Life with a baby in real time. The following takes place between 12:00 am Tuesday and 12:00 am Wednesday.
12:00 am – Baby Evan is FINALLY asleep after two and a half hours of fussing, eating and throwing up on anything within a four foot radius. I wish he was in his co-sleeper but the only way he would let me put him down was in the swing. After 5 weeks, the click-click sound the swing motor makes is practically a lullaby to me and I’m going to snooze on the couch until his next feeding. E is upstairs passed out in our king sized bed all by himself. I’m trying to keep my jealousy to a dull roar, but the temptation to “accidentally” slam a few doors is pretty strong.
12:10 am – The next feeding turns out to be now. When I unwrap Baby Evan from his swaddle he stretches and then farts so loud he wakes up the dog, who glares at me and sighs a huge doggy sigh. I throw a magazine at him and daydream about a life with no pets while I feed the baby.
12:30 am – After one very dirty diaper and a few minutes of rocking, Baby is once again asleep in his swing. The pressure to get some sleep myself is actually keeping me awake.
3:42 am – Baby’s hungry noises wake me up. I decide to risk a run to the bathroom before feeding him. I’ve always liked to live dangerously. I make it back before the screaming starts.
4:10 am – Awwwww, he’s so cute and quiet while he nursing. Oh wait, now he’ done and the struggling has started. Having the gassiest baby in the world is a real challenge but watching how many shades of red he can turn is quite impressive. Grunt, grunt, grunt pffffffffftttttthhhhh. Diaper change!
4:15 am – I run to the sink and aim Evan just in time for him to puke. I am again reminded of the similarities between a drunk college student and my baby. But a least one pair of pajamas are safe…for now.
4:20 am – Baby fusses.
4:30 am – Baby fusses.
4:44 am – Diaper change. Swaddle. Begin go-to-sleep rocking/burping/shushing.
4:58 am – Put quiet baby in swing.
5:15 am – Baby is still awake. Turn on lullaby cd of special go-to-sleep music. Hey, it’s kind of relaxing! I really like the heartbeat in the background. It’s definitely going to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
6:00 am – E comes downstairs for breakfast (something he never ever does) and eats cereal loudly. Everything about his presence annoys the crap out of me and keeps me from sleeping. I consider divorce briefly but can’t reach the phone book from the couch.
6:10 am – E leaves, everyone sleeps.
7:45 am – Baby Evan starts making hungry noises again. Mooooooo time for breakfast! I pump 3 oz of milk off my fullest boob before I even latch him on, hoping to slow him down and maybe prevent some of the spit-up.
8:10 am – Change diaper, wash his face, dress him, and pop the baby in the sling. Feed cats, let out dog, feed dog, start laundry, fold yesterday’s laundry, brush teeth, brush hair, unload dishwasher, re-load dishwasher, let dog out again, eat bowl of cereal.
9:00 am – Adorable baby transferred from sling to swing. Check news, check blogs, make a few hilariously witty comments. Lie down for morning nap.
9:15 am – I remember I need to change the laundry and run upstairs. I take the opportunity to put on real pants for the first time in two days.
9:16 am – Evan sees my absence as his opportunity to try out a new skill: filling his socks with puke. He also gets his shirt, pants, hair, binky and swing.
9:17 am – Change the baby’s clothes. Repeat puking. Repeat clothes change.
9:32 am – Baby starts making angry velociraptor noises, signaling his desire to gnaw on some human flesh…also known as breastfeeding.
9:56 am – Done with the eating, baby wants to play. I try reading to him, singing, showing him the house, two different tummy time mats (BIG MISTAKE), light up toys, rattles – DIAPER CHANGE BREAK! – the swing, the bouncy chair, and the fourth hour of Today. That last one sends him completely over the edge into hysterical sobs.
10:45 am – I discover poop on the back of my hand. I briefly wonder how long it’s been there before I decide to abandon that line of thought and just wash it off.
10:47 am – Baby Evan’s screaming changes from “anger at my inability to provide proper entertainment” to “starving to death you evil evil woman”. Boob in the mouth it is.
11:00 am – Evan falls asleep with my nipple still in his mouth. I give him a few minutes to make sure he’s really out and then get him back in the swing.
11:15 am – Nap time for mommy too. I pass out almost immediately despite the screaming contestants on the Price is Right in the background.
