Thursday, May 24, 2018

So I Had a Baby

I haven't blogged since before Pesach, and the truth is that I'm in the longest blogging drought of my life. The funny thing is, back in February I started a new job as a copywriter and editor for a most amazing, completely remote inbound marketing company, and I had thought this would inspire/prompt me to get back to writing regularly. Guess what? I was wrong.

I don't think it's the work that's prevented me from writing more regularly. Instead, it's probably the fact that I was pregnant and tired trying to raise a 4 year old and almost 2 year old. And then, on April 9th, I gave birth to my third at 12:18 am after roughly 17 hours of labor and about 11 minutes of pushing. Eight days and many lost hours of sleep and anxiety about feeding decisions later, we named the addition to Team GB. The name? Zusha Tzvi.

Hey. I'm six weeks old!
I spent the next few weeks sitting around the house going bananas out of boredom during my four weeks of unpaid leave. Then, I got started back up with work earlier this month.

Mr. T, an epic Tatty, was downsized from his electrical gig the night before I went into labor (nothing like coming out of Pesach to a voicemail that you no longer have a job right before your wife prepares to take four weeks of unpaid leave), which means he gets to stay home with Zush until childcare kicks in on June 4th. Then he'll be taking his master's exam, please Gd landing a job worthy of his 10+ years of experience, and all of the stress and anxiety about affording life with three kids will wash away and be a thing of the past.


Mr. T is also with Zusha all night because I have to attempt sleep and have the headspace to work eight hours every day. Epic Tatty. Epic. But I hear everything at this insane volume in my house. I hear Zush when he cries and Asher when he sneaks out of bed and the TV and sneezing and fans and toilets flushing and cars outside and the neighbors. Oh, and all of the thoughts in my head about being inadequate because I'm not home with my baby and not up with him and night and that I decided for my own mental health to put him on formula. I'm given the space to sleep, but I can't.

The thing about Zush is that he's my oopsie baby. I didn't intend on having three kids. I didn't want three kids. And not wanting three kids and now having three kids gives me immense guilt because I have so many friends who struggled/are struggling to have any children at all. I'm a jerk because even today, in my postpartum haze of regret and exhaustion, I keep thinking "Why me? Why did I have a third kid?" And someday, he'll grow up and if the internet still exists he'll read this and probably hate me for it and end up in therapy. Mission complete!

I'm also guilty because I keep counting down the days. The days until childcare kicks in, the days until I can sleep train him, the days until he's eating solids, the days until he's sitting up on his own, the days until he's walking, the days until ...

Everyone says "Oh cherish these days! They go too fast!" and it's true. I look at Asher, and he's suddenly so grown up. Tirzah, too. I can barely understand her half the time. Last night, after school, the two of them played "family" in Tirzah's room for a full hour. Uninterrupted, without arguing, while I fed and attempted to calm down the bipolar new baby.

I sat on the couch in the living room watching them, far away, lamenting that I was outside their world. That I couldn't really be a part of it because bringing the screaming baby into that universe would mean I couldn't really focus on them. It made me sad. They're at an age that I want to be in their world all the time and hearing the stories and wild fantasies and really experience their imagination with them.

But I can't. I have a newborn. And they'll remember the rejection. They're old enough that they'll remember the prioritization. And that kills me.

I love my kids. All of my kids. Zusha is the spitting image of Asher as a baby. It makes me miss Asher as a baby (but not really because he had terrible colic). But Asher's a big kid now and he's so good with Zusha. He can calm him down when he's screaming in a way I can't.

I also seem to be attracting spiders at every turn. I'm trying not to buy into the idea that something appearing constantly in one's life is a sign of something, but seriously with the spiders.

Guilt. Inadequacy. Spiders. These are the hallmarks of motherhood for me right now. It gets better. I know that. I'm just wondering who I'll be when I feel normal again.