The First Ten Weeks: #newbornproblems
I have written the ever popular birth story for each of my children. This is not one of them. Having given birth to my fourth almost twelve weeks ago, it is clear that a birth story is not happening. I have come up with this instead.
Week One: #feedingdiaperingburpingbutitsallgood
This could possibly be the most sparkly, dreamy week you’ll experience postpartum. Partly because that load you’ve been toting around on the inside has finally made his or her, (or holy hell their,) appearance. Labor sucks. Delivery hurts like a Mutha. But Sweet Jesus the last few days of pregnancy feel like a living hell.
This first week also rocks because for part of it you and your little nugget will likely be in the hospital. Unless you’re a special kind of brave and delivered at home. Either way, those first few days are magical. You are treated like the Queen you know you are. People bring you food. You have a chaperone when walking to the potty, or anywhere really. Friends, family and even the occasional rock star nurse, will jump at the chance to change diapers, refill water, sweep floors, empty trash, fluff pillows and just generally pay you more attention than you can expect to see for the next several years. Or at least until you give birth again.
During week one even the middle of the night feeding/diapering/burping/feeding/burping/diapering dance seems euphoric, cause holy crap you just had a baby! Sadly during week one you may be fooled into thinking, “yeah I got this. I just might not lose my ever loving postpartum mind this time.”
Week Two: #fatbabyproblems
This week may be the week the onslaught of meals brought to your home drops off dramatically. This is unfortunate, given the fact that you’ll be ravenous. So much so that the cliché “he is so adorable I could eat him up” becomes horrifyingly possible. Fat babies are especially at risk during week two.
Week Three: #thereaintnovillageat2AM
Your baby is gorgeous and adorable. And people love him. And they will tell you every chance they get how gorgeous and adorable he is. And you will agree. Although, you will also know baby’s dirty little secret. This baby becomes a little less gorgeous and adorable at 2AM. So you say to the people…”isn’t he gorgeous and adorable? You should see him at 2AM.” And the people will chuckle and nod. And you’ll say…”no, seriously. Come over, I’ll be up. Bring coffee and donuts and bacon. And a roast chicken… you can hold the baby.” But no one will come. Long about week three your husband will likely tire of getting up and helping with feeding/burping/changing. You’re on your own at 2AM sister.
Week Four: #holyshititseverywhere
By this week you may be hitting your groove. Your baby is a miracle. Surviving thus far as a parent is a miracle. But this week baby may shake things up a bit. This week could be a game changer. Perhaps you’ve dropped a kid at summer camp, and promised the other kids you’d visit the library. And getting screaming baby out of car seat (see week six) you realize he’s pooped. A lot. No problem for this veteran Momma.
You rearrange bags and flip seats down. With a flick of your wrist the changing pad is laying on the front seat of the car and you get after that poopy diaper. Somehow all of your car doors end up open, and children numbers two and three are all up in your face, which is dangerously close to baby’s ass. And you hear it coming.
This will be the week; baby’s legs held high in the air, he produces a poop of astronomical proportions. Yes, you jump mostly out of the way, but you are startled. And your big kids are startled. And so you all scream. Like a lot. And the poop…holy lord the poop. It grazes your thigh, dribbling down your shorts and onto your leg. And because you were bent in half, your face all up in some cute baby ass, parts of it land on the inside of your rain coat, penetrating the mesh and gathering in an inside pocket. Which has your phone in it.
But it doesn’t stop there. This poop keeps going. It hits the open car door. And trickles into the speaker. And it keeps going. Onto the running boards; and you’d swear it could have shot clear across the parking lot had the air not been so freakishly thick and humid.
It is an unbelievable spectacle. And there’s the screaming. And now the baby is crying because his astronomical poop scared the shit out of him. As did your screaming. And you are hotly reminded that this is a busy parking lot. And you’re attracting attention. And you all are still screaming. And doing a funny little dance.
Finally getting things in order you begin to feel as though this nightmare is over. Then you go into the library and your three year old recounts the drama in vivid detail. To Every. Single. Person.
Week Five: #bladdercontrolfail
Around week five you may be done with the physical recovery from giving birth. You may think you have regained control over your bladder this week. You may be nursing your baby at 3AM and have to sneeze. And you try to do so quietly and without jostling baby off the boob, but it’s convoluted. And you full on pee your pants. And you just don’t care, cause it’s 3AM.
Week Six: #jesustakethewheelforreal
This will be the week that you curse enrolling your older kids in any sort of Summer Camp/after school activity/sports-type program. You realize this because your baby hates to ride in the car and has the most horrifyingly hysterical shriek that he saves only for car rides. Shrieking baby helps you realize you never should have anticipated leaving the house ever again. Baby’s shrieks sound disturbingly like “you should have avoided Summer Camps and bought each of the kids $500 worth of iTunes gift cards and told them you’d see them after Labor Day”.
Week Seven: #nuffsaid
Two words: Boob Sweat
Week Eight: #wardrobemalfunction
Yup. You will forget to refasten your nursing tank. Many times. You may also hear the doorbell ring, and forget you’re not wearing pants. And even though it’s just a quick peek to see who dares ring the doorbell when there’s a goddamned newborn sleeping in the house, the neighborhood boys will see. And their eyes will burn.
Week Nine: #milkflowproblems
Family day trip week. And you’re going to make the most of it damnit. Bags are packed. And no lie, so are the ear plugs. Cause baby still hates the car. You head north and baby screams. You make pit stop after pit stop. Changing diapers, switching seats, and trying to nurse. Finally baby sleeps for the best 20 minutes of the day, but it’s a long ride. Nothing is going right, but you’re almost there. One last stop cause Momma’s gotsta pee and you’ve decided baby needs Tylenol. Customer heavy gas station-slash-sandwich shop-slash-convenience store score.
You can duck into the restroom unnoticed but when you bend over to sit on the potty it’s like the Hoover Dam lets go on your chest. In two places. And you stumble out of the gas station-slash-sandwich shop-slash-convenience store (cause remember slinking is for pumas, and you’re not that,) in horror. You spend the next two hours arms crossed tightly across your chest. You have another shirt to put on, but that gets wet too. So when you reach your destination you are thankful for your Ergo, and hastily put it on and shove baby into it and finally relax. Except baby only likes the carrier for 20 minutes. So then you walk around like an ass with an empty Ergo.
Week Ten: #itsallgood
His cheeks. His eyes. His thighs and toes. His breath. His perfectly round head, and extraordinarily small feet. His coos and smile. His giggle. Oh my, his giggle. His sad lip. His fat rolls…all of them.
The way he looks at you. The way his head smells. The way his brother and sisters love him more than anything. The way he feels when he sleeps on your shoulder, or curled into your arm at night.
He holds your finger. He grabs your hair. He buries his face in your neck.
He stares into your eyes and opens your heart every minute of every day. He was meant to be with you. He is perfect. This is all so perfect.