12:00 pm – Awake again. Since it’s only been an hour since his last meal I distract Baby Evan with his pacifier and some cuddling. He keeps pretending to fall asleep until I’m about to nod off…then flails his arms around and spits out the paci. It’s not a very fun game.
12:38 pm – I can’t delay the feeding any longer. Booby time!
1:10 pm – Fed, burped, changed, dressed baby gets popped in the sling so I can finish the load of laundry I started at 8 am. We’re having a thunderstorm right now and the dog is following me around the house whining. It gets worse when the lighting hits something in town and the emergency vehicles start racing down my street. I daydream about selling him for a personal chef. Who am I kidding, I’d trade him for an extra-large pizza at this point.
1:30 pm – Lunch for me. I debate actually making something – by “making something” I mean putting together a sandwich or heating up chicken nuggets – but settle on Wheat Thins and hummus. No assembly required, no dishes to wash.
1:52 pm – Confident the baby is really asleep I sneak him out of the sling and into his cradle. I decide to make a sandwich after all. Then I eat a bag of pepperoni, the leftover salad from last night, two Diet Cokes and three Fudgecicles.
2:06 pm – Baby Evan pukes himself awake. I clean him off (mostly) and move him to the swing, hoping it will keep him asleep for a little while longer. The countdown for E to come home is on and the chance to take an uninterrupted nap is more delicious than anything left in my fridge. Baby burps and fusses and spits and farts like a fat man…but eventually passes out.
2:47 pm – Feeding time again. I take off Evan’s shirt so he smells less like curdled milk and latch him on.
3:00 pm – E’S HOME!
3:20 pm – Baby’s done eating and I hand him off for some daddy time. It starts with puking. Then more puking. I’m guessing the puking will continue for a while but I’m going to bed.
7:00 pm – I wake up to hugely swollen boobs. E let me sleep instead of waking for Baby Evan’s last feeding, which was extra nice of him considering how much Baby HATES the bottle. He ends up with more of it on him than in him. But all that thrashing was exhausting so my bundle of joy is all bundled up and asleep in the swing – again. I pump an entire bottle’s worth of milk (6 oz) out of the right side. People who have breastfed, try to hide how impressed you are.
7:10 pm – E goes for Wendy’s. I realize I am out of both chocolate and ice cream and search the pantry for dessert. Hmmm…how old is this boxed pound cake mix? Eh, I don’t think powdered cake expires. Pound cake it is!
7:30 pm – Grown ups are fed, just in time to see Baby’s eyes fly open with an audible POP. HEY GUYS WHAT DID I MISS? We respond with a pop of our own – binky into mouth. Quiet again although I already know it’s not going to last.
7:32 pm – We attempt to catch up on the TV from last night on our DVR. If Tivo was smart, they’d start advertising during “A Baby Story” on TLC: Record your shows so you can watch them when the baby’s NOT crying! No more infomercials at 3 am! Amaze your friends and family with your ability to talk about something that ISN’T baby related!
8:24 pm – Diaper change. Feeding time. Moo moo moo mooooo. He eats for a really long time, even switching boobs in the middle. After he’s done I let him lie in my lap and make baby noises for a while. My hope is the milk settles into his stomach instead of coming right back up.
8:52 pm – E burps the baby. Most of the milk comes back up. At one point Baby throws up into E’s work boot – although he wasn’t actually near the boot at the time.
9:20 pm – Swaddling really is a miracle. E rocks the baby to sleep to Adam Lambert singing “One” on American Idol. I wonder if my baby could grow up to be that fabulous. Maybe I should start hiding my eyeliner now.
11:20 pm – Baby is still asleep. E goes upstairs to bed. I use the quiet moment to check my email, upload some pictures from my camera and refill my water bottle. I settle onto the couch with my blanket and my pillow and my book, prepared to read until it’s time for the next feeding. The news tells me that tomorrow will be gorgeous, warm and sunny, and I make plans in my head to walk to the library with the baby. There’s almost zero chance of that actually happening but the thought is nice. Too bad the thought doesn’t burn any calories.
11:55 pm – My leg is wet. It takes me a full two minutes to figure out that my breast has begun leaking. Through my bra, through my tank, through my sweatshirt, and now it’s dripping onto my lap. I put my nighttime cotton nursing pads in.
12:00 am – Day starts all over again. Hey, maybe this one will include a shower! Or at least some serious eye cream and a mascara. This is what exhausted looks like:
For the record, I am smiling as much as physically possible right now.