Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Some thoughts in my head when I inexplicably couldn’t sleep

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is the most full of crap piece of advice ever.  Sometimes I do it…especially if there’s a blissful 8am nap.  That’s the best nap because everyone can just pretend it’s still night or that we’re in our early 20’s and still slept past 7am. 

Sometimes, though, I want to LIVE MY LIIIIIIIIIFE!  You cannot take my FREEEEEDOOOOMMM, Booberry!  So basically there’s this thing called “Four Month Sleep Regression” that should be called, “OH MEEE GAWWWD WHY?!  MY CHILD USED TO SLEEP SO WELL AND NOW NEVER SLEEPS UNLESS I HOLD HER NEXT TO MY BOOOOOOOOOOOB.”  It’s the worst.  We (Booberry and I…the Doctor tries to stay out of the way also known as does not help (but we love you)) are working on some good sleep habits.  There are infinite books on the subject and I have two on hold at the library because I already spend too much money buying baby crap on Amazon Prime (oh I have to go update my subscribe and save brb).

“Good sleep habits” according to parenting experts (summarized by the internet and a friend of mine who read all the books thus making it so maybe I don’t have to) include:

-          Not nursing the baby to bed
-          Having the baby fall asleep on her own after putting her down while drowsy but not asleep
-          Putting the baby to bed in her own bed as opposed to the stroller or swing or car seat or other baby shortcut device
-          Don’t swaddle once they can roll

These are basically tips of everything I don’t do:

-          She only falls asleep directly after nursing
-          If I put her down she wakes up and starts blowing raspberries at me
-          She only falls asleep out of my arms if she’s in a baby shortcut device
-          She punches herself in the face and wakes up if I don’t swaddle at least her right arm

So, basically, we just struggle until I put her in the swing and it creaks from the effort of rocking my giant baby (the manual says 25 lb limit but the internet said the swing craps out at around 16lbs.  Guess my daughter’s weight??!) and then when she’s deeply unconscious I can get her out of the swing and she stirs and then falls back asleep as soon as she’s in the bed with a pacifier. 

This is when I should sleep.

But sometimes I don’t wanna.

Because I want to hang out with the Doctor.  Or blog.  Or clean (hahah yeah right…omg I need to change the laundry brb).

Here’s what just happened LIVE: I had to get hangers for the laundry so I had to walk by the baby room.  The hardwoods are incessantly creaky so I had to tip toe around the creaky bits like they were landmines.  Then I just sprinted the last stretch and got the hangers and then repeated the process to get back down and once I got to the laundry room I realized I forget the baby monitor so I went and got it and then took one article of clothing out of the dryer and Booberry woke up and started in on her “cough cry” which earned the nickname “Her Ladyship” as in “Ahem.  I demand assistance in the most polite way.  Ahemmmm!” and now I’m hoping she can put herself back to sleep because that’s what the sleep people say to do oh NOPE there’s she goes into a real cry brb. 

45 mins in her crib is her new record.  I’ll take it. 

I have officially and definitively defined (is that redundant?) unconditional love.

Oh the laundry I forgot brb.

Ohhhhhh kaaaay back.  Unconditional love:

“If my daughter was a sociopath and murdered my husband I would still love her.  If my husband was a sociopath and murdered my daughter, I would no longer love him.”

The Doctor agrees with my definition and is not at all offended.  This is why I love him…but apparently there are limits to my love and he is okay with those parameters. 

What was this post about?  Oh yeah…not sleeping. The other night when I wasn’t sleeping and the Doctor was keeping me up with his snoring, I wrote down some notes about thoughts in my head at that moment.  Sometimes when I write things down at night they make little to no sense when I get up.  Something I wrote down the other night is: “old man little boy nuke.”  And I had NO IDEA wtf that was supposed to mean until I remembered that the snoring made me think that my husband is an old man and that many other things he does makes me think he’s a little boy and then I was wondering if those were the names of the nuclear weapons but I looked it up and it’s “Fat Man and Little Boy” which does not apply.  But yeah, husbands can be simultaneously old men and little boys.  I made a t-chart:

Old Man
Little Boy
Has zombie nightmares and wants to cuddle
Wears polo shirts
Wears star wars tshits under polo shirt
Mows the lawn
Sings jibberish loudly while mowing the lawn
Has a job
Bought video game controllers to take to work
Likes to drink whiskey (“like a man” he says)
Eats mostly pepperoni pizza from Little Caesars
Is awesome dad
Because he is a child at heart

I love T-charts.

The other note I put down is “hardly ever cries.”  That refers to me.  While preggo, as you may be aware from a previous post, just about everything made me weep uncontrollably.  One time I cried, hard, for three hours…I must have had colic.  I don’t remember now what it was so clearly it wasn’t a life-changing tragedy.  And now I was noticing that I couldn’t remember the last time I cried from being upset.  Sometimes I cry because Booberry is being sweet and little and snuggly and that’s more of a bittersweet cry.  But, when I wrote the note, I noticed how, once we got over the hump of newborn HORRIBLEness, my mood has stabilized and I’m generally a pretty happy person.  Isn’t that nice?!

