Life

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Lot’s On Mommy’s Plate

Published November 1, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

Be forewarned: This blog has nothing to do with Bri and everything to do with me and feeling overwhelmed by life. Feel free to skip it.

 

Let me just start by saying, today my nephew had his second heart surgery, and he came through it like the little Champion he is! I’m so happy that his second surgery went well, and hope to be able to hold him again soon. Team Toby all the way! Again, my brother and sister-in-law are handling this a lot better than I think I ever could…I’m having a hard enough time handling it, and I’m the Auntie, not the Mommy or the Daddy. I cried on the way to the hospital today and cried on the way home…Toby may only be four months old, but he’s captured a lot of people’s hearts, and he’s got Auntie Jessie wrapped around his little finger. If my stress and anxiety for him are this high, I imagine if I multiplied it by a million, I may be 50% closer to what Toby’s mom and dad must be feeling. Prayers and love to all of them, and to Toby’s brother and sister as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, don’t think poorly of me when I go on to talk about other stresses in my life right now. I’m not complaining so much as unloading. And I’m unloading via my blog instead of talking to someone about it because every time I start talking about it, I end up either bawling my eyes out or shutting my emotions down completely, and neither one is helping me feel better about anything or leach all these bad things out of my system so I can start to feel like I’m not drowning anymore.

This miscarriage thing is hard. Really hard. And I keep trying to act like everything is getting better, but it’s not. I keep having nightmares about it, and dreaming about a newborn baby crying that I can’t find. It cries and cries, and I look and look, and I can’t find it. I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl or if it’s mine or if it belongs to someone else…all I know is that the baby needs someone to find it, and I can’t, I keep failing. I wake up feeling more exhausted than when I went to sleep, and my heart is heavy. It doesn’t make sense for it to hurt so much. How can I miss something I never had?

I wanted to get counseling, but my insurance (OH, MY INSURANCE….more on that in a minute) has me listed as having a preexisting condition” because of me seeking counseling before, so I am not eligible for any treatment for depression until March. “Oh, you were depressed before…you’ll have to wait 6 months to get treated for that. Good luck in the meantime!” Thanks, guys.

In other crappy news, I got my insurance card in August and was told my insurance would be effective in September. Then, just after I went to the doctor for the blood test to find out if I was indeed having a miscarriage (they wanted to check myย  hormone levels), I get a letter stating that I am no longer eligible for insurance as of September. It said something about Cobra, and I thought it was a letter saying I wasn’t qualified for Cobra anymore because of becoming eligible for insurance through my job, so I set it aside and forgot about it. (It was a very confusing letter, but I thought I had it deciphered…) Turns out, I was wrong, because I got a statement from the insurance company today stating that I owed my doctor 76 dollars for the blood work, because I wasn’t covered at the time of services.

What the flipping heck?!

And in keeping with the twisted sense of humor that the universe seems to employ at times like these, I got the letter on a Friday and thus can’t call and yell at anyone until Monday. By which time my fiery indignation will have turned to polite worry, and I’ll probably be given ten different phone numbers to call and not get anything accomplished.

I’m most worried about Briana’s insurance, because she’s on Molina right now and Molina’s contract with her pediatrician is ending starting in January. We LOVE Dr. Stephens and don’t want to lose him as her provider. I wasn’t worried about it before because he’s on the Blue Cross network. Now, I have to scramble around like a crazy person to get her insurance switched if this insurance thing with my work doesn’t get straightened out. Thanks for the added stress, work. I really needed this right now.

We got our final bill for the apartment since we broke our lease, and lets just say I hope someone rents it soon, because if not my credit history is SCREWED. I could buy a used car for the amount they’re saying we’ll have to pay if no one rents it until May when our lease would have been up.

