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Vomitorium

This Week in Guilt

So week two. My first almost-full week, minus Monday, which means next week could suck progressively more.

I hate it. I hate it hate it hate it.

Noah loves it.

So there you go.

TUESDAY:

I have a conversation with a mother in Noah's room about the fabulousity of the Dr. Brown's bottles as we carefully label our children's food with colored tape and a Sharpie. 

Img_2090 The other mother is labeling a dizzying array of bottles, fruit and cereal for her nine-month-old and casually mentions that she never tried the wide-necked Dr. Brown's because her daughter was never breastfed. I look down at my standard, non-wide-necked bottles and quietly mumble that Noah is breastfed, but still never liked the wide-necks, and then realize that I sound like a total asshole.

I write BREASTMILK on two of Noah's bottles -- bottles that required four days' worth of pumping to fill -- and I write FORMULA on the last one and shove it in the back of the fridge. Asshole.

Img_2141 As I leave, I see Noah's eyes widen as he scans the room, looking for me. I make a choked-up, gasping noise that startles a staff member walking by, and she asks me if I'm okay. I affirm that I am and quickly walk away. I make it all the way back to the car before I start crying.

Every working mother at work stops by to offer encouragement and promises that it will get easier.

When I go back at noon to nurse him, he's settled in and barely notices that it's ME, MAMA, THE ONE THEY CUT YOU OUT OF AND WHO STILL CANNOT POOP RIGHT BECAUSE OF IT until my shirt is open and hello! Boobs!

But he keeps pulling away because he wants to turn around and see what the other babies are doing. He's fascinated by them, particularly the two older babies who can sit up and crawl. One of the teachers notices him watching the room and sings out his name, and he squeals with delight.

They play music to the infants all day long -- lullabies and sing-along songs and classical music. I realize how many Simpsons episodes have probably already embedded themselves in Noah's subconscious and feel a twinge of guilt.

Img_2160 When I pick him up in the evening, his teachers have written notes on his schedule to tell me how much they love him already. Jason isn't nearly as touched as I am, because "You know they're probably told to do that for the all new parents. So you won't freak out and withdraw in a week and not give them all your money."

Yeah, I know. But I quietly paste the schedule into Noah's baby book when Jason isn't looking.

WEDNESDAY:

I notice that there are a lot of dads who do the morning drop-off. They look only slightly less pained than the mothers.

There's a notice posted that the center has a confirmed case of the chicken pox.

I've never had the chicken pox, but can't get vaccinated until I stop breastfeeding. I put three bottles of formula in the fridge because I only managed to pump two measly ounces the day before.

Img_2082 Today, Noah doesn't look for me. He's all smiles and baby talk as I slip out of the room.

I'm really tired.

An older woman at work welcomes me back and asks to see photos of Noah. She asks me about childcare, and I only get as far as, "He's at a daycare center right down the..." before she scrunches up her face and makes a sad little "Oh!" sound.

When I drive over at lunch, there's a woman panhandling at an intersection. She's holding a sign that reads HOMELESS MOTHER OF THREE CHILDREN PLEASE HELP GOD BLESS YOU. I'm sure it's a scam -- other days there's a guy here with a different sign who claims to be a Vietnam veteran -- so I keep my window up and my eyes straight ahead. I feel really shitty by the time the light turns green.

His teachers are feeding two babies their cereal when I arrive. I quietly nurse him in the corner and try to ignore the baby who is howling in his crib to be picked up. The teachers call to him and sing and hurriedly feed the older ones before they go get him.

Part of me is horrified at the thought of Noah being left to cry all those agonizing minutes, and part of me remembers how that very morning I let him cry while I packed up his bottles and extra clothes while Jason hurriedly walked the dog. And then how he cried again when I put him down while I looked for my keys in the couch cushions.

At home that evening, Noah cries. A lot. I worry he's getting sick until I, going on sleep-deprived auto-pilot, call him "Handsome Boy." It's his teacher's nickname for him. He immediately smiles and laughs.

Huh.

THURSDAY:

This is easy! Dropping him off is great! Look how happy he is! God. Why is he so happy? Why doesn't he scream like he does at home? Why did he cry all night last night and refuse to nurse? Why won't he stop smiling at his teacher? Why does he like these women better than me?

The center announces that it also has a confirmed case of pink eye.

I'm really, really tired.

Noah nurses distractedly at lunch again, and I'm getting the distinct feeling that the lunchtime visits are definitely more for my benefit than his. The more bottles he takes, the less patience he has for breastfeeding, and what's worse -- the chubbier he gets.Img_2164

I always assumed Noah was just one of those long, skinny babies. One week in daycare and big fat bottles of formula, and he's getting a double chin and fat rolls on his thighs.

"My GOD," I tell Jason on the phone, my voice quivering, "I've been STARVING him for 12 WEEKS. What kind of STUPID PERSON am I?"

Jason says it's probably just a growth spurt, but my hatred of my stupid, non-producing boobs burns once again.

