Some thoughts on life with a newborn:
He has an uncanny knack for knowing just when I’m about to even think about doing something (showering, writing, eating with two hands, heck, even just going to the bathroom) — and deciding that NOW he is hungry, NOW he needs attention, NOW he must be bounced for two hours.
He’s so serious. Such a quiet, thoughtful, observant little guy. He has a steady gaze and already seems like he’s staring at me with more clarity than I expected.
As for Alex and I — it’s like we both enrolled suddenly in a PhD program called “parenting,” but we are somehow also of the belief that we will continue to pursue all of our original jobs & functions, on far less sleep, while massively studying and learning up on this ever-changing phenomenon called “your child.”
The way you organize your life and time changes.
For example: when you have two hands, you don’t do things that would only require one hand unless it’s urgent. For example, I can watch TV or read a book with one hand, or no hands. I’ll put a TV show on while I change the fiftieth diaper of the last blurry three days. I’ll tap out a messy text-message with one hand while I’m nursing.
But when I have HANDS!
HANDS! Hands I will use to write and type furiously onto my computer. Hands I will use to take a glorious, delicious shower. I will not waste my time with two-hands to do something as frivolous as eating. I can eat with one hand while I’m nursing with Leo.
Nursing takes a tremendous amount of time. Maternity leave is nothing like a vacation.
I am with Leo every 2 hours, feeding him. The feedings can take 20 minutes to 45 minutes. Then we have burping, diaper changing, smiling, cooing, napping, and … then a brief moment of mama time.
(Um, also. Leo is the messiest eater. He bobs on and off, slurps a bit, drools a bit, spits up a bit, lets the nipple spray him… who knew that every single item of clothing I would have would be covered in milk? My next memoir will be called “Breastmilk Everywhere,” because that’s what my life is currently.)
My writing ideas are coming at me differently. I have to reorganize how I think about capturing ideas.
Sometimes I will resort to videos and dictation on my phone when the idea comes, and I’m strapped underneath the weight of a fourteen pound (and holy moly, he’s already 14 pounds!) human being who is munch-slurping furiously at my nipple.
This is my new life.
The life, as it is right now.
My new life consists of a delirious lack of sleep, shuffled around in increments of two to three hours; a whirlwind of never-ending diapers and poo explosions (who knew that newborns had such… LOUD… poop sounds? Apparently their digestive systems are so immature that they just BRRRAPPPPP fill the room right up!), and a non-stop, never-break-from pattern of nursing.
We are here.
This is right now.—