#baby · #family · #life

My Worst Mom Day So Far

On 2/13/2020 I experienced what I call, “Motherhood in REAL life”.

A lot of the mothers I know or “know-of” via social media have their lives all the way together. Motherhood and all the things that come with it come to them naturally or with very little difficulty. There is no obstacle they can’t handle. They never feel anxious, scared or overwhelmed.

Not this mom.

I represent the apparent 1% of the mom population who experiences has a hard time coping with challenges. Feb 13th was no different.

On this day, I was scheduled for an 11am 6wk postpartum check up although I am 8 weeks postpartum (my OB got tied up in labor and delivery so my original appt had to be rescheduled). My husband has returned to work so I knew I would not only have to take my baby to the appt with me, but I would also have to go it alone as we have no friends or family in the area that could assist. This fact automatically took the anxiety I was feeling to a level 5. This would be my 3rd time having the baby by myself in the car and the 1st time tackling a 30 min commute.

At 6am my baby began rustling and crying in her sleep (for the 100th time) as is her way of letting me know she was ready to get up. My plan was to feed her (formula, because I don’t breastfeed), again at 9am, and again at 12pm. This would help ensure she wouldn’t be hungry (and therefore irate) on the drive to my OB or during the appt. I was completely fine with sitting in the parking lot after the appt to feed and change her before making the hike back home. My hope was that she would fall asleep on both drives as she usually does and I would be able to drive without pulling over every 2 minutes to comfort her. *Pause*

To the person saying:

Spongebob

“Just let her cry. She’ll be fine.” or “She just goin have to cry then!” To you I say:

SHUT UP!!!

My baby is on medicine for reflux. It is not uncommon for her to eat and vomit the entire meal less than a minute later. When she cries, if she continues to get upset she eventually starts to scream…choke…and then vomit on herself. She could then suffocate on the vomit and I would have a bigger issue than the one I started with. Stop giving “mom advice” about babies you know nothing about. Every baby and situation is different. Now back to the story…

The 6am feeding went as planned. The 9am feeding resulted in my baby vomiting her ENTIRE meal less than 5 minutes into burping her. This took my level 5 anxiety to a 7 as frustration and fear was now added to it. It was as if we skipped the 9am feeding and I would now have to get on the road accompanied by a baby with a nearly empty stomach. I pleaded with God to see my dilemma and give me grace for the journey.

New plan! I decided to get in the car and arrive to the appt early and feed her a couple ounces in the parking lot just to hold her over until her next feeding. I changed her diaper, dressed her, dressed myself, packed her diaper bag, grabbed my purse and loaded us into the car.

About a mile down the road I pulled into a plaza as baby was beginning to get fussy, and readjusted her in the car seat. I drove out of the plaza through the wrong lane (smh) and continued my drive, peaking into the mirror every couple of seconds to look for any sign of movement from my baby. Thankfully, she fell asleep and I was able to get to the parking lot of my appt without her waking up.

After circling the parking lot a couple times waiting for someone to free up a parking spot, I parked and prepared for the second phase of my plan. As soon as I put the car in park, baby girl woke up and became fidgety. I joined her in the back seat, grabbed her diaper bag and proceeded to make her a bottle. Then, my heart sank.

I noticed 3 little circles inside the bottle. Mold.

I didn’t notice this when I pulled the empty, clean bottle from the drying rack. I still don’t know what happened. I boil and clean her bottles often, but this time my enemies succeeded.

My level 7 anxiety jumped to a 10 as the realization sank in that I was 30 minutes from home with a baby who technically hadn’t eaten since 6am (it was now 10:30am) who usually can’t even wait 90 seconds for a bottle to be warmed less than 10 feet from her.

I thought, “We’re not going to make it.”

My heart rate and respirations increased. My mind began racing. My only hope was that she would go back to sleep and remain that way until we could get back home. Her Pediatrician is on the 4th floor of the same building of my OB and I considered going into the office to beg for a sample. It would not be the formula she gets, but it was better than nothing. My other option was to stop by the CVS on the corner near the hospital and buy this same sample.

I pushed those thoughts back and focused on how to get through the appt. To take the stroller or not to take the stroller? I had never used it, and being 8 weeks post C-section I was still a little nervous about carrying her in the car seat. I pulled the stroller from the trunk, unfolded it (effortlessly, thank God!) and attached the car seat on top. The front wheels seemed to stick and it wasn’t until after going through security, dragging the stroller and arriving on our floor that I figured out how to unlock the wheels.

We finally arrived to my OB appt where there were 8 people in the waiting room! My anxiety was now an 11. I hit one of these people who was sitting behind the door as I attempted to back into the doorway. I was handed a small stack of papers to complete and clumsily made my way to a seat. I completed the paperwork while praying my baby would fall asleep. I would pause every couple of seconds to push her stroller back and forth and peek in to see how she was doing. Thankfully, she fell asleep.