David is still sick and still not working and, I’ll be honest, that’s THE SINGLE MOST STRESSFUL thing going on in my life right now. This financial situation that we’re in, to put it succinctly, sucks, and our hole keeps getting deeper instead of getting smaller. If David went back to work, my life would feel so much more manageable right now, and I can’t help feeling a little resentful toward him about that. And I feel like a terrible wife for saying that, because he’s sick and needs my support and needs to be able to lean on me right now. God knows I’ve leaned on him in the past. But the problem with him leaning on me right now is that I feel about as strong as a blade of grass that’s brown and dying of thirst. Between the miscarriage and stress over money and my depression and feeling like a novice juggler trying to keep 100 balls in the air at once…I’m spent, physically and emotionally.

I no longer feel as if my head is going to explode…I still feel like I’m drowning, and I still feel sad and anxious and depressed and angry. But at least I won’t explode.

 

For those of you who read through this entire whiny melodramatic blog, I apologize sincerely. I’ll try to be better from now on. Just keep swimming, eh? I also promise a Bri Blog soon…one of the last ones for the MisAdventures blog!

An Overwhelmed Mommy

 

The Ongoing Tornado That is My Life

Published September 22, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

I was looking around our somewhat tiny apartment last night, thinking about our previous apartment with it’s beautiful open floor plan, high ceilings, spacious kitchen, utility room, and third bedroom. Moving out of our old apartment complex and into this one was incredibly hard. I had dreamed of living in a place that nice for a very long time. Not that our current place is unpalatable or anything…if I had never lived in Wildreed Apartments, I wouldn’t think there was anything wrong with our current apartment at all. But I did live there, and this apartment feels like a definite step down. That being said, it’s still our apartment with our rules, our belongings, and our space. And now we have to let this apartment go as well.

David has been on medical leave since July. I’ve been trying not to really get into it, because it’s not really something I’m prepared to share details about, but I can no longer keep it off of my blog, because it’s really affecting our lives in a major way. Since he is unable to work for the foreseeable future, and we have run through all of his vacation pay and have yet to see a cent from his short term disability pay, and I make much less money than he does and only work 30 hours a week…we’re worse than broke. We’re in the hole.

(And let me head off all of the “well then why did you go to Disney World” questions with a couple of statements: a) we finished paying for that long before David went on leave and the food and hotel and transportation are all included in what we paid for, so we literally spent less than 100 dollars the entire week we were there, b) the doctor said she thought it would be a good thing for David to take this trip, and c) I looked into canceling the trip, and we would have lost so much money by the time we knew we were in a bind that it wouldn’t have made a difference…the plane tickets were non-refundable, and that was 1000 dollars I wasn’t willing to lose, add in the penalties for canceling so close to the trip and I just felt it wasn’t worth it. Oh, and let’s not forget that even if we hadn’t gone on the trip, and gotten what little money back that we could, it wouldn’t make a difference: we’d still be losing the apartment.)

We are moving in with my in-laws.

I love my husbands family, and I love that they love us enough to help us out right now when we really have no other options. I’m extremely grateful. And incredibly depressed. We lived with my in-laws before when we were just starting out, and I learned something about myself that I hadn’t ever really realized before: I’m an incredibly independent person who bristles at depending on someone other than my husband and myself for food and shelter. I’m sure that I’m not alone in that.

Even setting that aside, moving back in with them, even temporarily, feels like such a step back in our life journey. I hate that we have a child and we’re having to move back in with my husbands folks. It feels like we’re failing our daughter in such a fundamental necessity: provide her with shelter. We won’t be providing the shelter anymore. And while in the long run, who provides the shelter isn’t anywhere near as important as the fact that she HAS shelter, doesn’t make it feel any better.

This is supposed to be extremely temporary: ideally 6 months, and no longer than 8 months…TOPS. Just long enough for David to get back on his feet and back to work, and then we’ll find our own place again, sans roommate this time, and actually, for the first time since six months into our marriage, have a place that is just ours – just my husband, myself, and my daughter.

