Sunday, April 20, 2008

April showers bring May flowers

Having a baby is one of the most wonderful things in your life, as well as the hardest thing in your life. ~ Nuno Bettencourt

Some weeks are harder than others. Some weeks, taking care of Corbin seems like this vacation from work on the Cayman Islands. The sun is shining and all is right in the world. Except for if that was true..I'd be using PAID time it's not exactly like that ;) But those weeks are few and far between when your baby has colic. The weeks that fill in the gaps consist of these constant battles against yourself. Against your frustration, against your guilt, against your jealousy, and against your kicking, screaming, wailing baby.

I can't really complain. Our baby could be much worse off and things have been worse, but I might just be coming to the end of my rope. Might just be sick of this charade we put on everytime we feed our child. It's kind of like a marathon and you have no idea how many miles you are running. It's for a good cause, so you don't bother to ask because that would just be inappropriate. In fact, most people would think it was completely insane that any related thought had or will cross my mind. It's extremely hard to stay on course in the midst of a screaming baby that has run the gamut of soothing techniques with no relief. Standing in a dark bathroom, fan and water on full blast, covered in baby spit-up and bouncing on a large red exercise ball for what appears, at the time, to be for no reason...just might start to chip away at that perfect mommy exterior. The frustration, I'm pretty self-explanatory. But then he flashes this sincere glimpse of his true temperament, this sweet little personality, and I forget that he was ever even crying. I remember why I'm running with no end in sight.

The colic isn't a disease he has, just a thing he does. His way of communicating that something is wrong. I hate it when people tell me that "he'll grow out of it" or that "he's just a baby and this is what babies do." A) I'm sure most of the people who make these lovely comments...have never had a baby with colic and B) Some of them don't have babies at all! I'm tempted to leave Corbin at their house for 48 hours and have them report back afterwards. Don't get me wrong..I love my child more than anything, but if this is what babies do...why the HELL would anyone have children?!?!?!? I'm not going to lie. The pregnancy was exciting for about 5 minutes and then I felt nauseous..literally. Then it was exciting again..then it got boring..then it got majorly uncomfortable. Not to mention the birth....when your epidural wears off just in time for the pushing. No one told me it didn't work for pressure. Thanks for that! Then he was cute for a few weeks during which I was nursing..some women love it, I was not one of those women..then after a few weeks, he started wailing. Now we are at the present.

Through all this rain, I can still see the reason for my endurance. No..I don't believe we are ingrained with a gene that makes us coo at babies even if we don't like them...this is from an article a coworker gave me on one of my last days at work..I'm not completely sure why. It's all the sweet, innocent moments you have in between all the chaos. Like these moments of clarity that come a little less often than the ones that make you feel like you might snap...but drown out all that white noise. In the past three months, Corbin has had jaundice, puked through his nose, puked on my face, pooped in the bathtub, cried what seems like at least 45 days straight, taken 2 hours to burp, caused 6 trips to the pediatrician and 1 to a gastrointerologist, made me sit in a car for an hour and a half just so he wouldn't wake up if I took him in the house, and let's not talk about what happens after you are done nursing ;) .....But GOD you should see him laugh :)

Richard and I were semi-obnoxious to my sister when my nephew was really little. She showed us his new trick...he could pick up a puff with two fingers and put it in his mouth. Seeing as we had not had children and were not near the stage...we were the least bit impressed. What the hell did we know?!?! Now I'm sorry I didn't see the amazement in what a huge accomplishment that was. It seems the longer we endure the "April showers" we're experiencing, the sweeter those moments of clarity, our "flowers", become. Corbin has started to reach for his toys and if you could only see the intent on his face. He is trying so hard to sit up that it causes him to spit up more, but I don't care (as long as it doesn't hurt him). Because he is my challenge and my reward all at the same time. He lights up when I walk into the room. I would sit in a bathroom for eternity just to see him smile once. This is why we have children. This is the break in the marathon that gives you the strength to keep on running. When he is all bundled up and I'm rocking him to sleep, I wish you could see him laugh at his dreams and then get quiet again as he drifts further to sleep. Those people who choose not to have children because "that is what babies do" are truly missing out on the reason for having them in the first place.

Monday, April 14, 2008

This one's gonna be T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!

