MAKAYLA SILVA – Staff Writer
I’m still annoyed by the people who said, “Better sleep now while you can,” when I was pregnant. What does that even mean? It’s not like I can bottle up all of the sleep I allegedly got while still pregnant and save it for my post-baby, post-social, post-normal life.
Four days went by without any sleep after having Noah, which really isn’t that extraordinary, I would soon learn. Though, the first sleepless week wasn’t Noah’s fault. He was, in fact, sleeping quite well. I wasn’t.
For his entire first two nights home I stared at him. Was he breathing? Was he going to wake up? He will wake up as soon as I go to sleep so why bother even trying to sleep? You become slightly neurotic after having a baby.
Still, all of the books, the doctors, the nurses, even the grandmothers cannot prepare you for bringing home a newborn and then realizing, “It’s just us now isn’t it?”
The smartest thing I ever did was allow the nurses to take Noah into the nursery for the two nights I stayed in the hospital. Some people think it’s appalling to allow your little baby to leave with the—gasp—hospital nurses. Even some are still afraid the nurses will send you home with the wrong baby. I realized those two nights would probably be the only two nights I got to sleep stress free for, let’s say, 18 years. Maybe.
Two days, a snowstorm and a drive home later and I stood in my room, holding my new 7-pound, 11-ounce appendage thinking I knew as much about raising a baby as he did. So, we stared at each other.
Over and over again I said to myself, “Please don’t cry, please don’t cry, please don’t cry.” As if sensing my fear of new baby tears, the floodgates opened. What do I do? Change him? Okay. As I am pulling the tiniest diaper off that I’ve ever seen he pees all over me and all over his outfit. The outfit that took me over 10 minutes to put on. Ten minutesof blood-curdling screaming. Now I have to get him out of the wet clothes, get him in a new outfit and then start from square one. If I could sum up Noah’s first month of life in one word it would probably be pee. Maybe hunger.
The kid hasn’t missed a meal in 10 months or a snack. I quickly realized after two long months that even Pamela Anderson wouldn’t be able to sustain Noah’s appetite. I’m no organic-obsessed, no-shots, no-formula, no-processed food mommy hero. I will leave nursing to the superwomen of the 21st century, along with their cloth diapers and sandpaper organic crib sheets.
Having a baby is undoubtedly the most life-altering experience anyone can have. I constantly find myself saying, “I never thought I’d ever .., ” and you can fill that in with anything having to do with the person who made me gain a cool 47 pounds.
For example, I never thought I’d sing “How much is that doggy in the window?” in the grocery story while racing down the aisles throwing various grocery items into the cart to buy five more minutes before a major baby-screaming meltdown. I never thought I’d examine the color of someone’s poop so as to determine whether I needed to call the doctor. I never thought I’d need to bring myself a change of clothes while going out to lunch because I was peed on in the restaurant’s bathroom.
But that’s what you do when you have a baby. You walk around in circles while trying to nurse a colicky baby who can’t sit still. You take the longest way possible to get somewhere as to avoid stop signs because God forbid the car stops for even 30 seconds.
And you love. You love unconditionally this little person who makes getting two-and-a-half hours of sleep a night seem doable.