Disclaimer: apologies in advance for those of you who really are hoping this doesn’t turn into an annoying/boring mom-blog. For the next few posts, it might. Because I’ve turned into an annoying/boring mom. I hope to resume my natural position of annoying/boring regular person who happens to have given birth, but that may not happen ‘til September. Oh also, I say “butt” and “vagina” a lot. So you’ve been warned (CB).
So I’ve been out of blogging commission these last several weeks because a human – complete with shoulders and fingers and a whole big head of hair – decided to come out of my vagina and then demand that I feed and bathe and dress her while never once saying thank you or please or even offering to pick up the tab once as a gesture of good faith. And I’ve decided to go along with this one-sided deal because sometimes she smiles at me as if she recognizes that I’m the same person who had that cozy, handy uterus she grew to know and love for all of those months. And her smiles are super –cute, you guys.
Also, because her dad and I drank too much wine some time back in October and basically created her life, so I’d feel kind of guilty leaving her with a note on the front step of one of our neighbors being like “she’s cute but also can blow gas like nobody’s business. You’re welcome and thank you.” And because our neighbors would probably recognize her as that kid belonging to the sleepy couple that used to shower a few months ago and then bring her back. And I’m uncomfortable with confrontation, so we’ll go ahead and just keep feeding and bathing her so that it doesn’t get awkward.
Plus, since motherhood has made me a ball of anxiety that doesn’t want to let my daughter out of my sight, it’d probably make that whole “abandoning your newborn” thing a little more challenging. But mainly because our neighbors would totally bring her back.
Which brings me to the purpose of this post: a person grew inside of and then exited from my body and now I can’t sleep/don’t sleep/shower/go hang at the bar because LOVE. And hormones? And instincts. And a lack of prescription Xanax. Which people sort of prepared me for? But not really. Plus I wasn’t listening because it wasn’t happening yet and I’m kind of a control-freak who figured I’d totally ace this mom thing while also being able to shave my legs.
I have not, if you’re wondering, aced either of those things.
So, in order to continue the trend of giving completely helpful advice to people who won’t listen until after they’ve already experienced something they could’ve avoided had they listened, jeez, I’m going to go ahead and list off some of the things I wish I’d known prior to having my daughter (who I love and adore and am staring at out of the corner of my eye as I type this because, hello, were you listening? I have anxiety issues that are irrational. And because I had a dream about her falling out of her boppy last night and now I basically can’t deal.)
You will catch poop in your hand. This is less something I wish I’d known and more something I just sort of wish I’d known wouldn’t actually be that big of a deal. I mean, I’d rather not hold another person’s poop in my hands, as a general rule. But if it has to be anyone’s, may as well be my daughter’s poop, is my thinking? Basically because I know she can’t help it and would totally rather take care of this whole thing herself, if she’s being honest. But since she’s just now starting to realize that her hands and feet are attached to her body, and still accidentally hits herself in the face at least three times a day, I’ll do the poop-catching until she’s at least a few more months old. Which I believe is what good parenting is all about.
You will love/hate your spouse. Not sure if this is universal, but for the sake of my marriage, I’ll assume yes? Because there are several moments where you will have simultaneous feelings of complete love and absolute hate for your partner. Which sounds harsh, especially when talking about the person you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with and is the father to your child. But, um, it’s true. (oh hi, CB! You can skip this part, it’s not about you at all so go ahead and just re-read the earlier paragraph on catching poop. I love you. Bye.)
Like, the other day I looked at CB holding our daughter just after feeding her and thought how fortunate she and I were to have him. They were so adorable, he was so helpful, and I had 15 minutes to just sit there and not be a baby-manager.
And then the very next moment he complained about how tired he was (after his 8 consecutive hours of sleep) and if I hadn’t been so ACTUALLY tired from my 1.5 hours of consecutive sleep the prior three nights, I would’ve hit him. And it would’ve hurt for sure, because that was some visceral rage right there.
