Saturday, May 27, 2023

Disappointment and Postpartum

Pumping, a snack, and a baby that wanted to be near mama

This postpartum period with Esther has been really really hard. The added burden of pumping and SNS feeding and breastfeeding training is grueling. I have almost given up several times. I cry at least once a day. I am tired and my self care (showering, eating, brushing my teeth and changing clothes) is a laughable mess. I am trying to create some kind of normal for my two other children but everything is a hot mess. The one person I thought I could count on (my husband) has been extremely unhelpful and frustrating, because if that doesn't describe marriage I don't know what does. Expectations have been unmet and "disappointing" describes my life, marriage and daily mood.. Massive disappointment. I need help and there is no one to help most of the time. This is life. This is the fourth trimester. 

On top of it all my husband was sick last weekend and now my kids are sick. Luckily I and the baby are fine, I think I would fall apart if Esther caught a cold at four weeks old. She's so little. But God is so good.

I have been listening to the Bible in the middle of the night as I feed Esther pumped milk. It takes about 45 minutes to pump and feed her and then try to lay her down while I wash all the bottles/pump parts and set up things for the next 2-3 hours when she will wake up again. It feels dehumanizing not to be able to nourish my own baby with my own body. I have felt so much guilt and anger over it. Sometimes at myself. Sometimes I am frustrated at Esther. It isn't her fault. When that happens I pray earnestly. I pray for her to start nursing more (she's doing 3-4 feeds a day now for 15 minutes which is great! but definitely not enough to stop pumping). I am dealing with massive oversupply issues as she is both breastfeeding and I am pumping. I am trying to cut back tiny bits of pumping and my breasts are rocks and hurt even though I am taking it slow. I try to be grateful I have so much milk. 

Some good news. Esther, at 3 weeks and 5 days old is 8 pounds 2 oz!! She is still smaller than Becky was at birth and definitely tiny. She's wonderful and I love everything about her from her toes to her fuzzy hair and her cuddles. She is a delight to my soul and worth every tear and hard moment and sleepless hour. She's still wearing newborn clothes and newborn diapers. I bought mostly 0-3 month clothes and I can't wait for her to wear my favorites but she is not close to 'aging out' of the newborn stuff. 

I have friends and family that want to come over and help but with everyone isn't working. Hopefully when everyone gets better in a day or two I can get help. We got amazing two weeks of meals and they were delicious and even the kids enjoyed them. I have so many blessings to count. But in the hard moments I forget them all. I pray that God reminds me of the good when I am at my lowest. 

Health wise my health is...up and down. I just got over pica--that went away in my third week postpartum. I have a postpartum rash, I am still bleeding (but not much) and I am having some joint pain which has been difficult to deal with while trying to breastfeed, SNS feed, pump, cook and hold a baby. I am trying to remember to take some supplements and drink water and that is about all I can do right now.

My husband goes back to work Tuesday and perhaps this will help instigate a return to "normalcy" whatever that is going to look like...with Esther and our family. 

The kids have both a ballet performance and a piano recital next month AND I signed them up for a week of swim lessons (before I had Esther) because I definitely didn't understand how hard this was going to be. Would appreciate prayers that I can make these things happen with grace and peace and a joyful heart.  

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