On Motherhood

 So, since the birth of Baby L, I have literally written 37 blog posts about motherhood. You know, like, in my head. Where none of you can read them. Shockingly, between diaper changing and bottle washing, and being puked on, I haven’t really had a lot of time to actually type things. But lemme tell you, I’m a hell of a mind blogger. If only there was some way to hook up WordPress to my actual brain, you guys would have reading material FOREVER…

Anyway, so yeah. What’s up, internet? I’m a mom now. And it is INSANE.

I have to say, internet, that it honestly is one of the most rewarding things EVER to have a baby and to be someone’s parent but it is also terrifying. I have never felt so truly inept* at anything as I did the first few weeks of Baby

sleep

sleep (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

L’s life. And I don’t say this to scare all of you preggos or to discourage those of you who aren’t yet on this path, I just mean to say that it is WORK. Granted, I would trade this work for any other work I have ever done in my life. Because even though I haven’t slept in my bed on a regular basis in five weeks, it was worth it the first time that little girl smiled at me. (Which may or may not have been because she was trying to poop, but you take what you can get at this age, because she is basically a meatloaf. A really, really adorable meatloaf.)

I knew that the sleep deprivation was going to be hard. And I honestly thought that, given the fact that I hadn’t slept well for several months anyway, (you know, because a ginormous belly does nothing for sleeping comfortably) I could rock the hell out of not sleeping. Because, I was in my twenties once.  (Hard to believe, but it is totally true.) I never expected, however, that my child would not sleep in or on ANY contraption that I purchased for sleeping. Because MY kid was going to sleep through the night right after birth. And she would do it anywhere that I put her, but she would MOST DEFINITELY love her bassinet.

FAIL.

Baby L likes to sleep one of two places: on my chest or in her swing. Period.

This makes sleeping in my bedroom impossible because I can’t sleep with her in the bed (believe in co-sleeping or not, when you are desperate, you are desperate) because MB is a giant and sleeps like he is even BIGGER than he is and is terrified that he will kill her and I can’t move the swing into the bedroom because it is huge and cumbersome and I need it to be accessible if and when I try to do things in other parts of the house. So, internet, I have moved into the living room. (Which, by the way, has recently become infested with spiders of all varieties, and I am totally phobic.This was remedied last week, but HOLY CRAP.) I sleep the first half of the night with Baby L in the swing, swaddled and comfy and after her feeding, she is changed, un-swaddled and sleeps on my chest.  I have to say, even though it means that I barely sleep at all, I rather like the cuddling. Because she is teeny and warm and adorable. And I grew her. So, there’s that…

During the first week, Baby L did not sleep at night at all. Evidently, she was confused about what to do when it gets dark outside and mommy is crying hysterically because she hasn’t slept in four days. Luckily, MB’s mom spent a few days with us after it became obvious that I might never sleep again and, since she works nights and was on vacation, she was able to hang out with the nugget while the parents actually slept. Together. In the same room. It has gotten gradually better and now she is sleeping, sometimes, up to five hours at a time after her bath and last bottle. Which makes mommy very, VERY happy. And if I weren’t so exhausted, I might even do a cartwheel or two about it.

MB has, however, been a huge help when he is home on the weekends and has even let me have the day shift while he sleeps on the couch at night so that I don’t get all delirious and start streaking through our neighborhood or something equally ridiculous. And the crazy thing about sleeping in my bedroom? I feel guilty about not sleeping in the same room with my kid. GUILTY! Can you believe that? (If you are a new mom, you probably can and don’t think I am insane. Evidently, this is a thing.)

Either way, things are getting better, and sleep is becoming something that I do sometimes. Which I enjoy.  And I have a bunch of amazing friends who have either come by to help me get some random things done around the house or have at least been there to answer their phones when I call them and freak out about the fact that the baby has just spit up into my cleavage and it was more spit up than I remember ever having happened before and OH MY GOD is that OKAY? Is my baby sick? Should I call the doctor on call? (Which, mind you, I have done on THREE, count ’em THREE occasions since we brought her home.Yep. I am a spazz. And I’m okay with that, internet. I don’t know how to work a baby! Give me a break!)

I should really get back to my kid now. But I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you ladies (and gent!) who have commented here, tweeted, emailed or come by to help, say congrats, or whatever. You guys rock my face off! (Special thanks to Kathryn for the cute goodies that I use daily because I MUCH prefer the adorable burp cloths to the gross white ones! I’m a burp cloth stuff elitist now, see what you’ve done?)

Okay, now which one of you is NEXT?!

*Except Math. I am super inept at Math.

Also, you guys should go here and buy some cute baby stuff! Expansion is coming soon, I hear!

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14 thoughts on “On Motherhood

  1. We let our baby sleep on our chests too. It is supremely snugly & sweet. Congrats on the 5 hours. That is a nice, long stretch.

    • I was terrified of the chest sleeping thing, just because I sometimes fall asleep too, but I am so paranoid that I wake up if some other baby, somewhere in China, twitches while she is sleeping on me…so…there’s that…I just really can’t wait until I don’t freak out so much about everything. (Does that happen?)
      Thanks, I’m hoping the 5 hour thing isn’t just a fluke! Evidently she didn’t want to sleep at ALL last night when her daddy was up with her. (This gave me a little satisfaction because I was SLEEPING for once…lol)

  2. Such a great post! I totally feel you on the guilt thing. Every time my husband takes baby so I can nap all I can think is how I should be with my baby 😛 And five hours? I’m jealous! We’re happy to get two!

  3. Yeah, the guilt thing never goes away. Even the grandparent’s say so! I guess we just have to get used to it.

    Can’t wait to see you both tomorrow!

  4. My lactation consultant told me to get a Slow Flow nipple for the bottles. They sell them everywhere alongside the regular ones. It stopped Avi’s spit up completely. I almost don’t even need a burp cloth…and I’ve been using this awesome playtext bottle that has an angle to it, and it vents the air from the bottom, and she barely needs burping. Maybe one burp, but sometimes she doesn’t even need it. It cost $7 at the grocery store, but it is so worth it! And be sure to try the slow flow nipples!

  5. I know – from under my own piles of dirty diapers and baby stuff – how tough it is to get those thoughts into a vaguely publishable form and to press “Publish” but do it as often as you can… your thoughts are precious and you’ll appreciate it later

  6. Pingback: On Sleeping… « Broken Condoms

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