Sunday, October 19, 2014

Life before and after baby - a then and now comparison

I say a lot of things sarcastically, but this is not one of them. This weekend was one I'd been fantasizing about for a long, long time.

Not because I finally had a cider donut. But it was awesome.

Why do all my pictures have random feet in them?
 Not because I finally had a poorly photographed glass of wine. But I did.
Because this.

I can't even stand it.
I could barely even wait for the pee to dry on the test before I got my nephew on FaceTime to tell him he was going to have a cousin. He wasn't even one and a half at the time, so he wasn't terribly impressed, but his mom was excited enough for both of them.

I could go on and on and on about all the love and cuteness from their visit, but this is a public blog and that sounds better suited for my personal memoirs. So instead, I'll do a little comparison of life with and without a baby: now and then.

Obviously, caring for a newborn means my day to day life has been turned upside down. But I'm on maternity leave and literally doing nothing but caring for Dalton. I feel like it's not real life yet since I'm not balancing it with other responsibilities.

This weekend I actually saw people and did things, and started to get just the teeniest tiniest inkling of how life as a mom is a bit different from before.

Then: When my sister and I visited each other, we'd engage in competitions. Let's just say flipping cups was involved.

Now: My sister and I engaged in competitions. To see who could complete the fastest diaper change (she won).

Her teammate was much more cooperative.
 Then: On Saturday nights, we would get dressed, grab our purses and go out.

Now: Well, first we had to provide a toddler lunch. Then naptime. Then the baby needed to eat. Then we needed to make sure we had the sippy cup, spare diapers, coats, pacifier, burp cloth, blanket, try to catch the toddler before he ran down the stairs in impatience because it was taking forever to get the baby in his car seat (because his parents are still learning). Once we finally got to our destination, the pumpkin farm, around 5pm (which was only a mile away, BTW, but we needed two cars), we had to get everybody out of their car seats and get the baby in to the Ergo. Parents of two or more kids - you deserve a medal if you go literally anywhere. ANYWHERE.

But we all made it.
Then: Eric and I sometimes went places like restaurants or bars on Saturday nights.

Now: We went on a hayride.

And I looked really tired.
Then: Eric liked to do activities meant for children.
Now: Some things don't change.

"My child is too young to enjoy this? DON'T CARE."
Then: Dance parties

Now: Dance parties (ignore my voice I was trying to FaceTime my mom in and having technical difficulties).

Dalton and I also went to my good friend Conor's baby shower this weekend - her little boy will be here next month! I can't wait for us to meet him! (ETA - I just realized I totally changed the writing style for this part but oh well I'm not redoing it now blogging isn't graded.)

Mimosa in a baby bottle - how cute is that?
As a 31 year old woman, this isn't my first rodeo when it comes to attending showers. But going with your baby is a horse of a different color.

Then: RSVP to the shower.
Now: RSVP to the shower via unnecessarily long email explaining that I don't know if I'm coming because I just had a baby and I want to go but I'm scared about taking him out so I'll do a trial run and get back to you. A week later get an email back saying I sent the email to the wrong person because typing on very little sleep is hard, apparently.

Then: Light breakfast before the shower to save room for all the deliciousness sure to come.
Now: Light breakfast before the shower because Dalton eating and actually showering myself take precedence and I run out of time.

Then: Get dressed in a cute, weather and event appropriate outfit.
Now: Frantically go through my closet trying to find something that
A. easily allows me to whip the girls out
B. doesn't have a zipper or buttons (because get real)
C. hides the belly
D. For an extra challenge it's about 20 degrees colder than every other day so far. Although that's not necessarily a factor because of crazy hormonal hot flashes (see above pumpkin farm picture where everyone but me is in jackets and pants and I'm in short sleeves and a thin skirt).

Settle for just A and B and decide to hold the baby over my midsection.

