Being mom is tiring!
I’m sitting trying to figure out what to write for my next article and all I can think about is sleep! I posted on the page for ideas on what to write next and one of the fans asked for a day of my life… umm it’s quite boring really.
Every morning I get up, I get my girl dressed, make my hubby lunch for work, give my girl breakfast, pack my girl’s bag for the day mom, drop her off at 8am, work till about 4h30pm, pick my girl up at 5pm, try make supper with her hanging on my leg, bath her and put her to bed (alternate with hubby), work a bit more, spend time with hubby, shower and go to bed. Friday nights are occasionally wild – sometimes I go to an AA meeting.
We don’t go out much unless it is Valentine’s Day, one of our birthdays or our wedding anniversary. I try (most unsuccessfully) to keep the house clean and tidy and I try to cook a good balanced meal every day. Sorry Sindie but a “day in the life of Lynne Huysamen” is really quite dull and wouldn’t make a very interesting read, not anymore anyway.
If you had caught me 5 years ago I could’ve entertained and shocked you no end… but I am clean and sober today and the story of my addiction is probably left well alone. I will however give you a rundown of the last few weeks, because it has been nothing short of hectic!
Before I got pregnant I thought I knew what tired was, but I was seriously mistaken.
I have always suffered from insomnia and in the last few years I have been on Seroquel – partly to help stabilise my moods (bipolar) but mostly to help me sleep. When I fell pregnant in 2011 I had to give up my Seroquel (for the duration of pregnancy and 6 months while breastfeeding) and it was very tough to sleep. Once again I thought I was tired!
By the time my 3rd trimester arrived I got a glimpse of true tiredness as I could only sleep about 3 hours in a 24 hour period due to needing to wee all the time, having bad heartburn and reflux as well as getting up to vomit and well just being huge and uncomfortable. After a very long (42 hours posterior) labour attempting a home birth I had an emergency c-section. This left me even more exhausted! Then of course the breastfeeding struggles and getting up every 2 hours to feed was tough.
The last 3 weeks however wins the award of stretching myself to the absolute limit. It started off with my toddler getting vomiting and diarrhea for the first time, and I must say that was an experience of note! I have never been pooped on or vomited on so much in a period of 48 hours… hang on I don’t think I have ever been vomited on or pooped on before this.
The highlight of this experience was when my toddler came up to me, climbed on my lap facing me and leaned in to my face with the strangest expression on her face – and then vomited in my face. She then climbed off me (completely clean with no trace of vomit on her) and happily trotted off.
I have never done so much washing in all my life. The best advice I can give you if you have never experienced this before is when your baby gets vomiting and diarrhea start with washing immediately, don’t wait until everything has been pooped and puked on. That washing machine has never worked so hard. I was very fortunate as I had actually gotten up to date with all the washing the day before and within half a day almost everything was dirty.
The other thing I learned is when they get vomiting and diarrhea don’t give them any dairy products! (I learnt this the hard way)
It was a really tough few days because I had to keep my girl home obviously, and I work alone and I have nobody to help look after her so I can work if she is home. So I had to juggle cleaning up poop & vomit, having my girl hanging on my leg while I tried to get the most important things done for work, doing all the washing and of course trying to entertain my miserable toddler.
Somehow it doesn’t sound that hard when I say it, but every mom knows this is not an easy job at all. We also had our girl in the bed with us while she was sick. The main reason for this is that I was terrified she would vomit in her sleep and she might choke! Also if she is in the bed with us I will know when she has made a poop so I can change her quickly so her nappy rash didn’t get worse. Of course I got no sleep at all for 2 nights.
I was so relieved when my girl started getting better and I was exhausted. I was also feeling slightly nauseous myself and thought I was about to get sick too. Luckily for me I wasn’t getting sick, I found out a few days later that I am pregnant again… oh dear, another surprise! And once again good-bye Seroquel! *sob*
The day after finding out I am pregnant I realised something wasn’t right with my girl and she was coughing, so we went to the doctor again and found out she had croup. I had to keep her home another few days, juggling nebulising her every hour & getting work essentials done. My husband also got sick during this week making life even tougher! Of course my girl was struggling to sleep at night because her chest was sore so again – another few nights of absolutely no sleep!
