April 5th, 2011

My Newbie

Kate Chretien

Well, it’s been 4 weeks since I had my bruiser of a boy. Yes, 9 lbs 11 oz! The fact that he came out (the usual way) in two pushes was, at first, a point of pride for me. “9 lbs 11 oz, 2 pushes!” I proudly proclaimed on my Facebook status update. But then it dawned on me that it is absolutely frightening that I was able to push out that ginormous baby in 2 pushes. I mean, either I have hips of folklore berth or my parts have transformed (degenerated) into a bonafide baby chute, kind of like those enclosed water slides at water parks. That’s right: my body is a water park ride for super-sized babies. Maybe I should join the circus.

Ah, but for the past four weeks, I’ve come to remember all the parts of having a newborn that I had long forgotten.  I mean, I had remembered that babies need to feed every 2-3 hours in the beginning, but I had forgotten exactly what it was like to actually be stuck in that feeding position for such a large part of the day. (Gets old fast!) I had remembered that there is very little sleep to be had in that first month, but not exactly what it felt like to have tiredness set in to my every fiber. (Not so fun!) I’ve sent half-written emails. (Um…duhhhhh…) Snapped at my other kids out of exhaustion and frustration. (Evil tired mommy!)  I’ve studied my jiggly-wiggly abdomen for signs of a muscle, any muscle. (None found! Pass me the Spanx catalog!)

But, also, I’ve come to remember –and savor—the absolutely delightful parts of having a newborn.

-His downy hair and soft, soft skin.

-A perfectly sized hand to grasp my one finger.

-All the sounds: grunts, gasps, sighs, beeps, and other utterances that sound downright R2D2

-His closing eyelids, occasionally accompanied by a flash of a smile (or gas, whatever)

-After feeding, picking him up to burp on my shoulder and having him stretch both arms overhead and throw his head back with eyes closed, as if saying a drunken YESSSSS!

-His flared lips when feeding

-Also when feeding, how he’ll nonchalantly stop to have an explosive bowel movement, then go back to peaceful eating without missing a beat

-His baby smell

-A complete lack of subtlety when he’s trying to suckle my shirt, arm, and gnaw off his hand. Boob is coming as fast as I can! Keep your onesie on!

-His still-frogged legs

-How small and perfect he is cradled in my arms

Maybe because he’s our third and our last, I’m enjoying him so much right now. It makes the long sleepless nights more bearable and even the cries, bittersweet.  The 100 diaper changes a day? Eh- could do without them.

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This Weeks Tip

Here’s a great cure for one of life’s most painful little nuisances: the paper cut. Dab a small drop of non-toxic Super Glue (or Krazy Glue, or other strong bond adhesive) on the cut. This adhesive bonds the skin together and prevents air and dirt from getting in, relieving the pain. Just be careful not to touch anything until the glue dries, unless you want it to be a permanent fixture! (Note: this solution is not recommended for cuts or scrapes larger than a paper cut.)