Saturday, March 27, 2010

The why me complex

Does anyone else have the feeling that the universe is constantly trying to kick them in the teeth? Or is that just me?

My friend Ellen assures me that God has many more important things to do than spend a day trying to make me miserable, and yet when I'm having one of those days where everything is going wrong, where does my mind go? To the pity party that is 'God hates me.' (Sorry all my religious friends, I'm sure this column is not for you)

Logically I know it's not true. The universe and God do not spend their days watching over my particular puny life and tripping me. But when you have a day where the baby woke at 6 and never went to sleep again, the triplets are tantruming, the car battery is dead, the bills are overdue and the oven wont turn on, why, oh why do I have to trip as I'm coming downstairs? It's just another kick in the teeth and it's the one that makes me bawl like a baby. Truly I deserve a break. I am overwhelmed, overtired and over it.

What about the theory that you reap what you sow and so, in theory, if my life is full of crap I must be putting crap out there? Well my blog posts would probably make it seem like all I do is complain so perhaps it is my fault that everything is going wrong still. Am I supposed to put a smile on and help an old lady across the street in order to not be tripped up constantly by life's pitfalls?

I mean honestly? If there was something I could do to get this baby to sleep during the day and not to scream bloody murder when I'm putting him on the boob to eat? I'd do it 100 times over even if it meant stripping and running down the street yelling "George Bush rocks!" Please God, tell me what I can do to get out of this hole. I am a nice person. I don't need another bruise, another night of no sleep, another crying jag, another plate of brownies to survive. I just need a way out.

So, is it me? Or is it possible that one's life can just be utter crap for a week straight and it's not about the universe trying to screw me? How do you make it through the tough times? I'd love mantras, affirmations and sheer positivity if you think it'll help!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nobody knows....

A lady turned to me in the deli today, while my infant was fussing in his stroller, and said "Oh how I miss those days!" Much to what I imagine was her dismay I said in response "you can have them." Then I realized how I sounded and amended it with "today," so she could understand it was a particularly bad day, not that I never wanted the kid at any time. But how could she forget so easily that 'these days' are regularly horrific? I mean, I admittedly have forgotten exactly why I was miserable when the triplets were infants, probably something having to do with lack of sleep and constant eating, pooping and crying, but I didn't forget that I was miserable. I know I used to overcome the sheer magnitude of the job of packing them all into their car seats, popping them into the triple decker stroller and going for a walk when they wouldn't sleep just so I could have some quiet time in my head, but I also remember thinking how unfair it was that they then got to sleep and I had to walk. I mean how does that really help my sleep deprived state?

So, to take a trip down memory lane, I went back to some posts I made to my triplet friends way back when to see if I was just as miserable as I feel today after a practically sleepless night unaided by a sleepless morning and a nap interrupted by the stupid Fedex guy (timing anyone?) Let's see what I find, oh wait, this sounds familiar:

I'm having a bad day. My babies got their vaccines on tuesday and it's been hell ever since. I have crabby babies who want to eat at random times and cry at the drop of a hat. I mean raelly, the slightest noise. And if one cries the rest follow. I just had a good cry.
Wow, let's try another one, shall we?
Well I've already cried and it's only 7am. The night nanny said it was the worst night ever with them since she started, we've been giving them Mylicon every other feeding and they had horrible gas all night apparently. Don't know what to do next, switch foods or jump off a cliff? So then it's my turn and while they're all peacefully sleeping when she walks out the door, that doesn't last but 30 seconds. DD needs to eat, fine I can handle that, then DS number one starts fussing, then DS number 2 and it all goes to heck because I can't take the time to make anyone completely happy. So they're all crying and fussing and writhing and alternately eating and burping and sitting quietly and at some point I lost my mind and just cried...sigh.
I need a new job.

Ok, well it's clear that I was just as miserable back then. And now I don't get the same sympathy as I had when there were three. I mean, anyone can handle one infant, can't they? I'd just like to see them do it for 5 weeks 24/7 without crying hysterically at some point. I mean no person is any fun 24/7 for 5 weeks straight, especially when you have to do everything for them. I guess I won't be a nurse for the comatose anytime soon. 

