Monday, October 11, 2010

AWKWARD: [awk-werd] adj. uncomfortable; difficult to handle or manage

Two weeks! We've survived over two weeks!

The first night home was HARD. The afternoon and evening were a breeze, since Jack just slept like, well, a baby. But then came the night. He cried. And cried. And wouldn't latch for more than 5 minutes, and was obviously getting supercrazyhungry. His lips began to look dry and cracked. And on he raged. After a few hours of this, I was in tears and said, aloud actually, fuck it, I'm giving him formula. Given a choice between ruining breastfeeding from anywhere between one feeding and forever and starving my baby, I opted for the former. He gobbled it down and we both slept. At our first pediatrician's appointment two days later, the doctor applauded me for making that decision and reassured me that breastfeeding would be fine. And then my milk came in that VERY DAY, and once we got past the engorgement that lasted a day and a half (imagine trying to wrap a wee little mouth around an overfilled water balloon -- no-go), thanks entirely to KB making an emergency trip to the medical supply store to purchase a shiny new breast pump, all was well. Now he exclusively breastfeeds, like a champ. Amen.

I have a lot more to say about breastfeeding and formula, but I'll save it for another post. I want to give it its due. 

Last weekend my sister came to visit and was a delight. She's been really flaky in the past, and I had my doubts about whether she would be happy for me or bathe in a stew of schadenfreude. She was fantastic. It was a low-key visit and didn't disrupt our budding schedule at all. It was pleasant and, frankly, a relief. I'm hopeful this is a turned leaf for us. Go, Jackson, go! relationship savior!

And then. My dad and stepmother came to visit this past weekend. They wrote to me (via fb) two weeks ago and asked when they could visit; I told them any time after two weeks, but later would be better (I reminded them I am off work for three months to drive that point home). So they booked their trip for exactly two weeks later. Okay, fine. They also flew my sister in (not realizing she had just driven up from Chicago the weekend before) and she graciously agreed to come so she could, as she put it, be the buffer. And then I heard NOTHING from them about their arrival time, plans, where they were staying, whatever. NOTHING. I had to get this info from my sister. And she had only the minimal inkling, as they didn't share much with her, either. So they showed up Saturday and Sunday afternoons, we fed them lunch and dinner, and they sat around our family room for hours barely talking to us and just holding the baby. They took pictures of each other holding him, but none of my husband and me with him. They didn't let my sister hold him, either. The only conversations consisted of my stepmother telling us about her daughter's son (the one who celebrates birthdays at Hooters; some can't-miss stories: at three years old, he plays video games all day! he went to a gun show and got to "play" with a sniper rifle -- pictures up on fb! they're taking him to a monster truck show!). Exciting. If you're into shotgunning warm cans of PBR and NASCAR. They didn't change one diaper, never asked to see his nursery, and basically just loitered around our house so they could admire our baby for a couple of days, with no respect for our schedule. It was, in a word, awkward. Extremely. They even left without saying goodbye to me (I was just down the hall in the nursery feeding the baby). Then I got a text message later saying "thanks for having us." Yeah. Super. I found out from my sister that evening that they had bailed in a hurry to get to happy hour at their hotel. They were more interested in getting their drink on (mind you, they did the same thing the first night) than spending any more time with us, or even bothering to say a proper goodbye. I was actually pretty relieved the visit was over, though, abrupt as it was.

It makes me wish that I had never bothered to try and develop a relationship with my father. It's just so much effort for so little in return. *sigh* They were making cryptic suggestions that we should come visit them in Virginia so Jack can play with their other grandson (at Hooters? or the gun show? or the monster truck rally?), and about wanting to take the grandkids (not us, mind you) on a Caribbean vacation. Uh, no. While they are teaching their other grandson to play video games, we are interviewing at the Montessori school for daycare (where Jack will learn Spanish and music at the tender age of 3 months!). (I tried to explain the concept of Montessori schools to my stepmother, and eventually gave up and changed the subject. She also asked me outright, rather rudely I think, how much we will be spending on daycare. So I told her. The look on her face was priceless.) There's just an ocean of difference between how we live, what we believe, and how we intend to raise our child. It's a huge gap that can't be bridged.

It bums me out that my family is so batshitsuperfuckingcrazy. Not just for my sake anymore, but for Jackson's. But as KB likes to remind me, and I try often to remind myself, we have our own family now and it will be -- is -- exactly as we want it to be. Happy.


bunny said...

Thank you for telling it like it is. That sounds stressful and alarming, and like you gots some excellent mama instincts. I'm so glad you're pediatrician was on board.

Wow, your family. (With the exception of your sister--how fantastic that something went better than expected!) I guess the upside to taking the trouble to have a relationship with these people is that you have nothing to blame yourself for. It IS depressing. Thank god for your happy, gun show free family.

Kelly said...

I can really relate to this, as I have a crazy side of the family too. I often wonder why we put so much effort into these relationships that give us nothing in return. I'm sorry their visit was so crappy.

Luckily, it sounds like YOUR little family is on a great path.

Good job on the breastfeeding, by the way. I've heard it's incredibly hard.