I know I haven’t blogged much, and I apologize. Cecilia and I have reached a point in our relationship where she is running me ragged and I collapse every night after she goes to bed (and anticipate her regular 1o:30 waking). Some days I don’t get a moment to pee alone so things like writing tend to go to the wayside. If you guys can tolerate a few “mini-posts,” I can try to write more. I’m not sure I can give more than five minutes of my attention at a time. Our girl is just too busy exploring everything!
I spent this entire day last year in labor. My water broke at 1 am, and Cecilia didn’t arrive until 5 am the next day. I remember it very clearly - I was leaving the bathroom so I knew I didn’t pee on myself. (When you’re nearly 42 weeks pregnant, that’s entirely possible.) Fittingly, I started my day today with Cecilia bringing me a Tupperware bowl while I was sitting on the commode.
This week I started letting Cecilia explore in the kitchen while I cook and clean. Previously we’ve strapped her into her highchair, but with her new found walking ability, she’s can no longer be pacified with Gerber baby puffs (or baby cheetos as the pediatrician calls them). She wants to GO! GO! GO!
A few days ago, during her adventures, she discovered the Tupperware/Spice cabinet and had lots of fun pulling out all the lids and walking around with a very musical container of mustard seeds. It was so cute, and since Tupperware lids have a lifetime warranty, I was more than happy to let her play with them.
Tonight, however, she found flour jar and dove right in. For a split second, Chris and I debating stopping her, but it was way too cute. The end result - a huge mess. But flour is cheap and a smile on my daughter’s face is priceless. However, I’m going to have to find a new home for the flour. She’s not likely to forget that fun soon.
On my first Mother’s day, I’d like to share some of the things that I’ve learned about motherhood since Cecilia arrived:
- Promptly after bringing your baby home, your dog suddenly becomes a dog and no longer your first born.
- Dandelions are no longer weeds when you see the pure joy they bring your child.
- Sounds effects will become part of your daily vocabulary, and you will find yourself making them when you’re completely alone and in the presence of strangers.
- Once you have a child, mortality becomes very real. Also, the “What if’s” become unbelievably scary.
- Mother’s feel a great sense of accomplishment - when your child takes her first steps, when strangers compliment her, when you pull a gigantic booger out of her tiny little nose with a bulb suction, etc.
- Until you become a parent, you cannot fully comprehend what it meant to pray a prayer of thanksgiving. The same goes with a prayer of protection.
- You start to notice when people drive way too fast in your neighborhood, especially that guy who lives down the street and drives a white Mitsubishi Eclipses.
- Getting covered in slobbery open mouth kisses by a toothless, slightly bald person is the best feeling in the world.
What does motherhood mean to you?
Lately, Cecilia’s mobility has really tested my patience. She wants to flip and turn every time you lay her flat. It gives me flashbacks to my childhood when I dressed my cats up in baby doll clothing. However, I wasn’t fearful of how being pinned down would affect the cats psyche. Often, when I pick up her feet to place a new diaper under her butt, she flips over, and I unintentionally end up holding her in the air by her feet. I’m not one to make predictions and expectations on my kid’s future, but I think she could have a very successful career as a trapeze artist.
In all seriousness, it’s causing me some major stress. Yesterday, I wrestled with her for five minutes just to get the prefold on her. I thought I’d try to put the diaper cover on her while holding her, but before I could grab it off the changing table, she peed through the cloth diaper and onto my clothes. That’s when I called Chris to whine. I feel like I needed to take a dose of Prozac just to change a poopy diaper.
I thought about calling an animal trainer and finding out how they change the diaper on a wild animal, but then I realized wild animals don’t use diapers. They just poop. To be honest, letting her poop on the floor doesn’t sound like a bad idea at this point, except that I think the dog might eat it.
When I tell other women that my husband rocks our baby to sleep every night, they usually respond with an “Awww” or “That’s so sweet”. Recently he’s gotten into the habit of saying, “Come here little one,” when he picks up her slumberous body from my lap after our final nursing session. It melts my heart every time, and I’m completely amazed that this guy:
turned into that guy:
I have several pregnant readers that will soon become first time moms. A couple of them have asked me for product recommendations for their baby registry, and that got me thinking about what I wanted and needed during those first few weeks of motherhood. I think too often the focus is on the baby and making sure she has the right clothing, bedding, and diapering and not enough attention is given to the postpartum mother. If we ever have another child (if is key), here are a few items that I’ll have around.
Washlet by Toto (starts around $400).
When Chris went to Japan, he fell in love with having his bum sprayed with warm water, and he’s been petitioning for a washlet ever since. In his words, “If you got crap on your hand, you’d wash it with water. You wouldn’t just wipe it off.” Well, the whole thing seemed a bit extravagant to me. Then I had a baby, and pain in my nethers kept me from pooping for three days. A washlet is much easier than a peri-bottle and more dignified than a sitz bath. Plus it would fulfill Chris’s dream.
