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I’m sitting at my desk at work as I type this. I’ve been out of the house since 6:45 AM on very little sleep (because I was an anxious and neurotic mess, not because Charlotte was up at all hours). Yesterday I was a wreck. Yesterday I cried so many tears and had so many fears about coming back to work today. This morning as I kissed my baby girl goodbye while she slept I cried even more. Then I left the house and began a commute I’ve done hundreds of times. And now? Now I’m fine. It’s strange how fine I am. Part of me now worries and feels guilty about being fine. I miss my baby and am continuously thinking about her, of course, but I feel like I never left my job. I started organizing, I caught up with coworkers, I answered the phones, I opened the mail. I did all of this and Charlotte is at home with her daddy, smiling and being the happy girl she was yesterday when I was home with her. I’m not naive enough to think that every day will be like this. I know to take it one day at a time. I know that tomorrow could be worse than today, or maybe even better. But the fact that right now, in this moment, I am perfectly okay makes me feel like I can do this for the long haul. I know I have no choice, but I feel like instead of feeling like a prisoner because I have to work, that maybe this will make me a better me and a better mom. I already pumped once and it wasn’t a disaster. I had privacy, I video chatted with Eric and Charlotte, I ate my breakfast without it getting cold and having to reheat it. I may have a headache and counting down the hours until I can leave at 4 PM, but I’m not staring at my screen holding back tears. I feel a lot stronger than I did yesterday, and this to me, is a win.
The cafeteria lady also told me how skinny I looked and gave me my coffee for free, so you know, that may have helped a bit.
Thank you to everyone who reads these posts. To all of you that take the time to comment and encourage me. Mothers are the most beautiful souls on the planet. Your words and thoughts mean more to me than you’ll ever know. The world is a better and easier place when we build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Thank you for building me up.
I used to listen to the song “Shots” by LMFAO and totally be a part of that world. “Patron on the rocks everybody’s doing shots!” I was wonderful with tequila shots. Salt and lime please! Now? Shots only bring me anxiety. Not the tequila sort either. The kind my poor child needs every two months and received yesterday.
I hate needles to begin with so I can’t handle my daughter getting them jabbed into her chunky thighs. I mean I know they’re necessary because I don’t really want Charlie walking around with a case of polio or HepB, but can’t we figure out a way to vaccinate babies without sharp objects? At two months she got 3 needles, at 4 months she thankfully only needed two. This time I was prepared and medicated her before we went to the doctor. I’m sure there are people out there who are astonished at my behavior, but I have a nice big glass of shut the hell up waiting for you right here. Eric comes with me to hold her arms down because I literally cannot handle it. I sit in the corner with my bra open waiting to feed her after the screaming. She did that scream where no sound comes out for a few seconds before the wail of all wails erupts from her tiny lungs. I hate it!!! However, 20 minutes after the needles she passed out for TWO HOURS and then woke up happy as a clam. THEN she went to sleep at 7 pm and slept until 7:30 this morning with only one wake up, so there’s that. Am I a bad mom for enjoying that side effect of the vaccines? Don’t answer that.
My little boobala weighs 14.7 pounds and is 25 inches long. She’s going to be tall like her daddy. Her head is also small as fuck so she’s like her daddy in that respect too. No complaints here! That tiny head didn’t destroy my lady bits nearly half as bad as a bigger head would have. Let’s do a shot to small baby heads!
While it may look weird, I honestly think it would be easier if babies were just born with all of their teeth. If this were the case, there would be no teething pain for baby or for mommy. As I type this, I’m wearing Charlotte as she finally goes back to sleep, after the both of us have basically been awake since 4:30 AM because of her teething pain. It’s been going on for a little while now, but this is the first time it’s actually woken her up from sleep. She refused to nurse, probably because the sucking doesn’t help the pain, and screamed until I was able to give her some medicine, but then I had to hold her and rock her because she refused to relax any other way. Part of me was dying to get back into bed, but another part of me looked at her face as she curled against my body and finally calmed down against my chest that I realized she will only be like this for a little while, and what’s some exhaustion in comparison to comforting your baby? She woke up again happy as a clam, and then when she began to gnaw and get restless again I decided to put her in her baby wrap and do squats in front of the TV. Might as well get some exercise in while this goes on, right? Except now I’m afraid to take her out of the baby wrap in case she wakes up again, and I’m starting to get really hungry. I wish I could have a giant plate of pancakes from IHOP, but I can’t because they’re made with milk and butter and I still can’t have that. I’d also like to have an omelette with cheddar, mozzarella and bacon with sour cream on the side. I think I’m a little delirious. We’ve gone from teething problems to omelette concoctions I can’t consume. Fucking teething.
