Hello out there. I realize it has been some time since I last posted. There is a negative portrayal of dead baby mamas who cease blogging after their Rainbow is born. While I can see the appeal and distraction of a new live baby, it isn’t the whole story of what’s been going on in Griefland.
After baby Dragon’s unexpected and traumatic birth, we had the usual no-sleep, constant baby-tending couple months. She then settled herself into a nice predictable routine. And then, the wheels came off. She was fussy and needy. She wouldn’t nap unless someone was holding her. She was crying while nursing and bucking at the breast. Her nighttime sleep actually worsened. I was at my wit’s end trying to understand my child and what she needed because clearly I was not guessing correctly. Meanwhile I was back to work part-time.
Fast forward another 6-8 weeks and after the pediatrician erroneously diagnosed her bloody stools as an anal fissure the G.I. specialist suggested Dragon had an allergy to the dairy in my diet. Since I have been dairy free our daughter is a happier, easier baby. AND THEN she started waking up every 45-60 minutes at night, all night long. WTF kid?! I thought we just fixed your tummy troubles. I was no longer functional – not mentally, not emotionally, not even physically (I was bumping into things, stubbing my toes…).
I’ll save you the drama of sleep training but we are making progress and finally all of us are getting some sleep. All of that to say, I’ve been absent because I’ve been struggling to meet the bare essentials. I haven’t had the time or brain power to blog. I hope I don’t come off as complaining, I adore my daughter and am thankful for every minute we have together; I just want to explain that these first 6-months have been far more challenging and exhausting than I ever could have imagined and only now am I starting to get back to “normal” - like brushing my teeth twice a day!
Sometimes I wonder if we were “chosen” to have such a high-needs baby. If she had been our first, we’d probably be quite resentful and completely out of patience. But having lost A, our gratefulness at having Dragon keeps the rest of it in balance.
Obviously, if all my time and energy has been devoted to caring for her, I haven’t had much time to spend with A. And the chronic sleep deprivation has eroded the walls that compartmentalize my grief so when I’m laying in bed or admiring my daughter, my eyes well up and I’m flooded with memories of my sweet missing son. I really need to set aside some time to sit and be with him, to be with all the emotions. I miss him.
Most of energy still goes to treading water but now, at least, my head is above the surface. Lately I am struggling to survive but it is a different kind of survival from the grief stricken days.