Roller Coaster (36w3d)

Poor Paul. I’m having a rough week, so he’s having a rough week.

I assume it’s the pregnancy hormones that are responsible for this. But I’m crying at the drop of a hat. Not at Hallmark commercials or anything (although I did cry at the end of Deadliest Catch this evening.) I just am feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of the changes that are coming towards us. It’s making me cry, a lot, and I don’t like it.

I know Paul and I will be good parents. It’s not that. I know we can care for this baby. I know we’ll be able to handle the upcoming sleepless nights. I know we’ll find a stride with eating, sleeping, & pooping ad nauseum. We’ll get the hang of swaddling. We have diapers (cloth and disposable in newborn sizes) and clothes and dinners for us in our freezer. We’re as ready as we can be on that front.

It’s just…. there’s a lot riding on me these days. My physical endurance and ability to hold my proverbial shit together for another couple of days makes a huge difference in how the first days and weeks of my child’s life will go. My ability to breastfeed him will make a huge difference in his first hours/days/months, and in our finances for the foreseeable future. (The thought of paying for formula strikes fear into my heart – let alone the fact that I don’t want to give my baby formula to begin with.) I’m pushing myself to put up full-time hours at work to keep from burning my paid leave, to keep earning paid leave & benefits at a full-time rate, and to keep bringing home full-time checks. We’re doing OK financially, but not as OK as we were. This was known and expected, it’s just hard to feel the creeping slide. The buck literally and figuratively stops with me in my personal and professional life and I’m feeling the pressure of it more acutely than usual.

I’m a planner. I’m a do-er. Everyone turns to me because I’m usually right, and I do things very well. And for the most part, this works for me. I’m an overbearing bitch by default, so my take-charge attitude serves me well for the most part. But the flip side to this means that I’m lousy at “letting go” and letting other people do things. I’m used to making sure stuff gets done. So these last few weeks of being told to stop doing so much and let others do things and “go with the flow” and “just let it happen” has been making me crazy. For some people, this sounds like a vacation. For me? It’s akin to torture. (Yes, I’m sure this is indicative of some sort of trust issues that I need to work through or something.) But knowing that I’m in control of very little about my body and my mind these days is a very bitter pill for someone like me to swallow. Knowing that come Sunday evening, I will have no control over anything, that I’ll be at the mercy of IVs and Drugs and Doctors.

And then the wild and amazing world of parenthood awaits. I’m happy and excited to be riding this particular roller coaster with Paul at my side… but it’s like that coaster that you *know* you wanted to ride, and everyone says is TEH BEST THING EVAR – but it doesn’t make you question your sanity for wanting to ride it any less as you clank-clank-clank up that first huge hill, and it doesn’t make it any less scary as you tip over the top and all you can see is sky before the track comes up at you again and you’re off on the most thrilling, exciting ride you’ve ever taken.

Paul and I stood in line for a long-ass time to get on this ride. But this first hill is a doozy, and I’m freaking out a little bit. So pardon me if I scream on the way down. I’m sure I’ll be laughing by the first turn – but until then, the anticipation of what’s over that first hill is a little scary.

3 thoughts on “Roller Coaster (36w3d)

  1. Because you are worried and concerned, you both will be great. I would be worried if you thought all of this was a piece of cake. You will be a great mom and Paul will be a great dad. No one knows what the future holds! Your son is very lucky to have parents like you two!!

  2. All of that was perfectly said!! I am the same way when it comes to being in control… I pay all the bills for us and the roommates and honestly its a good thing I do because if I wasn’t here the place would fall apart. Its a lot of stress, the newborn and the taking care of things. I couldn’t stop and I doubt you can either, so all I can say is hang in there and keep breathing. Deep cleansing breathes do wonders :)

    And about the breastfeeding – you can do it! – but don’t beat yourself up about it if you have trouble. You know I was having major latch issues…his doc told me I needed to supplement with formula because he was losing too much weight….I seriously felt like a complete failure as a parent. I know how much better BF is, so I started pumping my colostrum until my milk came in, then I bottle fed my milk until I could get him to not be terrified of my boobs (they are like three times the size of his head or something). Anyways, all that to say that we are currently 30 hours without formula and he is breastfeeding directly from me (with nipple shields and lots of patience and long feedings, but totally worth it)! It was a looonng week to get here, and honestly the LC had good advice but poor execution – I took her advice and made it fit with us. I am sure you’ll do the same, just don’t give up. Remember that babies are made to fit with mommy sometimes they just need help.

  3. Hey, Deadliest Catch can be terribly emotional! And sorry, yes, I did breastfeed both of my kids, but making a huge difference in their start out in life? Sorry, I don’t buy that. Yes, it is less expensive and yes, it is what you want in an ideal situation. But I wasn’t breastfed, my parents were teenagers who were poorer than poor – and I think I turned out just fine!

    I am a planner too. Being out of control is terrifying. Hang in there, you guys will be naturals.

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