Here comes a MiL vent! My FiL died in January of 08 after a 2 year battle with leukemia. It was awful and sad and terrible. DW and I decided (after several years of discussions) we wanted to try for a baby in March of 08. MiL was very pro-grandbaby, as you can imagine. We thought that it would be a great focus for her after years of illness and death. It has not quite turned out that way, however.
Since FiL died, MiL has been understandably depressed. The way that it manifests itself is that she is always in crisis – health crisis (not to be mean, but often these are either minor [crowns for her teeth] or seemingly imagined [phantom pains that have no diagnosis/treatment]), pet crisis, extended family crisis, money crisis. You name it, she has it. So we have a LOT of extra drama in our lives at a time that we just don’t have the reserves or patience for it. The latest is a surgery for sleep apnea, which she had last Friday. She wanted DW to take care of her during/post surgery, which she thought would be a week or two. DW had to say no since she has a full-time job that can’t be put on hold – raising our kid! I work full-time and she is the SAHM. There is no respect at all for that from MiL. She never acknowledges how difficult it is to be a new parent; how much work it is, the sleep-deprivation, etc., etc. She is very demanding of our time and offers very little in the way of help to us with the baby. Naturally this situation leads to resentment toward her from both of us as well as to disagreements between DW and I on how it should be handled. DW is an only child – there is no one else to share the burden.
MiL got another family member to drive cross-country to help her post-surgery and it has been a nightmare. Not only are they not helpful, but they are actively causing more stress. They let out both of MiL’s indoor-only cats the first night they were there. One showed up the next morning, but the other was missing for 24 hours. Thank God it finally showed up, so that drama is resolved. The family member brought her grown son who is an alcoholic and an asshole. He is causing trouble constantly. DW is wishing she had just agreed to care for her mother in addition to baby. We had an argument about it, as we usually do when MiL comes up. It comes down to me saying that our family, our son is our top priority. We can not be the support that MiL needs. DW says what can she do? There is no one else to help, she lost her husband, etc. I go between feeling guilty and full of rage at the situation. Why can’t we raise our family the way MiL got to? Why do we have to have the additional burden of MiL’s drama – much of it self-created? Not to mention MiL is only 60-ish. It’s not like she’s old and should need so much support.
All that said, I’m trying really hard to alter my attitude and the way I respond to the situation. I need to realize that there is nothing I can do to change MiL or to get DW to relinquish her daughterly duties (not that I want that, really – just a reduction in the amount of support needed). I’m trying to focus on the fact that I have a great DW and I finally have the baby I wanted so so badly. Even if the worst happens and we end up having to care for MiL, I will still have these gifts. MiL loves S and accepts our relationship. See what I’m doing here? Trying to focus on the positives? Yeah, I need to do more of that because the situation looks unlikely to change. The only thing I have control over is my response and I need to figure out a way to deal with it. It all comes down to this: It is really just so unfair that FiL is gone. Totally and completely and wholly shitty on so many levels.
Filed under family, grief
Earlier in the week, I think we were experiencing the old 4 month sleep regression, but thankfully last night it broke. Our sleep cycle used to be asleep by 7:30 or 8, up once around 4AM to nurse, and up for the day around 7 or 8. Monday night baby was down around 7:30 and we were up at 1, 3, 5, and 7. Tuesday night baby was down around 7 and we were up at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 7. Whoa is me. But last night, we were back to baby asleep at 7:30, up at 4:30 to nurse, and up for the day at 7. Whew. I think we are going to stop swaddling this weekend as that may have also been a factor. Every time I get up with the baby in the night, he is out of his swaddle. Last night, we got in bed around 10 and baby was asleep but already out of the swaddle. I was worried that he’d wake up quickly but he went until 4:30! Any of you still swaddling or have any tips for weaning off the swaddle?
