September 18, 2014

In The Thick Of It

Ten months have passed since this little princess arrived. Ten LONG months. Wonderful in many aspects, but definitely long. I have to say, time does not fly when I'm postpartum. Like a wet slug, each day drags along a foggy trail of seconds, minutes and hours. Slow and exhausting. 

As any mom will attest, the months after birth can be a blur and easy to forget. One day you look at your toddler and think, Wow two year olds are so hard. Remember when she was just a little newborn, so new, so portable, so easy? Funny how that happens. Mother Nature is a big trickster, changing our memories like that. 
So let me capture a little postpartum moment in time: Edith is 3 months old. I'm in the rocking chair, blinking my eyes, staring at the clock—eyelids drooping with a heavy coat of fatigue and anxiety—and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out if it's 11pm or 11am. For several minutes I honestly do not know. I lower my gaze to watch her nurse, questioning if she is getting enough milk. I close my eyes. I open them again. It's 12:30. Desperate to pee, I attempt to break her loose, but for fear of losing a nipple I keep her on the boob. 

I proceed to the bathroom with the little one attached to my chest like a large tick. Impressed with myself after successfully wiping one-handed, I notice she has a really good latch. So I stay seated. 

Moments later (still on the toilet), I begin to fantasize about sleep in a way that nears sexual fantasy, and realize that everything—absolutely everything—would be better, if I could get some. If sleep can't happen, then I'll settle for a shower. The idea of a hot shower brings tears to my eyes. I decide to make sure I shower as soon as she's asleep. Or at the very least brush my teeth and put on clean underwear.  

Finally she's off my (very sore) nipple. I stand up and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror for the first time in days. Alas there I am—and it's worse than I thought. Much worse. Irreversible damage has been done. Who IS that woman in the mirror wearing my clothes? Too depressed to investigate, I place Edith down in her crib, and decide to use my spare time to put in a load of laundry, for which I reward myself with a bag of chips (because after all, I'm nursing and can eat whatever I want right?). 

After more chips (and chocolate), I begin to make a list of things I must do immediately to change the way I look and feel: make hair and nail appointments, hit the gym, get a sitter for date night, get dressed up and do pretty girl things like wear make-up every day. Oh yeah it's all going to happen I say out loud, perkily. I'm going to be THAT MOM. The one who totally has it all together, looking gorgeous with a perfect newborn girl and two wonderful boys in tow...

But, before I can even pick up my phone the baby wakes up. 
And I didn't even brush my teeth. 

Edith is ten months old this weekend and the fog has lifted (well, almost). It took a while this time around, but just like my other two sweeties, she is showing me how big my heart can be, and why it's all worth it. And anyways, just look at her. 


  1. I've just read your post and I have to say I don't regret my choice: I didn't nurse, and my husband and I shared the feeding from day 1.
    It was great and I wasn't tired, my kids and my husband really bonded and my kids were sleeping through the night after 2 months for my son, and 10 days for my daughter. I've watched my friends who were nursing turn into zombies. I'm glad I didn't feel like that.
    But what you say is true, we tend to forget so fast so we can focus on the present and on how amazing our kids are! your daughter looks so lovely!

  2. Absolutely, nursing can turn any woman into a zombie! With Edith, it was a miracle that I could breastfeed after so many challenges with my boys (with them I ended up 100% formula feeding in the first few weeks), so I was really ecstatic at first to have her nurse. When I introduced a bottle to her with pumped milk at 2 months she wouldn't take it. Then it became a struggle to find the right bottle - eventually we found one at 6 months. She completely stopped nursing at 10 months which was a shock. Now my husband and I share the night feedings... She is still up 1-2x night at 13 months old, but that's another topic altogether!