The last six weeks has been hard. Don't get me wrong, I love being home, having the excuse that I can't drive anywhere, enjoying the quiet. I just feel terrible for my little boy who gets out on the back burner every time I have to feed my baby girl. A (my son) is an awesome kid and he plays so well by himself which is great but we get cooped up inside because I can't see him from inside (and the mosquitos are the worst, you can barely stand outside). He's a trooper and he puts up with me. When B (my newborn) sleeps, I try to devote my time to him. We read, play trains, cuddle and watch movies, he helps me cook (he loves to stir anything!). I got a good one!!
Besides my struggle with balancing time between two kids, I'm struggling with my recovery, my body, breastfeeding. Recovery is actually going really well but my muscles still hurt so much, I thought they'd be so much better by now but I did read that it takes months for some people and less time for other people. That's the least of my struggles right now.
I struggle with my body. I believe this is normal, especially after having a baby.
My belly hangs down.
I have stretch marks where I didn't know you could get stretch marks.
My boobs hurt and sag.
My excess-ness just really bothers me right now. I don't know if I had a bad day - I did see my sister-in-law yesterday who also had a baby recently and she looks like a model!
Anyway, body issues have been an issue for me since my son was born. It's hard to feel motivated to get better. I just have to do it and I tell myself that I will but I'm finding myself tired. Not just lack of sleep tired but all around physically, mentally, emotionally tired. I'd rather just crawl into bed until someone - usually A - wakes me up to do my next task.
Next, my struggle with breastfeeding. Let's see if I can get through this without crying.
With A, I exclusively breastfed for two months because he wasn't gaining any weight. It was hard because he ate well, slept well, wasn't fussy at all so I thought that I was enough for him. Uh oh, here come the tears. The moment the doctor said, "You'll have to switch to formula," I immediately broke down into tears. Thank goodness my husband was in the room with me so he could take A and hand me Kleenex. I was devastated because in my mind, there are moms in Africa who can feed their babies, I should be able to do the same! I desperately wanted my body to do what it was supposed to do but my poor baby, although he was eating, wasn't turning into the little chubby baby he was supposed to. He was long and lean and wasn't changing much from that. Once we switched to formula, he did gain weight and although I was happy, I was hurt inside. My body failed me.
Now, I have B. We/I decided that we would breastfeed and use formula when needed. We wouldn't be against it from the start like I was before. B is slowly gaining weight but everyone - and I mean everyone - comments on how small she is. Some try to reassure me and say she's getting big but I'm feeling like it's going to be a replay of A all over again. It wouldn't be bad but I desperately wanted things to be different this time.
I don't like not being in control. I don't like not know what is going to happen in my life. I'm a type-A control freak (I'm not crazy though). This situation breaks me. Over and over again. It's hard being a mom when all I want to do is what is considered "normal".
With this change comes the feeling of being judged by others. Thank goodness there's more awareness of the issue and more moms are saying that it's not a big deal but there's always that one - usually old) lady who will make a comment like, "Oh you're formula feeding? Didn't you want to breastfeed?" I don't get why people ask if I'm nursing my baby. What's the difference to you, a perfect stranger, someone who I'm not in contact with every day. I don't get why they want to know or even care. I'm not going to lie, I was probably a bit judgy until I was in the situation myself but since then, I have realized that there are all kinds of situations, almost none are the same.
Every mom is going through something different and have different insecurities and different opinions. What is right? What is wrong? The answer: every situation becomes that mom's normal. What works for one may not work for another. So the best answer to anyone wondering is this: "We're doing what's best for our family."
So whatever happens with B, whether we continue what we're doing to steer in another direction, "We are doing what's best for our family."
Take care, friends!