Child rearing myth #1: Labor ends when the baby is born.-- Anonymous

I should have known!! His impatience sent him out 19 days early with a cord around his neck and a true knot right in the middle of it. The doctor claimed she had never seen one before. OHHH, he's gonna be trouble.
That was the beginning of three months of constant worry for this new mother. I was pretty calm throughout my pregnancy. I only obsessed over a few details and what was to come was definitely not one of them. I feel like when you are pregnant, you obsess over these devestating events that could happen to your baby because you really don't have anything to grasp onto. OMG, he's going to get Autism..OMG, he's going to come out with three arms, no hair, and a wonky eye. It's the small..realistic..things that you don't count on. Corbin started out great..and then..he threw us a curve ball.

It started with normal symptoms..spitting up, snoring, gasping noise..and of course, the classic poo problems. Then turned into projectile vomitting and constant screaming. Thank god he was cute when he was sleeping :) We had a system that worked like a charm...everytime he ate (I despised feeding my child!) we would take the bottle to burp him, sprint to the bathroom, throw on all lights, fans, and water to distract the screaming. He would burp..sometimes after TWO hours...and we would sprint back to finish the bottle. What a freakin' nightmare!!!! But the system worked. Finally, two and a half months hit. I was so sick of the show that I could have thrown up. I had pumped my brains out and had SIX HUNDRED ounces to use for a month, so I could stop pumping when I went back to work. Finally, my mom suggested that I try supplementing with soy because all three of us were allergic to milk. BAD MOVE! HUGE allergic reaction to the soy and the CONSTANT screaming began. It lasted for three weeks through four formulas and this depressing day when some woman came and picked up all my milk (disgusting, but if someone wanted..take it). Finally, we found this crazy expensive formula..$300 a month..Prevacid..and who knew not all bottles were the same. Drop-ins are a lifesaver! So here I sit, writing this while our newly found sweetie naps for the third time today! :)

Although I believe everyone faces some sort of difficulty when learning to be a parent (like just being responsible for someone else's life isn't enough), I see ours as somewhat significant to something greater. Our situation helped me see things from a different perspective. I have always said I wanted to be a mother. "Have babies and stay home" was a typical statement for me and even got me into a bit of trouble at my first job. But I didn't was what I was meant to do. Until recently. I started working at TWC a little over a year ago and couldn't have imagined how it would change me. How the people I met would change me. Before that, I changed jobs pretty frequently...once to twice a year to be exact ;)....because I knew that I wasn't meant for Corporate America. It was just my means to the end. I'm not going to lie..the first month of my job at TWC was slightly rough..thanks to a very particular man ;)...but after that transition, I definitely saw the reason behind it (I'm not saying I liked it...ha ha). The job made me question my original purpose. I enjoyed going to work and figured I would find a way to manage both, when the time came. Well, that time came a little sooner than expected and 5 months into the job, I was faced with the dreaded conversation. It worked out fine and 8 months later...I was "enjoying" maternity leave. Then came the decision that seemed so easy just a year before. I talked myself into the fact that working was the best thing for me and Corbin. A very wise lady ;) told me one time that a happy mother was a good mother and that meant that no matter whether I worked or stayed home..if I was happy, Corbin would be happy. So I signed Corbin up for daycare and dropped him off at nanny's house on my first day back.

It was suddenly clear as day. I was wrong. Everyone finds their way differently and I have been known to completely believed in signs. The most obvious one being a voice that tells you where you should go and what you should do. I had ignored mine in going back to a job I loved. The more I ignored it, the sicker Corbin became. I believe in fate, but I also believe that when you chose to ignore your own finds a way of reminding you of your own direction. I believe Corbin is my reminder. The first day back was what I needed to remind myself that even though, I could be a good working mother...Corbin needed me more than that and the sacrifice I needed to make was one for him. To learn what it truly means to be a mother.

I know that every baby is different and some, Richard in fact, thrive on watching thier mothers do it ALL. My hopes in leaving TWC to stay at home with him is that in 20 years I will know that my sacrifice shaped him into who he will become. I know Richard looks at his mother that way. That she worked to prove to him that she was willing to do everything she could to provide for him. My mother always speaks of this job she LOVED when she met my father. She gave it up to move to India with him. To this day, she describes it as the best job she ever had. Not because the work was so thrilling, but because of the people she shared it with. I'm sure TWC will be that for me. I'm not the easiest person to understand and for the first time in my career, I felt proud of who I was. I even got to work with someone just like me :)! I am forever changed by each of them and in 20 years, Corby will be too.