When I arrive to take Noah home, one teacher has gone home and an aide is helping out until the room gets down to three babies. (Maryland law states that the ratio must be one teacher for every three infants.) She has Noah on a Boppy pillow and is singing to him. He's transfixed and smiling.

I pick him up and realize his diaper leaked and his clothes are wet.

His teacher is horrified. She chastises the aide for not noticing. She assures me that she just changed him less than a half hour before. She pulls out his chart to show me, that yes, he had been changed recently. She snaps at the aide again.

I suddenly realize she thinks I'm angry.

I laugh and assure her that this is Noah's favorite trick, and that I can't count the number of times I changed him, only to replace his entire outfit (or better still, his outfit AND mine) 15 minutes later. Diapers leak, and my boy pees a lot.

She doesn't seem convinced and apologizes again. Then tells me that Noah drank all the bottles I brought that morning and was acting hungry and fussy but they didn't have anything for him. Could I bring in an extra bottle tomorrow in case it happens again?

And now it's my turn to be horrified.  I apologize. I stammer. I go on and on about how I don't know how many bottles he needs since I nurse him at home. I tell them about the can of powdered formula in his cubby, but learn that the center meant a can of the pre-mixed formula, because of the rules about using tap water in the babies' bottles or something, and oh my GOD, I DIDN'T SEND IN ENOUGH FOOD FOR MY BABY, WHAT KIND OF MOTHER DOES THAT.

So we stand there for awhile, each frantically trying to explain a situation that didn't really need explaining, when Noah suddenly pees again. It arches up and in between us and we both yelp and jump out of the way.

And he laughs, and we laugh, because we both just want the very best for this hilarious little person.

When I get home, I realize that we conceived Noah exactly one year ago tonight. Holy shit. When I remind Jason of this, we spend a few moment in awed silence, gazing at Noah and thinking about the million other ways our story could have ended, and how ridiculously, insanely blessed we are.

FRIDAY:

Noah is asleep in his carseat when I arrive in the morning. His teacher unhooks him and gently lays him in his crib. I put bottles of formula in the fridge -- more bottles than he could possibly drink in a day -- and go over to say goodbye. He opens his eyes and gives me a lazy smile.

And I fucking lose it.

I stand over his crib and sob. His teacher is alarmed and tentatively puts an arm around me. She tells me that he is happy here and that they take special care of him. That they do everything they can to give him a mother's love.

I don't know how to tell her that's not it at all, and I cry harder.

The homeless woman with three kids is back at the intersection today. I roll down my window and give her a dollar.

Then I remember the $10 I paid earlier for the massage program my company offers every Friday and I feel like shit again.

Img_2113 Noah is asleep today at lunch. I wake him up anyway and push him to nurse. He eats a little, but decides he'd rather watch his teachers as they sit on the floor with the other babies and sing song after song. Reluctantly, I let him join the circle and creep out the door.

I'm so bone-tired I fall asleep within the first five minutes of my massage appointment. It's the best $10 I've ever spent.

I think my milk is drying up. I don't think Noah cares. The center has a confirmed case of strep throat. I use my shiny new office door lock and try in vain to pump a few ounces, staring at Noah's picture and suddenly creeping myself out by imagining a guy hunched over a photo of a naked woman with the same intense concentration for the task at hand.

It's not getting any easier.

 

I drove to the center tonight, exhausted and feeling just generally kind of weepy and shitty. I'm afraid of crying in front of his teachers again for some reason. I'm just so tired.

When I arrive, the aide tonight is a young girl with Down's Syndrome. The teacher introduces her as a early education student from the local community college who is here for training. I smile too broadly and speak too chirpily -- clearly trying to communicate that I think this is great! I don't have a problem with this at all! I am not judging!

Asshole.

I pack Noah up and she talks to him and tells me how many ounces of formula he drank and how many times she burped him. She's very sweet and well-spoken and coaxes smiles from Noah as I buckle him into his hated, hated carseat.

And now we're home. Hanging out, listening to a CD of lullabies and waiting for Daddy to get home.

I wish I had a nice happy ending for this post. I wish I could tell you that I feel blessed and fulfilled and am a better mother for using daycare and I was able to pump 10 ounces at work today and blah blah blaaaaaaaaaaah. I'm too tired for any epiphanies or insight or heart-tugging treacle.

Right now I'm home with my beautiful, charming and happy little boy on my lap, and he's drooling on my arm and yanking on my hair. I think he just pooped.

I'm so very, very happy right now.

Img_2218

Comments

Shannon

Oh, geez, I hope this gets easier for you! My heart goes out to you. Please enjoy your weekend with Noah, although duh, of course you will!

Janet

thanks for sharing your story with us. I have never done what you are doing before, but I do hope it gets easier for you. I hope you have a really, really, really good weekend though!

Eulallia

That picture of Noah sleeping makes me lactate. Even though I stopped breastfeding mine almost a year ago.