In addition to the fun and games was the fact that I am pregnant while on the loop, which can be serious. The loop could have travelled up and gotten stuck somewhere like my fallopian tubes! I went to the GP who said I must see a gyni as a matter of urgency and I must also have a blood test to confirm my pregnancy.
So I went home to try and find a gyni in the West Coast…..there are none. Apparently one of the GP’s does do gyni procedures so I called to make an appointment and was told they are fully booked. I explained to them the urgency but they still couldn’t fit me in. I called the hospital and they said a gyni comes in from Cape Town once a week on a Friday but it is a Monday.
They said I could come in for a sonar and see where the loop is. So I go to the hospital and get the blood test done and then off for the sonar. The doctor tells me the loop “may or may not be there”. He also tells me he can’t see a baby, I hit a panic and get worried. Then he tells me but that’s ok because you won’t see one anyway at 4 weeks. Ummm… ok, maybe I am just hormonal, overtired and stressed but that is just the daftest comment I have ever heard! Hang on, did I just pay you R600 for that??
The next morning the GP calls me and tells me that this doctor has given him the report and he is concerned because they don’t know where my loop is and “they can’t see the baby”. I must go for another blood test so that he can check the hormone levels against the previous blood test to see that everything is progressing properly. Ummm but you won’t see a baby at 4 weeks!
Nope I must come back for another blood test, he insists and I MUST see a gyni. I get home and I call the gyni that comes into the West Coast every Friday. I explain that I am pregnant and need to see a gyni firstly to find this loop and secondly to oversee my pregnancy and birth. I am told that sorry, this gyni won’t see pregnant ladies in the West Coast.
I’m sorry but this is where I am tempted for my language to get very colourful. I am told I must drive to Cape Town to have my scans and pregnancy check ups. WTF? Are you kidding me? I tell the receptionist that no thank you, if I have to drive to Cape Town anyway why would I choose her? Then I can choose from anyone I want! So she makes all the pregnant women in the West Coast drive a min 3 hr round trip to see her?
I call my gyni that I was seeing when I lived in Cape Town and made an appointment for the next day. I drive in to Cape Town and have my appointment, the news is good if disturbing. The loop is gone, it must have fallen out. It is disturbing that it apparently fell out and I didn’t notice anything, but I am pleased because if it is there and left in there is a huge risk of miscarriage in the 2nd trimester so it should be taken out as soon as possible, but there is also a risk of miscarriage when it is taken out.
The week after my girl recovered from croup I had to take her for her 18 month vacc’s – I had made an appointment for 9h30am on the Wednesday and I got a call at 9h50am from the sister. I had forgotten the appointment! In my defense I thought it was Thursday not Wednesday (yes one of THOSE days) and apologised and made arrangements to come in the afternoon.
She had to have her MMR & the 18 month vacc’s because the MMR was out of stock when she was 15 months. Everything went very well considering, she had 3 injections and she cried for a few minutes and then was her old self again. However she didn’t want to eat her supper and when I put her to bed she didn’t want to drink her milk which is very strange of her – she lives for her bedtime bottle!
She cried and wouldn’t settle so I let her sit on my lap while we watched some tv. I tried to put her to bed again and as I put her down she vomited all over me, herself and her cot. At this moment all I wanted to do was cry. I was exhausted and at the end of my…. well EVERYTHING!
I would have killed to have my mom with me at that moment. But no, my mom is far away and I had to just get on with it and clean my baby, strip my clothing, strip her bed, dress her in clean clothing, dress myself in clean clothing and make up her cot again. I didn’t know what was wrong, was she getting another bug, was it a reaction to the vacc’s?
I didn’t have Rehydrate in the house after the last bug or anything else I could give her so I gave her coke. I just remember when I was small my mom feeding me coke and Marie biscuits when we got bugs…. once again baba in the bed with us and no sleep! I kept her home the next day and she seemed fine – no vomiting and no diarhea. She did however have constipation which had been a problem for the last week or so. I haven’t had much experience with constipation as she has never really had a problem with it before.