I’m feeling wary about moving back in there for other reasons, too. I’m worried there will be clashes about parenting stuff. I’m incredibly insecure, in a lot of areas of my life, but one thing I stand firm on is what I want for Briana, and what I don’t want. Moving in with her grandparents is going to be hard, because I’m worried there will be disagreements, and I don’t want it to turn into a battle or anything. Before, it was just me and David. I’m not sure how adding Briana in is going to change the dynamic of us living there, or if it will at all. I’m a worrier…so even though I know I shouldn’t create trouble where there might be none at all, I’m worried anyway!

Anyway. I’m trying to look at this as an opportunity to not only catch up, but to pay off some of our credit card debt and get our finances in a better place so that we can start saving for a house. We had already decided that this is what we wanted to do before I finally admitted to myself we couldn’t hold onto the apartment any longer. So I’m trying to view it as a stepping stone to being debt free, rather than viewing it as a step back in time. Trying being the keyword there: I haven’t fully convinced myself yet.

Sorry for the long rant. I’ll write a Briana Update Blog soon, I promise.

Defeated Mommy

Mommyhood in Motion

Published July 31, 2013 by jessicalynndunning

My daughter is going through a clingy stage. When I am holding her, she clings to me like I’m going to give her away. She grabs little fistfuls of whatever is handy…my shirt, my hair, my skin…and she holds on for dear life.

As far as I can tell, it’s just with me. She cries when I leave the room. She cries when I set her down. She cries when I put her in the car seat (which is something new, as she’s always been pretty easy with getting into and out of the car seat). She screams if I walk from the living room (where she spends the majority of her time) to the kitchen (which is five feet away) without making sure she comes with me.

I love Briana…but I hope that this stage passes quickly.

I don’t mind holding her, and I love that she wants to spend time with me. But I can’t eat without her wanting into my lap or crawling up my leg, and I can’t take three seconds to shoot off a text without her trying to grab my phone or screaming because I’m not holding her. She doesn’t do this to David, mind you, it’s just me!

Does it make me a bad mom that today I was basically telling David to keep her away from me, so I could have five minutes of non-squirmy-wiggly-wants-my-attention-baby time?

It’s mentally exhausting, not to mention physically. She’s no newborn anymore! She’s heavy! And long. And squirmy. It’s like wrestling a bag of snakes. A 20 plus pound bag. Of angry snakes. Who wiggle. A lot.

Anyway. She’s a clingy wiggly little girl right now. Aside from that she’s dandy.

She has learned to clap. She says “mama” and “dada.” She says “ba-ba” when she wants a bottle and she says “hi”…sometimes…if she feels like it. She’s learning to wave at people, but is shy about waving to anyone other than mommy or daddy right now.

Bri likes to throw things right now. Especially noisy things. She picks up a noisy toy, bangs it on the floor (or couch) and then throws it on the floor. Then she bends down and picks it up and repeats the process. It’s very cute! And noisy. Did I say noisy already?

She has gotten quite vocal in the past couple of weeks. She’s always been vocal, but it’s constant babbling now, in her own personal made-up language. I hear that’s precursor to starting to talk, and I swear I’m hearing real words mixed up in there sometimes, but she babbles so constantly that I can’t always catch and identify it in time to make a big deal out of it and encourage her to use the word again.

Another way she has gotten vocal is to scream, very loudly, any time you take anything away that she wants. Especially mommy or daddy’s keys. That’s a big deal, apparently. So I’ve learned that if I have to leave the house, drive, get the mail, or anything else that requires keys in the next six hours or so, it’s a good idea to hide the keys from the baby. Otherwise, it’s a capital offense.

For a few weeks, Briana was chowing down on solid food. She was seriously eating (pretty much) four full servings of food at each sitting, three times a day…Well, three at breakfast. Cereal, fruit, and yogurt at breakfast, then a meat, veggie, fruit, and yogurt for lunch and dinner. She wasn’t gaining a huge amount of weight, so I just figured she was about to have a growth spurt or that she had a fast metabolism or something.