Tamara

Darned great post. It sucks that the breastfeeding isn’t going the way you’d like it to. I’ve got friends going through the exact same thing right now. (I hope) that eventually you’ll be happy enough with the breastfeeding and supplementation combo. I know a number of moms who do that, and while it was hard on all of them at first, I think they all found peace with it eventually. Noah will get enough food, whatever the means, and you’re still both getting at least some of the good of breastfeeding. So a good story in the end, yes?

k

I don't think I can count the number of times the daycare workers saw me bawl, cry, or silently let tears run down my face.

I hope it gets easier for you.

Heather

I'm sure it'll get easier. At least I really hope so. We're rooting for you.

Eulallia

And I just realized how insensitive my last comment sounded. I didn't mean it that way, I just meant he is SO DANG precious and I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. I am sending you waves of support through the screen... can you feel it? It should tingle a little bit.

zorgon

Well I don't know about y'all but *I'm* bawling my eyes out.

Lovely post. Just lovely. Brings me back, for sure!

amber

I'm not going to tell you that it really does get easier... it just changes, and you come to accept it, usually. The thing that kept me from bawling every day in front of the teachers was those happy moments with her in my mind.

Robbi

oh wow what a touching post. i think i maybe sorta started to cry myself just reading that. i have a little girl, she is three now, but when she started going to daycare at six weeks old i was exactly the same way as you. i hope it gets easier for you :) hugs

the kim half of glamorouse

OH man, you made me cry. I read your posts as an insight into where I'm headed as my little guy (I use the term little loosely)- even though I've done this all before.
But in couple of weeks I"ll be doing exactly the same thing as you - the morning drop off (I know it will be sooo much later than it's meant to be), the lunchtime drop-in, the e.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.o.n., the need for formula, the self-weaning - aghhh the angst.
But then, part of me can't wait until my days are defined by more than how many loads of washing I did, how many toys I picked up and how many chocolate biscuits I ate because tomorrow, I'm really going to be good.
I stayed home (sort of) with the first two, just freelancing and stuff. They were shitty jobs and it was all substandard. Everything. Life, the lot.
Now I have a job I love, an income that has revolutionised our lives and a little guy who decided to sleep through the night a week ago.
But to leave him? Well, I'd rather someone dug my heart out with a spoon.
It will get easier blah blah blah. But at the moment it's really really shitty and well, that sucks.
I feel your pain.

Bethany

I don't have kids yet, but still feel immense sympathy for any mother who has to do this. My cousin is in this situation right now. I am too feeling weepy as hell this week. Hubby and I are watching March of the penguins and it's only been on for 10 minutes and i've already lost my shit twice. Ti's the season for tears. Love you girl.

Amy

I've been reading your site, daily, for months. This post prompted me to tell you, I think you are incredible. Totally incredible. (and not in a scary creepy mommy stalker kind of way)

Amy, you rock! Keep rockin' on with your fabulous self and beautiful baby!

brit

Man, I hear you about the boobs thing. My normally DD (just darn too big with breastmilk) boobs just never showed up for work and I hate them, they were always calling in sick and it pissed me off, I thought maybe I was exercising too much and the milk wasn't flowing because of it. I had a big baby too (nine pounds) and he was bottle fed/breast fed from about 3 weeks on because he just didn't get enough food. He stopped breastfeeding at 4 months on his own..just decided..uh no thanks. You see these mothers breastfeeding two kids at the same time and I'm like ...huh. not me. Anyway hang in there...

lizardek

Sending you strength and support and positive thinking and energy and a NAP.

Sam

Amy, my heart was in my throat the whole time I was reading. I hope it gets easier. Hang in there. Peace to you.

Lori

I just love you, Amy. Will you be my mom?
Thank you for sharing, honey. You will learn to cope.

Lisa

Oh, sweetie. I wish you could feel my empathy through the computer. (I wish you could see it, too but, hello, Botox!)

It does get easier. I promise.

Enjoy your weekend!

Elenor

I don't evenhave a child and your post made me cry. I hope it all gets a lot better for you soon. You're an awesome momma!

shannon

My daughter is 3, and we still have days/weeks like that.
It does get easier, for the most part.
And Noah is one beautiful boy. And I know for a fact that as much as he may like the other babies and the teachers at daycare, he loves you more.

JenfromBoston

hearing this "week in the life" of a new mom dealing with the issues you're faced I think is something that people need to be remined of. Your stripped down reality. When I read writing like this, it makes me that much more compassionate and sensitive to new moms out there.

thank you got sharing your week.

Lori

Amy, a lot of moms are telling you that it is going to get easier. IT NEVER GETS EASIER.
You learn to cope. My boy is 16, and helping him become a man is the hardest thing we have ever done. First, it was leaving the breast, then the blankie, then the daycare teacher, then the kindergarten class, then the T-ball team...
You're a bright girl. You see where this is going. Your heart will ALWAYS be walking around outside your body for the rest of your life, and it is wonderful and it is scary and you just pray to get through the day. Noah nas a great daddy and you have a great husband and you will learn to cope together.