You know what's really funny? When I miss the attention I used to get for walking a triplet stroller down the street because everyone passing me has their own stupid baby and mine is nothing unique. At least I used to get sympathy from random strangers. Now they all coo at the baby when I'm at the deli but no one knows I have 3 more at home. No one knows I am not glowing with first baby happiness...

Nobody knows...the trouble I've seen. (imagine deep gospel baritone singing old slave spiritual. I sang this song in high school and I know it shocks you all that I'd remember such a sad and self pitying song but I did.)

Ok, bloggy pity party is coming to an end. I'm going back to read more of my old posts from when the triplets were making me cry helplessly on a daily basis. It's truly interesting. I don't suppose I've grown one stinking iota since then. Sigh.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Have I told you yet that my pediatrician said I could have a drink and not 'pump and dump' yet? Someone explain to me why there is not already a margarita in my hand?

For those of you who don't know what that means there's this idea out there that you have to have your drink and then pump your milk out and dump it so the kid doesn't get any alcohol through the breastmilk right? Now, anyone who has ever had to attach their particularly personal appendages to a machine several times a day for the express (ha ha) purpose of being expressed will understand how completely abhorrent it is to throw any of it away. It's like throwing away money or blood or something. I worked hard to produce that stuff, it is so not being thrown away.

And so, pump and dump was unacceptable. More painful than NOT having a margarita.

But now I get to drink again! Not that I was a big drinker originally, but there's nothing I craved more during pregnancy than a nice cold margarita. Good god, do I still not have one in my hand? What the hell is wrong with this scenario?

This is truly exciting. I'm just going to see how long it takes for my husband to see the benefits of getting a margarita into my hands as soon as possible.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Oh the panic. The panic I feel when I've just fed, changed and burped the infant and instead of being sleepy eyed and relaxed the infant is all "where's the party?" It's intense. You'd think I was watching every piece of chocolate on the planet being destroyed forever, the panic is so bad. Especially at 4 am. After only one night with only 3 hours of sleep almost ended my marriage I realized I have a problem.

An Achilles' heel you might say.

It's lack of sleep. Lack of sleep makes me cry. Like an infant, all curled up in fetal position and snot running out of my nose and blubbering. You might think that I would have crumbled with the triplets and all, because they could triple team me at night, but no. See, back then my dad bankrolled some night nannies for me. Oh yeah baby. I had 7 nights a week of actual sleep while wonderful, beautiful, delightful, insomniac Irish ladies cared for the triplets instead of me.

Ahhhhhhh. That was nice.

This time I am personally bankrolling night coverage three nights a week for this month out of what were the proceeds from the sale of my house 5 years ago. My 'rainy day fund' you might say. No more rainy days than one where I haven't slept is all I'm saying, but it sucks to use the money up. And there are still 4 days left in the week, or rather nights, that are all up to me. Because I'm the boob lady.

Kinda hard to make the husband do the feeding until he starts lactating. And while I'd love to see that, I don't need him to be hormonal too. That might send me over the edge.

But I need to work on this one. Because at the end of the day where I had only had 3 hours of sleep do you know what happened? I survived. Shocking really. I can do it. The world doesn't come to an end. Now, admittedly, my kids suffered a bit. I was crabby, short tempered, impatient, and COMPLETELY intolerant of tantrums. Com. plete. ly. But I didn't beat anyone.

No, really, I didn't. I was homicidal but I restrained myself. Because the only thing worse than lack of sleep? Fully body strip searches with orifices included. You know, like in jail.

Yeah, I coulda used a margarita, but I survived on total exhaustion. And the next night I slept like the dead during the 2-3 hour intervals I was given. I hope no one cried, because I didn't hear it. So, the reality is I have to get over this panic. The world will be ok if I don't sleep. The kid will eventually become more predictable in his sleep patterns, and I will get my 4 to 6 hours of sleep a night like I was getting before he was born. And then, when they're all teenagers? I might even get 7 or 8 hours a night. That will be freakin' awesome. I might even try cleaning my own house.

Anyways, I need therapy on this one. It is hardwired. I LOVE sleep. Love it. I miss it. I miss it like I miss the days I could work in the mall and eat a Cinnabon every day for lunch and still be a size 10 (brilliantly skinny for me so shut up.) I just need to hold tight and realize I will get it back eventually and no one ever died due to lack of sleep caused by infants. I think. And I won't either. Right?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pernicious pitfalls post pregnancy

So, apparently, according to the breast feeding book I just read, I'm supposed to feel inadequate. It's the nature of the job. Because the kid is always growing and demanding more milk and the boobs have to catch up every few weeks, after a day or two of cranky, demanding, pain in the butt baby behavior, then one really is inadequate, food-wise, on a regular basis and there is nothing you can do until the boobs do their catching up.

