Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the baby blues and other adventures

It was only a matter of time before post-partum depression settled into my otherwise idyllic new life with two children. It's nothing major, but when I went from feeling happy and energetic one day to weepy and utterly exhausted the next, I knew what was up. Since I've experienced this before, I quickly called my doctor and started on some happy pills, and I am already feeling a little better after just a few days. But man, am I tired. More than tired, I am excessively, mind-numbingly weary. I feel like my blood is barely pumping and just getting out of bed and off the couch is a challenge. I am so thankful for Ben, who stepped way up and pitched in with baths and dishes and vaccuuming and hugs. I wish we were closer to my family, who I know want nothing more than to help out. I have struggled with mommy guilt and wife guilt and Christian guilt while being too exhausted to really care about all of the things that I feel guilty about. And to add insult to injury, I am having daily migraines again. Waking up with them this time, which is ridiculous. It doesn't even give me a chance to do anything right or wrong, just, "Good morning, you feel like crap already!" It sucks, because I was feeling so good... more energetic and ambitious than I ever felt while I was pregnant, and just... very up. But I've been here before, and I can already feel it getting better. Today I took Eli to the playground, and I worked out, and I'm cooking dinner. Little things that provide a sense of normalcy, that help me see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel like a slightly less inadequate wife and mother. It's comforting to know that I'll get there. But oh, I hate getting there.

In other news, we enjoyed a wonderful Memorial Day at the beach. We spent several hours at Hug Point, wading in the waves and watching Eli play in the sand. He is still skittish about the waves, but he adores running around and digging in the sand. I am an ocean junkie. There is no place I would rather be than sitting on the beach, any beach, watching waves crash. Put a fruity drink in my hand and I'm a happy, happy woman.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

squeaky mcgee

Lucas was born with a condition called laryngomalacia, which means that the cartilage on the back of his larynx is immature, so it is soft and floppy. It is a fairly common condition that in 99% of cases is resolved over time (usually by age 1), and it rarely poses any kind of risk to the baby's health. It does, however, cause him to squeak (and snort) loudly and incessantly. It's particularly bad when he's nursing or in distress, but even when he's deeply asleep he lets out intermittent little chirps. He is a one-man noise machine. So noisy that a woman on the phone with me while I was feeding Lucas asked, "Do you have a hamster there with you?" So noisy that when the music stopped in church on Sunday, twenty heads turned toward us to see whose child was suffocating to death. So noisy that when we asked Eli was Lucas was doing in a picture (he was sleeping), he opened his eyes wide and started mimicking Baby Brudder's squawking gasp... and then explained, "He seeping."

Lucas is so noisy, in fact, that it is impossible to sleep anywhere near him. We've spent the past three weeks trying to figure out a way to get
some sleep. The first two weeks weren't terrible, as we had family in town who took turns with Lucas so that we could take turns getting naps. Then my sister left and we were on our own, and for a few days and nights we simply did not sleep. Lucas was waking himself up constantly, squirming awake with what I assume were tummy pains. We tried sleeping on the couch with him in his bouncer, him in his swing, holding him on the couch, holding him in the recliner... you get the picture. But where as with Eli we could at least sleep while he was sleeping, Lucas kept us awake with his crazy noises. After getting just a few hours of sleep over three days' time, I was a complete wreck and sat sobbing on the kitchen floor, desperate for some rest. I was literally crying out to the Lord for help.

And then, as always, God answered. Two nights ago, as I considered the sleepless hours before me, I decided to just try putting him in his room. I knew he wouldn't stay asleep for long, but thought that I might at least get a twenty minutes catnap out of it. I swaddled him tight and put him in his bouncer, turned the monitor on low, and crawled in bed next to my husband for the first time in days. I was shocked and a little worried when I woke up an hour later and he was still sleeping! I hurried to check on him and found him peacefully snoring and chirping away. Hallelujah!

So for the past two days, Lucas has been sleeping for about two hours at a time in his room at night. Yesterday he actually took a two-hour nap
in his crib. Victory!! It is amazing what those little bits of sleep do for me. I know from experience that babies are sneaky and like to trick us poor parents with their sleep habits, but I don't care. This is one tired mama who is going to take whatever she can get.