Amy Beth

Oh Amy, I'm sorry it's been so hard. I can only imagine. I know if and when we ever have kids, I will have to be the one who works while my kids are in daycare because their daddy has MD and is in a wheelchair. I'm not looking forward to that.

Sundry

Riley started in daycare this week and I thought I was going to die of a broken heart on the first day. I feel like it's going to get better, though, and I hope it does for you. The nursing aspect seems unbelievably hard - kudos to you for everything you're doing. You're an awesome, awesome mom.

Sheryl

No wonder you're exhausted, that is one tough week you just had. I hope you do something fun and relaxing this weekend. Hang in there.

het

Oh my. I sit her sobbing with you - just hoping it gets easier for you, SOON. I've been blessed to be able to stay at home with my kids - but for years I was the OTHER woman.

That woman that took care of kids in daycare and preschool, yep, that used to be me. All I can tell you is that for almost all moms it does get easier. To you it seems an eternity, for him it's just fun and new. Of course he misses you, of course he wants you. He will always have a very special place in his little, cute as hell heart, just for his mommy. He will always love you best.

I am happy for you that you have found a happy, safe place for Noah.

I just hope for some relief for you and your sad heart.

Many hugs for you. I love your blog and your adorable Project Babalah.

Jenny

ack. I promise, promise, promise that it gets easier, with whipped cream and sugar on top.
But not for a little while, I must add. And then, its not like it gets progessively better, its more like you wake up one day, and realize, hey! Its better! Its kind of like how the breastfeeding thing went for you initially, it sucked sucked sucked, crunchy toast points and all, and then one day, after you made the decision to stop doing it, it all worked like a well oiled machine? That's kind of how the dropping off at daycare goes. And then you realize, its maybe been a little better for a while but you forgot to notice, because, OH MY GOD, you are so tired.
Have a glass of wine, que up the Wedding Crashers now that its out on video this weekend, and relax. Feel better.

Leah

Chloe started daycare in November. I went back to work this week and left Bradley, too. It's so very hard. I know that nothing really helps, but hang in there! Others are going through the samething and somehow we'll all make it! Feel better, sweetie.

Angela

Hon, you just brought me to tears... I can truly hear the torment in you reading your words, but I'm at a complete loss as to what to say. If it doesn't sound too stalkerish, just know that you and Noah are in my thoughts very often, and I truly wish nothing but the best. And I just pray that you realize what a fabulous mother you really are.

((((Hugs)))))

Liz

Crying here, and I never did daycare, probably for the same reasons that you write about. I was scared my babies would like the teachers better and realize what a crappy mother I was or something.

I hope it gets easier for you.

Paige

Oh Amy.
Tears. I'm so sorry for you. I can only feel for you. I hope and pray it gets better, somehow.

~Paige

amy

Amy-
Have a great weekend with your handsome boys!
Amy

mary

Dear Amy,
Noah will always love you the best.
You're his mommy.

Linda B

Friday made me cry a little :(

It's so hard leaving your child for work. It is only somewhat comforting when people tell you it will get easier, but at the time you can't see that far into the future and in the now, it really hurts to leave your baby.

I'm glad it's the weekend so you get two whole days to spend with the baby and your husband. Weekends are always my favorite.

mmc

I so hope this gets easier for you. I have no advice as I stay home with mine, but you love your son, and it will all be ok. It's always harder for the parent than the child - npo matter what the issue is. They are so flexible and adaptable, we, however are not so much. Good luck. He's lovely.

Isabel

Oh, Amalah...I am so sorry your week was hard. But am also very happy that you are happy right now.

We visited our last daycare center today on lunch. As you know, they are all horrible. I just pray one of them will take our little guy. We are getting desperate and I hate that feeling.

Best of luck to you, Jason and Noah for next week! But for now, enjoy the weekend together.

Lauren

You know, it's only because Noah is so incredibly bright and inquisitive that he's looking around at all the other babies. Not that I know what I'm talking about, being babyless myself, but maybe think of it as him being uber smart, not him not being interested in you. I hope things start improving for you. Good luck and take care.

Oh, and Noah is so adorably cute! He's just getting his mac on...

natalie

I'm a nanny, and trust me...no matter how happy the kids act when they're with me, they never give me the same level of excitement or joy as when they see their Mom. Sometimes they even starting acting horribly when she gets home, and I did that to my parents when I was little...its like they're too overwhelmed with emotions. My nammy was my aunt, and I'm still very close to her but she never replaced my Mom. Nobody else is ever Mommmy. Hang in there.

Foodmomiac

Amy,
I've just started reading your blog, and I'm loving it. I had to go back to work full time a month ago (very unexpectedly) and leave my little Max (just a month older than Noah)with a sitter. It is very, very hard. And the pumping is very very hard. But, I'm much better with it now. Every day doesn't suck - just some of them. And those are fewer and far between.
I worked from home when my daughter is a baby so this is all new to me.
Hang in there, and thanks for the blog - it's wonderful.

