Vanishing Act

Beckie - posted on 12/26/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I would like to go back to the Hospital that I gave birth to my son in four months ago, and ask them if there was something in the Epidural I received that made me suddenly invisible? Did they drape me with a Cloak of Invisibility while I was sleeping, shortly before I was discharged? Because, since the birth of my Son, sometimes I feel like I’m merely his annoying accessory.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that my wants and needs come second to his. I am his caretaker, his Mother. I am his nourishment, his love, his teacher, his advocate. I manage to carve out what little time I need for myself to regroup, recharge and keep the flame of my individuality alive. I am able to keep a clean home, prepare meals for myself and my Husband, and nurture our marriage. My Husband and I know our priorities lie in caring for, and nurturing our Son, and while we’ve added the titles, “Mommy” and “Daddy” to our other titles, we do not let everything else backslide. We struggled at first, learning the new ways we need to support and encourage each other, but it seems that adjustment has not expanded to our family, and some of our friends.

I encounter a lot of acknowledgement as an afterthought. I am grateful that people ask about my Son, because he is my favorite thing to talk about, but sometimes it's aggravating and hurtful when I get such comments as, "I want to see the Baby...and Oh...and I want to see you too", or when relatives spend five minutes cooing over my Son and then look up at me, as if surprised to see me there.

It is not a matter of jealousy, but a lack of support. This is my first child. I have four brothers, and four sisters. I am not a stranger to babies, or to their care, so I don't really need unsolicited advice, just a friendly ear, encouragement, thoughtfulness.

My Husband and I became a one car family when I was five months pregnant. What made this worse was moving out of my in-laws house, and into our first home during the same time. I went on Maternity leave two weeks before my August due date, and decided not to return to my job. My Husband works full time, across town, and takes the car to work everyday. Except the days he is off, I am housebound. Fortunately, there is a shopping center within walking distance of the community I live in, so I am not completely cut off from the world.

My Mother came to stay, with my six-year old Niece two weeks before the birth of my Son, and with the exception of the first week they were here, the visit was strained and stressful. So much so, that I shied away from visits with other people. Two weeks after my Mom left, my Husband and I welcomed my Stepmom and Dad to our home for a two week visit. That was also stressful, though more pleasant than the visit from my Mother.

This may have contributed to the fact that I don't get many phone calls, or requests for visits from nearby Family and Friends. It is not that I don't want their involvement, but I must admit that I have found it a challenge to reconcile my new role as Mother, and the safety and health of my child.

My Best Friend gave birth to her Son four days before mine, and twelve hours after he was born, he was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and whisked away by Helicopter to the nearest Children's Hospital for treatment. The heartache, fear and stress they've endured has created a chasm between our lives, and I find it difficult to reach out to her for friendship and support.

My Husband, a very sweet and caring man is pretty much my only means of support, and while he is perfectly accommodating and understanding, I know that it's a stress for him to have all of my worries and complaints constantly poured on him.

So, I reach out to you, fellow Stay at Home Moms, for encouragement, friendship and support. At this time in my life, I am challenged with coping with how my previously great relationship with my Husband's parents has morphed into a stressful and frustrating one. I am coping with my fear of confrontation, with asserting myself and the parenting goals and wishes my Husband and I share. I am trying to find ways to break my isolation.

Aside from the song and dance, here's a bit about me and my family.

My Husband and I married in 2001. I am twenty-nine, he is thirty-two.

We gave birth to our first child, a Son we named Colin, on August 12th, 2009.

Colin weighed six pounds, ten ounces at birth.

I was able to deliver vaginally, though not naturally, as I had hoped. Still, I would not change one thing about my labor and birth experience, even with the epidural.

I had been breastfeeding exclusively, but we try to give Colin a bottle every now and then, and are letting him taste rice cereal and the occasional bit of applesauce, though not making a meal of it.

Before baby, I was a full time Assistant to Human Resources. My Boss was a kin to the Boss portrayed on, "The Devil Wears Prada".

I love reading, several different television shows, crocheting, and my Husband bought me a sewing machine for Christmas, so i'm excited to begin working through that medium.

I love taking pictures.

Currently i'm reading, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" after Colin is asleep, (I count my lucky stars that he is sleeping through the night, though my breasts were not so happy about it at first)



Thank you for taking the time to read my post, to get to know me, and I hope we can be friends.



~Beckie

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2 Comments

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Doris - posted on 12/27/2009

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Wow thats a mouth full Beckie, but you sound like you need a schedule a routine, you have it all right the confusement, the needing help but not from anybody the desire to get back to normalsey the loneliness, give it time you have time to adjust.your doing well.

Carolee - posted on 12/27/2009

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I know how you feel. It's hard to adjust to "post-baby life" sometimes. Motherhood is a wonderful thing, but most people don't realize what a jolt it is after you just give birth. While you're pregnant, everyone wants to know how you're feeling, how you're doing, and if they can touch your tummy... after the baby gets here, though, the mom is automatically the baby's "chapperone" and food, and not much else. It does get better, though. I've learned to love the fact that my son takes all the attention! He's 2 1/2, and very entertaining. Try to think of the positives that can come out of this. Most people want to hold/feed/burp/play with the baby, which (with the exception of the feeding), will give you a little break. It's not a bad thing, it just takes a while to adjust to the suddenness of the shift of attention (it's not jealousy over the shift, it just takes some getting used to). Good luck, it will get better soon. Your friends and family will remember that you're there in a couple of weeks or months. Just be patient.

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