Life as a New Mom

A first-time mom adjusting to her new everything


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And so it begins.

Game on, Widget.  I see you there, trying to look cute so I’ll forgive you for the fussing you’ve done all day for the last week.  Oh yes, and the grabbing your spoon to gnaw on in the most diabolical plan ever conceived for avoiding eating.  You should want to eat the delicious puree I have made for you, from scratch. SCRATCH.

I see you looking at me with the saddest face ever, putting your tongue out of your mouth as far as it will go, foiling my attempt to look at your gums.  But the joke’s on you.  I moved faster than you, and I saw that canker sore-looking blister.  I know that means you are getting your first tooth.  Clearly this means I am doing a superior job keeping you from dying, as you are alive to erupt a tooth.

But I make no promises if you continue this behavior, combined with the amount of cling static will envy.  In particular, I make no promises for your father, who just last night tried to clip your pacifier to your clothes (I keep telling him it’s unnecessary in the house but he doesn’t listen) and instead clipped it to your skin.  I completely agree with you wailing and crying for 15 minutes because of that.  I’ve pinched myself with it and that thing hurts.  Just remember your father did that, and that it’s rude to take out fury on innocent bystanders who also produce your main source of food.  Don’t bite the boob that feeds you.

In summation, you have many reasons to be cranky.  But so do I.  Bring it, for I shall win this battle royale.  I have the patience which you have yet to dream of, and I WILL wait you out.

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Summer comes

And with summer, many changes.  More vomit, for one.  Widget has starting rolling to his stomach with a vengeance, often right after eating.  He hasn’t yet figured out that this upsets his tummy and so we are back to spitting up 5 times a day.  At least he’s developing, right?  I seriously think he’s going to figure out how to barrel roll soon and then who knows where I’ll find him after leaving him for 45 seconds to use the bathroom.

The other big change (for me, not Widget) is in his attire.  You might recall that I don’t really put him in clothes.  Now that it’s reliably warm here in the Carolinas, that is not the case!  He wears rompers now, instead of footies.  Since a lot of them come with real collars and everything, this means it’s clothes.  HA.

Health-wise, we had an appointment with a urologist because of some stuff with his kidney.  All is well.  But at his 4 month check up, I guess the doctor was taken aback by some of his characteristics.  He’s already 27.5 inches long, but only weighs 14 pounds.  That’s about the 97th percentile for height, and 13th percentile for weight.  He’s always been long and skinny, but the huge disparity is concerning to the pediatrician.  The other thing is that apparently my child sleeps too much to be normal.

Seriously.  I’ll put him to bed at 8pm and he’ll sleep straight until 6:30am.  He does not cry during the night to be fed.  This is “very atypical” according to his doctor.  So on the doctor’s advice, we tried waking him to feed him; previously, we dropped the night feeds because he wouldn’t want to eat, and then after he had half an ounce he’d fuss for an hour trying to fall back asleep.  Not fun for anyone.

When we tried waking him at 11pm this week, same cycle.  Fussing for an hour after eating 4 ounces, and then up every hour to fuss more, but not from hunger.  That is not my gig.  I’ve decided that I’m going to just feed him every 2 and a half hours instead, and let him sleep at night the way he wants.  I can’t do these nights.

Anyone else had the skinny baby problem?  How did you solve it?


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I think made the “Home Alone” face. I’m pretty sure I did…

…when I walked into Widget’s room this morning at 3am, after he woke me scrying (his scream/cry hybrid).  He was lying there on his tummy, with his face mashed into the side of his crib.  Not a good feeling.

He’s been rolling onto his side a lot the last few days, and apparently he’s figured out the last 90 degrees.  I’m not sure if he can do it reliably yet or not, but still.  Add to this that he never seems to want to roll from his tummy to his back (I’ve seen him do it, he just doesn’t do it often).  Rather, when he’s done with tummy time, he buries his face into the floor and cries.

So the order of business, after I took care of his immediate needs and he was back in bed:

  • Purchase a new baby monitor with video.  Stupid, perhaps, but it keeps me from having anxiety through the roof.  Pay extra for 1-day shipping.
  • Google that shit.  Attempt to discern if advice found is relevant, given the assumption the baby is 6 months old instead of 3
  • Decide advice from Google is B.S. even though some comes from people with credentials
  • Call pediatrician at 8:00:01 am (they open at 8).  Leave a message with the triage nurse.
  • Tell my husband, and get laughed at
  • Make frowny face while yelling “MY CONCERN IS LEGITIMATE!!”
  • Wait for return call and write blog post while so doing

So there you have it.  What would you do?


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Damp. Moist. Wring me out and hang me up to dry.

Dear Widget,

I see that little white cap of a tooth.  Yes, you’re 3 months.  I know, you’ve had that white cap ever since you were 5 weeks old.  But really, it’s decision time.  Either teethe the tooth already, or stop drooling.

Seriously.

It’s excessive when I hold you for one minute on my shoulder and have a wet mark the size of a kiwi, with absolutely no vomit in it.  It’s excessive when you can’t lay on the floor for 10 minutes without gagging on your own saliva.

Not only that, but it makes me sad to hear you constantly coughing because you can’t swallow the drool fast enough.

