Sunday, February 15, 2009

Back to Real Life

So, HB is almost two weeks old and JB is back home with me and life goes back to normal. Except it's not really back to normal for me because I've never experienced life with two babies. So this is more like a brand new major adjustment period rather than regular life.

I remember feeling something like this after I finished chemo. It was like getting used to life all over again. It was so confusing and scary and maybe even a little depressing at times when I realized that my old life was never coming back. That as much as I grew and gained from my experiences, I still missed a part of whom I was before but I could never go back.

From what I've heard, lots of cancer patients feel that way after getting better. The whole time they were sick they couldn't wait to be back in the real world, get back to their real lives, but when they finally got out there again they discovered that the real world didn't wait. It moved on without them. And their real lives? All of a sudden they have to reassess what that even means.

All day today I was battling some New Mommy Blues , fighting it back as I had my first regular "back to normal" day. I took my kids (feels so funny to say that! My Kids :-) ) to Toys R Us for some baby gear and for a butt-day present for JB. There were a load of screaming monsters all over the place and my son wasted no time exercising his lungs too.

I thought I would go out of my mind or at the very least have a screaming fit as well.

In the end, we left with JB's present of choice- a big 15" ball that cost all of $2.16 (may all his future wants and needs hurt my pocket no more than this did) and with a splitting headache.

I felt like crying all through the afternoon when HB made through three pampers and two undershirts in a row and then through the bath that JB refused to take and then through bedtime which JB and HB cried themselves blue and where I ran from one to the other until JB cried himself to sleep (he lost his pacifier last night at his grandfather's house) and until HB had her bath and spit up some more formula on her (used to be) clean (ten minutes ago) stretchie, and conked out as well.

I feel bratty about this- like I should be so thankful that I have this wonderful family but instead I'm just wishing to go back to two weeks ago when I was in charge (mostly) of my hormones and to when I could sleep 8 hours (if I took Tylenol for the lower back pain) a night, and to when I had an excuse not to wear heels on Shabbos.

I felt bratty after chemo too- I knew I had to be thrilled that I was well again, but it took a long time until I got settled enough to be able to look back and appreciate it. Those first few months were awful. Yes, I got engaged and married in those months, but daily life was hard. I struggled to get used to the world where it was when I rejoined it. And it was hard after having missed out so much.

So even though some will say that I'm just hormonal (just not in front of my husband please, he hates that word...) and I have no qualms about agreeing with you there- I will also say that I am adjusting. And that adjusting is just as hard as dealing with mood swings. And that adjusting WITH mood swings is harder. And that adjusting with mood swings AND sleepless nights is a killer. So bear with me world. I'm catching up as fast as I can.

But I'm learning. Or at least remembering. That the great things in our lives come at some sort of price. But not in a bad way. Just in a way that makes us appreciate them even more once we get past the rough spots.

One day down, and we'll keep doing it one day at a time.

Or one night at a time- kids are sleeping finally, so that's my cue. Mommies of newborns are allowed to go to bed before ten p.m. It's the only way they stay sane. Or at least partly so.


Judy said...

The first two weeks are not easy ones, it takes six weeks to two months to get back to yourself.
You still have your phenomenal sense of humor, even while kvetching. The blog is a great outlet, maybe I should start one too, now that our daughter's sheva brachos is over! Whew! I just have a list a mile long of what I need to do "After the Wedding"!
Warmest regards, and if you need help you can always call me, I may be available!

Zeeskeit said...

Gosh - I really sympathize! Being that my 2nd is only 7 months old (I know that sounds like ages away)...

I'm not trying to scare you or anything, but I'm still adjusting...

BTW, when they call the first 6 months post-baby "postpartum" they mean it! I don't think you get back to yourself until baby is 6 months old when you can attempt to put them onto a schedule, and expect them to play with their toys! and then the teething starts so you never win! and and by me my older one was getting her molars at the same time and was SO agreeable ALL the time!

It's a matter of attitude...It's really, really hard though! I remember those days as if they were yesterday....(actually yesterday WAS one of those days!)

Feel free to contact me for REAL sympathy!

I remember walking out with my kids at first and hearing "You look so good" and gritting my teeth thinking - "Oh yeh? You should just know how I feel" That's part of the annoying thing - see everyone else with their trillion kids staying calm, and managing beautifully...ARRRGH!

Feel free to kvetch to ppl (with a smile of course) It'll make you feel better...."How's the baby treating you" gets "She's definitely treating me - to sleepless nights!" etc. It's very therapeutic...

shani said...

Tzipi, you gotta get through those first few weeks, and then you'll have a routine. One thing that I discovered when I had my second, and it really worked wonders is something called a miracle blanket- really does perform miracles. go to also, why in the world did you go with a two week old and your two year old to toys r us? u crazy girl?! i myself would freak. take it easy. refuah sheleima!from the girl you crack up.

tzvi meir and ayala said...

as you know it's very normal, just give yourself time. and as you figured out, GO TO SLEEP EARLY! you need your koach for the next day (and the night time feeds!) you're doing great!
also, what were you thinking shlepping two kids right after birth to toys r us?! you need all your strength to go there on a regular, not post baby day!

anon#1 said...

Sleep when the baby sleeps is what my mother always says. (Although it's easier to do when it's the first.)

Try to keep a notebook of all the funny things that happen - it'll be something to remind you that life is good, even though beginnings are hard.

Mazel tov!

halfshared said...

Sounds like you need a break! I hope you feel better fast...

Anonymous said...

You sound like me.
I had been trying to have a baby for a v-e-r-y long time.
After I had my first, I felt guilty complaining..
And then after I had my second b"h and life has turned upside down and i don't even have a sec to catch my breath.

conundrum1 said...

My kiddo is 4.5 months, so I completely relate to how you feel. I felt more "human" 2-3 months after my precious darling was born. It's a million times easier now that he is able to entertain himself (for short periods of time) on a play mat or in his exersaucer.

TRY to rest, feel well and don't over work yourself! You don't even realize how much your body needs to heal until you hurt yourself from something silly - like taking a 5 minute walk to your child's pediatrician (speaking from experience here).

Have a wonderful shabbos!