I write this under the cover of my duvet.
I’m tired, but I’m wired. I can’t sleep because I’m so nervous that I’ll have to wake up again as soon as I hit my deepest slumber. This is torturous.
Have I mentioned how our home is a mess?
It’s been taken over by colorful, BULKY, immovable pieces of furniture that clash with our décor. The constantly running washer and dryer provide non-stop background music in our apartment, and I can’t think for a minute. My mind is really fuzzy. Is this the “mommy brain” I keep hearing so much about? Does it end at some point? I feel like my head is filled with marshmallow fluff.
“C’mon Vikki,” I whisper to myself in desperation. “Get your shit together!” I try, SO HARD. But I just can’t seem to.
We’re running out of diapers. Andy says I should comparison shop online. Okay. I don’t know where I’m supposed to find the time to comparison shop for baby goods, between Diapers.com, BuyBuyBaby, and Drugstore.com. I’ve never used these sites or these coupons in my life. With visions of a diaperless, exploding poopy baby running around in my head, I try to concentrate on getting the diapers while trying to justify the exorbitant price of Dreft to a skeptical husband. Is it Amazon that’s the least expensive? But the second I wrap my head around it, the baby poops, wakes up, or cries...and just like in the Matrix, my mind is wiped clean. Hmm, I wonder if the inspiration for that came from mommy amnesia?
My mum had enough, and has left for her blissfully quiet, clean, 9 hours of sleep a night, spacious home. All the way on the other side of the world. And I’m here, maneuvering around the pack’n’play, which has taken over the living room, and banging my toe on the Bugaboo that has taken up residence in the foyer. The freaking chiming nursery rhymes from this Mamaroo are giving me a headache, as cool as it is to watch in action. Oh, and the baby really dislikes it, so it’s actually useless to us now. A major point of contention in our home. I keep hoping he’ll grow into it (because we’ve already thrown away the box it came in), but Andy wants it banished forever. Wait until I tell him that I still need to buy a rocker to help with the reflux the baby has developed.
Ahhh Reflux. I never knew you until I had him. And when I had him, I couldn't believe that babies could get acid reflux. Isn't that just for guys who eat too late and drink too much, and for pregnant women, of course? This means that every time I hear a tinny, retching sound over the monitor, I need to wake up, change a squalling, vomit covered baby from head to toe, soothe him, and change the sheets. On my own. In relative darkness. As much as I love my birthing coach, I really curse her for advising me to not engage the services of a nurse. I need a nurse. Of course, now it’s too late. But I vow I shall get one with the next baby.
If there is a next baby.
Probably not, come to think of it. I don’t really want to be doing this all over again. At least not for a few years. Maybe mommy amnesia will take over completely and my brain will only retain the more affable memories of pregnancy, delivery, recovery, and caring for a newborn!
So…this also means we’ve done the unthinkable. We moved the crib into our room. Out went the pack'n 'play, and in came the gigantic crib. Andy is not exactly thrilled (partly because it wouldn’t fit through our bedroom door so he had to dismantle it and put it back together again in our room.) But if I’m the only one waking up in the night, I need to be near the baby.
Yes, I’m well aware that I live in an apartment. But in the dark, cold night, saving those few steps to the nursery makes a big difference! And this way I’m not lying awake all night, wondering if I heard a retching sound or not. Wow, my tolerance for vomit has gone up exponentially.
I sent my mum an email saying that our baby rules our household with his tiny, iron fist. “How cuuuute!” she gushed in response. Cute?! He’s like a mix between Stalin and a vampire. It’s been really hard for us to reconcile ourselves to this new life. I think we both assumed that the baby would just move in and we’d live our lives as close to normal as possible. But we didn’t think that he would suddenly take over every square inch of space, and we’d be living in his house, and on his schedule.
As if it’s not enough to wake up every few hours, I wake up drenched in a cold sweat every night. To the point where I need to change my pajamas. I read somewhere (well, WedMD, my new best friend) that this is the body’s way of losing the water it retained during the pregnancy. But this is getting to be ridiculous. And I have a constant recurring nightmare that I brought the baby to bed and fell asleep, so in addition to waking up covered in sweat I wake up terrified, clutching the bed clothes in the darkness, fearing he has gotten lost somewhere among the pillowy folds of the duvet. I have actually woken Andy up numerous times to frantically howl at him “WHERE’S the baby?!” Obviously, he is not best pleased, and thinks I’m insane.
I am insane.