Ripped Open

Someone once told me that becoming a mother had ripped her open, both emotionally and physically.

At the time, I had an idea of what she meant, but now I have a much clearer sense.

Never have I felt so wide-open, so vulnerable.  It’s exhilarating and exhausting.

I cry much more easily.  I cry at diaper commercials.  Sometimes I cry when my son cries.  There is also such joy.  Pure, radiant bursts of joy.  My son’s smiles.  Watching my husband lovingly change a diaper for the first time.  Crying at diaper commercials.

The lows are lower and the highs are so much higher.

For me, becoming a parent has slammed me into the present like nothing else.  I am so overwhelmed, and my son’s needs are so immediate, that I am forced to focus on right now and little else.  Right now, he needs to eat.  Right now, I am going to sleep.  Right now, I am changing a diaper.  While I wipe his butt, we’re the only two people in the entire world.  He stares up at me and watches my face as I concentrate and hurry to finish the job.  I catch him looking at me and we share a smile.  Then we’re on to the next right now.

At the same time, becoming a parent stirred up my past.  I am remembering how I was raised.  Brian and I have discussions over how we were parented and how we want to parent.  I hear my mom’s voice, and even my grandma’s voice, come out of my mouth.  The past has been unearthed and laid over the present for me to walk through again.

Also at the same time, the beginning of life has catapulted me towards the future.  Since Dylan is our first child, and the first grandchild for both sides of the family, his existence has shifted everyone into a new life stage – a couple to parents, parents to grandparents.  It makes us all think of end-of-life issues.  With luck, Dylan will live to see us die.  He’ll see a world that I will never see.  It’s a concept that is very hard for me to wrap my brain around, and it’s both comforting and terrifying.

It seems odd to me, but the times my son just rips my heart out aren’t when he’s screaming bloody murder.  It’s when he seems bored or has this dejected look on his face.  Up here in my brain, I know that this is me projecting my stuff onto him and that he’s probably just content, or at the very worst, he’s just trying to process the world around him.  But here in my chest, my heart breaks for him, and I am not quite sure why.

Many, many parents say that they can’t imagine their lives without their kids.  I know this will happen for me at some point, but it hasn’t yet.  There are times, sometimes multiple times a day, when I wish for my old life back.  I wish to feel productive in a way that I am accustomed to.  I wish to have more free time.  I wish to have more sleep.  I wish for more predictability in my day.

When I find myself making these wishes, I reframe my frustration and ask myself what I can learn from this.  Again and again, the answer is patience and acceptance.  When I was working as a therapist, a supervisor of mine once said that we are given the clients we need.  So far, I think the same goes for kids.  My son is going to teach me, even force me, how to be more patient and how to accept that I am not in control (and I never was to begin with).

So, thanks, my baby Dylan, for ripping me open.

You’re going to teach me how to be a better person.

And I’m going to let you.

Happy Belated Halloween

You guys know how much I love Halloween.

And so I couldn’t let it go by without concocting some sort of costume for myself, babydaddy, and nearly 3 month old little duck.

If I had my act together a nanny and tons of sleep, time, and money I would have made Brian be a sexy pilot (because he already is one), I’d be a sexy flight attendant (because I aspire to be one), and Little Duck would have been a sack of peanuts.

Maybe next year.  I’ll just have to stop feeding Dylan to make sure he’s still tiny and able to fit in said peanut sack.

For this year, I decided to go easy.  The D-man would be the cutest Pumpkin Spice Latte in the whole world and Brian and I were baristas.  It fit because Dylan is sweet, expensive, and we made him with love.  And extra foam.

First I looked on the Starbucks website to see if I could buy the green aprons that the employees wear, but I needed an employee number in order to do so.  Nards.  So I went to Amazon and tried looking there, and found some for like $60 soooo I decided to make my own.  I just bought green aprons and ironed on the patches that I found on Amazon.  I also found the cute iron-on Starbucks logo that went on Dylan’s plain white onesie.  I glued a real Starbucks sleeve (I’m authentic, y’all) to some ribbon and tied it around Dylan’s cute waist.  I drew the drink option boxes and such on the back of the onesie freehand.  My friend helped me sew the foam for around his neck, and my mom made the pumpkin hat.

