Thursday, October 2, 2008


Today was my birthday.

I don't know that I've ever had such a non-event birthday. I honestly kept forgetting what day it was. Being at home so much leaves me confused about the date.

David said he'd try to take the afternoon off to come home and give me a break. He got home about an hour early.

Fortunately, Robbie decided to give me the best birthday gift ever- 2 rounds of 2 hours of sleep each. Then I even got another 2 hours earlier tonight. That's 6 hours in a 24 hour period. Amazing.

David did bring me a lovely cake (my favorite- chocolate cake with cream cheese icing) and a sweet card. Then made me dinner. Then offered to tend to the baby, but Robbie was actually sleeping quite well and didn't require much tending, so he slept in the pack-n-play next to me while I slept.

My dad callled to wish me a happy birthday in the midst of my 2nd spell of sleep. When I answered the phone groggily, he didn't say much. He eventually asked if I was sleeping and when I said yes, he started laughing. "Oh, baby still not sleeping huh? Heh heh heh." He thinks it's hysterical that I get no sleep. Paybacks are hell, basically.

When I was a kid, I used to think that when we dreamed we really did go somewhere. So when I'd wake him up in the morning, I'd climb up on him, pry his eyelids open and say "ARE YOU IN THERE?!"

Apparently this is my retribution. A preemie with severe reflux who can't tolerate anything but breastmilk, but won't eat it direction from the source, who doesn't just eat every 2-3 hours, but also screams for at least 20 minutes after every feeding and can't be allowed to sleep too long even when he WILL sleep because he's so underweight that he has to eat.

I don't doubt that he was tired. But he also wasn't the one nursing me. (Brief history: My mother exclusively breastfed me for a year. I never took a bottle at all. She then abandoned me when I was 2 and didn't call again until I was 27. My dad raised me.) And even when he was the one getting up with me, it was past the point of being every 3 hours every single night.

And frankly, even it HAD been as bad as this, why would you laugh at me? Is it really funny that I'm on the verge of a mental breakdown at any given moment? I'm so tired that my brain is befuddled. That I have to put him down and walk away for 5 minutes but I'm so frustrated that I want to YELL at my 5lb baby? Yeah. HYSTERICAL.

So I yelled. At my dad. Happy birthday to me, I'm such a peach.

I should probably call and apologize. And let him do the same. But for today, I pouted.

My mother in law called to say happy birthday just as Robbie finished eating- so of course he was crying. She reacted appropriately "oh he's upset. Happy birthday, I'll let you go." She called back later to make sure things were better. Then offered to come this weekend and let me sleep. She's coming on Saturday.

Thank God for my MIL.

Also thank God for the mom of a preemie with similar issues as Robbie who emailed me today. She managed to successfully breastfeed- eventually. I needed the boost.

I also watched Oprah today. If you saw it, you know- it was about overwhelmed mothers. It started with a woman who'd left her daughter in the car all day. She died of heat stroke. I was sickened at the thought, but felt less judgy than I usually would.

Toward the end of the episode, they discussed sleep deprivation. There was some relaxation/zen guru who said "Where are the husbands? What good is a husband is they don't help."

I bawled.

Then I bawled some more.

God spoke to me today in several ways.

I saved the episode on the TiVo and will try to get David to watch the end of it. Today was the day. Today he was helpful. My "gift" for my birthday. It's a shame there has to be an occasion for him to step up, but at least he did. We know he has it in him.

Anyway, as usual, it's time for Robbie to eat. He's been up since about 12:30 (it's 4am) so hopefully he'll have minimal pain and maximum sleep. He's allowed to sleep up to 5 hours once a day. I'm probably asking for too much, but I'm hoping since he's been up for so long that I can get maybe 4 hours out of him this morning.

Wish me luck!



Amy said...

Aww, I hope you did get 4-5 hours out of him! Glad you got at least some birthday niceness and SO glad that your MIL is coming! I seriously heart her now. Sorry that your dad was insensitive; I hope he learns! (The story about you waking him up though is SO cute!)

Mrs. Shoes said...

Happy belated birthday! I hope your little guy continues to bless you with more sleep.

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Bday... I really hope you get more sleep soon sweetie!

Me said...

Happy (belated) Birthday!

As for the man not helping... even without a child I couldn't get mine to pitch in for the first 7.5 years we were together. Then I kicked him out for a little over a week and told him I was considering divorce because I will NOT live like this for the rest of my life - certainly not if we should be so luck as to have a child. It's only been a few weeks since he "came back" but what a world of difference it has made in him. I sure hope it lasts!

Mrs. Spit said...

Happy birthday sweetie. Wishing you a year of joy and light.

Heather said...

Happy birthday! I hope sleep gets better soon and the hubby gets more involved. And don't feel bad for breaking down and crying. I remember lots of crying spells when our Phoebe was a newborn. Especially when Leo had to go back to work and go out of town. Not having someone to pass the baby too so I could make dinner was horrible. Those were my worst days.

But, as these days go by, please keep an eye on your moods. You are doing the right thing if you need to put Robbie down for a few minutes to calm yourself. But.... if things don't seem to get better, think about talking to your doctor about post-partum depression. On top of all the hormones, after everything you've been through it would be common and understandable. Hang in there.

Kim said...

Well, you have Robbie.. so irregardless of the status quo, it has to be one of the best birthdays ever :O).

Malloryn said...

Happy belated birthday! I hope that things get a bit easier each day, and that your husband helps out more often. You need to take care of yourself too.

Newt said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you're still asleep as I write this, and Robbie turns a corner for you (David, too).

rxgoddess said...

Coming out of lurkerdom to give my $0.02 (and wish you Happy Birthday! :-)

I think maybe your husband is a bit like mine - he just can't see the things that need done. He'll step right over a pile of laudry, yet he'll pick it up *if I ask him to*.

Have you tried telling David what exactly you need done? Go heat up this bottle. Go move the load of laundry. I have to run to the store, so you're in charge. I'm taking a nap now - wake me up in 2 hours. I know my husband responds better to exact requests rather than me asking him in a non-specific way to help out more.

You're doing an AMAZING job, so pat yourself on the back!

AngelsAmid said...


Your cake looks delicious. Sorry your Dad laughed at you :( that wasn't so nice. Sounds like you have an amazing MIL!

Lorraine said...

Happy Birthday! Cake is always festive, and naps are the best present ever! This last year was pretty rough - I hope this is a GREAT one!

Stacie said...

Oh, Trish, happy birthday! I so wish I could come over to take the Friday night duty so you could have some sleep then, too.

Hugs to you. I remember it all so well. It does get better...try to remember that.

Jen said...

Hey~ this is Jen&Jeff06 from the Nest (STL nesties). Just found your blog in your sig and was reading it. I have a four month old, and I understand a lot of what you are going through. I know you don't know me for shit but if you ever need something, Im here for you. Things will eventually start looking up. I know the first few weeks with Evan I was walking a long, dark hallway. Jeff is a restaurant manager and he works the worst hours ever. It was like pulling teeth to get him to help, and we still have our moments. He doesn't understand how isolating breastfeeding is. And the only way I get sleep is by co-sleeping, so I have been banished to the guest bed with Evan since week 2. Trust me, nothing you have written isn't something I have thought myself.

Your son is cute. You will be amazed how quickly time goes by and this is all a distant memory. Keep your head up girl. I don't pray but I wish nothing but the best for you and your family.

Take Care
<3 Jen
sundragon79 at charter dot net

Ps... You were the nestie that saved the dog with the fungal infection right?