I started feeling very guilty because I blamed myself for the constipation. I was so tired the last few weeks and whenever I could I would get take-aways for us. The last thing I needed at the end of the day was to cook, there just wasn’t anything left in me, no energy. So I started a mission of giving her prune juice and grapes and lots of fruit & veg, which started paying off eventually.
Last weekend was looking good, my girl was feeling better, hubby was recovering from his very bad flu and I managed to get one decent night’s sleep. On Saturday I was doing the dishes… there was hot water and then suddenly there wasn’t? I asked hubby and he went outside and came back to tell me that the geyser burst.
Can anything else go wrong? He turned off the taps at the geyser and it turns out that we had to cut the water off in the bathroom, there was no way around it. He called our landlady and she said she could only have it looked at on Monday. No running water in the bathroom for 2 days and no hot water. Well at least my daughter and hubby are well right?
On the Sunday we went out for the day to my father in law and of course had a shower and bathed our girl. On the way home I suddenly felt horribly nauseas and hubby had to stop the car so I could vomit on the side of the road (ugh).
We also stopped on the way home for pizza and once again my guilt & worry starts flaring up – my poor girl is finally pooping ok and I decide we need to get pizza? I couldn’t eat when we got home as I was still so nauseas. I then had the lovely experience of throwing up violently into a toilet that has no running water and having to get buckets of water from the kitchen to flush it.
I never suffered from morning sickness when I was pregnant with my girl and I came to understand that it has nothing to do with morning! I managed to make it to bed time only vomiting once more. By bedtime on Sunday night I don’t think I have ever been so exhausted in my life, not even after my 42 hour labour! I was feeling so sick and so tired and I was looking forward to finally putting my head down and going to sleep.
The lovely vision I had of me lying down and drifting off peacefully to sleep was a delusion. I went to bed and I was so nauseous it felt like the bed was swaying. It felt like I lay there for hours before feeling like anything close to sleep. And of course as soon as I felt like I could drift off my daughter woke up and started crying. My daughter ended up not sleeping at all that night and by 3am I just put her in the bed with us.
She bounced around (and I was nauseous enough already thank you!) and pulled my hair and dragged the blanket off me all night. By the time morning arrived I realised that once again something is not right with my girl, but I was barely functioning at all by then. I dropped her by the day-mother and explained that I was beyond exhausted and I needed to get her to the doctor but I had to just go home alone and have a cup of coffee and a think.
I just needed a few minutes to pull myself together and see what needed to be done and come up with a plan of action. I got home, dealt with all the urgent work matters and made an appointment with the doctor. My daughter now has bronchialitis, my poor girl!
So now it is Tuesday and once again I have my girl home with me and I am pumping her full of meds and nebulising her every hour. It breaks my heart to nebulise her, she screams and fights the whole way through. It never fails to amaze me how a nearly 19 month old is so strong! She has to stay home with me for the next few days again.
The hardest thing I find at times like this is not the fact that I can’t get to my work or that I am vomiting all the time and feeling so sick. What really gets to me is the guilt! It has been a hard few weeks and I am beyond exhausted. I find myself snapping at my girl and I see her face crumble. It is not her fault and I try my best, but I am only human! I also feel guilty about all the other things, like her getting constipated because I have been lazy getting take-aways and she would never have gotten constipated if I had put some more effort in and cooked her a decent meal!
Things are going better today, I decided not to try and get work done or clean the house. If I can get something done – great, if not, well tough! Today I decided to concentrate on the important things like just being there for my girl, resting with her (we both need it!) and making sure she gets nice home cooked meals. Doing this for today was the best decision I have made in a long time.
For the first time I was relaxed and because I was relaxed and focused on her, my girl was happy almost all day (don’t forget the nebulising fight every hour!).
I find that when I go back to basics and remember to stick to only what is absolutely vital – things are so much easier.
How do you cope with being mom?