In the last few days, however, that’s changed. She eats maybe two full containers, combined, of the same mix. (Cereal, fruit, yogurt for breakfast, some sort of meat, veggie, fruit, yogurt for lunch and dinner.) It’s a big reduction in her food intake, and I was worried at first, but she is still eating all her bottles, so maybe she is just done with her growth spurt or whatever it was that was requiring her to eat a four course meal for every meal? I’m going to mention it to her doctor on Monday, but at this point I’m honestlyย  not really concerned. It could even be that we’re just paying more attention to her cues, and realizing she is full and/or done with what we’re offering, whereas before we weren’t paying attention? I don’t know. Either way, she’s eating way less solid food now.

Briana likes Ritz crackers and cheerios. And apple juice. Let’s not forget the apple juice. We’re only giving her a tiny bit at a time, to encourage her to learn how to use her sippy cup. I’ve tried giving her formula in a sippy cup with no luck. I’d really like her to be done with bottles sooner rather than later (like on or before her first birthday, really). Does anyone have any tips? (Again, I’ll be asking her doctor on Monday at her nine month check up, but it never hurts to get an opinion from the general public either.)

I think Briana is going to walk soon. She really only holds onto the furniture very lightly now, for balance, and I’ve seen her stand unsupported for a second or two at a time, almost like she doesn’t realize she’s doing it. She’s reaching from one piece of the furniture to another and “transferring” to that other piece as well, turning almost all the way around to do it. I’m not saying she’s going to walk tomorrow, but I do think she’ll probably walk before her first birthday.

It amazes me that 9 months ago, she was a precious little bundle in a pink swaddling blanket who couldn’t even roll all the way over. How quickly our babies grow and learn!

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Briana grew out of her infant carrier. Finally! (I say finally because everyone warned us that infant carriers were a “waste of money” because we would only get about 3 months of use out of it.” Considering Briana turns 9 months in five days, and we just now had to buy a new seat, I’d say we did considerably better than people were saying we would.

I was hoping to buy a really nice Graco brand model that I had found online, but Briana kind of snuck up on the weight limit without me noticing it, and I weighed her and panicked because she needed a new seat now. Since I didn’t have $300 lying around to buy the one I wanted, I had to go and shop around a bit and see what I could find. I ended up buying a Safety First Alpha 65 model. I talked to the employee at the store about all the different models and which ones were best, and which ones to avoid. I would have loved to get a Britax seat, but the price was again, out of my range.

I wasn’t thrilled (at first) with my choice, but that was purely based on the fact it wasn’t the one I had originally chosen. I tend to choose something and then get stuck on it, even if I find one that works just as well. Once I got it home and started playing with it and working with it and adjusting the straps and such, I realized it’s actually easier to use than the model I had originally chosen…and just as safe!

We installed it today. We let Bri test it in the living room first.

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Doesn’t she just look adorable? Anyway, that’s the seat. I actually really like it. And the pattern reminds me of fireworks, which is cute! And it’s a 3 in 1. So I can keep her rear-facing up to 40 pounds, and then forward facing up to 65 pounds. And then it changes into a seatbelt positioning booster seat, and can be used up to 100 pounds or until she gets too tall for it (or until she can safely sit in the seat without it)!

We still need to buy a seat for David’s car, which will probably end up being the seat that get’s left with babysitters and family and such when we drop her off somewhere, because there is no way I’m taking my car seat in and out every day when I go to work. It’s easy to install, but not that easy, and there’s no way I can do it while juggling Briana. So we need at least one more seat.
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We’ll probably go with a Cosco or a cheaper version of what we already have. The person I spoke with at the store assured me (or rather reassured me, since I already knew) that all car seats are subject to the same federal regulations, and that while some models (like Britax) go above and beyond, even the 50 dollar seats will keep my precious baby girl safe in the horrible event that we get into a car crash with her in the car.
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Honestly, I’m hoping to make it back into the store tomorrow to just buy the same exact model…it’s on sale right now – $30 off! Woot. A steal.
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This blog is getting a bit long. I only mentioned the car seat at all because I wanted to share that it was sort of sad, taking her infant car seat base out of the car and installing her “big girl” car seat. It was concrete proof that Briana really is growing and changing with every passing moment, and I’ll never get those days back. And while David and I plan on having more children, I will never again be a “first time mom.”
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Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing, but putting the larger seat in the car felt like a big moment in my Mommy Journey. Briana is turning 9 months old on Monday, and then it will only be three months until she is a year old.
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I was planning on writing this blog until she was a year old, and then changing the name or starting a new blog, since obviously I won’t really be able to claim “new mom” status after my baby turns a year old. Plus, in the future, when I have more babies, having a blog with the url “brianasmommy.wordpress.com” may upset my future youngins. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Anyway. My point is…life is ever changing and passing by unbelievably fast. I’m going to have to work hard to keep up.
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Relishing my Quickly Passing “New Mom” Status

