I got you, Babe

Not much to report this week. Louisette is off gaviscon and doing fine (gaviscon seems to have the effect of reminding one’s digestive system which direction food is meant to go). Feeds are both pleasant and short. Since I can feed Louisette and tutor at the same time, I can now have two students in a row (one day a week, at home). Earning $80 in a day feels good. We have set up her high chair and begun getting her a little used to it (although she does tend to slooooowly tip sideways):

Today I realised that I knew a lady from my early parenting class (a group that will be metamorphosing into a playgroup, possibly meeting occasionally at my house which would be SWEET) – we’d met at the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild Masques book launch – she did a lot of the organising, and I helped very slightly while also having a story in the anthology (under my more grownups-oriented pen-name Felicity Bloomfield). So I have a friend who became a first-time mum less than a month before I did, who lives walking distance from me, and who likes speculative fiction. Gold.

Last week I felt oddly anxious and threatened and irritable/angry, and physically I was light-headed and uncoordinated every day (and no, it wasn’t that I was rapidly losing weight – I actually gained weight). Hoping it was just lack of sleep, I had a couple of extra naps with CJ covering me, but that didn’t help.

It looked very much like post-partum anxiety (particularly since my cycle has been wacky for a couple of weeks, so clearly there is chemical stuff not working normally), or possibly my old anxiety disorder coming back. That  would mean helplessness, poverty, and possibly having to enlist vast amounts of childcare for Louisette if I was too sick to look after her (which, considering that until she was born I was only able to do up to twelve hours’ work a week, was pretty likely). Also daily misery and pain.

But I seem to be fine now, so I suspect it was a whole lot to do with my cycle being off (PMS twice in a week after an 11-month break), and although I may have more issues until things get regular last week’s badness probably doesn’t mean that the last three months were my last experience of sanity in this life.* As a precaution, I’ll be avoiding grocery shopping with Louisette for the next little while (there’s really no good way to change a nappy, and she needs up to three nappy changes every hour, all of which she announces with crying until the problem is solved), and I’m now only breastfeeding with the first and last bottle of the day (which makes me happier). If I do get mentally ill again, I’ll simplify things more and start self-medicating with chocolate. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go back on zoloft (which causes weight gain and is hard to stop taking, but is otherwise perfectly magical).

CJ’s great aunt gave us (well, Louisette) some money so we bought a jacket and a couple of gloved onesies – the gloves are cleverly designed so they just fold into place when required. The first time we used them, a new nickname was instantly born – Flipper Baby.

She enjoys sucking on her fists and drooling copiously. I presume this is peer pressure, since all babies share similar interests.

She’s also at the stage where she loves staring at her hands.

*Yep, even with the psychotic moments, the public breakdowns, and the hallucinations, the months since Louisette’s birth have been one of the best and sanest of my adult life.

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