One thing I've really been thinking about the past few days is my tendency to handle the newborn stage...well, badly. I don't do well when I'm tired and hungry. Tired, of course, because when you have a newborn and especially when you're nursing, you're tired. Hungry because when I'm nursing, especially the first few months, I'm hungry all the time. In the past I've been pretty ugly - mostly to my dear husband. He and I have had some nasty fights during the first few months of both of our kids' lives. I feel so sorry for myself, martyr that I consider myself to be, and become consumed with how tired I am and how overworked I am, and how it's so hard being the only one who can feed the baby and blah blah blah. In my rational moments I realize that my husband is just as tired and overworked as I am because he usually gets up and changes the baby's diaper in the middle of the night so that I can go to the bathroom or get a drink of water or whatever before nursing...and then he gets up and goes to work the next day. He's also doing a lot of the work around the house that I'm not able to do and taking care of the other kids. Not easy after a full day of work. I also realize that it is such a blessing to have the newborn that causing me such angst. I know that there are so many women who have trouble conceiving who would give anything to be as tired and hungry and beaten down as I am at that moment. And I do understand how quickly that time actually does go and that at some point the fog does clear and things do get better.
In my defense, I've had two rather difficult babies due to acid reflux. The second was on reflux medicine and still fussy, out of sorts and would not sleep a wink. Come to find out, when she was around 4 months old, she had more severe reflux than we realized and needed stronger medicine. Once she was on the new medication, she was the sweetest, easiest baby! So I feel that has a little to do with my terrible state of being. But I take responsibility for not handling things well and have really been thinking about how I can do better this time. And I think I will.
For one thing I have really gotten into offering my suffering up. I have come to understand this so much better - especially during this pregnancy. I think this will really help me to stay in a better frame of mind this go around. Also, I read some posts today that really helped me a lot! I've marked them and plan to return to them as often as I need to during those hard first few months. The Lord led me right to them this morning as I had a rare opportunity to really sit and read some posts. Two are here and here at Chez Ouiz. Another was a very informative post with lots of great excerpts from a book by St. Francis de Sales that Jen at Et Tu? points out about handling anger and dealing with temptation. I think I need to get the book and read it myself and use some of the tools to help me out!
I'm sure I will falter and have some bad moments but I am really going to try this time to do better. Especially towards my husband who is the best husband and dad anyone could ask for and doesn't deserve to have to put up with the likes of me...but does anyway! And if anyone reading this would like to offer up a prayer for me, I would appreciate it and would offer the same to you when the time comes that you would need it! After all, that is why we're all here - to be Christ to each other. I am going to try to treat each moment of this pregnancy as my last time to go through it because you never know what will happen in the future. As Ouiz says in her post
I am not guaranteed another tomorrow, let alone another child.I never want to think - if only I had known it was my last, I would have done this or that differently. So I need to cherish every moment - even the late night ones - as much as I will cherish this baby itself! And last, I'll do a lot of calling on some of my favorite mothers - St. Monica, St. Anne and our Holy Mother - for help!!