I think back to when my 4 year old was first born. I must say it was truly a special time, saturated with some new experience daily. I can recall the very first night of her arrival; she slept through the entire night! I remember thinking, "Wow this is going to be a breeze!” Yeah, well definitely not the case. The next night...and every night thereafter, my sleep had become more like random spurts of unconsciousness. My husband (then boyfriend) and I were so sleep deprived that we envied the rest of the world, knowing they were nestled snuggly in their beds; while we took turns changing diapers and feeding our newborn. Truth be told, I even resented my husband at times as I would look over and see him sleeping so soundly! My husband and I have this unspoken game (I like to call it “sleep roulette”) in which we pretend to be in such a deep sleep, that we do not hear our daughter’s crying. That way, the other parent will get up and change a diaper, make a bottle, or give a glass of water. Needless to say… my husband is on a winning streak!
The first 4 months of my daughter’s birth, I stayed at home with her and my husband worked. It was quite an experience, it left me anxious to return to work. Now, I do not want to come across as a bitter mother, but being a mom is tough; and being a new mommy is even tougher! There were so many changes (especially to my figure). I just couldn’t grasp how something so small and “innocent” could totally change my life. Like the whole sleep thing! My baby was up every hour in need of a bottle, I was at a lost at how this tiny being could put away so much milk. I quickly gained understanding, when her poop diapers began to rapidly increase. There were other changes that took place as well. Prior to having children, I would easily spend 2-3 hours getting dressed (even to run a quick errand to Wal-Mart). I would do a full-face of makeup, my hair, and yes even an outfit. My motto back then was “dress like you’re going to run into your ex” (this is before I met you babe!).
After the birth of my first daughter, I still took 3 hours to get ready…but this was not because I was completing a full face of makeup, my hair and an outfit. No this was spent taking a quick shower, which was compiled of jumping in and out because the baby was crying. To this day, while I shower I still can hear those phantom cries. I would forget about a hairstyle and I quickly learned why most new mommies just cut the hair off! As for my “outfit” it was anything that didn’t smell like baby vomit and would go good with white. Makeup, hah! Needless to say, a tube of lip gloss or lip balm was my new companion. The remainder of the 2 hours and 45 minutes (yes, it now only took 15 minutes to get myself ready) was spent gathering diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, extra clothes and socks, pacifiers, nose suckers, bibs, burp clothes, blankets, rattles, water, and anything else a baby may need for a 10 minute drive; and packing it all into a diaper bag! It truly takes skills and strategic planning to neatly pack one of these things.
Now, next was my task of getting the baby dressed. After carefully selecting the perfect outfit complete with matching socks, shoes and headband or hat, I would dress her and head for the car seat. Oh wait! What’s that smell? Of course, the baby just filled another diaper. So I would change her diaper and get her all dressed again. Again, I would head for the car seat and oh wait, “what’s that sound?” Ah yes, now the baby needs another bottle which should have been obvious from the size of the last diaper I just changed! So I would quickly make her a bottle, a moment longer and this kid would have given herself an aneurism! She quickly sucks the bottle down, and now it’s time to burp her. So we sit patiently on the bed, by now she’s asleep. I have patted her so many times in her back that my wrist is going to fall off at any moment. Was that a burp?! Nope, it was just a grunt! So I continue to subject my wrist to even more torture, a few minutes go by and the baby grunts again. “Close enough” I think to myself. So I carefully grab the car seat, ever so gently place the baby in it, and even more lightly buckle her in. Phew! She stayed asleep! I grab my purse, the diaper bag and head for the door. Oh wait! The baby! Again, I grab my purse, the diaper bag and this time the car seat… and head for the door.
As I am locking the front door, I look down at my daughter and realize “Hey, this is not so bad” and I give her a smile. At that exact moment, she moves in her car seat and gives me what seems to be a smile in her sleep. As if she knew that I was smiling at her as well. My heart warms… and… she throws up! Turns out, that a grunt is not close to a burp…
The Accidental Mom!