The baby adrenaline is long gone.
The help is long gone (ack! I owe my mom her very own blog post for the amazing service she gave our family, and I just remembered right this very minute).
The fatigue is intense. I know a lot of folk go without sleep. Or have insomnia. Or work a job that deprives them of sleep on a regular basis. I've experienced all three of those things. Nothing and I mean, emphatically, NOTHING is like newborn sleep deprivation. The fragmented nature of life with a newborn eats away at your soul, and leaves you with nothing but the Id (that's your basic function, the core of who you are, the filter is gone, you are a walking being because of electrical impulses, you are sub-human). Your ability to process emotions is depleted. Your desire to please others goes to zero. Forget about forming complete or coherent sentences.
I'm so sick of my body. Weight wise, I'm not embarrassed; I'm not that far from my pre-pregnancy weight. Shape wise, I feel ashamed. I don't care that I grew a person. I don't care that I've created a beautiful life. I don't care if "they aren't stretch marks, they are badges of honor". I don't need no stinkin' badges!!!! Nothing fits. Oh, sure, my clothes go on and button and what not. But I look like pieces of loose meat shoved into a bulging a canvas sack.
The baby hates the car seat. And by hate I don't mean whimpers or fusses. I mean all out, I'm going to die, I hope you all die, blood curdling screams. They kind where she runs out of air and goes into that pinched, next octave scream that only a newborn can muster. It's like I'm killing baby rabbits every time we go for a drive.
And, do you know how often we go for a drive? Lexi has school every day. Addie has school twice a week. Emmy has speech therapy twice a week, on the off days from Addie's preschool. Lexi has gym. Addie has gym. Emmy has gym. Lexi has to be picked up from school. Addie has to be picked up from school. Emmy and Addie have to be picked up from gym. Lexi has to be picked up from gym. We have to go to school. And the dentist. And the doctor. And heaven forbid, the store to get something necessary like food or diapers.
The kids don't all get more quiet while she's screaming, either. Rather, they all start yelling too. It's like the world championships of screaming in the car. EVERY. TIME. WE. GO. SOMEWHERE.
I did switch car seats hoping it would improve. And is has, by 80%, it's improved. But, she still screams a lot, and I still want to crawl up the sides of the car. In fact, as we pulled into the parking lot at gymnastics today, she happened to be screaming. One mommy said, "Yeah, we could hear her as you drove up." Dudes. They heard us as we pulled in. I drive a diesel.
Having to drive around with a screeching baby causes me great angst. It also increases my anxiety. Increased angst and anxiety decreases my patience and tolerance. With children and a husband, a woman needs more than the average allotment of patience and tolerance just to end each day without having threatened someone's life. Right now, I'm in the red on both of those.
My house is completely trashed. I want to clean it so bad, but I find myself having to make choices. Do I take a shower (it is day 2), or clean? Do I put in a load of laundry or clean? Do I acknowledge my living children or clean? Do I continue to hold in this turd for another day or clean?
I decided yesterday that I've very much over having a baby. Sure, I love my kid. But, I'll love her when she can walk to the car by herself, too. I love her when she can get her own snack. I don't love the newborn phase. I'm greatly satisfied by knowing I've fulfilled my mission to have four kids and I don't have to do this again. I know that over time, life will become sort of bearable again. That doesn't change that in this moment, I'm totally over having a baby.
My other kids have started disintegrating in their own special ways.
Lexi has begun to tune us out. She's capable of surviving on her own and she's increasingly indifferent to the rest of us.
Addison has developed extreme anxiety. She runs in a fit of tears to the window to watch as people drive away. There is a quiz, "When you are you leaving? Which way are you going to drive? This way? Or that way? Are you coming home?" Once you answer, she cries even harder, often achieving decibel levels that only dolphins can appreciate, and begins to drool on herself. If she was a dog, she'd eat our blinds, and scratch a hole in the door.
Emily either puddles into a fit of tears on the floor, or backs herself into a corner spitting and growling at us like she's a rabid raccoon when she's
I mean, we're pretty much normal. I think if you check in with any mommy at 2 1/2 months out from having a baby, she's all sorts of miserable. You're a far way from back to your old self, too. The only thing, as I say, that gets you through it is waking up every day and gettin' 'em grown. You just gotta let time pass. It really does get better as they get just a bit older. Your uterus gets just a bit smaller. Your hormones get just a little more consistent. Time does all of those for you.
So I just keep waking up (every 3 hours, that is) and let time work it's magic so that I can maybe find some joy in this journey.