HOLD THE PHONE. In the everyday life of a bubs, extraordinary things can happen. Out of the clear blue sky. A recommendation from a friend of a friend has made my life so much better. That, and Season 2 of Eastbound & Down. Do swaddle the bubs from Day One.
When our girl was born, she was wrapped in a couple of green towels. As she was passed from one pair of doting arms to the next, through that long day where Nuv and I survived and stayed awake on pure adrenaline and love, those towels slowly loosened themselves.
Come nighttime, every time I attempted to lay her down into the hospital bassinet, she woke from her dead sleep to let me know THIS WAS NOT COOL MAMA. I spent that entire first night holding her, while my freezing wore off down below and I ached and ached and bled and sweat and she cried and cried when I changed her bum, so much so I wheeled us into the bathroom so as to not wake up the entire ward and Nuv who was trying to sleep on the bed. Why I didn't stumble down the hall and ask for some help from the nurses, I do not know.
Instead I went into the 60th hour of sleeplessness, with my contacts STILL IN, laying on a sh*tty chairbed looking out the window, holding a girl who just needed to be more snug. I could have started this whole adventure so very differently if she'd slept by herself that night. Could have saved myself a minor breakdown inside the hospital elevator, could have had Nuv back in our bed weeks ago...oh the regrets! They are tart in my mouth. I even had six swaddlers sitting here, using them to just bundle her lower half on cooler nights.
The Internet at heart can be used for good. That’s why I write this down, because my loss can be a new Mama’s gain. Let’s help each other. These bubs are the most complicated new toys ever; we have to share the answers. It’s our jobs as new Mamas. Let’s do it right. Swaddle. Wrap the bubs up like a mini Hannibal Lecter, tight tight tight, and they will sleep like an SOB. The last two nights I got her to crash for two chunks of glorious time (5-6 HOURS), in her own bed. I'm totally going to submit the swaddling fabric for a Pulitzer. We now return you to your (ir)regularly scheduled post...
Do eat before everybody else, like the grumpy hypoglycemic kid at Thanksgiving, because if you try and eat simultaneously with your husband, even if the bubs is fed, bathed, clean and lullabied, she will pop awake at the sound of two forks hitting plates at the same time.
Do read to the bubs, even when you catch her watching community college ads on tv instead of being fascinated with what the very hungry caterpillar has eaten now.
Today's last Do is a crucial piece of advice I ignored until recently. Because I knew better. As a rookie Mama, I need to cut that sh*t out. Listen to elders, hell, listen to google even. Drumroll please… Sleep when they sleep.
My first instinct when I heard this was: that’s retarded. Why that reaction? Sigh. Deep deep to your toes yoga sigh. Because that's the only time you have to be you. And clean the gunk out of the corners of the bathroom floor, bathe yourself, eat handfuls of chocolate chips, prep dinner other than pizza pops, fold your husband’s couch bedding up and into the hall closet, look online at what the rest of the world is up to, write (sweet jesus my fingers are aflame with the pent up itch of not being able to write), take off months old toe nail polish, unload the dishwasher, and on and on.
But, the rub is they're right. All the life chores can wait. Your mental and physical health both completely shattered with a lack of sleep cannot wait. So I learned to stop feeling lazy or guilty this week and crash when she crashed for her morning nap. And man, have the circles under my eyes lost a shade of purple. And the stove hasn’t collapsed under the weight of ungathered crumbs. It’s not save the world (or even whales) advice, it just is working really f*cking well for me right now.