Friday, 27 July 2012

Anybody Still Out There?

Loooong time no see, blog o' mine.  Those first few weeks with Gracie were rough, let me tell you!  The question "How are you doing?" would bring hot and instant tears to my eyes, because I could feel the last vestiges of my old life slipping through my fingers.
"Remember when you used to just go to bed?"  I'd think to myself.  "Wash your face, brush your teeth, and lay your sweet little head on the pillow?"  In my new life, bed time meant a terrifying bath time experience with a shrieking, red-faced, Kiebler elf posing as my baby.  It meant many, many minutes of back ache inducing rock/walking, finished with a cirque du soleil-esque balancing act as I tried to lay Gracie down without waking her.  Then I would drag my bag of bones to my bed and lay my head down only to be woken several seconds later by my sweet needlet.  I remember crying hysterically to Jimmy at one point "I don't want to be sooo responsible for her every need!"  Guess I should've thought that one out a little better approximately ten months ago . . .
Bath time now invokes lady-like modesty and a micro smile.
But I can tell she's sm-eyes-ing a la Tyra Banks.
So, I thought I'd give you the Coles Notes version instead of letting my cyber tears ruin your coffee through every live long day of that beautiful transition period into motherhood. Thankfully, there were many real people over whom I could spill my real tears.  My own mother was very sympathetic, as were my sisters and sisters-in-law.  One of my friends understood my tears, after some explanation.
The convo went a little something like this:
Me: I just can't stop crying! (Said while cry-choking)
Friend: Aww, are you crying all the time because you love her so much? 
Then the tears came even harder because I was definitely not crying all the time because I loved her so much.  I was crying all the time because she terrified me!  I didn't know what to do with her, and no matter how many books I read, or whose advice I followed, I couldn't get a handle on her schedule.  Did it matter that anyone and everyone I knew who had ever come into contact with a real baby told me that a newborn will likely not follow much of a schedule?  No.  I kept reading my books when I should have been sleeping, looking for an answer.  One day Jimmy had to coax me off the ledge via phone when I called to cry to him while he was at work.  "I think it's great that you love to read books and try to find new ways to do things. But you know who's not reading all those books? Gracie."
He was right, of course.  Despite giving her my reading glasses and propping open The Baby Whisperer in front of her during tummy time (the chapter on Y, where moms are supposed to get You time - I wanted her to absorb all of that one, thank you very much, the faster the better) she wasn't toeing the line. 
Anyway, this is not turning out to be such a Coles Notes version, but I'm so certain you've missed my long windedness that you're basking in the warm glow of my complaints.  Long story short, and to everyone's relief, I do love my baby now!
Who wouldn't love this half grin?
Hormones having abated, and sleep being had at night (by Gracie, not by me - we have traded sleep patterns), I finally feel like I am doing something right, sometimes.  And what a great feeling it is, to be striving for halfway perfection, some of the time!  Well done, me!
As a reward for your patient reading, here is a gem from James, post partum edition. While at work after Gracie's birth, James was telling his co-workers all about life as a new parent. Then he threw in some details about my life as a new parent: "Yeah, Shel's back to her normal weight, but her stomach is still a little soft."
Just when you were starting to think he had a good head on his shoulders with his comment about all the parenting books above.  He fooled you!

 Look at how much bigger she is!
I'll be back later with some details of Gracie's birth story.  You've got to know there are some Gems from James in that one - at some very inopportune times - but my doctor had some gems of her own to put him in his place.  Worry not!