TB

Oh Amy, I'm so sorry. You just sound so sad and frustrated. I don't know what you're going through because I don't have a child yet but I can still empathize with you. I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better. So I'll just say, I'm sending you good thoughts that it gets easier as time goes by.

Margarita Mama

It's probably mostly hormones that are making you so emotional. I only breastfed for a week before admitting defeat and I would stand in the shower and cry when my milk let down. I think we have a primal instinct not to let the milk dry up.
You are a total champ for managing to breastfeed so long. Your son is growing so fast, and breastmilk or not, there is just a certain age somewhere in the first year, where they totally chub out. He will not grow up to be fat, even if he switches to formula! I have three bottle fed children and they are all healthy, active and slim.
Good luck adjusting to daycare. That can't be easy, but it sounds like a nice place.

Dr. Johnny Fever

You can kill The Smackdown when you pry it from my cold, dead ass.

JustLinda

Honey, you're seeing the world through a sleep deprivation filter right now. Everything is blurred and distorted but it will right itself eventually. If there's anyway to sneak sleep in anywhere, do it. I know how you hate the advice, but I've gone back to work five times with five babies not sleeping through the night. It's like you are in a fog, walking around in a total daze.

You're doing fine on the breastfeeding stuff. Don't sweat it.

This too shall pass... you will perservere. Hang in there, girly!!

Tory

I've never been through the baby thing, but I imagine I'll feel exactly like you do whenever/if it happens. Good luck to you guys, tell Jason to give you and Noah big long group hugs. Take care...

VHMPrincess

Yay for fridays, which mean 2 whole days with Noah! Have a good weekend and please please please get some sleep!

S. Faolan Wolf

You may be tired but you sure did bring some insight and heart tugging. I don't like to admit that I'm sensitive but my eyes were getting watery with sympathy.

I think you are a wonderful mother. You care so much about every little thing with him...you chastize yourself too hard and then go beyond to make up for it.

That little boy is loved. That's the most powerful thing you can give him. You might make a mistake or two along the way, what parent doesn't, but with as much love as you have for him? You'll never be a bad mom.

Kate The Great

Poor Amy! My heart absolutely shattered into teensy tiny pieces when I read your entry. *hugs* Everything will be okay. Noah loves you. You are his mommy, and he will always know that.

FMS

Thanks for sharing so much emotion with the Internet. You are such a fabulous mother and Noah is the luckiest baby EVER.

Cagey

Would it make you feel better to know that I am letting my own DNA Project cry right now so that I can quickly comment?

Even though I stay at home, I maintain that GOOD daycare is certainly not evil - and it sounds like you have GOOD daycare and the teachers sound very cool. Hang in there! At least you realize this is much harder on YOU than it is on Noah, because of course, the reverse would totally suck donkey toes (or something to that effect) :-)

Jen

Great post! Please hang in there. My baby has been in the NICU at Hopkins for 15 weeks now. Count your blessings, at least you have him in daycare and not at the hospital!

therubygirl

I've been lurking ever since receiving an email with a link to the cookbook thingy -- 'bout died over it and sent it to absolutely everyone I've ever known. But this is the first post that I've felt compelled to respond to.

First off - that beautiful, gorgeous, blessing of a boy does not, and will not, ever love anyone more than you. I've been a daycare worker and (current) preschool teacher for nearly 10 years and I promise, promise, promise you that we love these children to pieces and they give us more love than we deserve, but they're mommies will always be first. Sure, the kiddos like us and like coming to see us everyday. Just like they like going to Grandma's house, or WalMart.
It's our job to make them happy and keep them happy. Sounds like the ladies at your center are doing a great job.

that said...

It will also never get easier. Just different. I nearly died the day I dropped my first son off at 6 weeks. And I'm shaking as I write this because that same baby (now a 19 year old college sophomore) is leaving in the morning to go back to college. In. New. Orleans. He's been home for the semester waiting for the school to reopen. I'm thrilled at the man he's become -- and terrified for his future in a place that is just a ghost of it's former self. Anyway...my nose is running and I can't find the kleenex.

Long story short - you are an awesome mom. Noah couldn't be luckier. And the daycare folks know that you're awesome too. Never an asshole. Oh, and the world looks MUCH rosier with some sleep. I'm sending the sandman your way...

(This is waaaay too long so please feel free to not post it. I just wanted you to know my heart aches for you and, me too.)

donna

I feel for you! I read your post and was almost in tears. My son is now 9 months old, but I also struggled with pumping enough milk, taking enough fenugreek that my armpits smelled like pancakes, taking blessed thisle-hoping it would prove more successful, and feeling jealous when I realized when I got home in the evenings he preferred my husband over me because he's always playing with the baby and I'm seemingly always dropping him off at the sitter's and going to work. Then, one day he was ecstatic when I walked through the door and practically screamed when I didn't pick him up fast enough. I hope this day comes for you soon!