Then: Get in the car and drive to the shower. Either rock out or listen to a book on tape.
Now:  Check the weather obsessively to decide what Dalton should wear and layer him up. Gather everything Dalton's ever owned (see above re: pumpkin farm preparation), plus the gift. Put him in his car seat. Carefully arrange his blanket to block the sun from his eyes. Start driving Dalton starts screaming. Decide I'm the worst mother ever and that I'm not going. Pull over to 711. Give him his pacifier. He's fine. Continue to the shower with radio on so low I can't even tell what song is on and turn it off every minute to make sure I can still hear him sucking and therefore breathing.

Then: Get a gift off the registry. Any gift, she choose them, who cares, baby stuff is boring.
Now: Forget to get a gift. Realize the shower is in two days. Look at the registry while breastfeeding and get sucked in to trying to figure out what baby item will get me more sleep. Order a diaper genie and some other stuff for in store pickup and frantically try to put credit card information in one handed like 6 times before I get it right. Race to Babies R Us in between feedings and realize the diaper genie is giant and I'll never be able to get it and the baby anywhere and why didn't I just choose something like a freaking crib sheet?

Then: Arrive at shower, greet mom to be, chat with friends.
Now: Arrive at shower hauling the baby in the car seat and the diaper bag, tell people no one can touch the baby, tell a reliable friend to watch him and DON'T LET PEOPLE TOUCH HIM IT'S FLU SEASON FOR THE LOVE OF GOD while I make a second trip out to the car to get the damn diaper genie that's ten feet tall. Finally attempt adult conversation but it's really more like this scene from when Carrie first visits Miranda and newborn Brady on Sex and the City (NSFW!).

Then: Stuff my face with delicious food and booze.
Now: Feed Dalton, ask friend who has now been relieved of baby guard duties to get me something to eat as she refills her drink. When she asks what, tell her anything I can eat one handed, then have her hold the plate as I cram a mini sandwich down my throat before it's time for a diaper change.

She saved me.
Then: I could take or leave holding a baby. I do not feel in any way qualified to care for a baby.
Now: The shower's host who I've never met, (my friend's aunt) offers to hold Dalton so I can eat. I politely (hopefully) decline because I'd rather starve. To death, if necessary. She insists. I tell myself that many, many other people are capable of caring for babies. This is evidenced by the world being full of functioning, healthy adults. I acquiesce and hand him over and she goes in the other room (because still - flu season) and gulp down some food that I don't even taste and drink that little bit of mimosa pictured while my heart is pounding and I feel sick. Dalton is fine and loves it and is well cared for and doesn't even know he's not with me.

Then: Put my gift with the others and suffer through a million "oh so cute!" onesies and weird crap that I don't care about and finally watch as the mom to be opens my gift.
Now: Alternate between panicking because I can't see Dalton and watching raptly to see what other baby products I don't know about that I might need to fill up all the empty space we have (sarcasm, every inch has baby items). Get confused when she gets to the end and hasn't opened mine. Try to figure out if I brought it to the wrong room, or in my reduced mental state, maybe even the wrong house. Get up and look for it and my friends tell me it was opened while I was changing a diaper. Mystery solved.

Tell me a story about something you were needlessly paranoid about to make me feel better, please and thanks.



  1. Eric is really going to enjoy fatherhood. Those pumpkin patch pics of him crack me up.

    I'm having anxiety for you about the shower. Maybe you should stay in doors a little longer.

  2. It's so weird to read all of the comparisons but now that my girls are much older, most of these are in the past. It's hard having babies. It's so much work. BUT it really doesn't last forever and I am sort of thankful for that. When I want to leave the house now, all I have to do is say "lets go girls!" There is only one flaw to this. On more then one occasion, Makenzie got into the car, we drove away from the house only for her to say to me about 5 minutes later "I forgot shoes". Who does that?!

  3. Maybe you are aware of this, but a nursing mother makes antibodies to the germs around her and those antibodies are present in her milk. So breastfeeding during flu season is great protection for your baby. I know it is very nervewracking, but at least Mother Nature kinda has your back on this. Me and my hubby got a stomach virus and my nursing baby was fine.


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