Sunday, December 13, 2009

It Never Gets Easier

I'm a pro. Or so, that's what some people call me when I tell them that Little Violet is my 5th child.

"Oh, This is all just old hat for you, right?"
"I bet you have this motherhood thing down pat."
"You must be a pro at this by now."

And, I'm here to tell ya, it never gets any easier. First child, Fifth child, it feels exactly the same to me. Well, not exactly the same, but really close.

I still have dreams that I've fallen asleep and rolled over on top of her and smothered her. I am re-reading the parenting books like it's the first time. I still fumble around that little umbilical cord stump like I've never seen one before. I still wonder, every time she cries, why is she crying? Is something wrong? Was it something I ate? Is she sick? Should I call the pediatrician?

Sometimes I feel like I should be smarter by now! I should know what I'm doing and be able to do it with my eyes closed! But just last week I took Violet for her 2-week check up. And, not only had she not gained back her birth weight, she'd lost a few more ounces. I felt like a dog with its tail between its legs. WHAT WAS I DOING??? Well, I know what I was doing... she's a champion sleeper so I'd been letting her sleep 3, 4, even 5 hours at a time and not feeding her until she woke up on her own. So, basically, I was starving my own baby. But she wasn't crying! And she wasn't fussy or fidgety! And I have about a dozen more excuses!

I told Texan Papa that I feel really awful. I mean, REALLY awful. Because, you know, we all joke about the one basic requirement of a mom is to keep your children alive. But HELLO? I was even sorta failing on that expectation.

Now, I've gotten militant about feeding her every 2 or 3 hours, and she's already making a lot more poopy diapers. I go in on Monday for another weight check. I'm praying that she's fatter.

It just blows my mind that if Violet had been someone else's child, and I'd heard that story, I would have been all, "DUH. You need to feed her more often. Poor baby isn't getting enough to eat!" But because it was myself, I couldn't see it.

Maybe it's the post-partum hormones screwing up my brain. Maybe it's all the chaos of 4 other children. I don't know. But some days I feel like I need a CPS (Child Protective Services) person coming by to check on me to make sure I haven't completely forgotten how to be a parent.

God bless Little Violet. And hopefully He will protect her in spite of my best parenting efforts!

(Edited Monday Morning:) WOO HOO I took Violet to the doctor today and she's up from 7 lb. 2 oz. to 7 lb. 13 oz!!! 11 ounces in a week!!! Thanks for all the words of encouragement!


Karly said...

Don't beat yourself up about it! She wasn't crying or acting hungry, how were you supposed to know? Now that you know she's losing weight, you're doing what you can to make her gain. You're a good mama. She's gonna be fine.

Gigi said...

Of course your not a pro-every child is different so with each new one you have start all over. Had mine EVER slept I'd have done the exact same thing! Give yourself a hug 'cause you are doing a awesome job being a mom to all five of them!

Emily said...

I'm so sorry you've having to go through this. You're not alone though...I totally did the same thing. With the first we don't know what we're doing and with the second onward, we're just in such survival mode and running on negative sleep that it's easy to just do what you gotta go. You are an AWESOME mom and I bet little Violet's a porker real soon!

Foursons said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. If I had to guess, I'd say it is fatigue that makes us not think straight. But Violet is fine and she will grow to be big and strong and healthy just like your other kids. Don't worry!

Anna See said...

Texan Mama-- I fed Molly around the clock. She slept with my nipple in her mouth and ate constantly. It still took her a month to gain her birth weight back. I was a wreck and felt like a failure. Hang in there. I know she is going to be fine!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I can't say enough times that I wish we were in the same neighborhood (it'd be cool if I could live in Texas since I could be a Cowboys season ticket holder but then I don't take nearly enough time to do my hair up so...anyway) - chilllll, girlfriend.

You are amazing with the babies and the mothering. We circle of girlfriends would make sure you knew that every afternoon; more tea/cocktails, less anxiety. ;D

Jennifer said...

She'll be fine. If I had a baby that slept I would hve done the same thing.

Michelle said...

Don't beat yourself up! My B was a champion sleeper and I thought it was crazy when the doctor told me to wake him in the middle of the night to feed him. I did it at first but once he went in for his first weight check and he was gaining weight they said it was fine to let him go. I bet she will gain it back quickly!

Sturgmom said...

I'm with you- I would have let her sleep! Honestly, though, she's probably past that sleepy newborn stage and will start waking up on her own more often.

But you're right- it never gets easier. Ever.