Adjustable Shower Nozzle by Gaiam ($10)
I’ve written about this shower head before, praising it’s earth-friendly low flow and adjustable valve that allows you to take navy showers. I thought I loved it before, but I think I was just infatuated. I discovered a deep love and appreciation for that valve when my newly lactating boobs turned into ultra sensitive boulders. (Not that I’ve mentioned that before.) The ability to dial down the pressure and apply warm water to my aching breasts was a God sent. Oh, Gaiam shower nozzle, how I love thy gentle touch…
Technically this is a baby item, but it’s for your peace of mind. The first night of Cecilia’s life, I laid awake in our hospital room staring at her while Chris snored. I was scared out of my mind that she’d stop breathing if I fell asleep. This monitor detects the tiniest movement, even small breaths, and if doesn’t pick anything up for 20 seconds, it sets off a loud alert. It’s hard to catch some zzz’s those first few weeks; the last thing you need is your crazy postpartum hormonal paranoia keeping you up.
Step Stool ($25)
We have a tall bed, and when I was pregnant, I had a hard time climbing into it. However, I couldn’t justify spending money on a stool when I only needed it for a few months. Then an internal battle took place between my body and my uterus, and I needed help getting out of my adjustable hospital bed. My sweet brother-in-law bought this stool for me the day before we got home (bless him), and it help me crawl slowly into bed. Thankfully it’s a practical thing to have around the house to this day. I mean, it’s a stool. Everyone can use a stool! Right now it’s functioning as a place for Chris to sit while giving Cecilia a bath.
Alright, that’s all the not-so-obvious products that I can think of. I’d also recommend preparing some make-ahead meals during your 8th month, sending your pups to doggy daycare that first week, and having the name and number of a local lactation consultant in your dayplanner. What do all you experienced mothers out there recommend?
As the woman in the house, I have a lot of Christmas presents to wrap, and I hate dedicating my precious free (read baby-free) time to the activity. This morning, I put Cecilia in her bumbo and decided to tackle a couple of gifts in my wrapping station upstairs. There are no toys upstairs and I didn’t feel like making another trip downstairs since I’d have to bring the baby with me. What did I do? I handed her a piece of scrape wrapping paper. In the past, I would have been paranoid that she would swallow a piece or get a paper cut on her tongue. I did, however, lick it first to make sure it wasn’t toxic.
In our family, it’s a well known fact that Cecilia does not do well in the car, and if you’ve ever ridden with her, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Actually, her blood curdling screams probably haunt your nightmares. It’s really no surprise that I rarely venture out with her alone. And when I say rarely, I mean rarely. In her 5 months of life, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve done this, and it includes instances when I’ve met up with Chris at our destination (like a pediatrician appointment). When contemplating this, you should also consider that Cecilia only drinks from the tap (as in, my boob), and since she refuses to take a bottle, I cannot be away from her for more than 2-3 hours at a time.
Stir-crazy. I believe that’s the word you’re searching for. Or maybe cabin fever.
Despite her disdain for the car, she loves to be out and smiles and coos at anyone who looks at her. It’s clear that she’s tired of our blasé life at home and longs to be surrounded by her adoring public. This weekend, while out at Trader Joe’s as a family, Chris and I decided it would be good for me and Cecilia to get out more. (And, truthfully, it would be good for Chris for us to get out more too. I think he’s tired of me
bitching whining about it.) So I resolved to load up the baby and get out of the house this week.
Why did I decided that today was the day? Especially when the local radar looked like this? I just don’t know, but I did.
Actually, I do know; I needed to pick up some photo prints at Wolf Camera for our Christmas cards. I had uploaded them to their site at 9:57 this morning, and though I only received one confirmation of the 2 orders I submitted, I just assumed they would be done by 3:00pm. After all, they promote their 1 hour prints all the time. That should have been my first hint.
When I got to the store, it was pouring down rain, and there were no parking places by the front door. That should have been my second hint. I parked, grabbed Cecilia in her car seat, and started to walk towards the door. However, I had to stop because a large SUV was backing out and refused to yield to the pedestrian carrying an infant. The only way they could have missed me was if they weren’t looking. I guess that was entirely possible.
We get inside. I’m completely drenched. I give the boy behind the counter my name, and he produces one envelope. One envelope. Just one. And he doesn’t have another for me. Then he explains that they are out of 3.5X5 paper and that they won’t have more until tomorrow. Tomorrow. Not today, the day I decided to finally get out of the house, but tomorrow.
Despite all of this, I kept my shit together. Wolf Camera boy is very lucky that I worked 6 very long retail Christmases, and I have a lot of mercy on store employees and their limitations. He’s also very lucky that Cecilia did wonderfully. She even fell asleep on the way home. If she hadn’t done so well, I’m pretty sure all my compassion for retail workers would have washed away with the rain.