Less than 5ft from me was a woman, her husband and a 5 month old baby. This baby was calm and played with the toys attached to her car seat. My anxiety was now a 12 as I did not want to be THAT woman in the office with the fussy baby in comparison to this baby. Her mother also completed forms and seemed unbothered by the baby who eventually began to make noises that indicated that she wanted to be picked up. Her mother followed her cues, picked her up and was met with laughs and smiles. Two people in the office commented on how happy and well behaved she was. I finished my paperwork, stared and the ground and continued to hope that my baby wouldn’t wake up.

She did.

She woke up crying and it was now my turn to comfort a baby. I knew her cry was more than frustration about not being able to stay asleep. My baby was now VERY hungry as it was past 11am and going on 5 hours since she had a full stomach. I left my stroller in the office and walked into the hallways to pace with her. My anxiety rocketed to a 15 as one of my worst fears was coming true. I struggled for what felt like forever to get my baby back to sleep. I could feel the tears begin to peak through my eyes and my heart rate increase as I realized I didn’t remember how to fold the stroller down to get it back in the car. Another obstacle to tackle.

I walked back into the office and eventually had to walk back into the hallway when she woke up again. I stopped her crying, but she stayed awake as if to taunt me with the possibility that any second she was going to explode into a crying fit. The tears were becoming increasingly harder to fight back, and when I was finally called (at 11:53am!) they were completely visible. My eyes and nose were red and my voice was shaky.

The nurse took my vitals, walked us back to the exam room and informed me that I was due for a Pap Smear. This would be my 1st vaginal penetration since the cervical checks during labor. Anxiety level at a 20.

The nurse reviewed the postpartum depression screening I had completed in the waiting room and began asking me questions about how I was coping with motherhood. Then, she said the phrase that seemed to unlock my tears and caused me to cry uncontrollably:

“Do you have anyone helping you at home? Family?”

I sobbed.

I sobbed so hard I could no longer breathe. I stood with my back against the wall, one hand on my baby’s stroller rocking her back and forth and the other hand aimlessly trying to catch my tears. My baby stared up at me with her big, dark pearl eyes with a curious, yet reassuring expression on her face that almost seemed to say, “It’s ok, Mama.”

I managed to get out a, “No” and the nurse charted the response. She said I was very “baby bluesy” and assured me that they would get help for me. She hugged me and said I would be ok, and just needed someone to love on me.

Yes! That’s EXACTLY what I need.

I wanted to cry and yell. I wanted to scream about how no one seemed to understand how I felt and what I was going through. I felt lonely, helpless and misunderstood. NO ONE, I kept saying in my head, absolutely NO ONE understands. Motherhood is not easy for me. Woman have been doing it for centuries, but for me it is hard. I used to be ashamed to admit this, but now I want to be honest in case there is even 1 other mom who feels the same way.

My OB performed the exam (the most painful experience since childbirth) and talked to me about the therapy referral I would be given on the way out of the office. My doctor encouraged me to see the therapist to talk and work through how to cope with this new phase of life. She used words like, “tired”, “sleep deprived” and “overwhelmed” and for the first time in a long time I felt seen.

I need to make this appointment.

My baby and I got back to the car where I successfully folded the stroller and put it back in the trunk. She fell asleep and I decided to just try to make it home instead of stopping and waking her up to go inside the store. Five minutes from home we were stopped by a train (of course!). My baby began to stir as she could sense we were no longer moving, but, thankfully, went back to sleep once I began driving again. I turned into my apartment complex and breathed a small sigh of relief. We survived.

I received a FaceTime call from my husband as I continued to make my way to our apartment building. I answered the call and he asked:

“How was the appointment?”

 

7 thoughts on “My Worst Mom Day So Far

  1. I’m sending you all the hugs and understanding!!! Being a new mom is hard for a lot of us. You are not alone. Most women just feel ashamed and don’t tell anyone. I wish I lived nearby so I could I give you a little break. I’m glad you’re going to talk to someone. Also, I hope they told you that the main cause of baby blues is wacked out HORMONES! You aren’t crazy or weak! Feel free to message me anytime. You can find my page on Facebook and message me from there. A couple of tips, it’s not your fault if baby cries, do not be embarrassed . Babies cry. It’s normal. If anyone gives you a dirty look, just give them a sad face. That’ll make them feel bad, as they should! Sorry to hear about the reflux. I hope they are helping you find the right formula because that can make a huge difference in the reflux and vomiting. I’m praying for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Today was a rough day for my mental health. I was having some scary thoughts. Some friends and family kept trying to reach me. My husband came home early. I think they asked him to. I’m laying on my bedroom floor typing this. I made a therapy appointment.

      Like

      1. I’m glad to hear they are looking out for you . If the appointment is too far out, call your Ob/Gyn again and tell them it’s urgent . With the right treatment you will feel back you your normal self . Make sure they test your hormones and thyroid. If you’re not up to dealing with the medical world, let your husband advocate for you. Hopefully that won’t be an issue. I’ll be praying for you. 💕

        Liked by 1 person

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