poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

Broken Thought Process Thursday: On being a mom, seeing Mraz, and feeling like a sleepy cow

Thought I’d jump on the bandwagon with Jenn, Ginger, Bree, & whomever else that’s a sucker for trend…

I’ve been away from writing for too long. I have a dozen or so poems rattling around in my head, but I don’t know where to start. They’re tangled like last year’s strands of Christmas lights. And somewhere, a bulb is out. Or more. Probably more.

Life as a mom of 3 boys is off to a good start. For those who haven’t heard through other channels, I gave birth to our third little boy over a month ago. He was 5 1/2 weeks early and had to hang out at the hospital for a couple weeks, but really, overall, everything went well. And even given the fact that it was a preterm delivery, I have to say that it was the best labor experience I’ve had. Though there was some concern because he was early, I was not overcome by it like I was when our second made a surprise arrival (also at 34 1/2 weeks). We knew what to expect: he’d be swept away quickly because his lungs would likely be underdeveloped, he’d likely be jaundiced, he would be slow to learn to nurse, and he’d stay at the hospital for about two weeks. All were true in this case as they had been with our #2.

With the birth of a baby comes the hormonal roller coaster (just ask my husband, sister & mom). Call it “Baby Blues” if you want, but really, that sounds cuter than it is. Sometimes it hits like a blow to the gut and knocks the wind out of a girl. It’s as overwhelming as the factors it exaggerates. Does that make any sense? Let me try again: the physical reaction a “Blues Flash” can cause is as stressful in itself as are the stressful factors (from maintaining a household to reworking career plans to finances) that can trigger the “episode” itself.

I feel like my hours and energy are constantly being sucked away from me. The only time I feel like I have time is when I’m at work. That’s right, my baby is under 6 weeks old and I’ve been back to work for 2 weeks now. Granted it’s part-time, but still. But I knew that going into this. It’s a small company (that isn’t ruled by FMLA) and they don’t offer short term disability or maternity leave. I’m not holding that against them — I like the company, the people I work with, and the job I do — but when I’ve been there these past 2 weeks, I SO don’t want to be there. Time drags. I can’t help but think of the gazillion things I have to do here at home.

Since our little angel was born, it’s been busy here. The first 2 weeks involved visiting the hospital multiple times a day. The good thing is that we’re less than 10 minutes from the hospital. The bad thing is that being so close, a parent feels like s/he should commit to being there at every chance. That’s unreasonable. Especially when there are 2 other kids at home who aren’t allowed into the NICU. So it was good to get the little guy home. Of course, while he was at the hospital, we were guaranteed uninterrupted sleep at night!

Still, sleep hasn’t been so bad. Right around 5 weeks the little man started (sporadically) sleeping through the night. That coincided with him rolling over. That’s right, folks. This 1-month-old preemie has rolled over! Granted it was from belly to back (easier than the other) and in a fit of frustration, but he did it. He constantly scoots around if he’s on his tummy. We’ve got to watch out for this one! He’s determined to catch up to his big brothers!

Even with all the craziness that comes with a new baby, I managed to go to see Jason Mraz at the end of July.  That was funny.  So, the show was scheduled for an outdoor venue in Charlotte.  The short of it is, it POURED.  I’m talking, this storm was the lovechild of a Katrina & Hugo.  Or not quite, but that’s how it seemed.  The tickets stated “rain or shine” no one wanted to leave even though the weather was miserable.

But about 2 hours after the show was to have started, they officially gave up on the original plans.  And lucky for us — all the soaking wet concert goers — because the storm knocked out the soundstage system, they offered a do-over.  Not rainchecks, mind you, because they wouldn’t refund on behalf of the rain.  We were given the option that night to (A) Leave & get a refund, (B) stick around and TRY to get into the limited audience show in the indoor venue they moved to (try fitting something like 8K into 1.5K space), or (C) use your ticket at a rescheduled show at a later date at the original outdoor venue.  Because I was there alone (another story), and I couldn’t be sure if I’d be able to swing the “later date”, and I sure wasn’t going to give up on seeing Mraz, I stuck around.

The show was great, but by the time it was over after 1 am, my feet were really killing me (as were my engorged boobs).  But I was glad I stayed.  I was even more happy with my decision when musictoday decided to invite those of us who went to the soaking wet show back to the rescheduled show!  So my ticket has turned out to be a 2 for 1 afterall!  And I didn’t even have to have a baby at the show! 😉

I’ve been trying to nurse (see previously mentioned engorged boobs). Well, no, I’ve been nursing, but the little guy is an inefficient participant. He likes the snuggling aspect of it, but he doesn’t eat enough that way. He prefers the “big gulp” of a bottle. So I’ve been expressing milk. I feel like a cow. Moo. I’ve had to ask a friend to loan me some freezer space for the excess milk.

Ok, TMI alert. Now I know this one is weird, and some might be grossed out by this: on occasion I’ve instinctively licked a stray drop or two of my milk off of my hand. This has led me to a surprise realization: my milk tastes a lot like Silk original flavor soy milk. Ok. Like I said, TMI, I’m sure, but it’s not like I’m asking anyone to do a taste test. Note, the consistencies are way different.

Also note, not that I’ve tried or ever wanted to, but apparently it’s not possible to make cheese out of breastmilk. Just sayin.

Considering that I really should accomplish something before the boys wake from their naps, I’m wrapping this up now before my lack of filter loses me another reader.

2 Comments

  1. ginger ginger
    August 23, 2009    

    hahaha!!! when my sister had her first, who is now 13, i was feeding him a bottle once and licked the milk off of my wrist like that (nobody gross out…it's meant for humans, after all!!) and it tasted like cantaloupe juice. the reason i did it was because i had recently seen the episode of friends where someone had done the same thing and said it tasted like that…so i had to try it.

    i get to see mraz on 9/19, the day after my birthday. i'm so excited! i'm glad you got a do over and i hope your hormones level off soon.

    i was 7 weeks early and the hospital tried to keep me, but my mom and dad wouldn't let them because my mom wouldn't stop crying.

  2. Jenn Jenn
    August 25, 2009    

    Its great to have you back again Julie :-] Wow, how crazy is it he is rolling at 5 weeks! As a preemie who was about that far early. Hands full is probably going to be an understatement with this one haha!

    Ah Jason, so worth the wait and so generous to the fans for sure! I watched G Love's vlog from out back & the rain looked sideways. You are a trooper girl! Did he & K'nann play the other venue? how did you like them?

    My best friend had twins preemie & they just couldn't get teh nursing concept. She was like a milk factory pumping day & night lol.

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
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