So I casually forgot to mention that I had a baby.
I have been on self-imposed hiatus because I needed to focus on my business and step back from doing things that were tremendous time suckers! I do love to write and share my random thoughts with you, though… and having a newborn (Miss Kaia Jordyn – born 3/31/13) is just perfect inspiration for blogging.
Each day, I am faced with something that reminds me how much I forgot in the three years since having a newborn. Here are my current Top 10:
1. My baby smells amazing and only bathes once every 3-4 days. I bathe daily and smell like a mixture of Eau de Spit Up, sour breastmilk, poop and some other unrecognizable scent that I’m praying only I can detect.
2. At first, babies sleep like 22 hours a day. Then 18. Then 14… and so on. If you’re lucky, this goes on for blissful weeks on end. Yet it’s always this grandiose surprise when one day you’re feeding the baby and then you are wondering why the hell she won’t fall asleep immediately and she looks at you like WTF are you doing with the lights off, rocking and shushing me? Let’s party!
3. The 5 S’s from Dr. Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Baby on the Block still work to calm the crying – and the Miracle Blanket is truly a miracle. You may disagree, but if you’re trying to calm your baby and nothing will work, humor me and try doing these 5 things simultaneously (that’s the key word):
- Swaddling: Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support your baby is used to experiencing within the womb. I use the Miracle Blanket.
- Side/Stomach position: The infant is placed on their left side to assist in digestion, or on their stomach to provide reassuring support. “But never use the stomach position for putting your baby to sleep,” cautions Karp. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is linked to stomach-down sleep positions.
- Shushing sounds: These imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb.
- Swinging: Newborns are used to the swinging motions within their mother’s womb, so entering the gravity driven world of the outside is like a sailor adapting to land after nine months at sea. “It’s disorienting and unnatural,” says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.
- Sucking: “Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system,” notes Karp, “and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain.”
4. The baby makes terrifying sounds like she’s dying. The grunts and choking noises have me rushing to her like she has a pinecone lodged in her throat. Of course it’s all normal, but every time she chokes on her spit up, I’m sure she will need medical intervention. Then when she’s quiet, I worry that she actually DID choke and I did nothing about it.
5. The “EEEE ER EEEE ER” sound of the breast pump and how I immediately transform from human to cow.
6. The ability to simultaneously smile and fart is cute when it’s the baby and not your husband.
7. Newborn babies are very squishy, curled up and alien-looking and this stage does not last long. They do this eye blinking thing, “O” face and tongue thrust that is so very cute. They are the best cuddlers EVER! These days are fleeting. Since she is not my first or even my second but my very last baby, every milestone hit is both a celebration and a goodbye. The newborn-sized clothes have made way for 0-3 and we just graduated from N diapers to Size 1. Sob.
8. YAY – the baby just fell asleep! You now have a nice stretch of time to unload the dishwasher and watch an episode of The Office. You gently put her down in some amazingly comfy apparatus so you can eat dinner. Wrong, moron! Why did you put her down? You can’t put a baby down. And you can’t eat dinner. Just so dumb of you. Now you have a 45 minute torturous road ahead before she’s asleep again and you will be eating dinner leaning sideways with one hand like you should have done in the first place.
9. The black hole called Morning. I get up in the middle of the night and then again at 6:30 with the kids and somehow get them out the door for school. Then some weird spell is cast over me and I turn around and see that the clock says 11:45 am and I realize that I have been sucked into the black hole yet again.
10. How amazing it is to stare at this beautiful life you created who depends on you for everything – and how happy you are to oblige. How it makes you feel both invincible and helpless… all-knowing yet not having the answers… flawed, stretch-marked and imperfect yet somehow more beautiful than you’ve felt in a long time.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Moms and soon-to-be Moms out there!
A special thank you to my husband for being the most amazing Daddy that three kids could ever wish to have. I am constantly in awe of how lucky we are. You are a Daddy with many hats – protector, coach, playmate and entertainer. Thank you for how present you are in our children’s lives.