Boom.

 

Happy belated Halloween, y’alls.

Adventures in diaper-changing: a dialogue

The scene: I am changing yet another diaper while the babydaddy is preparing a lovely meal that the two of us will no doubt share under the din of high-pitched screams.

Me: Oh god!

Babydaddy: What?!

Me: …The baby just farted in my face.

BD: Ew, gross.

Me: I know.  And it was forceful, too.  A quick, hard puff of air to the face.  Kind of like a foul-smelling glaucoma test.

BD: Ha!  We should rent him out for that.

Me: We could sure use the extra meth candy bar money.  But who would pay for something like that?

BD: Maybe people without good health insurance?

Me: Let’s look into it.  (pause)  Hey, this would make a great blog post.  I’m really behind in my blogging.

BD: Phrasing, lady.

Me: But seriously. Help me flesh out this conversation we’re having so I can post it.

BD: Again, phrasing.

Me: What would be a good ending for this post of dialogue?

BD: Phrasing.

Me: I still got it.  Now start making flyers for our new mobile infant glaucoma test machine.

 

Mommy “Blogger”

So, all you Mommy Bloggers out there – tell me how you do it.

Cuz I have no idea how to fit all the things to do into my day, plus blogging.

It’s quite ridiculous, really.  All the things we’re told we should be doing as mothers.

I’m supposed to feed the squid every 2-3 hours.  But first I have to change his diaper to help wake him up and/or calm him down before feeding.  On a good day, this takes 5 minutes.  On a bad one, he pees all over himself and then projectile poos all over the clean diaper I had waiting for him.  So, sometimes “changing a diaper” can take 20 minutes.  Then we breastfeed (The fact that we’re actually breastfeeding now is a whole other story.  It used to be 20 minutes of let’s-scream-at-mommy’s-boobs-and-kick-and-squirm-fun-time.  Not fun.) maybe 10-20 minutes each boob.  And then, since I don’t make much milk (sad face), we supplement with formula, which takes another 10-20 minutes.  And then he’s probably got himself a wet diaper (or worse) that needs attention.  And THEN I try to pump, if he doesn’t scream when I set him down to do so.

By the time I am done pumping, he’s maybe asleep.  Maybe.  If he’s not, I start over to figure out what his boggle is.  If he is, then I have a decision to make – do I try and sleep?  (note the word “try.”) Or do I fold laundry?  Or wash the bottles?  Or cry in the bathroom?  So many choices…

And then, it’s time to do it all over again.

There’s no time for it all.  Do midwives and nurses and doctors hear themselves when they’re telling you to do all these things?  Because I haven’t even mentioned the walks I’m supposed to be taking or the sitz baths or pooping or eating lunch or training for American Ninja Warrior.

And then there’s blogging.

So hang in there with me, Psychos, because I don’t plan on going anywhere.  I just may have to start blogging during my scheduled crying-in-the-bathroom time instead.

No News Means No Baby

I basically wrote this post in my head last night while laying wide awake in bed because I took a nap way too late in the day because we got home lateish from our first trip to Home Depot as HOMEOWNERS.

It was very exciting, but so physically taxing for this 40 week + 5 pregnant lady that I sweetly had to ask some employees if there was a place where I could sit a spell.  The dude jumped into action and was like, “You stay right there” and he went and got me a chair and had me sit right where I was in the middle of the flooring aisle.  He then asked if I was ok (I think he was asking if I was going to pass out or give birth or both), and I assured him that all I needed was to sit until my husband was done shopping.

He left and then came back with a bottle of water for me.  How freaking kind is that!  And not only that, but he came back several times to check on me, and other employees asked if I was ok as well.  Never have I encountered such nice, helpful folks.  Really renewed my faith in the goodness of this world into which I am about to bring a screaming, pooping lovebucket.

And that brings me to the entire point of this post:

Don’t ever ask a pregnant lady if she’s had the baby yet.

Ever.

Like, not even if you word it differently.  Or if she’s your best friend.  Or your best friend’s Home Depot coworker.

You wanna know why?

