It’s been two months since I last blogged. My friend Meg started her blog when her daughter was born, because she wouldn’t sleep. I always wondered why she wasn’t sleeping; if she was able to write, her kiddo must be asleep, right? NOW I understand.
First of all, every single person that says “sleep when baby sleeps” is full of it. Or they have a silently sleeping baby, which I don’t believe for a second. Every time I tried to nap when C did, he would wake up within 10 minutes, guaranteed. It’s like some silent alarm went off inside of him, screaming, “Your exhausted mom needs to sleep before she murders the mailman! Know what would be funny? Pee your pants NOW and scream about it!” But even if he stayed asleep for a bit, babies are the loudest creatures on the planet. They sleep soundly while snoring, grunting, smacking; you name the sound, a baby will make it. And new moms are especially tuned to react at the slightest noise. I’m just now, nine weeks into it, starting to get a little bit of sleep where I actually dream. That didn’t happen for the first six weeks. I hereby swear to never advise a new mom to sleep when baby sleeps, because I know it’s next to impossible.
I’ve come a long way in the last couple of months. The first night we were home from the hospital, I didn’t sleep because I was obsessed with watching C’s chest rise and fall; I was so afraid of SIDS. (It still makes me nervous, but we’re getting closer to being in the clear on that.) And it seemed that every time we all tried to go to bed at the same time, C would immediately wake up, which led to me sleeping on the couch with him in his bassinet next to me, because Justin had to get up to go to work in the morning. What sucks for new moms, though, is even if you’re on maternity leave, it’s not like you get to hang out and watch TV all day. I mean, you do that, but you also take care of a very needy creature at the same time. If he’s not hungry, he’s wet, and if he’s not muddy, he needs to be burped. It’s always something. I was basically asleep on my feet in complete zombie mode for the first several weeks. My only relief was when one of our moms would come over to watch him so I could nap. But there were two big drawbacks there; I either felt too bad to ask for help, or when they came over, I felt like I should entertain them and not sleep. Lose, lose for me.
When we first brought our sweet bundle home, we were obsessed with not leaving him alone, mainly for the fear that he would stop breathing. We took shifts that first couple of weeks, because it seemed like C never slept. And it was to the level of, if whoever was on duty had to pee, C went to the bathroom with us in his bouncy chair. He was NEVER alone, ever. It probably annoyed even him. Now I can take a shower while he naps and leave my ear cocked for his cries. We’ve come a long way, baby.
I’d also never changed a diaper in my life. I’m 32 years old and have never wiped an ass other than my own. Weird, right? Even in the hospital, I was off the hook. I didn’t change C until we were actually home. And you know what? I can do it! My thoughts may change when he’s eating actual food and the poo is a little more….human-like. But I’ll be an old hand by then.
I’ve done all kinds of things I never thought I would do….I have dug boogies out of my baby’s nose, even though I think they bother me more than him. I’ve also used a Q-tip to dig sock fuzz from between his toes. (Again…me bothered more than him.) But still, those are big steps for me.
We took a class on how to care for a newborn, and I was too nervous to change clothes on a DOLL, so you can imagine how tender and gentle I was with an actual baby. Now it’s like he’s a doll, and I’m getting the hang of it. The most fun part of my day is picking out his clothes. The only sucky part is, he keeps growing too fast to wear all of his clothes. We’re kind of in the in-between stage at the moment; he’s too big for his newborn clothes, and too small for his 3-6 month stuff. Which sucks for me, because now his wardrobe seems very limited, even though his closet is bulging. Kind of like his mom!
I will say, although I never thought I had it in me to be a mom, it turns out that I actually am fairly decent at it so far. I haven’t left him in his car seat on top of the car, and I haven’t walked in the house and left him outside. So that’s a plus in my favor. He’s finally starting to smile at us sometimes, and that really does make everything worth it. Even when he spits up on me when I’m ready to walk out the door, it’s still the best thing I could possibly imagine.
I love you, Canaan Ray, and I hope you’re not embarrassed by this someday.