Six Months, Anxiety

Guys, it’s December 16th. And that means that at 8:31 am, (I guess actually 7:31 am, because of DST) Charlie has been on this earth for six months exactly.

Here are some things about this girl:

  • She can roll over both ways (though she doesn’t like to).
  • She can sit up mostly unassisted. She does wobble and fall sometimes, but she gets better by leaps and bounds every day.
  • She giggles and smiles BASICALLY all day, with very little fussing.
  • She loves, loves, LOVES the bathtub. I think she would live in there if she could. I’ve started putting her in the tub with me for the first half of my bath (before I start dousing myself in chemicals that make me fit to enter society).
  • She has TWO teeth and they came in almost at the same time.
  • She’s wearing 3-6 and 6 month clothes. She can still fit into three month stuff but it’s mostly summer stuff, so it’s not weather appropriate.
  • She got baptized this past weekend!
  • She LOVES the swing. Such a 360 from when she was first born.
  • She LOVES the jumperoo.
  • She can sit in a high chair which has made eating at restaurants a glorious experience.
  • She loves to be worn. My husband says I have an unhealthy baby carrier obsession. I have a moby, a moby go, an ergo 360, an Infantino Mei Tai (that I’m about to donate to the charity taking them for Syrian refugees), and I JUUUUUST ordered myself an early Christmas present of this. I cannot wait for it to come! Lenny Lamb has been my dream for a while now! I think once I have a Tula as well I’ll be complete.
  • She still breastfeeds like a champ, and now she can drink from a straw!
  • She really wants to eat food. Should get approval from the doc tomorrow to start BLW. On Thanksgiving she ripped a crescent roll out of my hand. The other night she yanked the straw out of my cup. She’s not playin’, she wants food.

She’s not a great sleeper, but that’s okay. Honestly most nights it’s totally manageable. She sleeps for a few hours in her PNP (3-4, sometimes she needs comforting every hour or so, sometimes she doesn’t) and then around 11:00 she usually wakes up and wants in bed with me, and that’s fine with me. Sometimes she does well and I don’t feel tired the next day, sometimes she’s up every hour. She never actually stays up. She just wakes up crying and wants to nurse a lot. It’s just inconsistent and I never know what to expect from her. It would be more of a problem if I had to get up every day and look presentable for work, but since no one sees me while I’m working it’s not a big deal most of the time. The last few days have been not great, but I know it’s not forever, so I usually don’t stress over it.

Basically she’s just the best thing. Literally the best thing. Sometimes I literally find my face sore from smiling at her for so long. We sing and dance and laugh and play and 99% of the time have wonderful days together.

I am still dealing with some anxiety, and I know I need to deal with it. I do, but Chief has to go to physical therapy 2-3 times a week and on top of him doing that, he has class one night a week and has to work at the BX one afternoon a week, so that doesn’t leave a lot of extra time.

The other night I found myself unable to sleep and crying because I was afraid of being in a mass shooting. What I was most afraid of is that Charlie would die and I’d be left here to go on without her. Obviously the thought of losing their child horrifies any mother. I think considering everything going on right now this is not out of the ordinary entirely. I was thinking about Charlie’s baptism and how afraid I was of a shooter storming my church because we’re liberal and my preacher is black. I think about it happening when I’m at storytime, when I’m shopping, basically anywhere there’s a group of people, I think about it.

I also think that because I don’t have a great outlet for my anxiety that I’m handling it in unhealthy ways. Like last night Charlie was actually sleeping well, but I couldn’t. I stayed up obsessing about this family tree Christmas gift I’m doing for my uncle. Like literally obsessing. Checking my email constantly to hear from the girl on etsy who is doing it, even though I KNOW that my email would push through because that’s how my settings are on my phone. Then at 1:30 am I left my baby in the bed with my husband and sat at the end of the bed addressing Christmas cards and doing thank you notes for baptism gifts, because I was afraid people would find me rude if they didn’t get a note within the week.

And by all rights I was exhausted last night. The last few nights Charlie has been up every hour. These teeth are driving her nuts. She’s like a rabid chipmunk. So last night when she was actually sleeping well I should have taken advantage, but I didn’t. So collectively over the last three nights I’ve probably had about 12 hours.

I’ve become obsessed with keeping the house clean because I’m concerned Charlie is developing allergies. I vacuum every two days and I hate when there are dishes in the sink. This is not me at all. I’ve never been a neat freak. I’m already anxious about where we’re going to put all of Charlie’s Christmas gifts (all of our family has fessed up that they went way overboard-this baby is LOVED y’all). I worry about Chief getting the grades he needs in school to continue with the graduate certificate. I worry about getting in a car accident with the baby. Earlier I sprayed febreeze and then had a panic about her breathing any of it in and getting sick.

