Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gettin' Sentimental

This morning Everett and I ran 3 miles together, and I didn't pee my pants once! This event was a major milestone for me because:

a) Since December 3, 2012, I pee my pants whenever I exert myself. I learned (literally) overnight that no amount of Kegel exercises can prepare your womanhood for the sheer destruction that takes place during child labor. (FYI)

b) I could barely move from sitting to standing a couple months ago, so running any distance feels like an accomplishment. I remember a time when walking around the block would put me out of commission for the rest of the day. However, after today's little outing, I cleaned the house, went shopping, and cooked dinner. I felt great, and was so amazed with my body for what it can do after only a few weeks of recovery.

On Maternity Leave

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth!
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!
Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't [his] eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

Oh, cooking and cleaning can wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow,
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

By Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Jeff, Everett, and I have learned so much over the last 10 weeks. We have so much more knowledge as parents, which makes me want to go back in time to fix all the mistakes we made in the first few weeks of Everett's life. I would do so much different, especially when it comes to following my trusty intuition - which is what I started doing after 3 weeks or so into his scary new life (like getting him un-nipple confusioned). I look back with much regret and sorrow when I think of how hungry he was when he couldn't figure out how to latch, how painful his first diaper rash was, and how cold the world must have felt compared to the comfortable sauna of my womb.

Why, just the other day I learned about this secret baby language everyone who watches Oprah has already heard of. Apparently there is an international language newborns speak, and I wish someone would have told me about it sooner...cuz it's sorta legit. Just so you have it in advance, here are the 5 words your infant says to you when he/she cries:

  1. Neh - I'm hungry, betch.
  2. Eh - I need to be burped, betch
  3. Heh - I'm uncomfortable and may need a diaper change. Betch.
  4. Owh - I'm tired, betch. (But I don't want to nap for some weird reason.)
  5. Eairh - I have to fart, betch. 
Now I know this doesn't encompass your baby's entire language, as Everett most often just says "WAAAAAHHH!" or something along those lines. However, after I watched a YouTube video of this lady's interview with Oprah, I wanted to give it a try. He woke up from a nap the other day saying, "Owh! Owh! Owh!" Usually I would get him out of the crib and start our eat-wake-sleep routine again, but instead I decided to put a pacifier in his mouth and tuck his arm back in the swaddle. He fell asleep for another 20 minutes before he woke up really saying, "Neh! Neh! Neh! NEEEEH!!!" So I guess there is a little truth to this madness. BUT right now Everett is shouting, "NEOWAAAAHOOWWWAR!" Can the baby whisperer tell me what the heck that means?

So use this information if you want, knowing full well it is not the complete baby dictionary. And also know I wish I knew this in the early days.

As much I as loved those cuddly first few weeks, I think I would kill myself if I had to go back to fix those mistakes I made. It's a good thing all the friendly mommy hormones happen right after delivering a baby. If it weren't for them, I would not have thought 4 hours of sleep in a day was "plenty," and I certainly would not have been able to devote my time and attention to the needs of a newborn. The good news is that by the time these hormones ware off, you and your baby are so smitten with each other there is no way you would ever choose to go back to your former life. And guess what...Everett is sleeping through the night! Why would I want to go back in time now?! Hopefully my putting this out for the public to see doesn't jinx our wonderful new sleep schedule.

For now, I am preparing myself to return to work in a couple weeks. This frightens and excites me equally. I am pumped to get that adult interaction every day (old "friends" tend to avoid you like the plague once you have a baby). I am also dreading the loss of quality time with Everett. Instead of me watching his daily progressions, his lovely caregiver will witness them first, and I will only see the third or forth attempt when he accomplishes something new. What if he says the word "Bordle" before he says "Mama"?

For now we are living in the present, loving this newborn, not-so-newborn stage, where E is all smiles and sleep and spit up. My friend V posted a quote a few weeks ago that I haven't been able to get out of my head. So mothers and fathers, remember these things I post today, and enjoy every day because each moment is so precious and fleeting.

Stop the ticking of the clock
Let the sun stay warm in the sky
Have the clouds hover still
Turn down the noise that complicates tomorrow
Ground yourself with steady feet
And breathe.
Friends, life is all about moments.
And all are as worthy as the one you are living now.
-Kristen Cook

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