So, that being said, let’s decide to either shut off the water main or get the tooth out so the drool lightens up.  I expect your answer by end-of-business tomorrow.

Love,
Mama

P.S. – There is absolutely nothing true about the fact I want to keep typing “droll” instead of “drool”.  This situation is not droll, nor does it look to become so at any point in the future.


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A saga, in three acts

SETTING: Carolina home, present time over the course of a week

 

ACT I.

A mother-in-law visits.  She is well-meaning and the visit is nice.  She takes many photographs of her grandson, and promptly changes all her Facebook everything to use those pictures.  This is to the chagrin of her daughter-in-law, the baby’s mother, because the grandmother receives outpouring of congratulations on how awesome the grandmother looks with the baby, and demands for more pictures.  The baby’s mother is annoyed that people feel they can demand unlimited pictures for Facebook.  Also, she is likely annoyed by the implication that she has the time to take pictures because clearly babies are easy and all you need to do is throw them at the wall like pasta and a well-cooked picture magically appears.

 

ACT II.

Our intrepid mother takes her not-yet-3-months-old son to the DMV in order to re-title and register a car, along with getting new plates.  This is done early in the morning, in an attempt to beat the lines.  The son has ideas other than cooperation, resulting in embarrassment and frustration for the mother, and annoyance for everyone else because they’re already at the DMV, an uncharted circle of Hell, and now there is a crabby baby in Hell with them.

 

ACT III.

Wherein our mother and baby are besieged by a father-in-law.  This man detests their mother-in-law/grandmother, and is an otherwise pushy and obnoxious fellow.  The heroine of this saga, our young mother, tolerates him with forbearance while making absolutely certain this man will never be involved in caring for the baby.  Perhaps this is unjust, holding a baby as hostage for good behavior, but the mother does not care.  Someone who believes that everything is about him and is older than 3 does not have sufficient empathy for being around the baby. Until the father-in-law establishes a pattern of repeated, respectful behavior with no derogatory comments toward the father of the baby, our young mother has no interest in pursuing a relationship and therefore the baby shall have none either.  This visit culminates in tension and the father-in-law’s departure is met with a sigh of relief and thanks to Odin (because this is a SAGA, and those are all Norse if the literature are to be believed…and I like thinking of myself as a Valkyrie).


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There is nothing worse…

My mother-in-law is coming to visit today, for the weekend.  Because she is allergic to dogs, this means I brush the dog really well and clean the house.  No problem.

I will also bathe Widget and make him appealing so she’ll forgive the crying and crankiness that is his colic (being slowly outgrown!!).  That right there?  HUGE PROBLEM.

It’s a problem because I know, I have known for days, that I must once again battle the Claws of Pain.  I hate the Claws of Pain the way Flick hates frozen telephone poles after his tongue stunt.  I hate the Claws of Pain the way we all hate that driver 3 cars in front of us who isn’t signaling before switching lanes while going 45 mph on the freeway.

In case you’re not familiar with the Claws of Pain, let me explain.

I cannot file Widget’s nails.  They’re too thin for me to manipulate, and trying to do so has resulted in blood and I will not tolerate that.  So I clip them.  I clip one halfway across and tear it the rest of the way.  I do this because I like them shorter than biting will accomplish and I’m incapable of just tearing the entire thing.  Like many babies, I’d imagine, Widget does not care for nail maintenance.  As a result, it takes about 30 minutes to cut 10 nails.  It’s a humongous PITA.  I hate it.  But if I don’t do it, his nails (that are clipped/torn straight across) grow longer.  Eventually the corners of the nail get long enough to feel.  Widget is grippy right now (not grabby because I still can’t get him to even bother to hold a damn toy, just my hair and his bib in front of his face at feedings), so that means the nails dig into my delicate neck-skin.  Hard.  Then he drags them along my neck.  They are the Claws of Pain.

The Claws of Pain are evil incarnate, and in our epic struggle, I’d say it’s a tie.


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I must be a terrible mother

You know all those moms out there, with the babies in outfits?  How when you go out, all the babies are looking cute in their onesies and pants and hats and all the other crap?

Mine doesn’t.  I don’t dress my baby in outfits.  Some days I barely dress him at all.

The whole truth is that for the first month of his life, he wore long-sleeve side snap shirts.  No pants, just shirts, because he would constantly vomit on himself and we needed to change his clothes 4 times a day and pants didn’t fit.  Now, all he wears are zip-up sleep and play coveralls.  No snaps here, because I don’t have time to deal with fastening them all.  No joke, I can’t be bothered with snaps because they take too much time.

I have only twice put my son in a onesie.  It’s too much effort to put it on over his head.  And pants still don’t fit him right, because he’s 23 inches long, and barely 11 pounds.

I keep telling myself once he’s older, like the next size up in clothes (3-6 months), I will dress him.  But today I realized that he is ready for that size, because he is long enough and the zip-up footies are getting too short.

Crap.  I mean well, and will try to start dressing him like a human.  But there are days where I can barely manage to get myself dressed, and knowing he’ll need to change outfits multiple times a day saps my will to live (with him in outfits, that is).

How do you collected and together moms manage to do this every day?  What am I missing here???