That's just great.

Because I never felt inadequate before. Oh no. I haven't spent my whole frickin' life feeling inadequate in some way or another. Who doesn't? Jerks I suppose. Egotistical jerks. Perhaps it's all an act though, because how can you feel adequate in every stinking department?

Eh, well what are ya gonna do? I'm the one who chose to have a fourth kid. Now that doesn't mean I don't get to complain about it. It goes with my belief that I get to feel sorry for myself whenever I want to, no matter if the responsibility for the suckage in my life is mine. I don't see how it matters who's at fault, I can still have a pity party.

But mostly I'm just scared.

The logistics of handling three toddlers and a newborn infant befuddles me. You can't plan with a newborn. They eat whenever they feel like, and if you feed them at 5, thinking then at 6 you could be free to bathe and put your triplets to bed they will wake up at 5:58, fart loudly and say "not so fast Red, get back here and feed me again."Oh yes, they will ruin any and all plans you have. Should you feed them in the morning and head out to get a 'mommy deserves it mani-pedi' thinking you have an hour or two of sleeping infant to count on, he will wake up the minute your hands are soaking in rose petal water, burp, barf, and say "you think you get mommy time? I no think so."

(It's funny, his voice has a lovely hispanic accent and nasal tone in my head, so that sounded more like "Ay noo theeeenk sooo" as I typed it. I'm guessing that with non-hispanic parents he is unlikely to come out with an accent once he starts speaking though.)

And the other thing I wonder about is when to start looking for post partum  depression. I mean the hormones are running rampant. I don't even know what I, the real me, think anymore. Is it the hormones throwing chairs at my husband or is it really me who's pissed off? Do I really hate breastfeeding with a passion that could light infernos in a cold hell? Or do I just need to wait for the hormones to wear off? And so, when do I need meds for this crazy in my head? Certainly before I kill one of the kids. But if today the screaming of the infant was particularly pernicious, is it starting or will tomorrow be better?

I have no idea how I'm going to handle the next few months. The triplets will not be bathed and will have to climb into their own cribs at night, the infant will be fed, albeit angrily and resentfully by the boob lady, the husband will be neglected until he all but walks out, and the cats will be lucky if their litter boxes ever get emptied, but I suppose I'll make it out the other side. I mean how much worse can a fourth be than three at once?

(Um, the answer, apparently, is impossible btw.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The fight I can't win

I am so not an infant lover. I hate this part as much as I did last time and I thought it might be different with one. If anything it sucks more because it's even clearer how poor a job I'm doing satisfying him. This guessing game? I suck at it. Is he hungry? Gassy? Uncomfortable? Sick? Binky? In the mood to play? Overtired? What? How the heck do you know? It's all the same: he cries! Not a lot, mind you, because I seem to have pooped out a pretty quiet kid so far, but what do the cries mean? When he just ate an hour ago, why is he not asleep? When he just slept for 10 min, why did he wake up?

I have made it my business to anticipate everyone's needs in the general area all my life. I am good at it. I read people, facilitate their lives, smooth their ways, comfort and guide them successfully. But infants? Not so much. No telling if I am hitting it unless he passes out suddenly. And that is rare. I hate this. I hate it hate it hate it.

And I want to enjoy this. I know so many people who love the infant stage. They're all snuggly and huggable and whatever. People? I just want him to talk to me and tell me what the hell I am supposed to be doing right now. Why it's been 5 hours without a consecutive hour long nap. What he needs right this instant so I can finish my blog. I want some communication here. Is that so much to ask?

I would love to just let it go and ride it out. And maybe if I only had him I could. But there are two problems: I know how long this stage lasts from the last time and I can't rest in between 5 hour rounds with him because I have 3 other children to care for.

This makes me panicky. I know I should take it one day at a time. I know I should abandon all hope for a rest for a few weeks. But I can't do either. I fight it and fight it and fight it.

I should stop fighting. But I don't know how.

Any tricks?