RachiePoo

Amalah--I've only commented once or twice, before Noah was born, but this post really got to me. I, too, think you're amazing. I completely respect you for every decision you make... Because you know what's best for Noah, and because you sometimes feel like you made a mistake, even when you really didn't. I don't mean this in a bad way, I mean it as you're very real and down to earth. I can't say as I know what you're going through, (I'm only sixteen) but I know it must be hard--You're an awesome mom.

I hope I don't sound creepy... :S

I found amalah.com by the Google search, "John Frieda Sheer Blonde Testimonials," in case you happened to notice that one... And I got hooked on your humor, and then your pregnancy, and now your Noah stories.... Just to let you know... =)
-Rachel

purplemartini

I have to go back to work next week and I'm terrified I'm going to have a week like yours. It's killing me right now to think of leaving my boy on monday morning.

Oh, and I can completely sympathise with the whole breastfeeding thing. I went thru so many problems and finally my son was just getting so skinny the doctor recommended formula. Boy I felt like a failure then when he gained 3lbs in one month. I'm still nursing first thing in the AM. I think I do it more for me than I do for him because I have serious doubts as to how much milk he's actually getting. It just makes me feel better even though I don't like breastfeeding. Motherhood is hard, and not in any of the ways I thought it would be.

Julz

Postpartum depression ?
I would get checked out, if not for yourself do it for your son.

Dee

I love the honesty in this entry. I cried in more than one spot. You are doing a great job. You really are.

Jonna

Aw, Amy, I feel for you. I have no idea what this feels like, since I'm not a mom yet (fertility issues notwithstanding), but it's so clearly and kindly laid out here, I can't help but get choked up.

It will be okay. It will! It won't feel like i at the time, but I just know it will.

Jonna

Aw, Amy, I feel for you. I have no idea what this feels like, since I'm not a mom yet (fertility issues notwithstanding), but it's so clearly and kindly laid out here, I can't help but get choked up.

It will be okay. It will! It won't feel like i at the time, but I just know it will.

Ali G

so noah was conceived on my birthday! hmmm... a day of celebration, indeed.

amalah, you're an amazing mom. and you're raising an adorable son who apparently has inherited your socialness and charm. hang in there...

Lisa V

The questioning of yourself, and the pain at not being the "perfect" mommy ? It never goes away. I think it's part of being an aware parent. On the other hand, most of the time I feel that I am the "good enough" parent, and it's better than being perfect.

Amy, it sounds like you have picked the right daycare.

You might try nursing him in a room by himself. My daughters always wanted to look at everyone else in the room, and would turn sideways to look at everyone while keeping my nipple in their mouth. Oh yeah, it hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. My boob ended up looking like a cartoon character.

Mama C-ta

I'm sorry it's been hard on you, I can imagine. And don't feel you've been starving your baby!! Formula/bottle fed babies generally gain more weight. And I've learned (and been repeatedly told) that pumping never generates the same kind of output as a nursing baby would get. If you are concerned about your supply, eat some oats. I've been on a strict diet and was consuming like 500 calories a day when ran into supply trouble. Added oats to my diet and my Lord, supply is out of control. Think it's the vitamin B in it or something. My son is still in that distractible phase making nursing very tough!!

He is such a cute boy!!!

beth

here's what i think. i think a bad mother neglects her kids and never touches them and never feeds them.

i think a bad mother does drugs and drinks heavily when she's pregnant and doesn't get prenatal care.

i think a bad mother hits her kids and shames her kids and lets other people hit her kids.

don't fit any of the above criteria? don't sweat it.

Jessica

I stay home with my girls-one just turned 3 months ( born 10-4). I can't even imagine. I cried reading this tonight. My heart goes out to you. I wish I could magically make your job work-from-home or win the lottery and ship some money your way so you could stay home. Enjoy your weekend-you're in my thoughts.

superfantastic

Beautiful writing. Just beautiful.

Sarcastic Journalist

Just know, that no matter what you do, there will be Mommy Guilt. You're doing your best and it sounds like he's happy.

Also? My kid likes my Mom more than she likes me. My Mom is filet mignon and I'm a moldy ham sandwich in her eyes.

Kids. We ruin our boobies for them, yet we love them anyway.

tiffany

you are just ripping my heart out...
for real.

tiffany

also, whoever said you should get checked for post-partum depression is retarded.
who doesn't feel depressed when they have to go back to work after having a baby?
please, people.

Stacie

Thank you for your honesty. It is really interesting to hear what you are going through. It's completely different from my life. Even if daycare feels strange, just give it time. It is nice to hear that Noah is happy there.

