Sunday, February 21, 2010

Post-Shower Blues

I'm in a really weird place right now. We had the baby shower yesterday, and it was really great. It was nice to have so many friends show up and I felt really loved.

Today I just feel ... strange. I don't know--maybe it's post-baby-shower letdown. I still need to figure out what to buy, and I still don't want to buy stuff too soon, but I'm getting kind of frantic to have everything in place so that I can stop worrying about it. I've become kind of stuff-obsessed, probably because I still can't envision how this is all going to work out. Not that I think it won't work out, but I just wish I could picture it, you know.

Oh, and my mother in law really upset me yesterday. My sister, my dad, and several of my friends went in together and put together a fund to hire me a night nanny. They’ve gathered enough to pay for seven nights, and they think they might be able to get a few more. This is a really great present. It doesn’t have to be seven nights in a row—I can spread it out over several weeks. But it does make me feel strange, because the night nanny is really most useful if I’m pumping or using formula instead of breastfeeding, and I still don’t know how that’s going to work out, and I have this fantasy that I’m actually going to be able to breastfeed my babies and all will be well. Then again, last night at 4 a.m. when I still wasn’t asleep and was feeling frantic, it occurred to me that having a night nanny come once a week for a couple of months is probably an amazing thing. And once I got over the idea that now I was going to have to buy the expensive items on my registry myself, I realized that this is probably a really fabulous present, because I will buy the stroller and car seats myself, but I would never splurge on a night nanny myself.

So what does my MIL have to do with it? I ended up arriving ½ hour late to the party (which annoyed me, but I couldn’t rush my friends who were driving with us, because they had traveled down from B’more to come to the shower). Apparently, before I got there—but while a lot of my friends were there—my sister asked my MIL whether she wanted to contribute to the night-nanny gift. And not only did she refuse, she gave my sister a dressing down in front of everyone, lecturing about how she would NEVER contribute to something like that because SHE had twins and SHE didn’t have any nighttime help and so on. (I didn’t get the exact quote.) So she really upset my sister, which just pisses me off. Because my sister has been WAY more supportive than anyone else in my family about all this.

And speaking of my sister, she took me out to dinner last week and told me that she might be splitting up with her husband. She’s already moved out into the guest bedroom, and I think it’s just a matter of months before they separate. The reasons are hard to explain (and when I tried to explain them to J he got really frustrated with me). The short version sounds like a cliché—she’s spent her whole life trying to make other people happy, and as part of that has pretended that she’s fine and not “damaged” (her word, not mine, because I think we learn and grow from our scars) by our rocky childhood (hers much worse than mine), and basically has been faking a happy family/happy marriage for years. But the thing is, it’s hard to explain why the marriage isn’t working. Her husband is a great guy, and she loves him. So there’s no villain here. She just wants out, and it sounds to me like it’s really going to happen. And it even sounds to me like this might be really good for her. I’m so glad that, after all these years, she’s taking a stand for herself and being a bit selfish.

But—to be a bit selfish myself—this really sucks. She and her husband and my nephew have been a HUGE source of stability for me. I mean, for god’s sake, J and I have been planning on executing a will naming them as the guardians of our kids if something happens to us. We love them as a couple, and I don’t know what happens to our tiny little family unit we’ve created here in DC if they split up. The truth is, this family unit right now consists of me, my husband, and my sister and her family. After all my broken/fucked up family problems, I've settled on creating a new family for our children. So it's hard to see that fantasy dissolve.

And it also just makes me sad. Because I want her to be happy, but I’m not sure this will make her happy, and I know it’s going to devastate her husband and hurt her child and I love them, too. And there’s NO ONE I can talk to about this. It’s not like I can talk to J’s mom about it, and I don’t think most of my friends would understand. (Though at least now that the shower’s over I can talk to them about it. I didn’t want anyone to feel awkward at the shower.) The truth is, the person I talk to about stuff like this is my sister, and the last thing I want to do is lay a guilt trip on her when she’s finally finding herself.

Okay, now I’m sitting in my chair bawling. I think I hadn’t realized how upset I was about this before now. It’s just that everything seems to be going topsy turvy right when I need stability more than anything.

