice to have DH on hand occasionally behind the wheel so that I can dive into the backseat to nurse her in her seat if she's upset on long car rides. I've attached Command hooks to my car ceiling and draped one of her light blankets strategically as a sunshade, and used another one to dangle a soft toy in batting reach. (Huge win.)
Olive's a chattering, giggling nut. She's super strong and loves to stand up for minutes on end with our hands balancing her. I'll sit on the exercise ball and bounce, singing and holding her on my knees, and she'll pump her legs up and down at the same time, laughing hysterically. She still greets the days with such riotous joy that it's changed my perspective on mornings.
She's had two red fits in the past week, though, which makes me think maybe early teething. Out of nowhere: shrieking, fist in her super-drooly mouth, pummeling, writhing. It passes after about ten minutes, but it's sooo unlike her. She also chomped down on me with her gums. So not excited about a real bite! Time to order her amber necklace, anyway...
(So far this has taken me two days to write... I'll just post already!)
I'm due back at work today -- my own assignment, not DH's - I wanted to ease into it slowly so that I could try to make money before it became a crisis -- and find myself thinking of excuses not to go in. I honestly don't know how I'll get anything done with her.
Yesterday, Olive gave me the best Mothers' Day gift: she slept in her bouncy seat for a full half hour while I took a bath! (We were going to bathe together, but she fell asleep as I was drawing the water. I just turned up the hot spigot, laid her in her seat next to the tub, and fell away into the longest moments of mommy bliss!) I washed my hair, shaved, and even got to put deodorant & body oil on and stuff in my hair before she woke up. DH was amazed, and so was I!
Happy (belated) Mothers' Day to all of you amazing mamas! <3