I must need to work out or something.

Published December 13, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

Briana is growing so much every day! Late last night, as I was walking around the apartment with her (because she decided to revert to not sleeping at night last night for some reason, and was awake from 1:30 to 4:30), my arms were getting awfully tired, and my back started to hurt, and I actually had to put her down because I was getting sore. So either she has gained a lot of weight in a short period of time, or I need to start working out and stop being such a weakling. ๐Ÿ™‚

There are things no one thinks to warn you about before you bring your baby home from the hospital with you…like how heavy everything is that you are suddenly required to be carrying with you everywhere you go. Between the car seat/infant carrier, diaper bag, and baby, I feel like I suddenly need a lot more muscle than I used to. Carrying a purse with a wallet, cell phone, and a paperback book inside doesn’t exactly require you to be Wonder Woman.

It’s not really so bad when David comes along with me, because he usually carries the baby carrier and, a lot of times, the diaper bag as well. Being by myself presents challenges though. I usually have to use both hands to carry Briana in her car seat, and carrying her upstairs to our apartment on the second floor leaves me breathless. Forget bringing up groceries and the baby. I don’t go shopping unless I have help anymore. I don’t know how single moms juggle everything on their own, because some days I feel like I can barely cope, and I have a husband! ๐Ÿ™‚

I realize part of the problem (well, okay, all of it) is me. I haven’t worked out since…well, a long time. I quit the gym in the middle of my pregnancy because I was wasting my money – I never had the energy to go. There is a workout center at my apartment complex, but I haven’t made my way over there yet. I have my six week postpartum checkup on Monday, so after that I will have no excuses for not whipping my sorry butt back into shape. I have eleven pounds to lose before I am at my pre-pregnancy weight, but I would like to lose those eleven pounds plus…twenty more. That would be good. That would be amazing!

Anyway. This coming Tuesday I will be forced to finally be brave enough to leave my girl with her grandparents. David got me tickets to see the Nutcracker by the Pacific Northwest Ballet at McCaw Hall! I have been wanting to see it for years – ever since I missed my 4th grade class field trip to go see it. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I said to go see the Nutcracker. I thought he would say we couldn’t afford it, but he bought me tickets! Woo hoo! So exciting.

I’m nervous about leaving her, but I know that she’ll be okay, and I also know that I’ll really enjoy seeing the ballet. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for 15 years. So there’s some incentive for me to get out of the house and leave Briana for a couple of hours. ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ll see how this goes.

Excited New Mommy

 

 

Figuring out Christmas with baby…

Published December 12, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

How big of a deal should one make of Christmas when baby is too young to understand? Briana isn’t into toys yet, and although I’ve read her a couple of stories, she’s obviously too young to really pay attention to anything but my voice. She doesn’t need clothes or blankets or anything like that…she’s pretty well set. My in-laws purchased a baby swing for her and gave it to us early, and she seems to really like it – it puts her straight to sleep, anyway. We’re really greatful…except now I have no idea what to get her from us, or if we should get anything at all.

It’s her first Christmas, and I don’t want to ignore it completely. But I don’t know what to do for her either. I guess I could buy her some toys that are for babies a bit older, and wrap them up for her and put them under the tree. But I still feel like I should give her something that she can use now…as ridiculous and silly as that is. She won’t know the difference, but I will.

