Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Parenthood is a Battle


I'm not one to ask for much, usually. I'm not one to do a whole lot of complaining publicly. I try to put on a happy, smiling, brave face even when my real life face is stressed or sad or bawling. I joke or keep things light on Facebook and post happy pictures, even when things are really, really hard.

I sat down here to try to put into words what the last 9 months of life have been like. What life after Declan's birth have been like. But nothing is coming out right. Nothing could have prepared me for how difficult this has been, how helpless I have felt.

I'm here to humbly ask for your prayers. Prayers for this exhausted mama and her exhausted baby.

Pregnancy insomnia kicks in pretty darn early for me, and it was no different with Declan's pregnancy.

And then he was born - and he sleeps in 30-45 minute increments. I've been fortunate (?) enough that there have been several odd nights in 9 months that he's slept 5-7 hour stretches, but in the last 18 months I don't believe I've had much more than half a dozen nights of a full night's sleep. And when he's not cat napping, he's doing a lot of crying. And wanting to be held. But then he squirms to be put down. And then he cries to be picked up. And then squirms to be put down. Then fusses some more.

I'm tired, friends. Tired right to the core of my bones. And I'm stressed like I never understood stress. And I'm sad. Sad for my baby, who has had one battle after another since he was born and sad for myself who is exhausted but honestly? Mostly sad for my family who is also suffering right along with me. Sad for a husband who already battles stress and sleep issues and still has to get up and go to work to support our family. Sad for a son who spends his summers away from me and couldn't get any one on one time with me before he left because his little brother cried all night. Sad for a toddler who has adjusted to life so well and so easily and been the best big brother I could have asked for but who seems to be finally hitting his little 3 year old limit.

I'm sad for my eyebrows which really need their own zip code these days, and for my hair which is down to my waist for no other reason than I can't actually be alone long enough to get it cut!

I'm sad for friends I've lost over the past 9 months because I just don't have time for friendships much anymore. And if I find the time, I barely have the energy. I'm sad for myself because I'll always have this ache in my heart for a baby girl, but can't imagine ever going through this again. I'm sad for the people, the events, the things I've blown off because I can't muster motivation to do anything but sit at home and hold my children and cry some days.

This is hard y'all. Really, really hard. And one thing I've learned in my years of blogging is that if I'm going through some crap...there is someone else out there who is going through something similar. I try to share of myself so that maybe one other person out there feels a little less alone.

There is (I hope) a small glimmering light at the end of this really dark tunnel.

In the midst of an ongoing internal battle of wanting to accept that Declan was just a highly difficult child and my instinct that something was wrong - Declan was finally (FINALLY) diagnosed with an upper lip tie and posterior tongue tie which has been causing him a lot of difficulty with nursing and with solids. We had those revised last week, and there has been much improvement with his food intake. I am hanging in there, hoping this inevitably brings a happier - and sleepier - and fatter - child. These sleepless days that turn into sleepless nights are hard on everyone, and probably hardest on a growing baby who isn't ever feeling quite right.

So if you think of it, please pray for this tired mama. And for all the other tired mamas out there who are doing their best to survive the day. Parenthood is a battle, on even the best of days.