Monday, 28 April 2008

Bit sad...


Kickbaby's in the middle of a vigorous workout, Berry's finally, finally, upstairs in bed, and I'm feeling like a mediocre excuse for a mother again.

(All together now: feign surprise!)

I've been feeling so tired and unwieldy and overwhelmed and irritable these past couple of weeks, struggling with the big big baby, with being 37 weeks pregnant in the Mississippi heat, and with the polyhydramnios (for sensible normal people who have no reason to know, that's just the medical term for having way-too-much amniotic fluid).

I had been fervently wishing that Kickbaby would just come out already, until the other night I was lying on the bed and it dawned on me – when Kickbaby's born:
1) I'll have to look after him, and he'll be more exhausting out than in; and
2) Berry won't be an only child anymore. It won't be just us.

Both of these things would have occurred to a sensible-normal person a long time ago, but for a moment I was genuinely caught off-guard. And in that instant, I felt the resurgence of the bizarre feeling of sorrow for Berry that punished me when I first found out I was pregnant again: "Oh, I've betrayed you! You're my little girl, you need all my attention! I'm so sorry! What have I done!"

It doesn't matter that intellectually I know Berry will love her little brother, it doesn't matter that I can't even begin to imagine my life without my sister and brothers – somehow, I feel like a terrible traitor. I hope it's just the hormones.

In the aftermath of my little revelation on the bed, I've been trying to focus on spending good, fun times with Berry in the last days where it'll be "just us" – with play-doh and drawing and painting and gardening (she loves to water plants) and reading stories... Unfortunately, things aren't exactly coming up roses.


I don't know what I expected from a two-year-old, but in the midst of all this positive attention Berry has actually seemed more needy and jittery and demanding and prone to unbearable frustrations, which in turn is making me agitated and snappish. It's so very far from the effect I wanted to have.

Tonight, after a long series of small battles that I didn't handle well, she finally cuddled up on my shoulder saying, "I bit sad, I bit angry, Mama. I not happy-again. I sad. Sing me, Mama..." And so I sang to her, feeling like a great big failure who just wanted to cry too, until she fell asleep.

I'm sure there are a hundred answers to the little mess I'm in – relax and back off probably chief among them – and I imagine it'll all work out in the end. But for now, I just want to sit at the end of my sleeping two-year-old's bed and tell her that I really want to get it all right, that I really am trying, and to tell Kickbaby that I hope I'll be truly nice by the time he gets out here.

In the meantime, I just wish my mind and body would do me the kindness of being quiet, and still, until all this is done.



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10 comments:

  1. Awwww! I know exactly how you feel!!

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  2. I have no idea how you feel, but I am sure you're doing a great job. I love your blog and I have to say, when I see little girls from behind with a shock of blonde hair I've been thinking Berry! in my head. I think Berry is the same age I was when my sister was born. I was about 2 years and 4 months and 15 days old I think.

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  3. Not being a mom myself, I can't even imagine all the ups and downs you're going through right now, but I'm sure it will all work out once kickbabby arrives! From reading your blog, Berry sounds like the sweetest little thing and probably wants kickbaby to finally come out too! Being a big sister is so much fun!

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  4. Do you realize what a wonderful mother you are? Just the thoughts you have and worries..It will all work out and when that little guy is born, he will be surrounded with love.
    Before I had my second daughter..I worried I couldn't love her as much as the first..when my eyes set on her,it never entered my mind again.

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  5. In regards to the following...

    ***2) Berry won't be an only child anymore. It won't be just us.

    Both of these things would have occurred to a sensible-normal person a long time ago, but for a moment I was genuinely caught off-guard. And in that instant, I felt the resurgence of the bizarre feeling of sorrow for Berry that punished me when I first found out I was pregnant again: "Oh, I've betrayed you! You're my little girl, you need all my attention! I'm so sorry! What have I done!"

    It doesn't matter that intellectually I know Berry will love her little brother, it doesn't matter that I can't even begin to imagine my life without my sister and brothers – somehow, I feel like a terrible traitor. I hope it's just the hormones.***

    I'm hoping it IS normal to have those feelings because I'm not pregnant yet (but trying) and have those thoughts every day. So, it can't be the hormones (for me at least). I just keep reminding myself of how wonderful my childhood was with my brother and sister and that "change is good". It's STILL hard to wrap your mind around the whole concept though.

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  6. Aw, sweety.. you're almost there. At the end of my 2nd pregnancy, I spent more time crying than not. Once kickbaby is here, you'll find more balance as you'll be back on the mend to feeling more "yourself" and the four of you will have a wonderful future together.

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  7. Thank you guys so much for making me feel waaaay less miserable about myself (you even made me tear up a bit – oh hormones!).

    And it's good to know I'm not the only one who feels way out of my depth when it comes to raising kid(s)...

    Deep breath. Onward!

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  8. As I read your blog this evening, it brought tears to my eyes. Oh the pressures of motherhood. I certainly know I’ve felt mediocre, or worse a total failure many, many times – and I’m only a mother of one ! So, we soldier on, juggling all the priorities of life & motherhood, and vowing to do better tomorrow. Take comfort in the fact that you must be doing something right, Berry didn’t run from you, she cuddled up and asked for a song. I personally don’t think there is anything more special than singing to your child, sharing that quiet moment of togetherness, without any other pressures. Just the 2 of you, sharing time, the relaxation & beauty of music and a cuddle of unconditional love.

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  9. I have loved reading your blog, i found it a few weeks ago!
    I remember being pregnant with number 2 and thinking that i would never be able to love this little baby as much as i did my number one. I remember that same guilty feeling! I then went on to have 2 more (make that 4 kids in 3 1/2 years.) and you know what? I love each of them more than anything! I have seen the fun they have together (yeah, admittedly that doesn't happen for a while, but it does happen!)
    I have seen the look of love as my *big* kids cuddle *their* baby for the first time! Oh, now i am going to cry!

    And you know what? I would do it all again in a heartbeat! ;) (I so don't miss the 37 week stage though!!!!!)
    Rest up, snuggle your little girl and enjoy all these precious little moments!
    Love Jess

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