Because, I’d think it’s safe to say, most 40-ish-week pregnant ladies would love nothing more than to just have the thing already, get to meet their screaming pile of joy, and get to reclaiming their bodies a bit.  We’re exhausted.  We’re cranky.  We’re feeling heavy as hippos.  We’re fucking done-zo.

And it’s because of that, that pregnant ladies are usually ready to squeal that they’ve given birth by SHOUTING IT FROM THE FRICKIN ROOFTOPS.  You’d have to be absolutely deaf not to hear.  Trust me.  They’ll be inundating your Facebook feed with pictures, videos, and stool samples demanding that you agree that this baby and its poop is the cutest poopy baby who ever lived, ever.

You won’t have to ask.

And if there’s no news – THERE’S NO BABY.  Say it with me.

Either that, or for some reason momma hasn’t told you because she’s simply not ready to.  Maybe you’re not very close to her, and not all of her friends and family have gotten to see the baby yet.  Maybe there were medical complications that momma is still dealing with and doesn’t feel like sharing.

At any rate – if the momma wanted you (yes, you) to know that baby was born, YOU’D KNOW.

You won’t have to ask.

And honestly, do you really want to ask knowing that the answer is most likely a thinly veiled, “Fuck off, the baby ain’t here yet and I hate my body and my life and omg, will this mucous ever stop leaking out of me?!

No.  Of course not.  Because everyone would like to avoid talking about excess mucous.

And don’t say that you’re on pins and needles waiting for this baby as a means of justifying your need to ask.  You know who’s even more anxious about it than you are?  You know who wins this one?  You know who doesn’t give a fuck how you feel about the baby not being here yet?

You guessed it – the momma.

So please, don’t ask.  Be patient.  The momma can’t plan for this, and so neither can you.

Now get this baby out of me so I can start drunkenly Facebook feed-bombing about how my baby is cuter than your baby.

Today is my due date

I’m due today.

Holy crap

Well, actually, you’re due.

To come out.

Little Duck

We really can’t wait to meet you

Even though I feel like I know you already

You dance and hiccup and kick

And squirm your way up under my ribcage on the right side

Ouch.

You test the boundaries of your squishy little world

I can’t wait to show you my world

Little Duck

 

We’ve had our bags packed for weeks

We pretend to be ready, but we’re really not

Don’t worry, though, cuz we can’t wait to love you

and squish you

and pinch your little fat rolls

and sing you to sleep.

 

I don’t know what’s going to happen

And that’s pretty scary for me

So if you know, please tell me

Otherwise, we’ll just figure things out

together

as we go.

 

So get here soon

If you only knew the joy that is waiting for you

But then again, maybe you do

because how could you not?

So what are you waiting for

Little Duck

 

Come on out

So I can love you more

Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap

A Look Inside My Pregnant Head – A stream of consciousness

Hey everyone amazing news we actually closed on a house last week can you believe it we’re HOMEOWNERS

and not a moment too soon.

cuz immediately following getting our keys we went to the Oregon coast for the weekend to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and I can’t believe this year has gone by so freaking fast omg but the decision to go to the beach/coast was an amazing one because I am DYING IN THIS HEAT and we have to wait before we can get help to move into the new AIR CONDITIONED house which means this baby had better STAY PUT so I can labor in the house not only does it have AC, but it also has a soaking tub and a shower WITH SEATS it’s like it was made for pregnant ladies

fast forward to now where we’re moving small things everyday and waiting for the big move on Saturday and omg it’s HOT and I feel crappy that I can’t physically help pack and I have zero energy and maybe I’ll just put a few books in this box but oh I can’t do too much because what if I trigger the labor to start NOT BEFORE SATURDAY

maybe I should sit down I AM NOT MOODY SHUT THE FUCK UP

my hips hurt and I am hungry again

I am so BLESSED and I can’t believe everything is falling into place right in the nick of time and I am SO EXCITED and I still can’t believe that I am going to have a little human soon and a house this kinda makes me a real grown up now and oh crap now I’m crying

again.

that seems to happen more often these days

my feet are swelling up again maybe I should sit down and eat something WHERE IS MY FAVORITE MUG is it packed already WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY LIFE

no labor til after Saturday Little Duck you stay in there til after Saturday

time for a nap.