What’s Been Going On With Me.

Not that I think I have a massive readership going yet on this blog, but since I haven’t been able to post for a while, here is what I have been up to recently:

1) After a painful final month at work, I am now out on maternity leave for 16 weeks, effective this week. I’m not due until May 28, but the stress and physical discomfort was getting to be too much for me. I also had a meltdown in the office, complete with crying on the bathroom floor and everything. From a distance, I saw myself struggling and it took much, much too long for me to be convinced that it was time to stop before an emergency happened.

2) And then, said emergency did happen. Two days before I was supposed to give a continuing legal education seminar on special education, I came down with a stomach virus that landed me in the hospital where, on arrival, I almost passed out completely from dehydration. That was fun, especially considering how confused the admissions secretary at Hartford Hospital labor & delivery was, when I explained that I’m not registered there because I’m planning a homebirth. Oh yeah, past 18 weeks they admit you to L&D rather than the ER for things like that. I had to have my boss cover my seminar, and didn’t go back to work until Wednesday, and even then I wasn’t 100%.

3) I started seeing a therapist, motivated in part by item #1 above. I like to think this is a sign I’ve arrived, professionally. All lawyers crack under the pressure at some point, and even if my cracking is more pregnancy-related than work-related (or is it?), methinks this still counts? Some people in my office brag about the heart attack or other health emergency they had due to work stress … it’s a badge of honor. I think that’s sick, but thinking about it that way at least makes you feel like it was worth it. Even if that’s a bold-faced lie (or a delusion at best).

4) Neonatal lupus screening update: I can’t go into much detail yet, other than to say that I have an update. I hate to be cryptic, but for privacy reasons I need to keep this under wraps and I will have the full-blown update once decisions are made. Let’s just say that the update has to do with a decision that is not so much medical or physical, but strategic and social, perhaps political.

5) Co-sleeping, Night-weaning, Potty Training – I am fine with my 20-month-old in our bed for now. It’s the night nursing I can’t take. I was going to try this plan for gentle night-weaning, but I haven’t really started it yet. Last night, the little vampire wouldn’t unlatch, and when I finally forced her off due to my own physical and mental discomfort, she screamed until I relatched. After unlatching a second time, she cried until she fell asleep. That’s exactly what I said I would never let her do (although she was right next to me and I did try to comfort her, as did Daddy). I know she is 20 months, not 2 months, and it is totally ok to say NO to breastfeeding now … but while the logical side of me gets that, the emotional side does not. I just feel like no matter what, I am doing the wrong thing. I want the confidence that I had as a new mom of a baby back – I am so not a confident mom of a toddler.

Oh, the potty training is going well. Except that she doesn’t actually go in the potty yet, she just sits there. But at least there is no screaming involved.

6) I finally said goodbye, as I alluded to a while back, to the nonprofit board of directors I have sat on for about four years, and to the executive committee I have also served on for the state bar association’s young lawyers section. So of course, I immediately replaced these volunteer commitments with a new one, as acting president of United Families for Midwifery Care (don’t Google it – the existing website is a dinosaur and needs to be banished for good … we are working on it). But I figure, this is something I am motivated to work on right now, while I feel like I have reached my capacity in terms of my service to the other groups. Still, it feels strange and difficult to let go.

8 thoughts on “What’s Been Going On With Me.

  1. Oh, Melanie. Please be kind to yourself. You have so much going on. Just being pregnant and trying to mom a toddler is exhausting; add all of what you’ve listed here and it’s no wonder your body said MATERNITY LEAVE.

    You are doing a great job and while I don’t have experience with a lot of what you’re going through, please know that you have my total support. xo

  2. Melanie ~ I LOVE your raw honesty. Seriously, posts like this make all Mamas feel “normal.” I hear you on feeling mama-confidence until toddlerhood ~ yes, I hear you.
    I’m so happy to hear that you have some time to rest (as much as you can) before the baby comes. Seriously, I don’t know HOW any Mama works until the end of pregnancy…by that point I. am. just. done. I’ve been thinking of you and all you’re going through. I know we just met but please know I’m happy to support you in any can and I’m sending you SO MANY positive vibes. Love to you, Dear Sister.

  3. Melanie..thanks for being soo open and honest…you should give itself more credit. You are such a strong woman and mother and ur children will grow up to be the same! Stay strong and stay positive. You did the best thing to start your leave sooner rather than later 🙂

  4. This is seriously a lot on one person’s plate. I know it can make you feel out of control but believe it or not I can feel your strength through this post.

    If you’re feeling up to it in the next couple weeks, let’s go for a walk, or I’ll bring over lunch, or we can just sit and talk and let the girls play.

  5. So glad you’re getting some rest and taking care of yourself. As for the nightweaning, even Dr. Sears (one of my favorites, I know you like him, too) says that crying it out in Dad’s arms is not the same as crying it out alone 🙂 I think you’re doing a fantastic job.

  6. “I just feel like no matter what, I am doing the wrong thing.”

    We all do… especially through toddlerhood! (and beyond!)… you are a great Mommy!

  7. You are so strong Mel. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. You are a great person and a great momma.

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