Wacky Mommy

Amy, dear girl, this quote from Debra Winger has helped me immensely. I hope it helps you, too: "I remember when my first child was born, Costa-Gavras said to me, "They break your heart every day," and I thought, "Oh that's just so perfectly European and negative and I love having this baby. He fills my heart every day." Cut to now — I've got three boys, from 4 to 14 — and they break your heart every f***ing day. They break it because they fill it. It hurts to love something that much."

Leslie

Oh, Amy, it is so hard, but Noah will always love you best. I stayed home with my first until he was 3 1/2 years old. He loved day care, but every day when I drove away, he stood in the window, shoulders slumped, sobbing into his hands. Teachers told me that the minute I was out of sight, he'd turn around with a big smile ready to play, play, play! In the meantime, I was driving away in tears feeling like crap. When I picked him up, he'd howl to stay! He's 21 now, and I still worry about him when he's out of my sight. Get some rest, and enjoy the weekend with your little sweetie! It gets easier but never easy. I suppose it's just part of being a parent.

Lesli

Whoever cried "postpartum depression" is an idiot.

Best wishes.

Katrina

You made me cry. Beautiful words, gorgeous pictures. I am sorry you are hurting and don't blame you one bit.
I'm from the other side- a fulltime nanny. My babies love me- but LOVE their mom.
Enjoy your weekend, I hope you get some rest - and peace.

Darcy

I don't know if this helps your broken heart much, but you are doing your best for your son. It's obvious that you love him more than mere words can describe. That's really all he needs. He'll be fine.

Christine

I did in-home daycare for infants when I was younger (in the early 1980's). It was a nice situation: My husband was in university, we lived near campus, and all of the parents of the children I cared for were associated with the school. I had the same 3 little girls from age 2 months until they were nearly three years old. (Yes, all together, 5 days a week, 3 babies!) It was quite a learning experience and a lot of fun most of the time.


Anyway, what I wanted to say is that even though these children and I loved each other, they ALL knew who their real mommies were. There was never any confusion about that. I am sure Noah is always going to think of you as his one and only mommy and every other caregiver as secondary and supplemental. That's just the way it is, in my opinion.


By the way, Abby, Leslie and Shellie -- the three little girls that I cared for -- are all happy, healthy and intelligent young adults now, who still keep in touch with me, bless their hearts. But they all go home to mamma's for Christmas! :)

Kate

You succeeded in making me laugh and cry at the same time. My little one starts daycare in March...and I cry at least once a week already thinking about exactly what you're going through.

I truly, truly hope it gets easier for you.

C

"I'm so very, very happy right now."

It doesn't matter what road you take to get there, as long as you do :)

reluctant housewife

Amy,

You are an amazing writer. You made me laugh and cry. And it is because of your talent that I can tell that you are an amazing mother even though I've never met you. The love you have for your son is obvious.

And having a baby makes you more emotional. We all go through it. I cannot watch the news anymore without bawling. I know how you feel when you see the homeless woman.

I'll stop now before I sound like a stalker.

Jodi

I won't tell you it gets easier. Iwill tell you that for the first 5 months my son was in daycare, he could care less when I picked him up. Now that he crawls, he crawls right over to me.

You are doing nothing wrong. You are leaving Noah in a place he loves, where they are nice to him. It will be ok.

Tori

I have never left a comment before, but I just want to say that this post touched me so. Any time spent away from your precious baby is hard. I know everyone says it gets easier, and on some level, it does. But that doesn't make it any easier now.

Patchie

I can't imagine how hard it is for you to leave Noah, and how strong you have to be to do that. He is the most precious little baby thing on the entire Internet. The others are right, parenting never gets easier, just different and you adapt.

Patchie

I can't imagine how hard it is for you to leave Noah, and how strong you have to be to do that. He is the most precious little baby thing on the entire Internet. The others are right, parenting never gets easier, just different and you adapt.

MandyGirl

Noah is so lucky to have you. :)

Laura

The Sarcastic Journalist is right. With your first, you have Mommy Guilt no matter what you do. Because you want more than the best for you child and it's too easy to second guess yourself.

At least Noah is happy there. Really. If he didn't like it, I can't imagine how gut-wrenching that would be.

I hope it gets easier and I hope you have a great weekend.

Jilleyn

Mine started daycare last Monday. I am right there with you. So so sad and so so happy.

Lauren

Oh, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is the best book ever, second only to The Hungry Caterpillar. Awesome!

karla

Bless your heart. I know you don't believe it right now, but it does get easier. I cried for a month straight when I left Christian in daycare with a very nice lady he adored from the moment he saw her. He was happy as a clam. I still cried. Also, I practically wrung my poor breasts dry to get a couple of ounces of milk,and tried every old wives tale and tried and true method to get my supply up until finally I decided I would rather enjoy my baby than beat myself up for something I couldn't help. (Not a judgement,just sharing my story) Noah is one lucky kid to have such an awesome mommy. I hope it gets better for you. Also, I am a jelus h8ter because your company offers massages for 10 bucks!

