I’m new here. Though technically, I should have found this place long ago. I’m M, but I go by Coastinganon on the “internets”. I’m married to my husband, D, who has yet to receive an internet alias and we live in Boston with our a-neuro-typical son, Little G, who will be 4 in early July and our daughter, Ladybug, who is 18 months and yet to show any major signs of anything other than 18 month-ed-ness.
Motherhood was supposed to be my dream job. When Little G arrived, all 10lbs-5oz of him, by natural birth on 07-08-09, he was perfection. I was in a mental state of bliss over having birthed him. He latched on in the hospital, something I had been particularly nervous about due to surgery in my history, and we went from there.
The first few days home were typical for any new parent; little sleep, concerns over latching properly, total bliss, grandparents, laundry, excitement, tears, etc. What sticks out to me the most from that time was an almost primal need to guard my child. I felt like everything in our home was different, which may have been a product of nursing in a rocking chair in the dining room which is a room that until that moment I had only sat in for meals. I can remember having Ally-McBeal-like visions of me swiping at people who were holding our son while he cried. Looking back, it is awe inspiring to me that the hormones racing through my body at the time could have been so powerful.
A couple of short weeks later, I was on my own. Little G hadn’t been latching well. I had a very slow flow and he was desperate for food. I developed mastitis and an infection on my nipple. He would nurse for over an hour at a time and still be raging mad when he ‘finished’. The hormones were still raging in my body and one day while he was sitting in his bouncy wailing away, I lost my temper and yelled at him; a three-week-old baby. I know now I was neither the first nor the last over-tired, short-fused, new mom to do so, but that still didn’t make it any better. I would love to say I got help at that point, but it took much longer for me to realize I needed help.
As Little G grew, things got easier. My PPD (though really, it should be labeled PPA/R/C [anxiety/reactiveness/catastrophising]), diminished each day as he got older, but there were still days that pulled the feet out from underneath me. From as early as 10 months old, Little G would have temper tantrums that consisted of him instantly not liking something and then hurling himself backwards from a seated position to slam his head full-force on the floor. It was so discouraging to see him hurt himself in that way. Then came the biting and the pinching. If I wanted to hold him and comfort him he would get angrier and bite my shoulder, hard, until I let him go. It was certainly not the amazing mom experience I thought I would have prior to having him. I didn’t know much about children, but the only thing I DID know was that mom’s comfort their babies. And now I had a baby that didn’t want me to comfort him. I was devastated every time he lashed out at me. …continue reading