Mommy Introvert (alternative title: I am an introvert and a first time mom)

I am an introvert.

And I am comfortable with this.

However since giving birth, I have started to question how this will impact my child.

I have read all these stories of moms going to play groups, mothers groups, play dates etc and I wonder am I denying my child of something by not going to these groups?  It seems that these groups are more for the benefit of the mother than the child.

I have no desire to go hang out with other mommies comparing child raising notes.  Being a first time mom is daunting enough.  Just imagine the constant comparison.  This would drive me beyond insane.

Perhaps after he’s had his 12th month’s vaccinations, I could start taking him to swim classes.  Not sure how that’d go down though.

Rejection from my child

This sounds rather pathetic but I feel rejected by my child.

The child I’d gone to hell and back for.  The child I love with all my heart.  The child I’d sacrificed my life for.  The child I could not imagine I’d be a mother to (because I didn’t think I’d be a mother).  The child who doesn’t like to sleep.  The child who now whines more than laughs.

Yes my child.

This very child prefers his dad though.  His face lights up when his dad enters the room.  His face lights up when he sees his dad comes through the door  when he finishes work.  He cries and whines and screams when he can’t see his dad.  No amount of love nor cuddles from his mother could comfort him.  The only thing that can turn the sad face into a smiley face is his dad.

How do I feel about this?  I feel sad.  I feel hurt.  I feel rejected.  I feel incompetent.

I ask myself where did I go wrong?  Why does my child reject me?

I don’t have an answer.  He just prefers his dad.

No matter what it is, I am still his mother.

I still love him no matter what.

Today I really feel like a failure

He won’t settle.

He won’t sleep.

He pushes me away … cuddles no longer work.

He fights me with everything … changing nappies is a nightmare.

He doesn’t even grin at me anymore as he used to when he wakes up.

He cries and screams so much, nothing I do can comfort him.

All this remind me of the difficult pregnancy.

All this remind me of the failed induction.

All this remind me of the failed natural birth.

That’s right, I can’t even do what a woman naturally is supposed to do.

I have failed.

I really hate my noisy neighbours

I live in an apartment complex where there’s common amenities like a garden in the middle, a pool, a sauna, gym, museum (it used to be a brewery).

There used to be a higher percentage of owner-occupier to rentals.  Now it’s the other way round.

Our upstairs neighbours like doing laundry at night … as in 11.30pm to 2.30am.  They also like dragging furniture at night too.  Whenever they put a wash on, the pipes rattle and our apartment shakes with banging noise of the pipes.

The neighbours downstairs like to slam doors … day and night.

Today they had an all day party taking over the whole garden and pool.  The pool shuts at 10pm so what do they do?  They moved the party into the apartment, out onto the balcony.

I am sleep deprived as it is with a difficult baby.  Tonight we have to deal with shouty footballer types shouting at the balcony and the neighbours slamming doors.

I hate my neighbours.  I really really do.

 

I chopped off my locks

For the first time since his arrival, I went out without him.

Yes, first time in mooooooonths!

I finally made a salon appointment to get my hair sorted out.

I have very long hair to my waist.  I’ve been colouring and trimming my hair as I can’t bear to get it done.  I find, in my past experiences, hairdressers annoy me too much.

Not this one.  Kim is a mom too, to 3 kids.  Having a conversation wasn’t painful.  Most important of all, she knows exactly how I want my hair done.

So two achievements in one day.  This is after a huge meltdown from being sleep deprived.  My precious lil boy has been waking up every hour or hour and half for the past couple of weeks.  I am broken.

So today, I got over my anxiety of being out without him and having my hair cut in a salon.

Small achievements by any means but big deal to me.

No, don’t do this or that! Oh really? Fuck off already!

Being a first time mommy is overwhelming as it is.  Throw a whole lotta guilty advice in the mix, and you get very nervous mommies.

So, let’s talk about all these things we aren’t supposed to do.  Well, ya know, it’s ‘against the rules’!!!

 

Co-Sleeping

If you go onto any parenting forums or read any parenting websites, apparently you are not to co-sleep or you will kill your baby! Yes, that’s correct.  You must put your freshly popped out newborn in a giant cot on its own to sleep.  Or you will kill it!

I wonder how all these other nations where mothers co-sleep with their babies feel about this.  In Japan where mothers co-sleep and breastfeed their babies,  I wonder how high rate of SIDs is?  Lowest in the world.

Newborns are, well, newborns for a very short period of time.  They need their parents close by instead of being put in a huge cot alone in a room.  I don’t understand it.

Common sense is needed when dealing with co-sleeping.  Naturally, parents shouldn’t be inebriated, been smoking, on drugs.   Co-sleeping can be made safe.

Something like this can be used for the baby and still be close to the mother:

zsd-200_1z

 

Don’t feed to sleep/Don’t rock to sleep

Now this is a confusing one.  Some say don’t feed baby to sleep.  Rock til baby is drowsy then put it in its cot and WALK AWAY.  Then there’s some saying don’t rock to sleep or it becomes a sleep association you will have to rock it to sleep forever!!! (ok, maybe not forever but you get my drift).

