Things are rough these days.
My mom’s memorial service was a week ago in Vermont. Colette did great on the trip and seeing my family was wonderful, but overall the weekend was both physically and emotionally exhausting.
We got back Sunday and Tim went back to work on Tuesday after being off for six weeks. So it was my first time alone with the baby for longer than an hour or two.
And the week did not go well. Colette didn’t sleep very much at all during the days, maybe 20-30 minutes at a time, if that. She had maybe 20 minutes of happy, alert time after she ate and then she would start crying. The rest of each day was spent trying to soothe her and get her to take those precious aforementioned minutes of sleep. I worked the Happiest Baby On The Block techniques like it was my job (which, I guess, it is), but to no avail. I tried the stroller, but that only worked when I was walking. Even if I sat down somewhere and moved the stroller, she cried. It’s like she knew when we weren’t walking. She’ll go in her swing for Tim, but not so much for me. I think she just wants to be held, which is fine with me, but even then, the kid does not want to sleep.
I’m still breastfeeding, followed by a supplementary bottle. And still pumping after every feeding. You can imagine what it’s like to try and pump with a screaming infant. I tried to stop pumping after every feeding, but then I got a clogged duct again (and it still hasn’t gone away). So now I have to keep up the pumping because if the clogged duct turns into mastitis, there’s no way I can take care of the chub. Even though Colette’s suck still hasn’t improved, I do love our nursing time…but if someone would have told me how hard it would be with the pumping I never would have started. Ever. I pumped in the car on the way to and fro Vermont last weekend. I pumped during my mom’s memorial luncheon. I pumped in the evenings when the rest of my family was spending time together. I feel like my whole life right now is that effing pump. And I feel like I’ll never be able to stop.
By the time Tim got home from work last week, both Colette and I were strung out. Tim was great about taking her as soon as he stepped in the door, but her fussiest time of day is in the evenings. While I usually tried to take a bath and eat my first real meal of the day, I could still hear her crying. So the evenings did not feel like any sort of respite, or at least enough of one. As a matter of fact, as I type this, I am listening to her crying.
Basically this has been the most intense week of my life. And I’ve had no time–not even one second–to grieve. Every once in a while I’m like, “Oh yeah, my mom is dead.” And then I have to push the thought away and pretend like it doesn’t exist. Because what can I do? I can’t spend all day or even a few minutes crying when I’m trying to soothe and take care of a crying baby.
Colette is sleeping longer at night, which is incredibly awesome, but I still have to get up and pump. And I’m having trouble sleeping, I think because that’s when the thoughts about my mom creep in.
I am exhausted. Right now, I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. Everyone says babies get easier, but when? And when will I ever be able to begin to process the loss of my mom? Because even if Colette gets easier, I still have to deal with the fact that I don’t have a mom anymore. And that fact is there, waiting for me, when I have a second to breathe.