Honestly, I need some self care probably. Charlie isn’t hard on me, but she’s my responsibility primarily, and that’s a lot of pressure. My friend C has expressed some concern and wants me to leave Charlie at home with Chief one night after the holidays and go out with her. Chief is down, and I’ve agreed. But I think I’m going to need something more, and probably that needs to be something like exercise, or yoga, or something I can add into my routine that is just for me and is GOOD for me. That takes care of my body and my soul.

Finding the time to do it is hard, but I think it’s important. So it’s sort of my goal to deal with after the holidays. Charlie and I see the same doctor, so I may talk to him when I’m tomorrow about the anxiety and see what he thinks. I really don’t want to take anything medicinally, so I’ve been pretty hesitant to mention it to a doctor.

And that’s my super long update. Sorry they’re fewer and far between these days.

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23 thoughts on “Six Months, Anxiety

  1. Sometimes the anxiety just needs to be worked through with someone trained in helping people with it. I know my own anxiety through pregnancy pretty much disappeared after going to talk to someone I clicked with, but I kept going back every month or two just to follow up and keep my head in check. I’m a baby carrier addict too. We most recently bought the tula toddler carrier, and LOVE it!

  2. Not sure what you have there but here there are a heap of mum and baby exercise options. Baby doesn’t really do anything. It just means you can take the Bub along and there will be others there in the same situation as you. Exercise definitely helps anxiety in my experience. I have also been a fan of seeing a great therapist too for strategies and setting my head straight. Hope it eases for you soon and you get some more sleep. Merry Christmas!

    • I know we have at least one studio that does momma baby yoga. I’ve always felt too chubby to do yoga but I think I just need to move past that. We’ve made a friend at storytime-Charlie likes the baby and I like the momma, and we’re both SAHM so I should see if she wants to get together and walk by the river or something.

  3. definitely look into stroller classes! we only go once a week at most, and half the time we’re late, but i always feel good afterwards, and it gets us out of the house, which is key. i’m also obsessed with carriers. since C’s outgrown the k’tan, i gave them to an expecting friend, but now have 2 ring slings (only use the sleeping baby productions one because the lil’ joey linen became too uncomfortable as she grew), a chimparoo mei tai (which i don’t love and will probably donate), a beco gemini, a tula (which she’s finally big enough to use – hurray!), and i just received my first woven wrap in the mail. eeks!

  4. I’m so sad and angry that your anxiety about being in a GD mad shooting is actually somewhat warranted because what the actual fuck?! That said, I’m a so sorry things are hard and 100% think that no matter how much of a dream boat your baby is (And you and I have dream boat babies, wet do!) You need space and time to not be responsible for another human’s well-being. I really hope you can carve out some time to make that happen. Anxiety is exhausting and miserable.
    And hooray for beautiful, happy, smiling Charlie! She’s so beautiful! Congrats on making it to 6 months!!

    • Love what Andie said about needing the space and time to not be responsible for another human’s well-being. This is so true! (And work doesn’t count!)

  5. I was just sort of writing a post that touches on some of this. It’s hard to be a new mom in this world right now. There’s so much to worry about, and it really takes its toll. Especially when some of the anxiety is actually justified and you can’t just sit there and tell yourself you’re being silly and it will never happen. Lately, I have been craving a solid 3 hours where I can go sit in a Starbucks with some knitting and a latte and just zone out. Like Andie said–have some time where the only person I am responsible for is myself. I’m hoping that once we get through the holidays, I might be able to make it happen.

  6. I don’t have a baby so I have no idea how that will change my brain, but I AM a naturally anxious person. I have no idea if having a family will make it better or worse, but I can understand why you would feel all of these things. I don’t think it makes you weird or strange or anything, but I do think it will help if you can find someone you trust to talk through all of this with. Being able to get out with just you and a friend or two will probably help a little bit. If you need to chat, let me know! *hugs*

    • I’m a naturally anxious person as well and in some ways it improves and in some ways it gets worse. Like you really don’t sweat the small stuff anymore because who has the time? But anything that could be a threat to your child? ANYTHING at all like that will keep you up.

  7. Good update and I’m sorry to hear about the anxiety but it sounds like you’ve been chewing on the problem/solution a bit and you’re already putting together a plan. From personal experience I’ve found naming it and thinking about a way out means I’m much more likely to find a workable solution. Still, in the meantime, I hope you get more rest. The sleeplessness always makes it worse 😟.

    I love to Charlie is reaching out for solids, so cute 🤗

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