Anyway. David and I bought her a stocking yesterday, and it’s hanging up on the mantle above the fireplace with our stockings. The little artificial tree we bought is up and decorated. Aside from the fact that my apartment looks like a tornado ripped through it, we’re ready for Christmas to arrive. Maybe I’ll actually have time to clean tomorrow. I hate it when the apartment is a mess, but Briana takes up a lot of time and energy, and I’ve been feeling too depressed to worry about the mess anyway.

I’ve been trying to be more cheerful the past couple of days, but I feel like I’m mostly pretending. The only time I’m not really pretending is when I’m smiling at my baby girl and making faces at her and talking to her. She makes me happy. I just wish I could shake the gloomy feelings the rest of the time.

David keeps pushing me to leave Briana with his parents for a couple of hours so that we can go out on a date. Dinner and a movie or something. We were actually going to go on Sunday, but David got sick, so we didn’t. I haven’t been able to make myself leave her even for a few minutes to run out to the store. It’s kind of silly I guess – she’s more than a month old. I keep finding excuses not to leave the apartment without her, or just not to go myself. But she’s so little and helpless. I keep thinking “What ifย  she needs me while I’m gone?”

I have to do it eventually…and I better do it soon, because I have to go back to work on January 28th, and I really don’t want the first time I leave her to be the day I go back to work. I don’t think I’d function very well at work if that was the case. ๐Ÿ™‚

Maybe tomorrow I’ll make myself run up to the store for just a couple minutes. We’ll see if I actually do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Silly New Mommy

 

“So much baby stuff!!”

Published November 29, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

David and I were sitting in the living room tonight, with Briana sleeping in her little rocker thing, and David started shifting around because he was sitting on something. He reached around and pulled out a burp cloth. Then he reached around the other side and found a receiving blanket, and behind him, a baby bottle. He put on his best “woe is me, I’m being dramatic” voice, and said “SO much BABY stuff!”

Our apartment really has been taken over by baby items. And every time I clean up one mess, ten more develop, so it’s not that we’re slobs, it just seems like her stuff keeps taking over every location not dedicated to something else in our space! I keep finding burp cloths in the weirdest places. In our bed, under our bed, in between couch cushions, on the floor in random places…they multiply! And bottles do the same thing, although they don’t usually end up under our bed, in our bed, or in random places on the floor. They’re just multiplying in the living room and kitchen. Good grief! Our life has been taken over by baby supplies! ๐Ÿ™‚

Briana is totally worth it, however, so I’m not too worried. Last night was not quite as rough as the night before, but was still pretty difficult. She just wouldn’t stay asleep. She was quieter about it though. She just didn’t like being put in her bassinet. She would sleep if I was holding her. People keep warning me about “spoiling” her by holding her while she sleeps too much, but according to the pediatrician (and What To Expect The First Year), that’s not true for an infant so young. In fact, both the doctor and the book say that the more quickly you respond to your infant when they are this young, the more secure and independent your baby will be when she gets a little older. So we’ll see.

I’ve been trying to comfort her without actually picking her up out of her bassinet to see if she would go back to sleep without all the jostle and movement of me picking her up. It would work for a minute or two, but in the end, she always wanted to be held. I am wondering if she is cold, because our room can get kind of chilly at night. We have her wrapped in receiving blankets, but she wiggles her way out of those with all of her kicking and arm waving and wriggling around. We bought some warmer pajamas for her yesterday, so we’ll see if those help at all tonight. (It seems unlikely that this is why she keeps fussing, but I’ll try anything at this point. :))

This morning she kept spitting up. A lot. She threw up on me several times in the wee hours of the morning, and then, as I was rocking her this morning when David was getting ready for work, she spit up all over my hands, arms, shirt, and the freakin’ sheets on the bed. I swore. Not at her, just because I had hit my spit-up tolerance limit. “Are you freakin’ kidding me?!” David asked me what was wrong from the other room. He came in and found me basically sitting in a puddle of spit-up, near tears, and yet again exhausted from a night with no sleep. He assessed the situation. He picked up the phone. And he called in to work and told them he needed to stay home. Then he took Briana, changed her diaper and her outfit, told me to get something to eat, and then to go to bed.