Gabby

What a well-written post. You did an awesome job of capturing how I (and tons of other moms) feel about the whole daycare thing. My son is almost 3 and I still feel guilty about leaving him at daycare, partly because, as you pointed out, he loves it so much! Try not to worry (near impossible, I know)- you and your husband are doing a great job and it seems like he's at a very good daycare. And when he gets mobile, he will be crawling/teetering/running over to you when you come to pick him up, screaming, "Mommy!" and smiling so big and hugging you so hard that your heart will just crack right in two. That is the best feeling in the world to me.

lissa

My heart breaks for you. I hope it does get easier as time goes on. I also hope you have a great weekend with your adorable son.

mirabel

Newish reader who loves your blog delurking to say...

That was an amazing post.

I hope it gets easier soon!

honestyrain

this is the best thing you have ever written. beautifully done.

Ellen

I'm sorry. This one was hard to read. I'm sure it was harder to write. We're having a tough week with daycare too so I'm sympathetic. I hope you can feel better about it next week.

statia

I hope it gets easier for you. I can't really relate. Though, I wish I could.

Lisa B

Now I'm feeling guilty that I have stayed home with my child and that he didn't get all of that cool baby interaction that Noah and lots of other kids get. I think he would have loved it. Sounds like he's in a great place.

And it seems like my child is MUCH better behaved for others than for me. I was talking about this with other women the other night. I think kids sense that "Well, mommy HAS to love me." ANd so that's why they do it. They feel safe acting out against mom.

Pam

[Post-partum depression??? SMACK!]

Amy, I cried reading this beautifully-written, emotionally-wrenching entry. Being able to rip out a stranger's heart with your words, and hand it back to them in pieces is truly a gift. Or something, anyway.

But now I'm sitting here wondering what was wrong with ME that I nearly skipped with joy the first day I left my baby in daycare.

Obviously, despite the physical proof of her health and happiness 10 years later, I'm not cut out for this mommy sh*t either!

(See, the mommy guilt, it never ends. It just mutates through the years.)

Sandy

A beautiful, touching post.

kim

I never cry at these things and I swear, you've made me cry at least four or five times now.

I hope this gets easier for you at some point. If not, I'm going to need to keep kleenex next to the computer specifically for your blog.

Kay

Normally, I am not a big fan of baby worship, and yet I tune in day after day to look at your little cherub and read your well-written and wonderful blog, and Okay, Now I'm hooked! I love that little munchkin and can't wait to see his face every day! My heart is wrung about your diminishing breast milk, and I just saw Dr. Christianne Northrup say that if you put a new mother in bed for one day and heap praise on her and dote on her totally, her breast milk will flow like the Niagara Falls! Someone needs to make JUST as much a FUSS over you as they make over your baby and your milk production will increase! Not that you were asking for advice or anything...

Beth

It will get easier.

My kiddos didn't go to day care until they were 5 and 2.5, respectively, but it was just as difficult then as it would have been had I started them at 10 weeks or so.

My son is now in elementary school and my daughter just turned 4. Katie has a significant speech delay and, after a six-month break from therapy, has to return to therapy. My marvelous new job has a marvelous therapy clinic nearby and the marvelous day care center has an opening for Katie. She starts in a week.

I told her teacher last week that she was leaving and she cried. Big, heaving sobs. That made me cry, for many, many reasons. How can I take my daughter away from this woman who so clearly loves her?

Sigh. But I will, and in a year and a half, when Katie starts kindergarten, I'm sure her teacher at the new place will cry just as hard.

Big Gay Sam

Well at least you've confirmed one thing for me. You're human. :P

People keep telling me how wonderful I am to move back to New Mexico and help take care of my dying mother. I keep hearing the words, "I don't know how you do it." They see me struggling through my own illness, working a full time job and taking care of mom. For some reason they think I'm super-human or something. When the truth is, I'm just winging it. Taking it moment by moment. I don't know how I do it either. I just know it has to be done.

I think we're similar in this. It has to be done so we do it. This makes you very human and very wonderful.

I too have my doubts and my moments of tears. Sometimes I wonder if I can take much more. But, it has to be done. What I've found is that you take the little moments. The hour when mom is laughing and forgets for a moment her pain and her fears. The Christmas dinner where everyone is laughing and talking and it feels like family again. These are the things I hold on to and it gets me through the rough times.

I'm sure you'll figure this out on your own. Take those wonderful moments with Noah to work with you. They'll get you through the rough times. :)

DrKate

Dear Amy,
Daycare people come and go. He won't remember any of these people--but you and Jason will always be his mommy and daddy, and he will always know who you are.

It's okay to quit breastfeeding. It's okay to feed him on formula. It's okay to let your boobs tell you what they are trying to tell you. It doesn't mean you love him any less. It's the first weeks' milk that makes the MOST difference. Everything after that is nice, but not anything that you should let anyone else make you feel bad about.

You gotta do what you gotta do for your boy. He'll always love you and you'll always be his mom.

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