And it doesn't help that my body's frequent temper tantrums have me completely disoriented. I ended up staying up too late last night, then was awake most of the night with back pain and burning, screaming, excrutiating heartburn that no drug seemed able to touch. I'm having trouble even finding foods I can eat. Had macaroni with butter and parmesean for lunch today--how sad is that. So then I ended up sleeping all afternoon today, and now it's dark outside and I'm just disoriented and fussy.

I’m worried that I’m going to end up freaking out when I’m stuck at home with the babies. I think I need my job more for structure than for stimulation. When I'm home for several days in a row, especially alone, I get into this funk where I don't know what I should be doing or feeling.

So I’m kind of a mess today.

* * *

Wanted to note that I realized there IS someone I can talk to. Called my BFF in Boston who I sometimes forget I can hit with this stuff, even though her life is very different from mine. It was really nice, and I'm feeling a bit better.


Lorraine said...

I think any amount of night nurse is going to be so wonderful, especially in the beginning. It's probably a good idea to have her come every few nights at the beginning for at least part of the allotment so that she can help you establish techniques and routines that can see you through the nights you are on your own.

Everything you are going through makes sense - this is such a time of transition and everything - new babies, sister stuff - contributes to the unknown. BUT, you'll figure it out. Really. And I totally get the stranded-at-home-alone thing. I have already signed up for baby RIE classes, mostly to give me something to do regularly a few times a week and a way to meet other parents of like-aged kids. And around here, things like that fill up fast, and the waiting lists are a mile long - yikes!

kate said...

A NIGHT NURSE!!! Your family is AWESOME. What a fabulous idea! (But EFF your MIL for being such a bitch. I mean, I'm sorry you're jealous that no one did that for YOU, but don't be a jerk about someone else offering the help to a person who clearly could use the help... bitch.)

And I'm so sorry about your sister. That must be an incredibly difficult position to be in for her. To be honest, I've never considered leaving H, but his decisions in the last 24 hours have left me wondering whether I'd be better to leave him and suffer now, or to stay with him and suffer watching him kill himself slowly over the next 20 years. What I mean is that I can understand wanting to escape a situation in spite of how much you love a person. It's sad. And hard.


I *so* hear you on the temper tantrums. And I hear you on the "WTF did I eat NOW that caused heartburn???" And the wonky sleeping schedule. Pregnancy may be SO WORTH the end result, but it doesn't make it suck less. I've really become such an emotional wreck lately. And my body is also really starting to feel the effects of pregnancy, too. Overall, I can't really complain, because the first 20 weeks were pretty easy (all things considered), but things are certainly not getting easier, and I'm not enjoying that aspect of pregnancy. Grr.

Shinejil said...

Urgh, the old "it sucked for me, so it has to suck for everyone else" bs. Get over yourself, lady! Let the next generation have some help.

A night nanny is such a great idea, even if you have to get up once or so in the middle of the night to pump (and learning to pump early is really helpful--rent a hospital-grade pump for the first month). You'll get some relief for when you hit those sleep deprivation walls and start going insane. I mean that quite literally: I began acting really crazy every week or so until I would get 3-4 hours in a row.

It's rough about your sis. Big changes like that are going to feel really hard right now; you're vulnerable and in a huge transition. I hope she finds happiness.

Shinejil said...

Uh, in case it wasn't clear: the lady in question in first graf is your MIL.

You have all my sympathy and wishes that things get easier soon!

Good Egg Hunting said...

I totally understand the funk you're in. You know, I think a lot of it has to do with an IF patient you spend a lot of time sort of spinning your wheels, working toward something and feeling a ton of angst that is directed toward a specific end. When you're pregnant, there's suddenly nothing specific to worry about, just a general feeling of angst about the life change ahead of you. So there's all this free-floating anxiety and not one place toward which to direct it. It's a hard transition, even though you're obviously happy to be in that position! Everything you feel sounds so totally normal to me, though. And I totally understand your being upset with your MIL -- unnecessary! You will be so happy your family got you a night nanny. We called an agency the first week home with the baby as we were at the end of our rope with the sleep deprivation. A friend of mine who has twins had recommended them to us -- said they saved her life in the first weeks. Beyond just rescuing you those evenings, they can help you figure out a routine (or as much of one as possible) and troubleshoot issues -- they come with experience! Such a thoughtful present! Anyway, hang in there!

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one-hit_wonder said...

sorry for the family problems, aches and pains, etc. it's a lot to deal with all at once.

baby nurse=great idea!