Of course, two hours later, Booberry was still awake and fussing and I broke down into exhausted weeping and the Doctor went and slept in the guest room and I nursed Boo until she was unconscious and then put down sound asleep.  And then I went to sleep for three hours until she woke up again. 

But it’s the little victories…

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Parenting Advice from a Novice

There is a saying in medicine: “See one, do one, teach one.”  I know a few doctors and would trust them with my care in general.  BUT THAT IDEA IS TERRIFYING!  I know it’s not really true.  It’s not really like, “Oh hey I see you have a brain tumor, I’m going to do the surgery for you.  Sure I’ve never done it before but I’ve seen it once and the guy who is going to be telling me what to do has done one, so we’re good.”  But it is true for things like stitches and taking blood pressure and stuff of that fairly innocuous nature.  Trust me, I’ve seen ER, I’m basically a doctor.  TV MD. 

So I’ve seen a kid.  I’ve had a kid.  Let me teach you how to have a kid…JUST KIDDING.  But seriously folks, I get a lot of advice all the time from soliciting it like a hooker on a corner (what is wrong with me today?) and totally unsolicited.  I have sifted through it and here is what I came up with:

1.        Do not take parenting advice.
a.       I know, I know, I’M the one giving this advice…am I saying not to read the rest of the post like one of those “following directions” tests you got (and I failed) in elementary school?  No. But what I’m saying is this: if it doesn’t sound right, then you have no reason to take this advice…even if it’s from your mom or a mom friend who has five genius children…or even your doctor.  If it sounds wrong, get another opinion.  Or hey, make your own because IT’S YOUR KID.  It’s your responsibility and HECK, you have only known the lump for a week/month/year but you still know it better than anyone else does.  Maybe, though, stop referring to your child as an “it.”

2.       Take parenting advice
a.       Wait, am I on crack?  No.  But life is a paradox so here it is.  You know nothing (John Snow)!  You’ve never done this before!  And even if you have, this is A NEW AND WEIRD LITTLE INDIVIDUAL you just created…and it is different from everyone else on the planet so, if you need help, ask!  Or if your kid is liiike having ONLY GREEN POOP  (like Booberry recently) and that seems weird to you, maybe follow up on that.  Or if someone super arrogant and annoying says something to you and you don’t want their stupid advice and you didn’t ask but actually that does sound like a good tip, just get over yourself and try it out.  And there’s no point in me telling you not to read horror stories on the internet because you’re going to no matter what so just refer back to advice #1 as needed. 

3.       Delegate
a.       Green poop.  That’s what precipitated this.  See a lactation consultant. Why wouldn’t you see an LC?  If you don’t like the one the hospital brought you, get another one.  They are neat.  The stereotypical advice moms get is, “Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.  BUT OH MY GOD IT HURTS SO BAD!”  which is super true.  Of course it hurts to have a suction cup pull at your nipple every two hours.  That takes some getting used to!  But get help with that.  Because it should not hurt once you get it all sorted out and somehow train that precious creature that sucks the juices from you to do it without bruising you.  If you are not breastfeeding, that’s just fine,  and see number 1 because people are judgy bitches about breast juice but some people are adopted and they aren’t dying or stupid because they didn’t get their mom’s precious bodily fluids, so your kid will be just brilliant, too! 

Tell people to do your dishes.  Realllllly, they don’t mind and everyone knows how to do dishes.  Or they should.  If not, TEACH THEM and then make them practice on your dishes.  Not everyone has my mother-in-law aka “The Hurricane” who will come to my house and clean the entirety in half an hour flat.  But you do have people asking “what can I do?” and they can do something.  Like dishes.  Don’t be such a perfectionist that you redo the dishwasher after someone else doesn’t do it efficiently.  Let it go, like a Disney princess, because you don’t have time any more.  You are not Olivia Pope and you cannot HANDLE everything (I watched some Netflix while pumping). 

4.       You are the best parent in the world.    You are the worst parent in the world.
a.       At least in your own head.  Yesterday, I woke up after my child slept eight hours and she smiled at me and had a nice yellow poop  (thank you, lactation consultant) and then we went to coffee with my mom group and she smiled and gooed and took a cute nap on my lap and they inquired about my oversupply problem (which is like saying your biggest flaw is being a perfectionist when talking to other moms, but it is actually a thing to fix) and I felt like THE BEST MOM EVER.  Then, in the afternoon, I went to my neighbor’s house and wedged Booberry in the corner of the couch while I went to take my birth control and she decided to try to commit suicide by pitching herself two feet forward and head first off the couch and my neighbor TOTALLY NINJA saved her by making it a controlled fall and supporting Booberry’s tiny, daredevil head all while holding her own kid.  I felt like the WORST MOM EVER!  But my neighbor got to be the BEST MOM EVER in that moment and I’m super thankful she was right there.  So basically, every day you will fail a little but, if your kid is still alive at the end, YOU FOUGHT THE DAY AND YOU WON!  Mom guilt will happen forever (I’m flooded with shame thinking of her plummeting off the couch) and you will always think of worst case scenarios (I totally just paused writing this to make sure Booberry was still breathing because she’s all the way in the other room and has been asleep for a long time), but deal with it.  You’re the best mom ever (to your kid).  I mean, logic dictates that you are also the worst mom ever since you are her only mom unless you are in a two mom marriage, but stilllllll….optimism, people!

