Monday, July 15, 2013

crying it out.

i am having a hard time.

still battling writer's block. still unsure of how to word everything i'm feeling.

but the other night, as i was listening to remy "cry it out," in his crib, i had a moment of clarity and understanding.
it was brief and when it was over, i was back to feeling overwhelmed and anxious, but at least for that moment, i understood something.

i have been feeling abandoned by the God i have always known. i have been doubting (and am still doubting) many of the things i've been taught and things i've believed in my whole life. this is a lonely and scary experience, to doubt the things that have always been home.

the past two months have been rough. the sweet, rarely cranky infant i knew became a screamer. his acid reflux made it painful to eat, resulting in feeding sessions lasting over an hour to coax three ounces down his throat, and nonstop crying that makes me a crazy person. then i had an epic battle with our insurance company, trying to convince them to cover the medication remy needs for his reflux. no, we don't have $300 extra a month to pay for something that he desperately needs to ease his pain. i turned into a phone yeller, something i have never done before.

then when the prevacid didn't completely fix the problem, we switched him to soy formula. and i can't stop thinking that if i were just breastfeeding, maybe we could have avoided this whole issue.

during all this, we went on two trips and remy's schedule was completely destroyed, resulting in more crying.

seriously, if i go to hell, if such a place exists, my hell will be a tiny room with a screaming baby and no matter what i do, i can't get him to stop crying. that is pure torture.

then there's adjusting to being a single parent one third of the time while travis is being a firefighter, dealing with something that might be postpartum depression, and being so tired you can't remember your own name. while still feeling anxious about the chance of getting pregnant again, like so anxious that every time you feel a twinge of nausea or anything that isn't "my body feels awesome!" your body starts shaking.

and i'm not sure if it's normal to be so anxious about remy's well being that you have trouble sleeping because you're afraid he will somehow choke or smother in the night. or freaked out whenever anyone holds him, that his neck isn't being supported. or that he will get heat stroke from being in his car seat too long. etc. things that i know in my head won't happen, but that i can't stop worrying over.

do i have postpartum depression? or am i just exhausted and stressed out? is it normal to have mood swings that result in yelling at your husband for accidentally tracking in dirt on your freshly mopped floors? or crying a lot over small things? or feeling kind of dead inside all the time?

most of the time, i just tell myself to hang in there until remy's next nap. then i feel guilty for wanting remy to nap so i don't have to deal with him.

every night when i smell the summer night air, i just want to get in my car, all alone, and drive away and not have to take care of anyone or be anywhere. just drive. possibly to the beach. i feel like i'm in mourning for my freedom, my youth, the old me who was fun and spunky.

then i feel guilty for feeling that way.

so the whole, doubting God thing.
i'm terrified i'll have some "sign from above" that i am supposed to have another baby. and then sure, i have my free agency, but if i choose the wrong option, doesn't that mean i'll miss out on blessings and then have to feel guilty for the rest of eternity? or something?

and then i feel sometimes that God totally abandoned me during my pregnancy. and why did i have to be so sick? and why didn't all those priesthood blessings "fix" me? and why didn't all my prayers work? and yes, i know, maybe it would have been much worse, or maybe i was supposed to be learning things. maybe i only think all that because i've been brainwashed to think that way. where were you when i needed you most, God?

then there's all the arguments i've been having with family members about homosexuality and THE CHURCH. i am so exhausted from the ignorance and inability to think about something outside of your comfort zone. then i start wondering why i am part of an organization that maybe doesn't agree with what i think about a lot of things. i worry about remington going to the young men's organization and what he will pick up there, because most of the lds boys i dated didn't seem to have learned anything about respecting women or what the concept of modesty really means, or how to be anything more than sex crazed, no control over themselves boys. and more things like that. then i start wondering if i ever believed at all, or if i was just going along with what was comfortable, what was home to me.

aaaand pile on more guilt.

last week we started "sleep training" remington and working on his napping schedule. after being referred to the book baby wise by several people i think highly of, i bought it, read it, and we started following it. (more about baby wise in another post.) and of course the week we started this, travis got an abscess in his tooth, needed emergency surgery, and i was pretty much flying solo.

but the first night of remy being in his own room and sleeping in his crib rather than his cradle, that was the night i had the moment of clarity. i had decided to try to knock out the middle of the night feeding. i fed him and put him to bed around 11:30pm and then decided that if he woke up, i would let him cry until the 5:30am feeding.

sure enough, he woke up at 3:30. instead of a loving parent picking him up, cuddling him, and offering him his bottle, he was met with darkness and the unfamiliarity of his new room. the moment he started crying, i jumped out of bed and ran to his room. then remembered how i was supposed to let him cry, i waited outside of his door. the volume of his cries escalated as he became frustrated with the lack of results. when i couldn't stand waiting outside the door anymore, i silently crept into his room and lay on the floor next to his crib, listening to his distress.

it was awful. 

i kept thinking to myself, it's for his own good. babies who were allowed to cry turned out to be better problem solvers and self soothers. i'm teaching him how to sleep through the night, a skill he needs to grow and be healthy. kept thinking these things over and over and over, while he kept crying.

remy, i'm right here. you can't see me, but i'm here next to you, laying in the dark, hearing how afraid you are and how hard this is. i promise i am right here to take care of you, and that this is for your own good. 

then i thought about how this was the first time of probably many times i will have to let remington figure things out on his own. and how hard that is going to be, watching him struggle but letting him learn important lessons.

which then of course led me to thinking about this God who i have always trusted. i thought about all the times during my pregnancy i had laid in the dark crying, wishing i could just feel better, or fall into a coma, or just die. feeling so alone.

i wondered if maybe God had been laying on the floor in my room with me, wishing he could intervene but knowing i was learning something important that would be worth it. thinking in His head, collette, i'm right here, you can't see me, but i'm here next to you, laying in the dark, hearing how afraid you are and how hard this is. i promise i am right here to take care of you, and that this is for your own good. 

for a second, i remembered that God loves me, that even though everything seems to be screwed up right now, He is there and He knows what i'm feeling.

and the next night, remy made it to 5:30 before waking up. then 6:00. he has been eating better, napping better, and smiling nonstop. i knew it would help him, just like God knew that my pregnancy would help me in so many ways. 

as for all the things i am doubting about THE CHURCH right now? it's okay. the answers will come, even if it's not right now. and it is okay for me to question something i'm uncomfortable with. why did God give us free agency, curiosity, and brains, if not to figure things out with?

awkward sentence structure.

the important thing is that i remembered God loves me and doesn't expect me to do anything i can't handle, or don't want to handle.
like be pregnant ever again.
or even adopt another child. i don't know if i could handle the anxiety a second time. and that is okay too. only children can have beautiful childhoods and turn out to be wonderful human beings, too.

and dealing with the postpartum depression i might have? i'm trying to exercise every day and eat well. trying to get enough sleep. and most importantly, trying to talk about it, not hide it and feel ashamed. any thoughts you moms have are appreciated too.

feeling a little better about life now. which is good because i'm going to go wake up remington and feed him, and try to enjoy all the little things that i know i will miss when he grows up.

moms are strong. God loves me and you, too.


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