i get up every night in the middle of the night; i can’t go back to sleep sometimes, like last night, because of all the stress and implication. i have to work extra hard and pay new childcare, insurance – we can’t afford to save for college and i can’t afford to buy comforts for myself —
yet what i get is that ‘there’s something in the mother’s milk’, ‘lucy looks like you because she’s so serious’ (looking serious was never a compliment as i was growing up), ‘you should go on antidepressants not just for yourself, but because your mood is affecting her’ — in other words, i’m damaging lucy??? sheesh – some people don’t know when to Be Quiet.
Do Over! i wish *i* could adopt lucy just like leanne, so i could get all my friends around me and a court to say and prove it that i am a good mother.
she's a strong one...
leanne is about an hour from landing back in SF; over two hours from returning home after nearly two days away – to see the gates in NYC. i told her on the phone today that last night was one of the ‘worst nights of my life’. she, too, had a hard time being away. problem is, lucy took this week as the week to flip over in her swaddle, so we immediately put her in a sleep-sack, arms free, and she immediately forgot how to sleep, freaking out with her arms waving all over the place presumably whenever she wakes up.
i had already had only 3-4 hrs sleep the previous night, big rains, lucy&i dropping lw @ sfo in wee hours, and then lucy didn’t really nap in the new sleep sacks. then she went to sleep fairly easily, out by 8p, but woke at 9p. pacifier; sleep again; awake by 9:30, had to pick up and rock and hold to return to sleep by 10p or so. less than two hours later, the whole thing again – this time i had to nurse her; done and asleep (me) by 1a or so. then @ 4:30a.m. – nursed over an hour; lucy then wide awake, alert, talking. me crying, tired, thinking things are miserable. the stress is so great that when i finally climb back into bed exhausted at 6a, cold and too awake from stress, and the chills in bed again similar to postpartum, and alone with lucy, and lucy acting up getting used to her new arrangements, i could not fall back to sleep. eventually the sun rose and at 7:30 she was chatting and awake. the day began, without glee, for me.
when she’s asleep – such as now – i feel like this is OK. i feel calmer with myself and my impressions of myself as a mother (i say, pouring myself a glass of whiskey for maybe the third time in over a year) are of a capable person, able to handle difficulty with compassion and remain calm. and then it happens, i’m exhausted, i’ve gotten less sleep in the past three nights combined than i used to insist on needing in a single night, i’m awake with lucy, totally stressed, crying.
the perfect family holiday dinner
just after six a.m. and no sign of the sun yet. it doesn’t come these days till seven thirty or so but it’s getting earlier. it used to be pitch-dark by five as well but that’s getting later too. i’m so sensitive to the dark and the light now; i used to like the winter early dark but now i am cheered when it is five in the evening and still the light can be traced.
i don’t think lucy slipped back to sleep yet after waking at five and feeding/diaper, but she sighs and doesn’t protest in her bassinet. i used to feel comforted when i was in my bed and could hear noises of people up in the house. i felt unalone when my parents had friends over in the evenings in millbrae and i would be in bed and would hear them playing cards and socializing. i still feel cozy when others are up first in the morning, preparing the breakfast and the day. but now it is my job to be up in the morning or throughout the night. it feels a bit lonely. not even the sun is up when i am up.
our family’s irish heritage is a source of, i believe, unspoken pride in our family. it makes us worldly somehow or does it just make us able to leave at any given moment? i hope to raise lucy with an awareness of her irish heritage but at the same time, it is sad it is slipping away, removed. mom was directly from there so i was _almost_ from there; lucy will i hope get to know being as close to _from there_ as she can; then there are the scandinavians from leanne; furthermore the unknown italians from biology.