Step One: Baby has fallen asleep, slowly put her down and insert Jillian Michaels DVD
Step Two: Pump yourself up for a good workout. These last 5 pounds of baby weight shall be vanquished!
Step Three: Begin the warm up. You are swinging your arms with fierce power, you begin the jumping jacks. The eyes of the baby fly open.
Step Four: Finish warm up and begin strength training portion of the DVD. Get on the ground for first push up. Baby wails.
Step Five: Try to ignore crying. Crying gets louder. WHY ARE YOU CRYING BABY?! Mommy needs to get rid of the stomach pouch you caused! I don’t want to look like a damn kangaroo!
Step Six: Attempt to pick baby up and do parts of the DVD while holding baby. Begin squatting holding baby instead of holding weights. Baby likes this. Holy shit, she doesn’t cry at all.
Step Seven: Squatting portion finishes. Baby cries again, so you just ignore the DVD and squat. Realize this is what the baby likes now and you will be squatting until your legs collapse under you and you die.
Step Eight: Turn off the DVD, put on The Real Housewives of OC and breastfeed instead. Breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day, right? RIGHT?!
A year ago today, almost at this very moment, I found out I was pregnant. I had a feeling I was pregnant for a few days even though we had just started trying (and by that I mean we had sex literally one time) and I had taken a test a few days earlier but had gotten a negative result, so I went out with coworkers and got very drunk. WHOOPS. June 19, 2014 I woke up for work, took out the tests, peed on one and let it sit on the countertop for the required two minutes. I walked out of the bathroom to get my clothes for work when I heard a buzzing sound. A very loud buzzing sound. I turned on the light in my room and saw a giant flying death beetle zooming around my bedroom ceiling fan. I did what any normal person would do and shut the bedroom door and laid on the floor. Now, I know I’m known to exaggerate some things but I am NOT exaggerating the size of this fucker. Even Eric will attest to its size because when he came home to kill it he had to break a light bulb in the process! I wish I still had the text messages I sent to him that morning, full of spelling errors and lots of capitalized letters. How would I get ready for work? How would I get my iPad? How in the fuck did I sleep all night with that monster FLYING ABOVE MY FACE?! I still don’t know how it got into my house! After all of this drama, which included arming myself with a can of hair spray, a towel tied around my head and a military crawl into my room to get the necessary work items, I went back into the bathroom to brush my teeth and put on my makeup. I had completely forgotten about the pregnancy test! I picked it up and saw that it said “pregnant, 1-2 weeks.” I sat on the toilet and said holy shit out loud, started laughing uncontrollably, then started crying and debated whether or not to stay home to tell Eric the news or go to work with the biggest secret of my life. I decided to go to work, if only to tell everyone of the bug the size of a rodent in my home, and the entire day went as slow as molasses. I remember Eric even texted me asking if I got my period and I wrote back “WHATEVER IS MEANT TO HAPPEN WILL HAPPEN” and when I got home I shocked the shit out of him too. And then we cleaned the shattered bathroom bulb from the floor.
And now here we are, one year later. I have an almost 4 month old baby, an imminent 2 weeks and 5 days return to work, a breast pump currently attached to my boobs, and a joy I never thought was possible. What a beautiful life I have. What a beautiful life indeed.
First and foremost let me just say that the comments on my last post helped me IMMENSELY. Everyone who took the time to read and comment really helped boost my spirits and make me believe I can go back to work and not hang myself. You all rock! We even were able to hire our part time babysitter yesterday, so with her and the help of mine and Eric’s family I’m feeling really confident. Thank you, thank you!
Now, I said since the beginning that this would be a place where I could share my feelings and experiences in motherhood honestly and openly. That being said, family members who read this, perhaps you don’t want to read this post. You all know that I have a baby so you’re all aware that I took part in S-E-X, but sex after baby is entirely a different story. If you’re a mom you’ll probably appreciate this. If you’re my mom you probably won’t. Onward!
