01 February 2012

The only way is up - or life in the land of vomit and depression

My aspiration to write here more regularly (dare I declare, weekly) has wafted into the babyland ether. Then there was an app without a 'save' function (wtf?) which wafted away my draft, leading to large clumps of hair being pulled*. At least I am holding on to my other new year aspirations - yoga and walking - thus far. I even did a solo walk to the beach, followed by yoga on the shore as the sun set and a rainbow fell upon our house! Has to be some sort of omen! (Bigtime thanks to K for the suggestion, and for baby wrangling.) Anyway, all those blog posts I quasi write in my head... poof, gone. So here's a list of sorts. Just a warning, what follows is not exactly bathed in positivity. Hint: look away now if this is likely to upset. The next one will be positive, I promise.

1. Sometimes I just long to put the boy in the pram and go for a long fast walk. Or even a short fast walk. Alas, we have one 'sealed' (and I'm being VERY generous) road, and that's our driveway. We do a bumpity cross-country meander down to the heli-pad most days, but oh, to burn off some energy with a proper walk. (The kind of walk I'm talking about is not the kind that can be accomplished with an almost-10-kilogram baby in the Ergo, though I do need to figure out how to put him on my back in it so he can look around.)

2. When I lament like this, I make myself look out the window. It's easy to become blase about where we live. Especially when some days it's hard to leave the house. For explanation, refer to roads issue (see point one), add vomity, heavy baby, stupendous heat and non-stop rain. 

3. Still frustrated by milk issues. And time issues, while we're at it. And just getting-to-grips-with-babyland issues generally. I badly need - and want - to get over it. I am booked in to see a postnatal counsellor.

4. Mothers' groups. After much fruitless trawling, I've concluded that being more active in the blogosphere is the only way I'll get to share with other mums of similar ilk. Unless I want to haul myself off to the city for this purpose, which is such an exercise in stress and anxiety that I would much rather put up with my existing stress and anxiety in the comfort of my own home. See point five. Also on this theme, wondering how to reconcile my two online selves, as I feel the pull back to this blog...

5. Trips to the mainland do my head in and deplete my already-thin reserves of calm. With all the appointments and extensive provisioning for The Life Remote, these trips usually result in a non-sleeping baby, stress and anxiety for us and a generally unpleasant vibe. I would much rather stay at home. See point four.

6. Our first date in six months, which I'd teed up a week in advance, evaporated due to a non-sleeping baby - and therefore, non-sleeping us - and general feelings of crankiness. Also see point five. 

7. Somehow, despite knowing all this, and having just returned from Brisbane, I'm going again tomorrow. Just me and the boy. For a flurry of appointments. I have no idea how I am going to carry all our stuff, drive the car and juggle a vomity baby. It will either harden me up for future solo-travels-with-a-baby, or turn me into a blathering hermit.

8. Maybe this should have been point one. Poor E still suffers quite badly from reflux and on a hot day, will vomit after each feed, in between feeds and just randomly - so pretty much all day. It is SO frustrating and depressing seeing him in distress. And spending vast lumps of time endless days forever feeding. We took him to see a craniosacral therapist who instantly helped his neck stiffness - he'd been almost unable to look left. Hoping this will also fix his now-very flat-on-one-side head. And of course the reflux, which we were told is exacerbated or possibly even caused by his spine being slightly twisted from his birth. Which impinges on the vagus nerve which has something to do with digestion. Anyway. It feels good to be doing something about it.

9. eBay! Oh joyous rapture! See - a positive! I'm sure the rangers all think I'm holed up here at the Cape whiling away the man's hard-earned. (Our mail comes via the ranger station - and luckily I have my own hard-earned for another six months.) Latest purchases: a happy hangup for the boy (I live in denial naive desperation of prolonging the daytime catnaps), three wooden Manhattan Toy things, some books and a fancy sleep-bag.

10. I'm not sure this list even makes sense. It's late, my thoughts are mud but I'm pressing publish anyway.

*Sorry if you got an email with a blank post... I'll spare you the tribulations of useless Blogger apps.


beth said...

Oh Sam, so what if your post isn't upbeat. Fuck upbeat. Simply WRITING and getting it out there is therapeutic in itself. If people want chirpy, send them birdwatching. (And no!! That is not a Relic reference!!! Really!)
I read with half sympathy and half frustration. ARGH! I sold my Happy Hangup on eBay two months ago!!! I would have gladly sent it up! I still have the frame if you would like it a 'c-shape' frame you can move from room to room. I never had much luck with the hangup as Z was too old when I got it, and DB was a tummy sleeper up until a few months ago...anyway. I find scary similarities to our situation - I had 100km an hour sealed road outside the 50acre horse farm we lived on when Z was born. So all I could do was wheel her around and around and around the paddocks and the unmade driveway.... Everything and everyone was an hour away from me. I did find a 'Birthing and Babies' group which saved my sanity a few times, but Z HATED the car and it was too torturous.

I think you need to build yourself an online support network or something. It is so hard to find people who don't think you are weird, and it is SO comforting to just let it all hang out with like-minded people...

The Ergo. You will find a WORLD of difference when you get him on to your back. Do it. Practice next to the bed. You will have both hands free and your front unencumbered when you get it - it is EXCELLENT.

I have Manhattan toys in my current 'to the op-shop' bag. I went crazy on them also - and DB never touched them :( Gah. One other thing that gave me a chance to drink tea was just a normal baby swing outside hanging from a beam under the porch or a tree....

I think the heat you are enduring would probably finish me off. I hope so much that your visit to the city went OK and that you made some progress. What a relief it must have been to get a positive outcome from the craniosacral therapist!

My own small theory. Having babies in your thirties and not being in a culture where mothering is done communally , but instead in relative isolation, where women have little exposure to what parenting a new baby entails leads to an adjustment disorder after the birth (forgive me my psychiatrist speak - I've been typing files all day) which probably lasts until...well...until things get a little easier. Of course this is far more apparent to me in retrospect, at the time I was flailing around thinking I was literally barely going to survive...

Anyway, I used to get a lot of schtick from M about my 'negative posts', but I needed them - it helped me to process the blur of crud that was my brain. Hugs to you.

Beth said...

Sorry for the novel...

little earth stories said...

Beth, oh, where to start! Thank you (again) for, well, everything! It is SO nice to hear from someone who's done this twice over. And the similarities are scary indeed. I totally agree about the online network - a much more sensible way to find people who don't think I'm weird!! I've learnt the hard way not to blurt about our parenting approach to just anyone.

The adjustment disorder - so true. I think becoming a parent when you're older and have a full life and are used to lots of 'me' time is bloody hard. Especially as you have no idea what having a baby REALLY means as you only ever see it from the outside.

Ha - the Hangup! Thank you! I'll see how we go hanging it, hopefully in the next few days, and if we need a stand I will definitely let you know! :)

And thanks for the encouragement re the Ergo. Will definitely try now while K has his days off!

Oh and a swing... E went in one at a friend's place and LOVED it. On the 'to get' list... I know the Grands have my old one they are going to bring up when they visit next.

Writing is therapy, absolutely. I mostly write about the crud to 1. stick it all together and make sense of it and 2. purge it. I'm afraid though that it does make me seem quite negative... or so my in-house critic tells me! But I'm with you - it's a vital need.

So. Thank you. Over and again and until we see you up here! :)