But then he cleaned her poop-up-the-front diaper and gave her a bath and I loved him wholeheartedly again. Until he left all of the dirty bottles on the counter before heading out to his job where he gets to hang with other adults for eight hours and I cursed his name under my breath so that our daughter wouldn’t worry about being the product of a broken home.
Oh also, he’ll love/hate you right back. So it’s a reciprocal thing which makes it totally fine.
Man, I should really be a life coach.
Procreate with someone you like. Not just someone you love. Because love won’t save you at 4am during gas and screams (the baby’s, not yours – though it’s not out of the question). Like will.
Like will get you to see past the fact that neither of you have showered, thought about, talked about, or even hung out around the idea of personal hygiene/grooming for a few days and it’ll move you right into acceptance that this is temporary and one or both of you (hopefully) will attempt to woo the other in the not-too-distant future. And like will also help you remember that you felt hot-body feelings for this person at one point (which is how you got yourselves into this
mess blessing in the first
place) and that they’ll eventually come back to resembling the person you
married once you’ve used deodorant again.
You will show literally anyone your vagina. I mean, not, like, when you get home and your in-laws come over for dinner. But while you’re in the hospital, prior to giving birth, I assure you that you will get to the point where someone will enter the room and you’ll be like “Do you need to see my vagina? Ok. Here.”
Which is totally weird, I know, but I spent the first three-to-four hours of my 26-hour labor experience trying to be coy. Like, someone would come in to check my cervix and I’d have my knees together, all lady-like, trying to be dainty. And then the nurse would explain that that’s not a helpful position to be in for cervix-checking and you’ll make your husband turn around because the cervix isn’t one of your sexier parts.
Cut to: three hours later when you just stop pulling the sheet back up over you b/c that’s a lot of work and leaning/bending is hard and why fight it? Here’s my vagina. I’m so sorry, housekeeping-lady-who-just-wanted-to-empty-the-garbage – I have no dignity left.
And most importantly…..
You poop babies. WHAT? Yeah.
Why hasn’t anyone ever, in the history of writing about birth, EVER mentioned that when you’re fully dilating and approaching the time at which you’ll finally get to push out a person, all of your normal contractions stop and it suddenly feels like your baby is about to come out of your butt?
MY GOD, you guys.
To be fair, a friend of mine did mention the pooping babies thing to me about a week or two before I gave birth, but I forgot about it because it sounded gross and ridiculous and it wasn’t happening yet (see above rationale for this). But then it WAS happening and so I turned to CB and was like “Ok, so I know we’ve gone ‘round the bend in the over-share department these last 24 hours, but since you’re the only person in the room, I need to tell you this: I’m pretty sure our baby is going to come out of my butt, and unless I missed something in health class, I think that’s the wrong place?”
And then he went to McDonald’s to get some dinner and bleach his eardrums.
So I texted my friend Beth (the person who’d actually told me this prior to labor):
Me: So is this normal or weird that it feels like the baby is about to come out of my butt?
Beth: Uh, we talked about this. Normal. Call your nurse. You’re about to have the baby!
Me: Really? That’s kind of embarrassing. Plus, I think she’s on her dinner break, I don’t want to bother her.
Beth: You’re having a baby. Call your nurse. Seriously. I can’t believe you’re even texting me right now.
And then 35 minutes later my daughter was born. Out of the normal part. Not my butt. (I think).
So ok, this wasn’t a comprehensive list of things to know, but it’s a list unlike what I’ve seen on all of my mommy blogs. I mean, no offense, but telling me to bring my favorite music with me into the delivery room and having a birthing plan was unhelpful, ALL PREGNANCY BLOGS. Because I assure you that my birth plan would’ve included a lot less butt-pushing and a ton more Beyonce music had this at all been within my control.
Which it’s not. Because it’s about babies. And the only thing you really need to know about having babies is that the control goes out the window once you’re catching poop and showing the security guard your vagina.
And it’s the best thing I’ve ever done with my life, hands-down. And probably the smelliest.
Glad to be (kind of) back! Thanks for your patience, blog-readers!