It's funny how life works. It seems like no sooner than you conquer one mountain, but there's another in the horizon.
Anxiety has been good. I'm not 100% cured, but I'm fully functional and I feel like myself again. Sometimes in the evenings, I get a faint feeling of not-rightness. But the days it blooms into full fledged anxiety are rare. Paxil is my new BFF.
Of course, with the increased mood has come the weight gain that my doctor warned against. I've managed to regain 20 of the 60 I had lost. I will take the 20 pounds over feeling like life isn't worth living, but I can't say I'm happy about them. I'm trying to cut back here and there, but I'm afraid to do too much for fear of losing my milk supply. I'm in the process of re-weaning myself off of soda. It's such a bad, bad, bad habit but I was really relying on the caffeine to get me through for a while there. And then the anticipation of the withdrawal headache kept me procrastinating doing it. But this week, it's on. That's a lot of wasted calories, so I hope that helps with the weight thing, too.
But that's not really even the biggest hurdle I seem to be facing currently. It's really my marriage.
Don't be alarmed, we're okay. Or at least, I'm confident that we will be. What it comes down to is that David feels neglected. And frankly, he has a right to. I'm pretty much a boob slave these days as Charlotte has decided she's anti-bottle. Between having to be at her beck and call, the fact that she's not reliably sleeping through the night (we do get the occasional 5 or 6 hour stretch, but it's infrequent and that's the longest stretch we get.), and just everyday mundane "stuff", there just isn't a lot of time left for him.
But when he gets (understandably) pouty about it, I get defensive. I feel like I'm letting him down. I'm angry that he's making me feel guilty, even though I know his feelings are reasonable. He gets overly dramatic, I get defensive and that just leads to even less connection between us. And it's became a habit.
A few weeks ago when we had this same argument, I asked what he expected with a newborn. He said he expected more than he was getting. I reminded him that we talked about this before we decided to have another baby and that he accepted what the first year was like. His response was that he thought it would be different. He thought the only reason things were tough after Robbie was born was because of the complications of his birth. Obviously he thought wrong.
I know that things are rough for most couples the first year. I have enough friends that have assured me that everyone goes through it. (At least, a LOT of people go through it.) He doesn't have that. He has friends in a similar stage of life, but none of them are in marriages that David is likely to think of as "normal." What the means is that when I am struggling to get a baby to sleep when he wants some attention, he somehow thinks it's a reflection on him. Or worse- a reflection on my feelings for him.
I've tried to reassure him, but there's only so much I can do.
There are certainly things he could do. He has a tendency to disappear off to his man-cave the minute Robbie goes to bed. That leaves me with the nightly chores and tending to Charlotte. He's not a lazy husband by any stretch of the imagination. He does more housework than most of the men I know combined. But he goes off-duty where I always remain on-call. It's hard to focus on paying attention to him when I know I still need to wash the dishes, there are wet clothes in the washing machine and Charlotte is going to need to be fed any minute. I wish that I could shut those things (minus Charlotte, of course) out of my mind, but I just can't. The curse of womanhood, I suppose.
The good thing is that I know this is temporary. Charlotte will eventually sleep through the night. Maybe next week, maybe next year. She will wean and my body will be my own again. I know it's temporary. But in the mean time, David feels unloved and I feel like a failure.
This family stuff is hard.