In this post I talked about needing to create space in your life to learn to sew. For a number of reasons, I’ve decided that 2012 is the year that I not only can make space, but need to make space. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that I’m currently on maternity leave from my PhD at Wilfrid Laurier University in Community Psychology. This removes that whole issue of experiencing school guilt… until June, at least. But, more importantly, creating space in my life for ‘me time’ is so needed right now to maintain my sanity.
For those of you who don’t know, raising my beautiful, strong-willed daughter, Madeleine, for the past eight months has not exactly been a cake walk for Eric and I. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love her more than I can articulate, but being her mommy (and daddy) is tough. The first seven days went pretty smoothly (aside from your normal bumps). Day seven it got interesting. I will never forget that day. Madeleine cried for 8 hours… straight. She didn’t even take a break from crying to nurse. She had this ear-piercing, shriek-like cry. Eric uses the term bloodcurdling to describe it.
Newborn Madeleine (taken by the very talented Jenn from Bloom Photography)
When Maddy was three months old, blood and mucus started showing up in her diapers. I was able to get a same day appointment with our family doctor, who had us scheduled in with a pediatrician the very next day. It was during her first visit with the pediatrician she was suspected to have a milk-soy-protein intolerance (MSPI). This intolerance would explain her colic, the blood in her stool, her eczema, her persistent bum rash, and her inability to sleep. But, eliminating milk, soy, and beef just wasn’t doing the trick. With the support from family, friends (and friends of friends’), we determined that a visit to the naturopath was our next step. We started seeing Crista from the MacDonald Naturopathic Clinic here in Woodstock. She has been a godsend. With her help (and an elimination diet) we discovered that not only was Maddy intolerant to milk, soy, and beef, she also couldn’t handle chicken, eggs, wheat, yeast, or peas. Since cutting all of that out of my diet, Madeleine is like a new baby. The poor little girl was in so much pain, no wonder she cried so much!
But, let’s not kid, most of the time she looked like this:
Maddy is now 8 months old. We’re still working on the sleeping bit (I’m happy to report that for the first time since Maddy was born I slept for 6 hours straight this past week), but, overall things have improved so much. At 6 months or so, her colic started going away. Since then, we have a couple of weeks a month still that are difficult for her (and now that she’s eating solids, it’s very frustrating determining what is causing her troubles… is it the new food we gave her or did I accidentally eat something?).
I am so happy that we were able to figure out what was bothering Maddy relatively quickly, and I have had a lot of support in radically changing my diet, but the last eight months have taken a toll on me. As much as I love Maddy, it can be extremely emotionally draining and physically tiring to spend all day with an 18 pound baby who wants to be held 95% of the time (and, just to be clear, even when I’m holding her she’s fussing and fighting me 75% of the time), who now screams if I try and wear her, and who is so strong-willed that some days I think she can’t just be 8 months old.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of incredibly enjoyable moments with Madeleine, and she makes me smile like nobody else can, but at the end of most days I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck… or ten. When Eric is home, he does what he can (and more than I ever expected), and I’m so thankful for that. But, now that I’m better equipped to meet Maddy’s needs, I need to meet my own needs better (to preserve my sanity). So there it is, sewing space for 2012! I’ve also started creating some physical space in our house for my sewing… stay tuned for details!