We go tomorrow for baby’s 4 month checkup. I think he gets some vaccinations, so I’m expecting a rough afternoon like the last time. Poor little guy. He has a few things I want the ped to check, including a little sore patch on the back of his head that just won’t heal (because he lays on it all night and a lot of the day), his tear duct/eyelid issue, and his circumcision area (looks strange to me, but what do I know). I really struggled toward the end of my pregnancy with the decision to circ, so I hope that there is no problem with the way it’s healing up or I’ll feel even more guilty than I sometimes already do.
Tomorrow is also Mommy’s (DW’s) last day of work! She quit several weeks early as she was just over it, so now we have a month all together before I start back to work. Yay! We will need it to get this baby on the bottle and figure out what their routine will be since the breastfeeder will be at work. It will be so much better with me working rather than DW as my workplace is so flexible. She was gone for 10 hours a day, Mon-Fri. I will be working from home Wed and Fri, and will probably be gone for 6-7 hours the 3 days I go into the office. I am so fortunate to have my work situation. I hope it lasts until S starts pre-school so he can dodge daycare.
Even though we aren’t making a decision on whether to have another baby until S is 1 (so, December of this year), I find myself thinking about it often. I go back and forth on it. I think my main pro is that it would be nice for S to have a sibling, especially since his Mamas are older. He’d have family after we’re gone, which hopefully won’t be for a good long time! My main con is money. I keep thinking about how we love to travel and do things and how much costlier it would be with 4 people rather than 3. I’m hoping it will all become clear by December. To state the obvious, life decisions are hard!
My parents are having a hell of a time getting here today. My mom’s flight got delayed and she missed her connection, but she is supposed to be getting on another flight and getting here around 9PM. Here’s hoping! My dad’s flight got delayed 3 times and then finally got cancelled. He is booked on another flight tomorrow morning. Please let the weather cooperate!
My dad said my niece drew a picture of her and S and wrote their names at the top. How cute is that?
Update: My mom is on her flight! So she will make it today.
DW and I decided to forget all of the housework we still need to do before my parents arrive on Friday and instead went on a daytime date! We went to a local restaurant for lunch and then went to The Arclight Theater in Hollywood and saw the new Pedro Almodovar movie Broken Embraces. We went shopping at Amoeba for Christmas music before the movie and I was having some kind of intense Braxton Hicks contractions. I wondered if they were the real deal a couple of times, but figured it would be much more intense if it were actual labor. Guess I was right as it did go away.
We are big Almodovar fans, but we agreed that this new release wasn’t up to par. It was actually rather boring. On our way back to the car, though, we had a celebrity sighting! Kate Moennig! Surely you ladies know who that is 🙂 She is short and tiny in real life. For some reason, I thought she’d be kind of tall as she appears so lanky on TV. It’s always fun to have a celebrity sighting, even though it happens somewhat frequently. Nerds!
ION, I have a cankle! One of my ankles is noticably swollen and the other might be a tad swollen as well. Baby is really bothering me today – I can feel a little foot up under my rib and it hurts. Even a bath didn’t quite do the trick and that is usually a way to get super relaxed and feeling good. I think it’s going to be super uncomfortable for the rest of my pregnancy, which is not very long to go now! Also, I added a 37 week belly shot to my previous post.
- Last OB appointment Wednesday
- Parents arrive Friday
- S is born next Monday (!!!!!)
>I dropped my mom off at the airport this morning. Tears were shed. I wish we lived closer – maybe that will happen someday in the near future… We had a great visit. Did tons of shopping and swimming, and even set up the crib and bedding. It is adorable! We ended up combining individual pieces of the Willow Organic bedding with Carter’s Forest Friends collection . It turned out so cute – I will post a picture.
Hope all are well and I’m gonna try to catch up with everyone in the next day or two.
>Just a quick note to let you know I won’t be around much if at all for the next few days. My mom gets in this morning and will be here until Monday morning. Looking forward to a nice visit.
Quick baby update: He is moving a lot more. It is very reassuring and also nice that his Mama L can feel him poking around, too.
Hope all are well!