I'm sure I talked about this right when Ryan was born, but here is an update. I am still totally overwhelmed by the challenges of being a mom. Ryan is still a difficult baby. Dr. Sears would describe him as a "high need" child. After 16 weeks, 3 1/2 months, things are only slightly better.
I wake up feeling exhausted because he does not sleep well at night and wakes up for the day super early. Then Mike leaves for work and a feel a sense of panic because I have no idea what the day has in store. Then Ryan and I go about whatever we need to do for the day, but it never goes smoothly. By 9am we normally have already experienced Ryan's first total melt down of the day. He shows signs that he is tired but refuses to go to sleep. Normally he will just fuss and cry all the way through nap time until we get to his next feeding time. The idea that he will eventually cry himself to sleep does not apply to Ryan. Nursing always soothes him and then we have a short gap of happy baby before the craziness begins all over again. This continues all day because Ryan does not sleep. The longer he goes without a nap, the worse he gets. I'm not just talking a moderate cry... I'm talking an all out scream. One that makes him turn bright red and start choking because he is crying so hard. By mid afternoon I attempt taking him on a car ride because sometimes that will calm him down enough that he will take a short nap. We get in the car with no place to go, I just know that we have to go somewhere. By time Mike gets home, we take turns trying to make the cranky baby happy until its time for bed. He then SCREAMS through his bedtime routine. Thank God nursing calms him down, and at this point he is finally so exhausted that he does go to sleep. At this point I finally have time to relax or spend time with Mike, but I am normally so wiped out from the day that I just want to go straight to bed. Plus I never know when Ryan will wake up again, so I need to sleep when he sleeps.
Since Monday-Friday plays out like this, I am feeling totally out of sync with everything else in my life. I have stopped working out because he doesn't sleep long enough for me to get in the work out. It takes me over a week to wash and fold a load of laundry. I start the week with a to-do list of 10 things on it and am frustrated when its Friday and I have only completed 2 things. I feel totally disconnected from my friends because no one wants to spend time with a colicky baby or an exhausted cranky mom. I miss taking a shower and getting ready every day, I miss cooking a healthy meal, I miss spending time with Mike, and I miss looking forward to going out with friends on a Friday night to unwind from the week.
To top it all off, I am STILL not completely healed from my tearing and episiotomy. I was back at the Dr today to see what was going on and apparently I have not healed correctly and I have scar tissue that is causing a problem. The Dr did a little procedure today in the office to help that scar tissue to heal. My fingers are crossed that this works because she said the worst case scenario would be cutting me back open and re-stitching the whole area! Needless to say I am still very uncomfortable and I am 16 weeks PP and still have not had sex!
I know this is all part of motherhood, but I'm totally wiped out. Luckily weekends are better. Its great having Mike around to help with the responsibility. It also gives me a chance to leave the crying for an hour or two and get some things done. And for some reason, Ryan is a better baby on the weekends. I think this is because we are more active on the weekends. We go to parties, visit with the grandparents, walk the boardwalk, and try to do whatever it is we would be doing if we didn't just have a baby. So Ryan takes more naps in the car and stroller and has lots of people who are constantly paying attention to him. People have even described Ryan as being "so happy and content" on the weekends. I really look forward to the weekends!
I know (hope) that it will eventually get better. I follow the blog "Baby Rabies" and her first child was very similar to Ryan. It helps to read about other mothers who have gone through the same thing. So thank you Baby Rabies mother for sharing your story with me and giving me hope that it will get better. And thank you for being brave enough to have a second child, which turns out to be an angel baby. It gives me hope that if I ever decide to have another baby (right now I feel like that will never happen) there is a chance I too can have an angel baby.
Here is to hoping that 4 months will bring out the wonderful, happy baby that I know is in there somewhere!