Well, i've been home from the hospital for 3 days now. I'm sure nobody is surprised that i haven't been online to check my emails or anything like that. So i'm sure nobody is expecting an apology for any unanswered emails they have sent me in the last week or so. however, i apologize anyway. Crystal, i received your package and i absolutely adore it. It's beautiful. I promise i will take the time to write you back as soon as i can. I hope that's soon but i can't promise anything. Thank you so much though. You are really amazing and i love you! I've just had absolutely no time to do absolutely anything! No lie! I was well aware that taking care of a baby was a full time job and i knew it was going to be exhausting. But knowing is not the same as knowing. And only those of you with kids really know what i'm talking about. I thought i knew what being exhausted meant but i was wrong. But it's more than just being tired, not having a second of quiet time for myself let alone time to spend with my husband, and i'm not even going to talk about the pain of recovering from a c-section (not till later). I've got to admit, i may have a mild case of post-partum depression going on because i've been unable to stop the flow of tears sometimes. It's all so new to me. Why does she cry? Why won't she eat? Is she cold? Is she hot? Should I pick her up or put her down? My mother is a huge help while at the same time being a complete and total pain in my ass. I'd probably collapse under the pressure if it wasn't for her help. Yet at the same time, she is constantly questioning and rejecting every idea/belief/desire i have for my baby as though my opinion matters as much as that of a local bum trying to tell HER how to raise HER baby. It seems that nothing I do, short of beating her over the head with a hammer, will make her realize that this baby is MINE and the choices are MINE to make. But all I can do is just be grateful that she is willing to watch the baby for a couple hours so that i can attempt some sleep. I have learned a lot even in such a short time. Like the range of emotions that I'm able to feel that I never even imagined. From the intense love i feel for my daughter to the most horrible feeling of just wanting life to stop so i can take a break. Not going so far as to say i want to hurt myself. Just that i've had way too many moments where i just believe i'm not really capable of performing as a mother. That this little person could depend so completely on me and that I could fail her in such a devestating way... it's too much for me to handle sometimes. I know right now all she does is eat and sleep for the most part... how bad could i mess up now? But it feels as though if i make the tiniest of mistakes now... she will suffer greatly for it in the future and not only that but will know it was my fault and resent me forever. Yes, i know, it's insane to think that way. My thoughts and emotions have been out of control lately. I guess you can say I'm learning my limits now. But at the same time, i'm learning that i'm capable of things that i never imagined before. Like dealing with excruciating pain (from the pain of contractions to the pain of recovering from c-section... these are types of pain far greater than i ever imagined possible, let alone felt). I learned that i can get by on very little sleep and that just a few hours can be a miracle when you've gone days without so much as a 5 minute nap. I learned that the baby will sleep soundly for as long as i'm awake and then start screaming her head off the second i lay down to get some rest. And that sometimes, she cries for no reason or at least not one i can figure out. Also I learned that there's not much i can't do when i hear my baby cry. It's as though i turn into a different person who cares only about one thing: make the crying stop. And no belief/idea/desire/conviction is strong enough to outlive the need to make the crying stop. I realized how easily i will give up or give in just to keep her quiet. Like pumping milk into a bottle because she has trouble latching on properly and ends up destroying my nipple if i feed her directly from the breast. I was so desperate to breastfeed her but this is a compromise that i can live with since she's at least still getting my milk. Also, i must admit to feeding her formula a couple times despite the fact that i'm wholly against it just because she was hungry and she wouldn't stop screaming and i had no milk pumped and had to feed her NOW. I hated myself immensely for giving in to that urge but it was only a little bit and she's fine and now back to exclusively drinking breast milk again. The formula didn't sit right with her anyway and my milk is flowing freely now so it's not an issue. Giving her a pacifier despite all the advice against it... because she seems to need it and sometimes it's the only thing that can calm her. I figured this out when she started sucking on my finger one day and realized that any time she screamed, a finger in her mouth was the only way to calm her. So jaje ran out in the middle of the night a couple nights ago and bought a binky. She's been using it ever since and it just makes things so much easier on me. I worry that these things make me a bad mother. That i've given in so easily to tempations such as the bottle and the pacifier (things i swore up and down i wouldn't use). Maybe i'm a hypocrite. I just want my baby to be happy and calm. Hearing her screaming her head off causes me actual physical pain as well as turning me into a nervous wreck. So it's probably healthier for me to allow myself some room to breathe when it comes to these types of things. After all, I'm new at this and still have a lot to learn.
In related news, i'm having a very difficult time dealing with the issue of the c-section. I'm in a lot of pain as a result of it. Physically and emotionally. At first i felt like such a failure, having been unable to birth my daughter vaginally. But i know now that wasn't my fault. Still, i feel like i rushed into it after 40 hours of unsuccessful attempts to get her out of me. I was just tired and scared and out of it. I didn't know what to think except that i wanted this baby out of me so it could be over. Now the recovery is extremely painful. And exhausting. Everything I do hurts. Walking hurts, coughing hurts, laughing hurts, basically everything hurts. It kind of feels like someone opened me up, took everything out of me, and then just shoved it back in haphazardly. Trying to take care of my baby when i'm in such pain is difficult. It's hard to get sleep in the few short hours that i have. As though i really need another reason not to sleep. I'm just so tired that sometimes the physical pain and my insecurites about raising this child just become too much for me to handle. And i can't keep myself from crying. At least i've got some painkillers. The funny thing is that I just stopped taking subutex and already i'm back on the pain killers. If i wasn't in so much pain, i might be concerned. But really, who wants to try to deal with being cut open and not having anything to ease the pain. I don't think so. The hospital tried giving me some other medications which were non-narcotic/non-habit forming (non-working) but of course that just didn't cut it. Now they've got me on percocets just like everyone else who had c-sections. But of course, they didn't give me enough. They probably don't realize that i need more than the average person. So they gave me 800mg ibuprofin to supplement... like that's really going to work. Oh well. I'm dealing with the pain fairly well if i must say so myself. After all, i'm pretty much taking care of this baby myself since Jaje is at work most of the time. I feed her, change her diaper, sing to her, rock her to sleep... all this despite the mad amounts of pain that i feel. I think that's pretty good. Besides the pain, I am very uncomfortable with all the weirdness going on with my body right now. I can't believe how swollen i am. From my face all the way to my feet. I'm just so damn bloated and i don't know what to do about it. I'm also very freaked out about the cut even though i think i've done a decent job taking care of it so far. Also i hate the way my body looks and i'm afraid it will never look good again. Just everything seems to be out of place and i feel so ugly and fat and disgusting. Oh well, it's not like i have any reason to want to feel sexy anyway. I'm not allowed to have sex for 4-6 weeks and anyway i can't imagine wanting to do it. It doesn't matter though.
Anyway, i have so much more I could say and want to say but i just realized i should be asleep. Soon elliot will wake up again and i just wasted a good hour that i could have been sleeping while she is sleeping. So i will leave you with some pictures of her. These are elliot's first pictures taken by a professional photographer at the hospital on her 3rd day of life just before we left the hospital. I think the photographer did an amazing job and the pictures look beautiful. Of course, I also think that my baby would look beautiful no matter what. She's like a little angel. Anyway... here they are!
More pictures coming soon. Jaje and my parents took plenty of pictures. I just have to upload them. And of course i have a few pictures to take myself. So expect lots of pictures coming in the future. As soon as i have some free time! Also, i hope to answer all your emails and comments in the near future too. But first, i must get some sleep. So goodnight all! Leave some comments for Elliot and me. I will make sure to pass them on to her. :o)