Monthly Archives: January 2015

Better Than Having Spit-Up-Free Clothes

Ha ha, posting every week. Sure.

It’s not like I ever doubted that full-time parents have a lot to do. But like, surely you can find time to write a stinkin’ blog post every week, right? I mean laundry and breastfeeding can’t take THAT much time, can they?

Um, no, but here’s the thing: as my friend Annie put it in her excellent post about how to travel internationally with a nine-week-old (which, whoa, I am impressed), ” our baby, like most babies, would like to be held all the time forever.” Meaning I have learned to cook (ok, eat crackers), clean (throw burp cloths into a pile across the room) and type (one-sentence efficiency emails) with one hand. All while bouncing on an exercise ball. Because our baby wants to be bounced all the time forever. But writing a blog post using one hand would take approximately seven hours and I’d have to feed him five times within that time period so I must wait until that magical window where he actually submits to being put down to sleep. And then faced with uncertainty (will he wake up in five minutes? Is he down for an hour and a half?) I prioritize the following depending on which is more pressing: 1. use the bathroom, 2. eat an actual meal that doesn’t come out of a bag, 3. practice yoga 4. sleep.

Just kidding. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is actually the worst piece of advice ever given. Why? It’s a cruel joke. You think “Hey! He’s completely asleep and swaddled and in a safe place and I can totally bang out a 45 minute nap right now.” You lie down, get comfy, start to drift off to sleep in about three and a half minutes when he starts to cry bloody murder. It’s much better to not even try to sleep at all.

But the smiles I’m getting these days? They are the reward for all of this. They are better than eating a sandwich with two hands. They are better than sleeping longer than 3 hours at a stretch. He’s now making eye contact, which — how do they even learn to do that? — is the most intense eye contact I’ve ever experienced. His eyes are so clear, blue, open, innocent– he’s a sponge, soaking everything up. And being the pile of hormones that I am, sometimes when he looks at me I get all teary, and he’s all, “Mother, you were about to change my diaper…?” And I’m all, “Oh yeah. Diaper change. Whoops, sorry.”

 

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The boy is here.

Happy 2015! Last time I blogged I was 15 weeks pregnant. As I write this I have a sleeping one-month old in a wrap sling on my chest. So, time passes. My little guy Malcolm arrived on December 10, about an hour and a half before I turned 35 (so the kid doesn’t get to bogart my birthday). I plan to write out his birth story, and possibly post it here, but in the meantime I’ll just say it was an amazing experience, and it was everything I hoped it would be, in no small part thanks to the people (midwives, doula, and Peter) I chose to have around me.

The last month has been indescribably hard. And indescribably wonderful. Everyone tells you how little sleep you’ll get the first few months, how overwhelming it will be and how completely in love you will fall with your little one but I couldn’t have imagined the scale to which this is all so true. And we all know how smug pregnant women are; well, new mothers are also incredibly smug because we have just discovered the meaning of life and the existence of God all in one nine pound three ounce package.

At five weeks old, Malcolm is getting more and more alert and responsive every day. For a while it seemed like he was always either sleeping, eating or crying– but now there are some decent stretches of time when he’s awake, and happy, and looking right at us (he doesn’t really know to make eye contact yet, so his eyes sort of scan the outline of your face), and just in the last day or two he’s started smiling. Really smiling, not just the gassy accidental smiles that happen from the beginning. A quick google turns up that babies start socially smiling around the 2 month mark, but I’m fairly convinced that he’s doing it now. He’s a noisy eater, squeaking and grunting and cooing. When he’s tired and gets fussy, he’s very particular about the way we go about calming him down– swaddled, bouncing on the exercise ball (I keep calling it the “birth ball” because I used it during labor), no lack of movement will be tolerated, even at 2am.

I’m hoping to write in this space a little more frequently now, maybe once a week if I can swing it. I will warn you, my posts might end abruptly because when a certain someone gets hungry, he goes from zero to bloody murder in about ten seconds.

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