Thursday, January 31, 2008

Asexual milk machine seeks guidance...

Despite every book that told me as much would happen, despite all the warnings from girlfriends, I find myself completely and utterly taken aback by how disinterested I am in sex. This is NOT like me… I love sex. I enjoy sex. I am not shy about loving and enjoying sex. But here I am- quietly and irrationally resenting Husband for the awful crime of… *gasp*… being attracted to me and loving me enough to want some.
There are the usual reasons for my lack of zest, of course. I am tired from trying to find time for a full-time job, a marriage, and oh yeah, that crazy little gal I call my daughter. I am still trying to come to terms with the new physical version of myself. That’s a big one. And it’s not just the changes from pregnancy and birth, but things like the absence of pedicures and frequently shaved legs- little things I would never have neglected prior to the baby. It’s tough to find your inner vixen when she’s been driven away by the constant smell of breastmilk puke.
There’s also the state of my relationship with Husband. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an excellent and healthy marriage. But it’s also still a marriage with a newborn. It’s easy to switch on for to make the sexy time when you’ve had ample time with your partner for connecting, communicating, just being together. Husband and I hadn’t slept in the same bed for a couple of weeks up until we figured out this reflux business. Our time together, our conversations, they focus largely on our daughter’s needs. That’s appropriate, obviously. We are putting her first and working together to be good parents. But it does leave you feeling sort of… I don’t know… far away from your partner. Definitely not as intimately and profoundly in tune with one another as you were before baby- you’re too busy being in tune with the baby.
But I think the biggest obstacle has been my state of mind. The only way I can describe how I feel is … well… utilitarian. My body and my very self seem to be in a constant state of producing/providing/procuring to meet someone else’s needs or demands. The baby needs a ton of care on a daily basis, but I have to give credit that Husband has done his half and more. Beyond that, she requires my body to produce her sustenance. Which means almost every other aspect of my life is in some way ruled by how it will affect her milk. My sleep, my diet, my clothing, my schedule, my appearance, my exercise… all are modified to meet her needs. And I’m back at work- so there are a myriad of people who need things of me here, and a lot of pressure to meet the needs of my internal clients. Then there’s all the things I should be doing for others and feel guilty for not getting to- the unwritten thank you notes, the unreturned phone calls, the family and friends who want to see the baby, the meals I never cook, the house I cannot seem to clean…
So by the end of the day, the prospect of sex sometimes feels like one more demand, one more person who needs something to be given of my most basic self. Like, I can barely find time to eat during the day and you want the last bit of my energy to get your rocks off? It feels like one more way in which someone needs to use my body, even when I have no time or energy to use it for myself. It’s a completely irrational and unfair way for me to feel, too. Husband is a wonderfully giving and attentive lover- he wants to make love for the feeling of connectedness and for my pleasure as much for his own fulfillment. He has never pressured me. And in my more rested and rational moments, I want sex as much if not more than he does. I mean.. he’s HOT! And good at it! (Sorry, Mom…) But when I have not been alone in weeks except to go to Target (to buy things for the baby) and I can’t wait to get to work so I’ll be able to pee whenever I need to… well, not so much on the sexy time. Now enters the guilt for how this must make poor Husband feel. I don’t for a single second want him to think he is not desirable and wonderful and amazing. Because he is- it’s the ultimate “it’s not you, it’s me”.
So veteran Mamas… any advice? Scratch that. Advice I’ve got- all of it impractical shit like “make time for yourself… take a long bath…get away for a few hours…” which I’m sure you all got too. How about just some reassurance and a hang in there or two? Anyone want to be a wet nurse /body double for about 24 hours? I swear that’s all I’d need…

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One Part Mama, One Part Detective, One Part Amateur Nurse...

Want to know the single greatest discovery made by modern humans? Maalox. Without a freakin' doubt- screw space travel, refrigeration, computers, all of that... Maalox is the most beautiful gift ever given to the human race. For it was Maalox, just 1/8th of a teaspoon, that gave me five hours of sleep. In a row. TWICE. And it was Maalox that transformed my grumpy, fidgety, unhappy baby into a chubby cherub with a sunny loving disposition. I heart Maalox. I'd marry it if I could. I'd have little Maalox-bottle babies.

As you might have guessed, we've had a little bout with reflux at our house. But this was so called "silent" reflux. (Which is a crap name because babies who have it are anything BUT silent.) Our little dolly didn't spit up often and had only gone all Exorcist-child with the vomit twice. But she was only sleeping 1 1/2 hours at a time and feeding as often as she woke up. And she only slept decently when I held her while I was sitting up. She had hiccups all day every day and a runny nose. Oh, and this "silent" reflux came with a God-awful grunty/throat clearing sound. Top that off with a bad case of the heinous fussies and you get two parents who are at their wits' end. IT. WAS. AWFUL.

But thanks to Mama's astonishing Internet research skills, we've figured things out. The good doctor has concurred and written a prescription for Zantac, bless him. It's like having an entirely different baby- one who sleeps and doesn't seem pissed off about being alive. And now she comes with functioning non-zombie parents!

So... good times at our casa. Now I leave you with a photo of Her Refluxness in her Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes. (Those are church clothes, for the Yankees...)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Now with 50% less yawning!

Praise be to God, Allah, Mohamed, Jesus, Mary, the Saints, Mother Earth, and any other spirit/deity involved...
The baby? She slept. 3- 3 1/2 hours in a row. Three times. IN ONE NIGHT.
Mama feels like a new woman!

In other news...
I got this fun phone call at home yesterday. Seriously... I can take attacking candidates on voting records, issues, even things they've said on the campaign trail. But this was a 2 1/2 minute message in which this guy (no joke) accused Hillary Clinton of slashing tires, killing a cat, and making "false promises to adopt an orphan" despite knowing Bill had a "harem" in the White House.
If I want that kind of shit, I'll buy the Enquirer. And how threatened, how desperate, how tiny-dicked does a guy have to be to hate her so much?
I love living in the South, but sometimes the politics just kill me. An ignorant, overwhelming, knee-jerk fear of all things not extreme Bible-banging right wing is not being a good conservative or a good Christian or even a smart human being. It's ignorance and a patent refusal to think. People down here will believe just about any damn thing no matter how wild if it's told to them about a Democrat or a supposed liberal. I could send out an email claiming I saw one of the Dem candidates bludgeon an old lady to death with a baby wrapped in the Chinese flag in front of a 100 foot tall burning cross on a swastika-shaped stage. Within hours, it would be "truth". And people would use it.

Oh, and hey... my condolences to Matilda Rose. Heath Ledger may have been eye candy to the rest of us, but he was your Daddy. Lots of love, little one.

And while you're thinking about people, send some Internet-love to my sister. She's 13 weeks pregnant and just got a diagnosis of kidney disease and possible lupus. It's going to be a long road with a certain premature delivery of this baby and a kidney transplant in her future. Makes me want to quit whining about my sleep and go hug my baby. I think I will.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

WARNING: May Induce Diabetic Coma

I know, right?

Could you not just eat her cheeks with a side of chocolate sauce?

Just went back to work- more on that later.

She's still cluster feeding and not sleeping longer than 2 hours at night. More on that later as well.

But I leave you with a Funny Husband moment.

Scene: 12:30 a.m., our living room...Baby Girl has been agitated and screaming since 9:00. Mama has just handed her off to Daddy ten minutes ago.

Me: Is she SLEEPING for you? Just like that?

Husband: (in a desperate stage whisper) go!.... save yourself!..... just don't forget me........