Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What happened to couplehood?

16 days old

BG is more alert today. I placed her on the bouncy seat and she seemed to try to focus on some of the objects. She also seemed preoccupied enough for me to put her on our kitchen table while I cleaned some feeding tubes and made myself a sandwich.

I know with hubby going back to work and paying his dues to switch careers, the majority of the care would be handled by me, especially during the maternity leave period. I guess the whole discussion of stay at home parent though got me thinking he’d try to put more effort into it.

Hubby swears he’d love to be a SAHD. I have no objection as long as he knows SAHD does not mean he can plop the kid in a swing and watch movies or do other things aside from caring for the kid.

I’m trying not to be critical or judgmental but every time I come out to pump my breasts during his late night shift (1am-5am) he’s asleep with BG either on his chest or on the floor on the Boppy. Twice I caught objects precariously by her face. Once it was a pillow and just today it was an elbow (hubby’s elbow). I’m probably overally paranoid. You can sleep when the kid sleeps just not on the floor with the kid.

Then there is the whole, “Make sure during tummy time, you don’t fall asleep. Make sure the swaddle doesn’t cover her face while she sleep fidgets.” Whenever I tell him something along these lines, he gets very upset at me, rolls his eyes and scoots me to the bedroom to sleep.

I suppose there is a partial protectiveness going on but I honestly think there are some things I can do my hubby cannot. I can wake up like clockwork every 2.5 to 3 hours to pump my breasts, check on BG and prepare the next feed tube so everything is set for hubby.

I don’t think he can think and plan that far ahead. He’ll prepare the bottle when the baby cries. By that time, she’s starving and borderline inconsolable. If I have everything set so I just stick her mouth on my breast, the better.

Of course there are things he can do I cannot. He can easily fall asleep without checking on the baby a billion times. He doesn’t run to the books the moment something looks strange or a thought comes passing through his head.

Maybe I’m just feeling a bit one sided. My friend says it’s rightly so but unfortunately that is just the case. Women do far more when it comes to a newborn. Now, there are a few exceptions but the majority of the time, women do the breastfeeding, caring, planning and worrying.

I suppose I’m also feeling a bit more sacrificial and a bit tethered to the breast pump. I’m trying not to be woe is me or feel pitiful. I chose this and I’d gladly choose it again. I think I’m just wanting to feel like we’re in this together. Yes, he’s sleep deprived as well but at least he has a bit of his personal normalcy. He has his gym. He has his appointments and chance to check his emails and surf. I haven’t had a chance to respond to most of my emails let alone read them.

On a good note, I got to take a bath yesterday. It was a ten minute bath but it was a bath. It felt good to soak just for a bit. I hope to have more time for a little pampering after the milk production and breastfeeding schedule is more stable.

Filing of her nails
When we were first making a list of things we need to do, hubby and I agreed that I would handle rectal thermometer duties and he would deal with the nail clippers. I’m too chicken that I’ll hurt her little fingers. Unfortunately, her nails have gotten pretty sharp and she takes to scratching my breasts when she’s feeding. Since hubby has been a bit preoccupied with work and what not, I’m left to do it myself. I’m still afraid so I’ve been slowly filing her nails.
So far I’ve done it while sleeping, while she’s in active alert on the bouncy seat and while she’s nursing. I’ve completed her toes and her right hand. I need to somehow get to her left hand now.