There’s a reason the doctor says to wait 6-8 weeks after having a baby to partake in relations. The reason being is because you either just shot a human being out of your vagina or you were basically cut in half to deliver. I don’t know who would want to jump back into the sack after this, or who even has the ENERGY to do it. After spending an entire day on little to no sleep, changing poop diapers and feeding a human piranha, I can’t imagine anyone is looking at their husbands and begging for it. If you were then please tell me what drugs you were on. I did not jump back in the sack until 10 weeks after I had Charlotte and it was as awkward as one would expect it to be. Baby in the room, body still not back to normal and breastfeeding problems lead to some awkward bedroom times. And I wasn’t expecting it to hurt either. Nobody can get in the mood when all you hear is OW OW OW OW and you are convinced you’re bleeding out onto the sheets. After that I decided that Charlotte would be an only child because I would never have sex again. I swear to all of you, my libido was so depleted that the entire cast of Magic Mike could be in my bedroom waving their junk in my face and I would ask them to quiet down and tuck me in to bed. Perhaps this is not the case for everyone. Perhaps some of you were gung ho about funky times after baby. I bless you and I bless your lady bits. I bless your husbands too. Lucky bitches.
I mean I know things get better eventually because most people have more children, and you have to have sex to have children. I can’t imagine second and third children are conceived with the woman screaming WHY IS THIS HURTING GET OFF OF ME. In fact, things are turning around in the Schwartz household for the better, and now I can say that I would probably appreciate the cast of Magic Mike in my bedroom. To cuddle.
Today marks exactly one month until I have to return to work. Full time, an hour commute (let’s be real, when is it ever really an hour?) each way to Manhattan working mom status. I’ve been struggling with this for a while now, pretty much since around the time April hit. Let me just lay it out there. There is no way on God’s green earth that I can be a stay at home mom. Not living in NYC, owning a home (co-op, but whatever) and having the desire to give my daughter a life she can enjoy. My job also wouldn’t really make sense for me to be part time either. And to be perfectly honest? I wouldn’t want to take a pay cut. I’m 27, almost 28 years old, and I make a very decent salary in a job I actually don’t hate. Now that I am a mother, my daughter is always going to be my number one priority, and as much as it kills me inside that I have to leave her for so long 5 days a week, I know that my job ALLOWS me to make the money that will make her my priority. I’ll be able to provide a roof over her head, food on the table, vacations, and all of the Disney toys she requires. So heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to work I go.
The days of dads making the money and moms staying home are long gone. But if that’s something that works for you then you rock that situation! I honestly think the hardest part about going back to work is the mommy wars. I see so many things online saying “I could never leave my kids every day with a stranger or not be with them to watch them grow up!” In today’s day and age saying things like that hurts 69.9% of working mothers. Some women love to stay home, some women have to work, some women WANT to work. WE SHOULD ALL SUPPORT EACH OTHER, NO MATTER THE SITUATION. Am I going to miss Charlotte with every fiber of my being? Yes. Am I going to tell whoever is watching her that if she crawls or takes her first steps when I’m not there TO SHUT THE HELL UP AND NEVER TELL ME?!! YOU BETCHA. But there is a part of me that relishes being able to wear nice clothes without spit up, talk to adults about adult things that don’t involve my nipples or the color of poop, and EAT A HOT LUNCH AT LUNCH TIME. Does this make me a bad mom? Absolutely not, and if you think it does then do me a favor and go fuck yourself, mmmkay? FOR ME, to be a good mom is to also be able to be my own person as well.
I know it’s going to be hard though. I’m not naive about that. I know I’m going to cry and feel lost and sad and not know how to do everything right. It will take us a little while to fall into a routine and I’ll have to get used to pumping 3 times a day and I’m stupidly terrified that she’s going to completely forget who I am, but I see so many working mothers out there that make me believe it’s possible and will be just fine. I’ll need all the support from all of you moms when the time comes when I am sobbing at 2 PM because I miss my baby and won’t be able to see her for another 4 hours. Hopefully once August or September rolls around I’ll be able to write a post about how we are just starting to manage our new routine just fine.
