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That guilty feeling

My friend and I went for a hike today, which was great cuz I needed my ass kicked. I am so out of shape. Anyways, we talked a lot about being a mom and how insane it is. These guilty feelings we get over different things. Got me thinkin’…

One of the things we talked about is how raising babies is so boring but soooo exhausting and involved. It makes no sense, but it makes perfect sense. So I end up taking breaks to gap out on my phone instead, or I don’t and end up going bonkers anyways. I used to go through the alphabet with them, and count to ten in different languages. What happened to that? I so wanted to play with them when they were tiny and mostly immobile, I wanted to talk to them and teach them sign language. Now they’re old enough and I just don’t do it. I always feel like I should be doing so much better. My family tells me I’m a good mom. The fact that I have incredible kids tells me that I am a good mom. But I still don’t buy it. I still feel like a bad mom.

So if I know I’m a good mom through science, why should I trust my crazy brain? Well… It’s hard not to trust your brain. But also, I’m always concentrating on the things I should be doing and am not accomplishing. I’m not paying attention to the fact that I’m doing some pretty good things. As I type this, I also worry that if I focus too hard on what I’m doing I won’t  be at all focused on the things I should be doing. I need to find that balance.

On another note, quitting the antidepressants has not been going well. I maybe could have chosen a better time than teething time, but it wasn’t really working the same as when I was pumping. I wasn’t feeling like myself. So between the multiple migraines and body pain, I’ve been a wreck. Which is super fun. The kids have been teething really bad and now they’re having a delayed reaction to their chicken pox vaccine. They said it would probably happen, and it’s right on time. Birdy is having a rough few days. So that means the whole house has been having a rough few days.

I really want to get a job too. I miss working at something. I miss contributing to the bills and financial state of things. I’m also not ready for the kids to go to daycare, and technically we can survive on Dave’s job and my maternity leave. But I don’t want to survive. I want a damn house. I want my own space so friggin’ bad I can taste it. I want Dave to have space for his tools and his hobbies. I want us to have a band room. I want the kids to have rooms…. Soon. But I feel guilty that I can’t get a job, or get my shit together enough to make more of an effort to find one. I feel guilty that I can’t let go and send them to daycare. I feel guilty that the better part of the financial burden is on him. And he’s such a great, responsible man.. He does so much, and does it so happily. I’m so incredibly lucky. I’m pretty messed up through all of this but if I didn’t have Dave, I have no idea where I would be. He’s so helpful. Ohmigahd.

So.. Guilt can really eat at us. And add that to a general level of shitty mental health in the masses, plus a stupid fucking pandemic that’s kicking everyone’s asses.

This is a message from next day Courtenay: I fell asleep while writing this. So in the grand tradition of not reading or editing myself, I’m just gonna post it. But apologies if it makes no sense. This blog is mostly for me to bitch and commiserate with my fellow MadMoms.

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Updates on the greats

Get it? The greats are my tits. Heh heh…

What a neglectful blogger I’ve been. It’s not you, it’s me. As I always say – two babies is a LOT of babies.

So let’s start where we left off. I DID end up weaning off the breast pump. And I’m not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that I’d already tried to stop, because it never really came back to full strength, but it was significantly easier than I expected. We moved on Oct 17 and I didn’t really feel that full that day, so I just kind of…. Didn’t pump. The next day I expected to feel like the girls were going to fall off my chest, but nope. I pumped for five or ten minutes that night but then I didn’t again for like two or three days. When I did pump again it was for maybe ten mins, and then I think I went a week before pumping for the last time. What a glorious occasion it was returning that Medela Symphony to the pharmacy!

I was fairly sore on and off for two or three weeks, and very sensitive. I’d jostle them or reach for something too fast and I’d get a pang. The babies have this awesome habit of grabbing a handful of tit while laying on the change table, and I think this is how they learned how to tell when they inflict pain. They seem to notice ow’s and ah’s a bit more now. The best is when they get the nipple! 😩

The biggest side effect was probably the depression. I had some dark, dark days for a good three weeks. Those hormones kicked my arse as hard as any of those bad postpartum days, except the contrast was there. I’ve had very few postpartum issues since we successfully sleep-trained the babies, so going from a string of good days to a really bad one felt like I fell off a cliff. When my default mode was lost and depressed it didn’t seem like such a drop to the really bad days cuz I was already halfway there.

I have a friend going through a similar phase – dropping the breastfeeding and getting some brainclouds. She asked me about it and it kinda made me think about it. It’s funny how we forget the horrors of life sometimes to protect ourselves. I remember haaaating being pregnant, but I have to really think about why. I know I almost had a nervous breakdown when our preemie newborns came home after 6 stressful weeks in the NICU (which, once we brought them home seemed like a breeze in comparison.) It’s still been hard, even as it gets easier. I’m guessing that it’s a part of being human, so we keep procreating. I can’t really remember how bad any of these things were. So naturally when she asked, I didn’t have a really helpful or empathetic answer. Definitely remember a few days where I just had to bail and leave the kids with my sister to drive and cry for a few hours.

Another issue once we stopped breastfeeding (pumping) was trying to figure out how to feed them. Around the end of October/beginning of November, we started trying the Baby Led Feeding and the kids are really diggin’ real food. They go bananas for bananas! We’d give them some fruit and eggs (which apparently we were supposed to start slow on, but no issues so far) and then finish off with a bag of the puree. We’ve since stopped the puree after their lunches and dinners. They were on full formula until they turned one at Christmas, then we figured it’s time to cut that out because it’s expensive, they’re old enough to stop, and we still give them vitamins. We put them on organic homo milk, but the Moose boy seems to spend the next couple hours puking it up. Birdy has no problems, she has her dad’s strong stomach. Poor moose! We’re just chalking it up to an allergy. We just tried coconut milk but they’re not super fond of it. Gonna try goat’s milk tonight but I remember that being fairly bitter so I don’t have high hopes. They only really have it in the morning and before bed, and in the past few days we’ve started eliminating the breakfast bottle to make way for real food (purees.) So basically right now we do a half bottle in the morning with a bag or two of puree, a lunch of fruits, eggs and meats after each nap, and a full bottle before bed.

It’s interesting trying to figure out food for babies. I’m always worried I’m gonna overfeed them and set them up for obesity like their dad and I. Birdy is such a skinny little lady, and Moose had some pudge but is by no means a chubby baby. It’s hard to tell sometimes when they’re full cuz they’ll keep snacking. There’s definitely a turning point between hungry and snacky, I just have to pay attention. We also give them water in sippy cups that they can have whenever they want, and sometimes when they don’t want cuz their poops are like chalk.

Other than that, not a lot going on. I’m planning to do a post on going back to work soon, cuz that is a possibility on the horizon. In fact, I bet some of the readers of this post are checking up on me as part of a hiring process because for some crazy reason I gave this mouthy little diary as part of a job application. Whether I get the job or not, it’s definitely provoked me to blog again. So that’s a plus! Maybe I’ll sort through some of the half finished drafts I have on here. I’m still working on that baby shower gift guide I promised.

Ok babies are up. Gotta empty the mom bladder, go change some diapers and start making baby charcuterie.

Love y’all!