(Note: I started this on Monday. Pickle is five weeks today.)
Pickle turned four weeks on Friday. We have had several (mostly) of long nights filled with short bursts of sleep — no more than two hours at a stretch though he'll sleep for hours during the day (in full light, in the living room, in a bouncy chair). The deprivation wreaks havoc with my already fragile state of mind. I've had more than a few mornings with spontaneous tears.
Until today, Bama was unaffected by them. Today, as Pickle howled, Bama started to cry, then I burst into tears. Sad, sad, sad. Today's episode was influenced by mastitis. On Saturday, I thought I'd busted a stitch on my c-section incision (I had, though it is fine). Plus, I was achy. Mister urged me to call Dr. O, so I did. I got to see him that afternoon (post-meeting with yet another mamas organization in lower Manhattan, this time accompanied by Savbot, Zobot's sister and another of my cousins! and her son, He Who Has Yet to Find a Nickname.
There's a lot going on, and a lot of nothing going on. I mentioned my hot lumpy breast to my doctor, ever the professional, he even put on his scrubs despite the weekend. Mastitis. I never had it with Bama, but I'm tired, sloppier with Pickle. It was largely cleared up by yesterday morning, back today. We made it out of the house for storytime (with Savbot and the dude) and home for lunch. Maybe I pushed myself a bit, after all, yesterday, instead of napping, I schlepped downtown, near the Brooklyn Bridge, to pick up a bunting for Pickle. It took us nearly two hours round-trip.
The tears are baby blues and something else — lack of food, lack of sleep, spontaneous combustion.
It's both a relief and a drag that as everything starts to crumble, I can step outside of myself and see what's going wrong like I'm watching someone else. I can hear myself saying No to Bama over reasonable requests (we try not to do the No No NO thing, but to steer her towards a yes. Maybe this sounds absurd, but it's easy to say no when it should be easy to say yes and let her explore and learn, even if I'm sure it'll end badly. Firm no's: knives, for example.) I feel worse because I can hear the parent that I'm not step in. It's a relief because as I hear the No's take over, or my tone become sharp, I can stop that behavior that I don't like. I can tell my little girl to come sit with me, I can apologize, and I can make things right.
This week has been, overall, great. I'm exhausted, don't get me wrong. There's no extra sleep going on here. But, we've seen our cousins almost every day and Bama likes playing with the her buddy. Yesterday, we had fun at our music and art class. We made it almost on time, chatted with other parents and caretakers, and made some great art. Today, Savbot, Zobot, the musician, and the buddy went to the museum for the morning. Bama came back dazed and happy with a flyer about butterflies in her hand. She sacked out for 3.5 hours. I ran errands while she was gone and while she was napping because … Nana's here! A little extra help. Friends from California have called or emailed (and a few have sent dinner — thank you !!).
I don't doubt I have a bit of the blues, but they are the kind of blues that a little exercise, a little love, a little quiet chase away. And, I think it's okay to be a bit blue — I don't embrace it, I don't wish tears on anyone else, but it would be silly to pretend like having a baby is easy and juggling the two is easy. It's tricky. It'll get better, but I'm pretty sure I have a few more tears coming to me.