The Deadman from Death Valley

A month or two ago, I could sling my baby on my hip, grab the carrier, diaper bag, look put together and even remember to brush my teeth. I would head out the door, to arrive somewhere (what?!) on time. My baby would be all smiles and as I sipped my coffee and chatted with friends I would revel in the nice 8 hours of sleep I got in last night. I would think, “Gee, what’s all the fuss about?” What I should have been thinking is, “Uh oh. Whenever you get all smug (Oh, I got this), that usually means the universe is about to check you big time.”

Now I look like this.

I learned a lot about what my baby was doing and how she (and I) were growing during pregnancy, but I feel like along with all of the other information the doctor’s office gives you, they should also hand out a pamphlet that says

Congratulations! This next few months will be heartbreakingly wonderful. You’re going to love this little one so much it will surprise even you.

But, be forewarned, you’re going to look gross for like, 7 months. Your daughter is going to pull out one of your earrings on a daily basis and you’re going to walk around looking like a pirate. And everything you think you know? Be ready to chuck it. You don’t know as much as you think you do. Get ready, you’re going to love it.

And I do. So much. But these past few weeks have been an adventure in me adjusting my perceptions of myself, between what I said I was going to do and the reality of what I really am doing, and of what I’m able to do. Between the feelings I have when I walk by the kitchen and know there are dishes that need to be done, but that I also need to call a friend and catch up on life.

Today Tony and I took Addie to the pediatrician because of a few things, least of which is our angel who formally slept 8-10 hours a night does not anymore. Its been going for a while and I’m a my wits end. There are very few things I need to function, but a healthy amount of sleep is one of them, and coffee is the other. Our regular pediatrician was out, and the Doctor we saw talked us through the ‘crying it out’ method, something we’ve been doing this week, hence the reason I look like the Undertaker.

I know theres really nothing that the hospital, a friend, or a book, can tell you to get you ready for all that parenting entails, and I’m only four months in. All I’m truly learning is that I can never say never, thats ‘rolling with the punches’ means so much more to me now, and that I should have deeply appreciated those tropical vacations and nights of uninterrupted sleep when they were here. Although I wouldn’t trade stumbling out of my bed blindly at 3:30 in the morning to calm a crying infant for any of it.