I hate to complain, and I don’t say this to complain, I write this just because I feel like I need to get my feelings out.  When I’m able to acknowledge and respect my negative feelings, I’m then better able to be grateful for all of the joy that is around me.  So here goes.

I want a mom.  My parents are not in my life at all– through my choice, as they are not safe people to be around– nor is my only sibling.  My biological family is pretty much a big, dangerous mess, and I’m extremely proud of myself for breaking out of that situation.  There are a few relatives that I keep in touch with but I’m not close to any of them, and they’re too far away to visit (which is actually probably for the best).  But some days I just ache for a mother, especially with Paulie on the way.  I want someone to throw a baby shower for me.  I want someone to make me feel special.  Practically speaking, I really wish that I had someone who could come and stay with me after Paulie’s born, once Sweetie’s off from work.  Sweetie is hoping to take two weeks off from work, which will be great.  I’m so grateful that he’ll be able to be home so that we can spend time as a family.  But I do wish that I could have some help after that.  I’m worried about how long my recovery time will be if I need a c-section — I have a heart-shaped uterus and so there’s a chance that Paulie will be breach, in which case my obstetrician will want to do a c-section.  Two weeks is a nice amount of time to recover from major surgery, *if* you’re actually sleeping and resting, which is not what I’ll be doing with a newborn at home!  I’ll be sleeping in snatches and breastfeeding all the time.  I worry that breastfeeding will drain me, even more so than growing Paulie now can drain me.  And I know from past experience that I don’t sleep as deeply when there’s a baby in the room– but I can’t stand the idea of little Paulie sleeping in a seperate room all by himself.  I’m so afraid of being overwhelmed once sweetie goes back to work.  I want so badly to be a great mommy for Paulie.  I worry some times that I’m biting off more than I can chew.

I’m thinking about asking a good friend of mine if she could come and stay for a little bit after Sweetie goes back to work.  Since I don’t really have any family to do it.  I was hoping that my mother-in-law would volunteer to come help, but she keeps telling me that I’ll be back on my feet in just a few days.  Now, if you knew her, you would not be suprised that she’d say this.  She is like the energizer bunny– I’ve never known someone as active as she is, someone who can just go, go, go.  Besides, she was only in labor for four hours with Sweetie, and only for two hours with Sweetie’s sibling!!  Can you imagine!?  So obviously she doesn’t know what it’s like to recover from, say, a 14-hour labor, or a c-section.  She’s had to deal with multiple major back surgeries, so it’s not that she doesn’t know about recovery– she knows that all too well.  But she didn’t have to take care of a newborn while recovering.  And I feel like, even if she did, somehow she’s just stronger than I am.  She just keeps going (yes, like the energizer bunny!)

Sweetie’s expressed that he’s afraid that he’ll come home from work and find me in bed crying, and have to do everything for Paulie and take care of the house himself in addition to having to work.  I’m not worried about that.  I love Paulie with all of my heart and I’m going to give him every ounce of love and strength that’s within me.  I’ll make sure that his bottom is clean and his tummy is fed and that his cries are consoled.  That said, I do worry that I’ll have moments when I break down and cry to Sweetie, and feel overwhelmed.  But maybe all new mothers do!  I feel like I need to put on a strong front for Sweetie, so that he doesn’t worry– at the same time, I know that he wouldn’t have made a child with me if he weren’t aware of my reserves of inner strength.  And like I said, I’ll do anything for Paulie.

I would love to hear about other people’s survival strategies for recovering from labor and childbirth while caring for a newborn.  It seems like they sleep a lot the first few days, so that’s good.  My plan at this point is to rest up as much as I can during the two weeks that Sweetie’s home.  I’ll let him do all of the diapering and household stuff so that I can rest.  Of course, I’ll do the nursing 😉  I know that I’ll want to cuddle and hold and look at Paulie every minute that I have, but I’m going to try to balance that during the first two weeks with my own need to rest, and with Sweetie’s need to get in as much Paulie time as possible before he has to go back to work.  I worry about Sweetie too, though.  He has sleep apnea and severe diabetes, and really, really needs his sleep.  Although he won’t be the one giving birth, he’ll certainly be missing a lot of sleep being with me through labor and being with me in the hospital after Paulie’s born.  And I don’t want him to go back to all worn-out. 

I know, I worry too much.  Ken’s stepdad doesn’t work, and so he’d be available to help out, but I don’t feel comfortable nursing around any man other than Sweetie.  But I may ask a dear friend of mine if she can come help out after Sweetie goes back to work.  Even just having her there to take out the trash, load the dishwasher, and hold Paulie so that I can sleep would be great.  I trust her, and I know that she’d be really careful with Paulie.   But who knows what her work schedule will be.

I do have a lot of friends in town who I know would be happy to help out a little here and there, even if it’s just bringing by a meal.  But I’m not sure how to ask them– they’re not close friends, and they all have kids of their own.  So I’m not sure that having them come over would be relaxing 🙂  My religious community has a group called CareNet that brings meals to new moms (among other things), but I wouldn’t be comfortable having someone I don’t know hold Paulie while I sleep.  Maybe one of the moms I know from La Leche League would be able to come by for a few hours to help out.

I tend to worry a lot (in case you haven’t noticed 🙂 ).  I know that there have been many times when I’ve worried a lot about something, and that worry hasn’t come to pass (sometimes, in retrospect it seems laughable that I even worried about it).  I’m hoping that this will be one of those occasions.  I feel like I make myself sick with worry sometimes.  I just want so badly to be the great, strong mommy that Paulie needs and deserves.

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