Well, we’re eight weeks deep now. On July 3rd my little one will be two months old going on five years, three days, and 16 hours. I’m guesstimating. If there is one mantra I’ve heard over and over since we brought her home from the hospital it’s, “It will get better. It will get easier.” This mantra is a pickle. There are some days where I long to hear other moms or dads say those words to me. Then there are days that I want to take duct tape and ply it over their mouths and say, “Will it get better? Will it?” And the sick thing? We have a good baby. She doesn’t scream incessantly, she cries when something is in fact wrong, she is beginning to fall into a sleep pattern, she’s pretty chill through the day, overall she is a good baby. Then witching hours happen, dairy sensitivities happen, wet diapers happen, over tired happens, life happens. It’s all too much for their little bodies. It’s too much for my little body.
I love my daughter. I love her so much that I am willing to sacrifice shredded cheese, milkshakes, and god given ice cream for who knows how long while I’m breastfeeding. I was talking with Tim and I said, “It’s crazy how fast I was willing to change my whole diet just in the hopes that it will make her more comfortable.” And it was. As soon as the nurse explained that Eva had tell tale signs of a dairy sensitivity I automatically wanted to know what I had to do to make it better. That night I got dinner that wasn’t made with milk and the next day I was that woman in the aisle reading every ingredient label while you just wanted to grab the Triscuits. My b, but you’re fine. I see why moms switch to formula when these hiccups happen because it’s all so overwhelming. Having the baby is overwhelming, breastfeeding is overwhelming, trying to keep your marriage in check is overwhelming, having a ton of people checking in on you or asking about how the baby is doing is overwhelming. Some days you want to stick your head in the margarita pitcher…I mean in the sand… yeah, the sand.
This whole experience so far has made me look back on so many experiences of my life. All the times I wondered how I was going to make it through. The first time I realized that I just had to wait and be patient because this too shall pass and when I look back it will be the blink of an eye in time. Having a baby has smacked all those other experiences into the realm where Space Jam took place, AKA really far from here. Having a babe smacked me into my own Space Jam reality. Time doesn’t make sense. Priorities get all whacked out. You tolerance of bodily fluids sky rockets. Hallucinations of a bunny playing basketball happens. And at 3:30 am when you are beyond exhausted a 11 pound little human is staring at you dead in the eyes almost communicating, “We do things on my time table now, woman. Buckle the eff up.” And if you don’t think my child will say “eff” in conversation before teenage years, clearly we’ve never met nor made eye contact.
It will get better. I’ve now said that mantra to other mothers who groggily drag themselves and their three week old baby into breastfeeding support group because I have been there. I have been you. And while five weeks doesn’t sound like a lot of difference it’s in baby weeks. Take whatever time frame you comprehend and add about three years onto it. That’s a week in baby time. Not only because they are hard weeks but your baby changes so much in those weeks. They pack so much developmental changes in a single week it makes Mickey Rouke’s plastic surgeon take a double look. It’s impressive. To me that’s what makes this all better. That’s what makes it tolerable. They change so much. They grow so fast. They’ve adapted to grow that fast so that they can protect themselves in their environments quicker but I also fully believe it’s so we’ll actually want to keep them around.
Eva is perfect and a genius (obviously) but if I had to take care of a blob that sleeps for 16 hours a day, feeds for the other four, and pooped for the last three for more than a few weeks, well let’s not think about it. Her becoming cooler is what has made this tolerable as the weeks go on. She’s becoming interactive. Today I said, “I love you” and she got a smile and then babbled. Am I saying she was saying, “I love you” in her own way? I wish I could believe that. I know the two incidents were coincidental. Do I think I said something to her and she reacted to my voice and the fact that she’s learned she controls these crazy sounds from her mouth box, yes, I think that’s more likely. But by god how cool of a coincidence. Someday I AM going to say that and this little voice is going to say it back. Some days she’ll even say it first. My heart melted today, I can only imagine that day that my face melts off because of the things she says. That’s how it’s been better. That’s how we’re getting through.
Babies, amIright? People try to prep you for how hard this is going to be. You have to go through it though. You have to have your own war stories. That’s where we are with them. A war story. It’s not always me against my baby but some nights when she is crying and crying and your offers to whatever spirit out there to make it stop for 10 minutes aren’t being heard, you feel it’s a me against the machine situation. Then the next morning you change their diaper and they look at you give you a huge smile and kick their little legs with excitement at your face. At those moments you realize that things are better, things will be better, they will get easier.