I felt guilty about him missing work, but I was too tired to argue. I ate a (highly nutritious :)) bowl of Rice Krispies, changed pajamas, and crawled into David’s side of the bed, since my side was gross and wet, and fell straight to sleep. I was too tired to change the sheets (although that will be happening before bed tonight). I slept until 2:30, and I only woke up because my boobs were saying “hey stupid, you need to pump.” Ahhh….Glorious sleep…followed by being a milk cow. (Feels like that some days anyway!) My husband is the best. I feel much refreshed by the equivalent of a full nights sleep (or close to one anyway), and plan on getting another nap after I post the blog. So hopefully tonight will be easier.

I read Briana a story today for the first time.ย Bear Snores On. It’s a cute one. I know she doesn’t understand the story, but she sat there in my arms and stared up at my face while I read it to her, listening to my voice. She looked very content and sleepy, and like she felt safe and happy, and that made my heart happy. She makes my heart happy, no doubt about it. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful little baby, even if she does keep me up all night. My husband is a blessing, too…I don’t think I would have made it through today if he hadn’t stayed home. Not without hysterical bouts of sobbing brought on by total exhaustion anyway.

One day at a time…

Still a Tired New Mommy

We were trying to get a good picture of her in her cute Minnie outfit, but she didn’t feel like having her picture taken…

Bring on the night shift…

Published November 27, 2012 by jessicalynndunning

Briana has her days and nights mixed up…that’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a stretch (during the day) that she is sleeping for four to six hours at a time. So if we can just try to move that stretch to say…1AM to 5, 6, or 7AM, I would be a happy camper!

The nights are the most frustrating for me. During the day it is adorable when she is awake and making faces at me and making noise and fighting sleep. At night, all I want to do is catch some much needed sleep, and the same things that were so cute during the day become pull-out-my-hair frustrating at night, especially since her favorite noise at night is an ear piercing shriek instead of cute little sighs and grunts and coos. I usually do okay with it until about four, when I become so absolutely exhausted that I run out of patience.

Of course, I have been pretty bad about taking naps during the day, especially if David is at work. There is so much stuff to get done…dishes piled up in the sink and laundry to do (especially Briana’s since she is the master of spit-up and the occasional diaper mishap), and bottles in need of washing seem to multiply every time I turn around. Then, just when I get a few things done and think “Okay, I will take that nap now,” Briana wakes up and needs to be fed or changed, or just wants to be cuddled. I don’t mind taking care of these things for her at all – it’s what I signed up for when I became a parent, and I love taking care of her. It does leave one exhausted though, when the night shift rolls around, and your hubby has to be able to function at work the next day, so it’s all on you.

So today, I decided I need to take better care of myself, so that I can have more patience with her at night. She took a four hour nap today, so I took a four hour nap today. David is home from work, and we have eaten dinner, so he is on baby duty, and as soon as I am done with this blog, I am on sleep duty. I can’t be a good mommy to my baby girl if all I am focused on at night is how much I want her to be quiet. The same will be true, I am sure, but at least I won’t be as exhausted, and I can take a bit more joy out of holding her, even when she is screaming and fussing.

Briana and I swayed and rocked and sang and danced our way through last night, rather than both of us crying and getting super frustrated with each other. Since I was more aware (read: had gotten more rest), I was better able to tell what it was that she really wanted, so she spent less time screaming and more just squirming around to get a better view of mommy, or the light, or a random place on the wall. She was just kind of taking it all in…unless I set her down. Then she was screaming again. Not much of a view from her bassinet, I guess.

Was I still exhausted this morning? You bet. But at least I wasn’t in tears. And that makes all the difference.

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