To say things are stressful here would be a grave understatement. It all started when I ran an errand on Saturday afternoon, forgetting that baby boy started having a bout of colic at 4:30 every afternoon beginning last week. I didn’t prepare my husband or explain how to handle it. So, when I called to let him know I was on my way home, I could hear baby boy’s screams in the background. My husband was at his wits end and said something that worried me so I raced home, making it home in 18 minutes (I was watching the minutes tick by as my heart was racing as fast as my car).
All was calm when I walked in the door. My husband defaulted to giving him a bottle, which was a good thing to do. We were able to have dinner and even give baby boy a bath. However, and now I can’t recall why, my husband decided he was not going to help with the overnight feedings (or not do his first scheduled feeding, as he would say later). He decided to go to bed, instead. Things were tense between us and I can’t even remember what I said to him about it or vice versa, but it completely sent me over the edge and into a tailspin. I was already working on too little sleep and he had had a 2 hour nap that afternoon, so I couldn’t fathom that he would unilaterally select himself out of parenting. When he is in a mood he says very little so it’s not like he communicated that he needed some alone time or a time out or could we switch shifts or that I should wake him later on or anything. He did make a comment along the lines of, “well, you’re the mother”. I had no idea what he meant by it and even asked him to which he just repeated it. He climbed in to bed and said he was going to sleep which I read as “fuck you, you’re on your own”.
I cried uncontrollably that entire night and went into survival and self-protection mode. I felt betrayed and abandoned by the one person I allow myself to rely fully on. I don’t even want to detail all of my thoughts but by morning, bleary eyed, I had decided that I wanted to live apart.
Prior to our older son waking but after my husband had had 8 hours of continuous sleep to my 1 hour, he came into the family room. I was still crying and we began to have a conversation wherein he said I was overreacting and I told him that I can’t do “this” any longer, that I can’t believe he would abandon us like that, how convenient for him to even be able to do so, how, even if we were fighting I would have never done that to him, and how he betrayed my trust so much that we need to consider therapy and/or living apart. In our more than 10 years together I’ve never said anything of the kind although we have had myriad conversations about how I have to think for us both, that I need more help, that this is partnership, etc. I went on to say that now that I can’t count on him, I’d prefer he leave me alone because I need to know that I can handle the baby and our son by myself since it looked like I would be doing so in the future.
And, I did just that all day Sunday. I cried, in waves, while doing it and my thoughts were very dark. Not of harming myself or the baby, but about how I was going to end my marriage, what it would look like, how awful it was to have come to this, how there was no going back, how I brought it on myself, etc. and so forth. By the time his regular evening shift was coming up, I had moved the pump from our bedroom to the family room and had moved my toiletries into my son’s bathroom. I fed baby boy and put him down and collapsed, still crying, on our living room couch. When my older son went to bed, my husband said he wanted to return to the schedule we had and I informed him that that wasn’t going to happen. He looked square at me and said, “I am not going to let you cut me out.”
So, I relented, told him to let me know what he wanted to do and let it go at that. As a result, I got about 5 hours of sleep, interrupted only by pumping and another 2 hours in the wee hours with baby boy.
I reached out only to two IRL friends not really even knowing why other than that my own reaction scared me. I need some help, that is clear, but I’m not sure what form. I have been alone every weekday and portions of each weekend (as my husband takes my son on various outings) for the last almost 7 weeks. If there is some post partum depression going on, the isolation is exacerbating it. Add to that the afternoon colic and lack of sleep and pumping schedule and I’m done in.
We were civil this morning, going about the business of getting our son fed and ready for school. And, while I feel more rested, not well rested mind you, we have unresolved issues that must be addressed.
I’d like to write more about how I’m feeling but I am overdue to pump as it is and baby boy is only restlessly napping.