Monday, December 8, 2008


From the moment we walked out of the hospital, poor Charles has been besieged by pain and suffering: gas, blisters on his newly-exposed winkie (post c-i-r-c), and horrible, horrifying diaper rash. I am now convinced that if there were tests or certification courses to determine eligibility for parenthood, I would not have made the cut. Disregarding my ridiculous weight gain (still can't wear my wedding rings) and stress during pregnancy, my overall performance as Mom has been abysmal. And truly, I have been afforded every luxury: a husband and extended family to care for me and Charlie, friends to bring us dinner (I haven't cooked a meal since delivery... how's that for useless around the house? Don't even get me started on the sad state of laundry and other chores), and enough money to buy what we need. All signs point to "Should Be Able to Effing Do This." But I can't, apparently. Instead, my baby cries because he's hurting and I can't do anything about it, other than offer him a bloody, blistered breast and hope that causing myself boob pain will somehow take his pain away. Except that it doesn't, because the more he eats, the more he dirties his diapers, and the more his butt hurts.

So I called his doctor today and we have yet another prescription paste to put on his rash, with instructions that if things aren't drastically better by Wednesday, we are to go in so I can be chastised by the nursing staff for DOING IT ALL WRONG.

So why have I painstakingly typed this post out with one hand while holding a dozing infant (he hasn't napped more than 20 minutes at a time today)? To implore you to pray, wish upon a star, or hope that Charles will get some relief from his suffering and there will be less crying in this household (by the both of us). Because I can't fix it, even though I would gladly suffer through cracked nipples and thirty extra pounds for THE REST OF MY LIFE if he would just be okay. And I suppose that I might have just cursed myself there, so, in the future, if Charles does get better and I complain about my fat ass, will someone please remind me that I traded looks for the health of my baby? Totally worth it, but I might never leave the house again. Oh, and if you're looking for a cute wardrobe, size 6, cheap, just let me know.

It's a good thing the doctor put me back on birth control, because I can't fathom subjecting another child to my ineptitude.


Sylvie said...

Hi Amelia - Sylvie-the-lurker here.
First of all, you are NOT failing as a mom...You are the best Mom Charles could have asked for. The proof: you are worried sick because something is not right with him and you feel helpless. The doctors and nurses are there to help both of you. Hopefully they can figure out what's going on. It can be something as simple as a food allergy (but I am not a dr). My second baby cried for more than a month before I figured out that he was severly allergic to any dairy I ate (and that also made his bottom very, very upset).
Hang in there..It's tough to be a new mom, especially when sleep is lacking and baby is hurting.
Don't worry about your 30 pounds, they'll go away sooner than you think.

Mom and Dad said...

Hear hear!! I second Sylvie's comment and echo that you are a terrific mom and wife. Feeling down can be part of the deal. But it will get better. Sylvie is right, sometimes it is a matter of finding the right combination of food, diapers, cream, and time. I am sorry that you are feeling so low, but we love you and like you would take away all the bad stuff if we could. That's what parents are supposed to feel. That's why we love our kids. That means you...You both are still new to each other and feeling your way through. Sleep deprivation is a tough one. Remember I was the one who had the son whose bottom was left in the old style Pampers so long that his bottom was red, blistered, and nasty and he turned out okay? right? Course I haven't seen his bottom for a while. YOu will have to take that on yourself. Take care, my sweet. You are doing the right thing. Love ya

chasecarole said...

Ditto. You are a good mom, and remember the old adage that this too shall pass.

When Michael had rotavirus (read: diarrhea pooping up to 20 times daily for 10 days) he had the world's most terrible, awful diaper rash. Our doctor actually told us to put vaginal yeast infection cream on it. I bought some miconazole and by golly it did the trick. Also, let him go without a diaper as much as you dare, allowing as much as air as possible to circulate round his bum.

I promise that before you know it you will totally feel like you have a handle on this parenting thing (and then you will do something crazy like me and decide to have a second one).

And as for the 30 pounds, just be glad it's not 50 like it was for me last time!

Landons said...

After Noelle was born I had HORRIBLE depression with paranoia,and very irrational angry thoughts about my baby. I thought I would never have fun again. I thought that my husband would find out that I was a ridiculous excuse for a Mom and would find someone else.I secretly wished that someone would take her away and that I could just go back to my old life. So much crying and barfing...there seemed to be no end in sight... but even with no loving feelings toward her (which you clearly DO have) I was caring for her and meeting her needs. The issues Charlie is having are beyond your control-flat out! Don't blame yourself!!!

The bottom line: Having a newborn is survival mode. Keep doing what you can for him, try to take care of yourself (this includes praising yourself for the good things you do!-VERY IMPORTANT), and pray a simple little prayer-"Help me God! I can't do this alone!" Some days that sums it all up. I'm praying for you too! You're a great Mama and he's a very lucky little boy! This WILL pass- hang in there!

Sarah said...

I think all these ladies said it so well, so I'm just here to be a broken record. You ARE already doing a great job, Charlie's just having some issues (it's rough being a newborn). And he's SO lucky to have a wonderful mom like you. I have to say that the newborn stage is by far the hardest and it will only get better. Even the "perfect mom", whoever the heck that is, could not cure Charlie of all his ills and fussiness. Some babies are just more sensitive than others. I'll have to tell you what one of my friends said about her darling daugther as a newborn: it's not appropriate for the internet.

K Schimmy said...

"From the trenches," as you said... I just had my worst day yet yesterday. Battling Mastitis and the reaction from a Pertussis vaccine, still can't breastfeed my own child, attached to the pump every two-and-a-half hours for almost an hour (including icing down the boobs), and sleeping/eating the rest of the time because my lactation specialist told me to "get rest" to get over the problems, while my sick husband tries to take care of a squalling infant with a bandana over his mouth so he won't get Ruary sick... I had a big breakdown because I really don't get to spend any time with my baby, and I wonder if we're missing out on vital bonding time during these first few weeks. I haven't been a praying person for a long time, but I have been getting back in touch with pleading to the heavens for better days. I am adding you to my lists of requests. We're pulling for the same cause, we're fighting the good fight and we will win.

Keleigh said...

I am so bummed that my RSS reader failed me and I am just getting this post now. I'm sure you're through the hormonal moment of failure by now. In fact, you've probably had several loops of feelings of success and failure in the days since you posted. Sleep deprivation, hormones, and an inexplicable rash crashing into a puddle of frustration must *feel* like failure. But you KNOW that simply isn't true. You're doing GREAT! I'm in awe of you both. Hang in there!