Since I’ve been home since February 9 and a big portion of my leave was in the shittiest weather of winter, I’ve become devoted to Netflix when I can’t go out with Charlotte. Before I went into labor I had a Parenthood binge watching session for two weeks. I took a hiatus after I had her and entered what I would like to call the Dark Ages known as the baby blues. Once I returned to normal I finished Parenthood and cried my eyes out. Since then I’ve watched countless movies (Chef being my favorite, Mulan 2 being the worst) and have just begun watching Friday Night Lights. Netflix was made for moms. If I had the luxury of being a stay at home mom forever I would most likely watch every TV show that was ever made. Charlotte always stares at the TV now too so because I’m paranoid that it will ruin her brain, I turn her bouncy seat away from it and I narrate the story to her. I think she has every right to know that Jason Street has just proposed to Lyla Garrity even if I don’t let her actually see it. Am I right?
There’s one thing that is unacceptable though. Netflix, why do you have to shame me and pause the show and ask me if I’m still watching it? ESPECIALLY when my child is clamped firmly on my boob and the remote is on the other side of the room! If I want to watch 8 hours in one sitting I damn well will watch 8 hours in one sitting without you shaming me, thank you very much.
When I was a kid it used to feel like Christmas, vacations and my birthday would take 475 million years to arrive. Now that I have a baby it feels like every month is going by in the blink of an eye. I completely forget I was ever even pregnant (didn’t forget the birth though, the hemorrhoids are always there to remind me) and now Charlotte is already 3 months old. WHAT. IS. HAPPENING. I only have one month one week and 5 days left of maternity leave (WHYYYYYY) and my baby is getting bigger every second of every day and it’s just going too fast! Like my brother says, I’m gonna close my eyes and she’s going to be 40.
After the second month Charlotte really started to get a personality. And by personality I mean temper. When she doesn’t get her way she looks you straight in the eye and screams. It’s pretty amazing how I’m able to discern her cries now, and what I like to call her “bitch scream” is the easiest one to notice. One day she was hungry and my brother was holding her and she latched onto his nose. She sucked so hard she ended up leaving a mark, but when she realized nothing was coming out of his nose she looked at him and screamed like a banshee as if it was his fault. She is really good at the bitch scream!
She is really such a happy girl. Every morning she wakes up with a smile and it makes my heart explode. We have the same routine every morning, she sits on her lounger on the kitchen counter while I pump and she just squeals and squawks with a smile on her face while I get milked by a machine like a cow. When I go back to work I hope we can still do this after our first feeding, even if I have to wake up at 5 am to do it!
Her sleeping is really amazing. I was afraid since she is breastfed and I read way too much shit on the internet that she would be waking up to eat 4 times a night, but that is not the case! She’s been going to sleep around 9 PM pretty consistently, and she would wake up around 3-3:30 to eat for a little (she dream eats, which is stupid baby talk for she eats while she’s asleep and it’s adorable) and then she wakes up at 6:30. Last night she slept from 9-4:50 and then woke up at 7:45 for good which is just fantastic in my book. I had a good sleep too because I chugged 5 ounces of wine right after she fell asleep and went to bed a little buzzed.
She loves to hold anything and everything, and she is always shoving her hands in her mouth. Yesterday she was holding her dress and shoving that into her mouth, belly out and everything. Then she put 4 fingers in her mouth and gagged herself and got mad and screamed. It’s so funny to me when she gets mad at something she does to herself.
She’s still vomiting all over everything. Her favorite things to vomit on are her father and her nonna. Yesterday Eric had to change his shirt twice and the day before my mom had to change her shirt 3 times. Spit happens.
Three months postpartum and I feel better than ever. I still have some weight to lose but WHATEVER. I walk every day and exercise when I can, even if it’s just a 10 minute arm workout or doing squats while holding the baby. I feel confident with her every day, and I’m just so happy! I feel like I know what she wants when she wants it and I don’t consult Google anymore, which probably wasn’t the smartest place to get information to begin with. I’m starting to get a lot of anxiety about going back to work, but I’ll write about that another time. I hope all you working moms out there will be able to talk me off the ledge. I know there are a lot of you and I’m counting on you all to be a support system! No pressure or anything.
Even if there are just a few of you reading this every day, being able to write about motherhood is such a release for me and I’m so glad I have some of you to bounce off my thoughts and feelings. Every day isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and having a place to vent or cry and have other people to talk to is much easier than googling “why do I have to go back to work will my baby hate me and forget me.” Not that I’ve done that…