5.       “It goes so fast!”  Is a lie…and a truth.
a.       I told you life was a paradox.  Old ladies and moms of snot-nosed ten-year-olds will stop you on the street to wiggle their fingers at your baby and they will proclaim her the cutest baby that ever lived (your suspicions have been confirmed) and say the SAME DAMN SENTENCE, “Enjoy this.  It goes by so fast.”  And you will roll your eyes.  Because you were up all night with her and you have mastitis (“what cows get”) and she screamed at you for no reason and has weird newborn baby acne and your husband doesn’t like you anymore (he does, I hope), and she doesn’t even acknowledge your presence let alone love you and it’s only 2pm and no one is going to come home to help you or give you a pee break for at least three hours and you MIGHT DIE OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION.  It goes slow.  SO SLOW.  And then, suddenly, you’re packing up the size newborn clothes.  And also the 0-3 month clothes.  And she can roll off couches and hold things with her hands and put them in her mouth.  And you have this beautiful moment of clarity one day as she wriggles between you and your husband at 7am, blowing bubbles with her lips and refusing to go back to sleep because she’s so excited to see you and you will smile and then start to cry because this is never going to happen again.  And your husband will look at your like you’re crazy and say “I’m sure we will hang out with her in the morning in bed again” and you say, “But never like this!  Never will she ever be this small again!  Never exactly this age and stage of life again!” And you will see a little newborn in the bathroom at the mall, dead asleep on his mom’s chest and you will think (but maybe keep the thought to yourself because she looks stressed) “I hope you enjoy this, because it goes so fast.”

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Some Stupid Similes (and a metaphor) from the English Teacher

…after a weekend in California for a wedding…these are not grammatically correct.  My English teacher OCD is making me say that.

Having a baby is like having a doll because I had the kind of doll that you feed fake baby food to and then she poops in her little weird baby cloth diaper and I totally had a baby clothes fashion show the other day until the doll got so annoyed and squirmy I had to give up.  Also people say, “She looks like such a little doll!” but I’m pretty sure that’s because, surprise, my baby is super white and no longer has horrific eczema. 

Being a mother is as exhausting as being a teenager who babysits except you get used to being sleep deprived since you can never give the kid back and go home and watch like five hours of Dawson’s Creek in syndication even though they’re the lame college episodes.

Going to the airport with an infant is like going to the airport with your cat: you’re desperately hoping you don’t get pooped on and that the crying doesn’t anger the passengers and that no one gives your cargo a disgusting airplane disease omg why is that old lady coughing that disgusting phlegmy cough without covering her mouth and no you did not just try to touch my cargo!

This one is from the Doctor: taking the baby to a retirement community is entering a field of land mines.  But the mines just grasp at the air surrounding the baby and remark on the roundness of her head. 

Having your baby scream bloody murder during an airplane’s descent is as torturous as sitting next to someone else’s baby screaming bloody murder during an airplane’s descent except it’s so much worse since you are simultaneously aghast at the unhappiness of your tiny, sweet child and also deeply embarrassed that this is happening to you and you are now the person everyone hates and then everyone is really nice about it because people are better than you thought they were which is the biggest relief in the world but you’re so stressed you almost wish someone would give you a hard time about it so you could vent your stress in a RAGEFUL RANT about how your baby is just scared and in pain and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. 

Wearing a bridesmaid dress in a postpartum body is like making home sausage with your torso.  Spanx for the win. 

Changing diapers is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.  But 0-8 times a day it’s poop.  The surprise, though, is WHAT COLOR?

Being away from your three month old for over a day is as strange as not having a three month old but suddenly remembering because your boobs feel like they’re going to explode every two hours. 

Breastfeeding in wedding garb is as sweaty as everything else I do because breastfeeding makes me sweaty for some reason.

Having a kid during a heat wave is like owning a pet vampire because you will do anything to keep the blasting rays of the sun from touching the precious, very white skin of your child even to the extent that you have to give your kid vitamin D drops because she doesn’t get any direct sunlight. 

Being a parent is as amazing as every cliché. If the cliché were also covered in a light layer of sweat and boob juice…and smiling.

Afterword: while looking up google images for “simile,” many pictures of teeth came up (“smile”).  English is hard.