The whole feed, play, sleep method is great if your baby works with you.  Ya know, great if you can do it if you’re one of the parents who can execute this method to perfection.  However, it doesn’t work for others.  What are you gonna do when you have a screaming baby who just won’t adhere to these methods and … rules?  I got told off by the lactation consultant GP (whom we paid a lot of money but no good returns for) and the child health nurse that the baby has to fit around our lifestyle.  Oh really?  Would they like to come over when the baby is screaming lungs off in the middle of the night waking up the whole apartment complex (my neighbours hate me, oh the dirty looks they gave me when they walk past!).

In a nutshell, we gotta do what works for us to the best of our abilities for the well-being and safety of our babies.  Following other people’s rules will only drive us insane and make us feel more guilty as we already do.  These rules and methods work perfectly for some mothers.  Ya know what, that’s good for you but the rest of us struggle and we we just gotta improvise.

 

No screen time

Ok, I am an exclusive pumper.  The breastfeeding mafia can fuck off on this also.  I had a traumatic birth and postnatal experience.  My baby was taken away to nursery in my sleep and the hospital didn’t help with breastfeeding.  In fact, they fed him formula while in the nursery.

So, when they finally let us go home after holding us in the hospital and refused to let us leave, I pumped and fed him.  Why?  Even after engaging services of lactation consultant and lactation consultant GP, we still had issues.  Even the lactation consultant GP told me that ‘it’s ok not to breast feed, formula is ok’.  Yes, this came from a registered lactation consultant GP.  Hearing this from an expert, what could I do?  As if I didn’t feel enough guilt and failures with the birth, I now had to deal with the failure of not able to breastfeed.

So I pump.  I have to pump whenever I can.

There have been times when he was so hungry, he drank all that I’d pumped. So I was pumping while looking after him so I could feed him straight after.

As he grows bigger, it becomes harder to entertain him while I pump.  This and to make sure he is safe … and not screaming.  You can’t really predict what a baby will do.  He may sit happily playing with his toys then the next moment he’s screaming his head off.  Sorry not all of us have perfect, quiet, well-behaved babies.

Well, put him on the floor to entertain himself, they say.  Let him have tummy time, they say.  Give him toys and get him to entertain himself, they say.  Really?

What happens when all these methods fail?  What do you do?

I need to feed my child.  So yes, I am ‘guilty’ of exposing my son to ‘screen time’.

Why?  Because it works.  He is happy to sit next to me to watch a bit of Peppa Pig or Curious George or Lily’s Driftwood Bay while I pump … without screaming or wanting me to carry him around.  This works for us.

For you anti screen time nazis out there.  Good for you that your baby is quiet and well behaved and you can breast feed them.  Good for you that it works for YOU.

Well, this works for me.  He sits next to me quietly while I pump for his next bottle.  What I’d observed is that he doesn’t want to watch the screen for a long time but he’s happy to be distracted even for a brief period while I pump a bottle to feed him after.

 

I love my baby.  And I will do anything to keep him safe and do whatever I can to make him happy.

The most important thing about this motherhood gig is?

Be there for your baby.

 

 

My lil boy listens to Drum and Bass to sleep

Yes, you read it correctly.  My son listens to Drum and Bass to sleep.

Reading mothers’ suggestions in online forums of white noise or lullabies or classical music made me cackle.  None of them worked for my lil boy.

One evening when putting the lil boy to bed, my partner put on Techno.  The baby loves it.  Yes, he loves it.  Then another night, he put on Drum and Bass.  He loves that too.  So he’s been listening to Drum and Bass to sleep every night.

We live in an apartment complex and it can get quite noisy at times.  We decided before we brought him home that we won’t tip toe around in hush hush.  I guess playing music in the apartment since his arrival worked.

Playing the music helped him adjust to the daily loud noises around the apartment on a daily basis.  Just then the neighbours were drilling in their apartment.  He didn’t wake up screaming.

 

 

“Well, you now know for next time”

Stop telling me you now know for next time.

Why next time?  Why can’t we do it right THIS TIME?

Why couldn’t we have don’t right THIS TIME?

I really hate the attitude of ‘next time’.  What if there isn’t a next time?  Why do we go about our lives thinking there is a next time.

Oh it’s ok to stuff up now coz we’ll make it up and do it the right way next time.

No.  Just no.

Sometimes there isn’t a next time.  Next time may NEVER come.

I wanted to do it right this time.

He is my first child (and may possibly be my only).

I wanted things to be perfect for him.

But I failed him.  He was taken to the nursery and was hooked up in tubes and was fasted.

He was away from me for the first 24 hours of his life.  He was away while I was asleep after his birth.  I am angry I went to sleep.  I shouldn’t have gone to sleep.

I am angry I didn’t push for them to return to me sooner.

I am angry I am not bonding with him as much as I would like to.

I am angry.

Flashbacks and Panic Attacks

I had a panic attack in the car the other day.  This wasn’t the first time.

It was from recalling how I felt when the hospital took him away to the nursery and also the midwife who was looking after him kissing him in the face.

I sobbed.

The image of the midwife kissing my newborn kept playing in my head.  Over and over again.  The same midwife who wouldn’t let me breastfeed my newborn and wouldn’t feed him the colostrum I’d expressed.

I kept recalling the fear of having him taken away when I was sleeping.

Both these incidents kept replaying.

5 months down the track, I feel a certain disconnect from my baby.  I love him with all my heart but somehow I feel not as bonded with him as I should be.

The combination of not being able to birth him naturally and not able to breastfeed may be contributing to the way I feel.  I feel he is more bonded with his daddy than with me.  I feel like nothing more than an incubator and a nanny.

I feel sad and broken.