Thursday, January 26, 2012

a day in the life of baby and me

since becoming a mama, some of my friends have asked me things like: do you really not get to shower some days? and: newborns sleep, like, 16 hours a day, right? sounds pretty easy! 

so i thought it'd be fun to keep a log of a typical day with a five-week-old. it's definitely not easy.

here it goes...

8 a.m. when jeff leaves for work, evie stirs. she's making that cough-like sound in the back of her throat that means only one thing: i'm hungry! i scoop her up from the cradle that sits next to our bed and free her from the straightjacket-like swaddle she's been in for the last two hours. with a nursing pillow, iphone, water bottle, burp cloth and baby in tow, i shuffle downstairs to the couch. evie starts to cry, expressing her "late stage of hunger," according to one of the many baby books i read during pregnancy. i watch the today show through bleary eyes while she sucks down breakfast.

8:20 a.m. evie twists and grunts. she stops sucking for a moment, lifts her little eyebrows and releases an explosive, runny poop into her tiny diaper. i can't help but chuckle at the sound of it.

8:40 a.m. breastfeeding is done. i let evie stretch a bit (see below) before putting her over my shoulder for a few good burps and, most likely, a whole lot of spit-up.    

8:50 a.m. despite evie's screams of protest, i change her diaper and take off her fleece pajamas covered in spit-up. she thrashes her little legs while crying. i try to comfort her with kisses and a gentle hand on her chest, but she's inconsolable. (hey, i wouldn't like having my clothes ripped off by a giant, either!) as fast as i can, i put her in a onesie and pants and wrap her in a soft blanket, then pick her up and rock her while shhhhh-ing.

9:15 a.m. evie's crying has stopped but she's fussing and whining. one wrong move and she'll launch into an all-out wail. i pace through the living room, bouncing her on my shoulder while singing along to the radio. she seems to like it.

9:45 a.m. evie's asleep! i walk her upstairs to the nursery and gently place her in her crib. i tiptoe out of the room.

10 a.m. i get the video and audio monitors hooked up in the kitchen. i pour myself a bowl of cheerios and peel a banana, hoping i'll have enough time to scarf down breakfast and take a shower before she wakes up.

10:15 a.m. evie's awake. and hungry.

10:20 a.m. i feed her again. this time i check emails and read the latest tips from the "what to expect the first year" iphone app.

11 a.m. i change evie's diaper while she screams bloody murder.

11:20 a.m. after more rocking, bouncing and shhhh-ing, she's happy enough for "tummy time." on a fleece blanket, i put her on her tummy and lay down next to her.

11:21 a.m. evie's crying. i try calming her with a pacifier and more bouncing.

11:40 a.m. the fussing has stopped and evie's still wide awake, so i sit her on my lap and show her a photo album. "this is daddy, and that's grandpa, and that's uncle steven..."

12:05 p.m. evie's fast asleep in my arms. the corners of her mouth turn up in a smile and i wonder what she's dreaming about. she's so precious! i lay her down in a bassinet in the living room. i curl up on the couch next to it.

1:03 p.m. evie's grunting and letting out that cough-like cry again. i jump up off the couch to check on her.

1:05 p.m. we're back on the couch. i watch an episode of "what not to wear" while breast-feeding.

1:23 p.m. another explosion from the diaper area, this time dirtying her onesie and pants.

1:40 p.m. i change evie's diaper. and entire outfit. again. she doesn't cry this time. we walk around the house and i jabber on about nothing she can understand. when we pass a mirror, i stop and say, "who's that pretty girl?" she looks toward the mirror but seems to be staring into space. when we get bored, i sink back down onto the couch and read "us weekly" magazine aloud to her, cover to cover.

2:50 p.m. evie's fighting sleep. she's swaddled, sucking on a pacifier and swaying with me in a rocking chair.

3 p.m. she's out like a light.

3:05 p.m. i notice the house looks like it was hit with a tornado. the clean freak in me decides i can't shower or sleep until the bed is made, the blankets and burp rags are picked up off the floor, the dishwasher is unloaded and the cat box doesn't smell like sewage. i get to work.

4:28 p.m. i finish just in time. evie's awake and hungry.

4:30 p.m. i feed her.

5:02 p.m. jeff is home from work. hallelujah! he gives me a kiss. (have i brushed my teeth today? i can't remember.) jeff's just in time to burp evie and change her diaper, which he does gladly. he's excited to see his baby girl.

5:10 p.m. time to pump. (we'll need enough bottles stocked up for when evie starts daycare.) pumping still feels uncomfortable and weird, but i gather my supplies, slump onto the couchagainand turn on the machine. i feel like a cow.

5:30 p.m. i'm done pumping. i wash the plastic pieces and store the milk while jeff plays with evie. and then there's a horrible pain in my stomach. i've hardly eaten anything all day! i grabbed plenty of handfuls of whatever was in the fridge every time i walked by it, yes, but string cheese and blueberries hardly make for sufficient meals. starving, i search the freezer for something easy to heat up for dinner.

5:50 p.m. i eat my lasagna with one hand while holding evie as she drifts off to dream land.

6:10 p.m. evie's sound asleep. i remember her laundry hamper is packed to the brim, so i throw a load in the washing machine. jeff and i turn on a movie.

7:15 p.m. time to breast-feed.

8 p.m. jeff and i change evie's diaper while she screams. (one of us changes her, the other tries to calm her.) we slip her into a nightgown and swaddle her. it's amazing how those swaddles can stop even the loudest, most intense cries!

8:27 p.m. after the crying spell is over, evie and i settle into the rocking chair in her nursery. i read "the three little pigs" out loud, even though she can't understand a word of it. she drifts off to the sound of my voice. i lay her down her in the cradle.

8:30 p.m. evie's awake. and fussing. i turn the white noise machine up as loud as it will go and sit in the dark bedroom, rocking her to the sound of ocean waves crashing against the shore. it's enough to knock me out. i'm exhausted.

8:56 p.m. she's snoozing soundly once again. i make my way back downstairs to jeff and the movie, but who am i kidding? i'll fall asleep the second my head hits the couch. forget it. i turn around, start back up the stairs and climb into bed without even changing out of the sweats i wore all dayand last night. (ew.)

11 p.m. more breast-feeding.

11:45 p.m. jeff changes evie's diaper on the floor next to our bed. she's crying.

11:50 p.m. frustrated, i rock and shhhh her. i think about the day we've had and wonder how long her fussiness and my exhaustion will last. a few more days? weeks? months? i close my eyes to hold back the tears. when i open them and look down at my little girl, she's smiling at me. her quiet smile is so deliberate, so thoughtful, as if to say, "thanks, mom, for everything you've done for me. keep it up. i promise it'll pay off!" this smile is different from the others she's flashed this week. her mouth is closed and her eyes penetrate mine. it's grown up. for a second i'm convinced she's an old soul who's been here before, back to remind me that being a mother is a tough job, but i'm doing great so far. i tear up again, this time because i'm happy.  

12:35 a.m. evie's finally asleep. i lay her in her cradle.

12:42 a.m. apparently her new trick is pretending to be asleep until i lay her down. now she's awake and fussing, wanting to be held. i scoop her up, and within seconds she's "asleep" again.

12:55-2 a.m. we play this game for awhile.

3 a.m. breast-feed.

3:35 a.m. diaper change.

6 a.m. breast-feed

6:28 a.m. diaper change.

8 a.m. breast-feed. and our day starts all over again.