Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baby Alive

Before having Claire - the message I was given was that as soon as she was placed on my chest I would be overcome with an intense love for her. That all the pain of childbirth would disappear (epidural or not), and that I would be enraptured by her, madly in love, ready to do anything for this little person now in my arms.

I'm not entirely sure what all those people were smoking when they had that experience (or what drugs were in their IV), but that was not how it was for me.

Don't get me wrong - I love Claire. But not in that euphoric sense where every fiber of my being just longs to care for her and protect her and meet her every need. I love her in the sense that I do care for her, protect her and meet her needs - even when I absolutely don't feel like it (like at 3:30am, or when I desperately need a shower, or when I can't remember the last time I ate).

When I was little my cousin had Baby Alive - the baby doll that you could feed water to, and then she'd wet her pants. The one with the plastic peas on a spoon that would "disappear" when you held them up to her mouth. I was soooo envious of that doll. I thought it was the coolest doll and I would play with it the entire time we would stay at their house.

Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night to Claire's squirming, pooping, crying ritual and I pick her up in her half awake state, I am surprised when she squirms - as though she's supposed to be Baby Alive (who only goes to the bathroom when I want her to, and only eats her peas as long as I care to feed them to her). It is very startling at 3am to have the realization that your daughter is not a doll - but a real life human.

A real life human that I'm learning to love. One that I'm starting to feel enraptured by. The girl that I'm beginning to eagerly do anything for.

I admit that it does help that she is so darn cute, and that she is starting to smile at me. And that when I took her some place new yesterday and she was surrounded by lots of new faces she just kept her eyes focused on me (as though to make sure I wasn't going to leave her). 

Mr. San Antonio made the point that - yes she's our daughter - but really she's a stranger that someone handed to us one day and said "here you go, now keep her alive" (but don't feed her plastic peas).

So far so good on that point.


The Pampered Bird

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No Plumbing Problems Here

A friend recently asked me what I've been most surprised about regarding this whole "motherhood-taking-care-of-a-baby" thing. I told her that I knew babies pooped. And I knew diaper changes would be a significant part of motherhood. But I had no idea just how many diapers I would be changing every day.

The irony of it all is that we spend 6 months wondering if Claire's intestines would work. Well folks, let me put your fears to rest - they do.

And they do well. There are no plumbing problems here.

(Warning - I am going to discuss the intestinal workings of my 2 1/2 week old daughter. If your stomach is as weak as mine, you might want to cease reading now.)

For example, there are times when I change her, lift her from the changing table, and have her go again right there in my arms. Of course she only does that when I've painstakingly swaddled her. And so I unwrap her and start the process all over again.

Also, I knew that baby boys had a tendency to pee when you remove their diapers... but I did not know that little baby girls can perform the same trick. This folks is why you always place the clean diaper under the dirty diaper before removing the dirty one (I learned that from the NICU nurses - thanks ladies!).

One night around 3am I got up to feed Claire. I started the process by changing her diaper. No sooner had I dropped the dirty diaper in the trash can when all of the sudden projectile poop streamed across the changing table, onto the trash can, onto the wall, onto the floor, and onto everything in between. In my semi-awake haze I had two thoughts. One: "Mr. SA has GOT to see this!!", and Two: "I must clean this up as fast as possible so as to avoid stains."

The cleaning up won out, and I immediately regretted not waking up Mr. SA to share a laugh... or a cry (the two are often interchangeable at that hour).

(I've shared that story with several friends and not one of them as said "oh, yeah, that's totally normal, my kids did that too"......)

So, do not fear. Claire's intestines work great. And we are now pros at diaper changes.

Now if we could get equally as good at getting her to sleep at night...

The Pampered Bird



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