What I’ve Learned About Babies. Three Months Edition.
Alt. title- Babies. A Study in Contradictions.
We are three months in…here’s what I’ve got so far.
You think you won’t be one of those parents who talks about poop and pee all the time.
You are wrong.
It’s not your fault. You leave the hospital with the words “if your baby has fewer than 5 wet diapers during the day they are dehydrated” ringing in your ears…how could you not count (obsess over) every wet diaper?
We haven’t been crazy about poo…our son passed all the meconium during birth (see: My Baby is a Shit Machine), and was a stellar poo-er from day one. We never really talked about “consistency and color” (thank god) since it’s been pretty normal. There was one night at 9 weeks old when he projectile-diarrhea-ed across the room and it was bright green….that concerned me. A quick Google search led me to the conclusion that he was getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. We were in New Orleans where I was working for 10 days, and therefore babe had gotten bottles more than he ever had before, and I only need to pump for about 6 minutes to get a full bottle, so that’s all I’d been doing. Unfortunately that meant I’d been filling bottles with just the watery “hydration” foremilk, and never getting to the thicker “meat and potatoes” hindmilk. This, apparently, leads to green, frothy, “algae colored” poo.
I do, now.
(You should look this up, it’s actually super interesting! Oh god…I’ve become one of them…the poo parents….)
On the flip side of caring too much, is giving absolutely no shits (pun intended), at all.
There was one night where my kiddo peed on the bed. (I’m sure there will be more.)
It was 4AM.
And I looked at the pee.
And at my peacefully sleeping son who had been not-so-peacefully-raging for the past hour and I had JUST gotten him to sleep…laying next to my peacefully sleeping husband who had been up with him until 2 so I could get a few hours of sleep…surrounded by our peacefully sleeping dogs who had just climbed out from hiding under the bed/in the closet now that the screaming had ended.
I thought about changing the sheets.
I thought about the waterproof mattress pad I was now very grateful to have purchased.
And I climbed into bed and slept on the pee.
Pee is sterile, right? Don’t judge.
But more than pee…is milk. Good lord. The milk. I have an excellent, if not over-abundant supply of breast milk. I am very grateful for this, and know that it is not a given and that many women would kill for that much milk.
Everything I own is covered in leaked milk.
Everything I own is covered in spit up.
I don’t even notice it anymore. I almost left the house yesterday leaking milk all down my side. Even my pants were wet. I had no idea until I was at the door and did that thing where you check if you have your keys by patting all over your body (ps why do we do that? Pants pockets, sure…but our upper body? Why? When are keys ever attached to your side body? Sorry. Irrelevant.) …anyways I patted my soaking side and actually considered NOT CHANGING. Just going to the grocery store with boob milk shirt.
But it was a close one.
“Oh dear god yes please come and hold this baby so I can sleep/shower/eat”
will be constantly warring with
“Evil demon human get the fuck away from my baby no one can hold my baby but me what if you drop/steal/maim him in any way”
in your brain.
All day. Every day.
It constantly surprises me, how strong that instinct is and how exhaustion can override it but just barely. Even with my husband, or mom, or mother-in-law, or my best friends. People I trust with my life. I will want them to take the baby SO BAD…I’m covered in milk, spitup, and pee remember? I REALLY need to shower…and then they will come over to take the baby… And my whole body will tense up… And I will hesitate… And stare at him… And finally give him to them because dammit hot showers are basically the best things ever invented…but it’s real hard.
Speaking of hot showers…
I’m a multi-tasker, I like ambient noise, I like being around people and being busy and chatting and doing many things at once.
I could sit in silence and stare at the wall for hours. Silence is incredible. Zero stimulation/responsibility is incredible.
I used to listen to podcasts or music or talk on the phone (via Bluetooth-hands free, bitches!) in the car.
The car is quiet. I love the car.
I used to make to-do lists in my head while I showered, and be efficient while washing my hair and shaving my legs (we are in a drought, people!)
NOT ANYMORE! DONT GIVE A SHIT!
I could live in the shower. It’s so warm. And it’s the most beautiful white noise than cancels everything in my brain . I’m pretty sure I’ve slept standing up in the shower. And it was glorious.
I loved sleep.
I was a 9-hour-a-night-er. I needed at least 8 to be functional. I could sleep in till 11 on weekends (and sometimes on weekdays! I’m an actor…there was a lot of free time.)
I’m fully (or whatever counts as “fully” these days) functional on 4 hours. I sleep in 20 minute to 1 hour increments. The nights I get to dream are HUGE WINS because it means there was a REM cycle in there somewhere.
Now that babe is sleeping longer stretches at night (5-7 hours! Woohoo!), I get to experience the bitter irony that my body can no longer sleep in said long stretches. So I get to watch him sleep for a few hours when I wake up at the 3 hour mark simultaneously cursing myself and staring at him adoringly.
Which brings me to.
I could stare at him ALL. DAY.
And I do.
And my awake day is now an average of 20 hours long.
My eyes have never been heavier…or more open.
The intense, palpable, gross-obnoxious-Instagram over-posting love.
Watching my husband become a father has been the single greatest thing I’ve ever witnessed.
I want to punch him. Like. Pretty much all the time.
Everything he does is annoying right now. Everything he says. Every word.
Even when it’s nice.
I’m annoyed that he’s nice.
He’s all happy and silly and talkative. Fuck him.
I’M GETTING 4 HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT.
HE IS GETTING 8.
I hate him.
What did you learn about babies in the fourth trimester? And does sleep every happen again? If not, please lie.