So as it turns out, Chase has thrush... which also affects me since I am breastfeeding. Adam and I started to put the pieces together this past Sat... Chase's mouth has the white rash (which masks itself as milk residue but doesn't go away), and he has a general grouchiness about him... I have sore nipples still and that shouldn't still be happening this far into breastfeeding. Actually, I saw my PA/friend on Sun and she noted that I have severely cracked nipples (she was actually aghast at them... yay me!). So basically what I have here is the perfect storm of baby/mommy issues. Gas problems, acid reflux, thrush, nipple issues and breast pain... all which result in almost constant pain for me, extreme fussiness from Chase and no sleeping or sleeping only on me from Chase which results in very little sleeping for me. Couple all this with some VERY unrealistic expectations that I had in my abilities and this has been a rough 6 weeks.
I have always been around children and more than that I have always been around babies. I spent countless hours babysitting one family in particular (love the B's!) and I helped welcome 3 of our their children home from the hospital... I was holding them when they were days and hours old. So having all this experience and knowledge, I figured that I would be ahead of the game when it came to motherhood. 'Bring it on... I got it' was my mentality... which leaves very little room for humility. As it turns out, I don't know everything and I shouldn't need to be the best at this. I am learning (through forced realization) that it is ok for me not to have this all figured out. I can just be a first time mom struggling to figure out how to live life with a newborn.
The funny thing is... if I didn't have such a demanding, sick (for lack of a better term) and fussy baby, I wouldn't have learned this lesson. Rick G* spoke about leaving and arriving this past Sun... how you can't arrive somewhere new without first leaving... which makes leaving not such a bad proposition. I think this is my 'leaving'. I need to leave the notion that I have to be supermom and that I have all this figured out and I have to 'arrive' at being a new mom with struggles and consequently, lean on God for my strength and knowledge. Now to put this in practice... that's always the harder part ;~)
I have also been struggling with this idea that I would instantly be bonded with my child. I thought the moment I met Chase I would have this instant connection and that nothing he did would make me sad. I wish I could say that but over the past 6 weeks its been a getting to know you game. Don't get me wrong... I love my son fiercely and if anyone were to try and harm him... well there is nothing like a mother's wrath so watch out. However, there are times when he is crying that I don't know what to do with him... I have to just put him down and walk into the other room for a moment... which makes me feel like the worst mom and I am sure Chase doesn't feel great about it. There are times where I didn't feel like I could go on breastfeeding and I hated the idea that I had to feed him again... generally within 3 hours... a lot of those times I saw stars when he latched on and I would just cry. Fortunately my commitment to breastfeeding has continued to win out because I really wanted to do this but there were times I really wanted to quit. All of this made me feel more like a caregiver than his mother and I was sure that I was ruining our bond by not feeling the right way.
I talked to Christine about this one day and she reminded me that I just met Chase and we are both seeing the worst in each other right now because we aren't getting a lot of sleep and everything is new. She reminded me that developing a relationship with someone takes time... that I can love and fiercely want to protect my child but an actual relationship is work and takes time. Seems apparent enough but her telling me that really helped.
Saying all this is really difficult because I feel exposed and somewhat vulnerable but I have been keeping a lot of this in (with the exception of Adam who knows me inside and out ;~) but regardless.... keeping this all between him and I is making me insane. Sometimes it just feels better to open up and get everything off your chest.
Thanks for listening! And here is a recent picture of my handsome man... BTW... he is 10 lbs and 14 oz at last check... growing like a weed!
*It's not up yet but it will be soon enough if you are interested, the link to the Sermon Archives is here. Just scroll down and search by speaker... Rick G. He is a great pastor and will be sorely missed!