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Charlotte Shea is two months and one week old. I don’t even know how that happened. One week she was a tiny little chicken who made me cry 24 hours a day and now she is a chubby little monkey who makes my heart so full of joy that I am certain I will spontaneously combust. At two months our lives are still pretty much the same as they were at one month, except everything is SO. MUCH. BETTER. She sleeps 5 hours straight for her first stretch of the night and then sleeps another 3 or so after eating, so I’m consistently getting some good sleep and not looking like Elvira the Witch Princess every day. She doesn’t really like to nap during the day, but that’s really fine by me if it means she sleeps better at night. She enjoys her $40 bouncy seat over her $250 mamaroo right now, so she’s already learning how to waste money on shit we didn’t need. I’m hoping she starts to like it again when she gets a little bigger, but if not I’m selling that baby spaceship on eBay. She’s starting to take a pacifier occasionally which means my boobs get to be put away for longer periods of time. Hip hip hooray!
Oh the smiling. The smiling KILLS ME. I can’t even take it. She is the happiest around 8 am when she wakes up for the day and everything makes her smile and coo and I just want to die. I can’t even explain how much I love it when she smiles at me. I would literally stand on my head and shoot glitter out of my ass if it made Charlotte smile. I am one of those moms now…
She has a fussy period every night around 7 when she hates every single person on earth except for me. She screams bloody ass murder unless I’m holding her and I usually need to feed her until she calms down. This can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more, so thank God I’ve figured out how to nurse laying down. I love that she finds comfort in me and looks for me to make her feel better, but some nights I really just want to take a shower and relax. I’m sure when she’s older and no longer has these melt downs I will miss them terribly though.
She’s still spitting up like a vomit geyser and I still can’t eat any dairy (I accidentally ate something with butter in it and that was a nightmare) but now that I know vomit is officially a part of my life it’s easier to deal with. I really miss cheese though. I want a grilled cheese so bad that sometimes I feel like I’m in a mirage. You know how people die of thirst in the desert and before they die they see pools of imaginary water? That’s what I’m going through. I sit here and see pools of imaginary grilled cheese sandwiches. And chicken parm sandwiches. And nachos. And really just sheets of melted cheese that I can lie in like a hammock. One day we shall meet again.
I absolutely adore my life as Charlotte’s mama. I still have two more months until I go back to work (that’s another post for another day) and I plan on enjoying every hour of every day that I spend with her. She is really just the best little girl I could have ever asked for. Vomit queen and all.
Breastfeeding was a decision I made long before I got pregnant with Charlotte. In truth, I wanted to breastfeed because I’ve always wanted bigger boobs and the ability to lose pregnancy weight faster, but the health benefits were also an added plus. Other than labor and delivery, the beginning of my nursing relationship with Charlie was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I got bigger boobs alright, and they felt like rocks strapped to my chest and hurt something awful. Every time the baby had to eat I would cringe inside (okay, I also sobbed on the outside too..) because it was so hard to get her to latch and then when she did finally latch it was equivalent to 10 million tiny needles stabbing my nipples. (Side note: I just realized I hate the word nipples.) I don’t know about any of you, but I wasn’t used to someone gnawing on my boobs 10-12 times a day. The first two weeks were really just the worst, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. My husband and and my mom were so supportive and every time I wanted to quit they would reassure me, and now Charlie and I are old pros. I can feed her in public without batting an eye now, which is good because Charlotte’s hunger screams are like actual murder screams. If I don’t feed the child fast enough she claws at her face and wails like I am sticking bamboo under her fingernails and she starts sweating like a beast. So she basically acts just like me when I’m hungry. I’m usually really good about feeding her as quickly as possible so we can avoid this scenario. Except for yesterday, when the LIE was bumper to bumper and Charlotte woke up with 35 minutes remaining of the journey. And so the screams began. I could see her face in the mirror turning shades of magenta that would make a nice nail polish color. We could call it “Hunger Screams” by Essie. I had to make the decision of whether or not to get off the highway or to test out my theory that a child could actually kill themselves by crying. With a mile to go to an exit, I endured the screaming just long enough for her to start gagging herself, pulled over and fed my sweaty, screaming baby on the side of the road where a chinese man kept skating by my car on his skateboard for his afternoon entertainment. File that under things I’d never thought I’d do.
Is it weird that sometimes I find myself just staring at Charlotte when she sleeps? Like not just looking at her but full on, not wanting to blink staring. I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than a sleeping child, and that’s not just because they are quiet and not screaming, puking or crapping all over, but because they are literally perfect when they sleep. Charlotte has the longest eyelashes that curl in a way I only wish mine could. She has the prettiest blue eyes that sometimes look gray and I pray they stay this color. Her nose is like a little whoville nose that curves up when you look at her profile and her lips are to die for. I want to kiss her face until I burst because she is just so beautiful! I really can’t even take the love I have for her sometimes. I sound like a mushy fool, I know, but I can’t help it!
In other news, she’s been sleeping longer stretches at night (except for Saturday night when she decided to stay awake with me and Eric for 3 hours) and last night I actually slept from 11:30-7:30. SAY WHAT. I’m so refreshed I could run a marathon. And by marathon I actually mean sit on the couch and watch TV without nodding off. Woohoo!!
Charlotte is two months old today which is just ridiculous to me because seriously where the hell is the time going? I don’t want her to grow so fast! This is bullshit. She also has to go to her 2 month checkup today and get lord knows how many needles. I AM NOT PREPARED FOR THIS. Everyone told me to just nurse her the second the shots are over so I plan on standing there with my boobs out. Would it be too much to hover over her and shove it into her mouth as she gets the needles? I really hate this part. My poor little chunky monkey. Here’s hoping the appointment is as painless as possible for Charlie and her neurotic mother!
We have hit two big milestones this past weekend! BIG, BIG MILESTONES! Drum roll please….
1. This mama drank HARD ALCOHOL for the first time since June 13, 2014. Yes, I remember the date because it was 6 days before I found out I was pregnant and I remember drinking 5 beers and a few too many whiskey pickle backs. She came out fine.
2. This mama and her husband went out to dinner! Together! IN A RESTAURANT. Not eating take out on the floor! For the first time in months!
Did you think the milestones were Charlotte doing something big? I mean she has started doing the stuff babies are supposed to do at this stage, so obviously that’s also important. She is smiling, giggling, grabbing at shit and following things with her eyes. Yes, yes, all big things, but how can we compare that to the fact that I got to drink a MALIBU BAY BREEZE?!?!? Or the fact that Eric and I finally felt like a couple again! BIG THINGS!
On Saturday we went to a ladies luncheon out in Riverhead. Charlotte was actually perfect and slept almost the entire time. I brought my manual hand pump with me and a bottle I prepared just so I could have one drink. The bartender made me a DELICIOUS Malibu Bay Breeze and I drank it like I was a 13 year old hiding in the attic having my first drink. I mean I sucked it down like it was the elixir of life. And then I was drunk. I mean I’m not even exaggerating here, I was actually drunk. Charlotte ate from her bottle, mommy was drunk and ate 3 rolls. It was GLORIOUS. Then I pumped away all the alcohol with my manual pump and poured it down the toilet. That was actually depressing because I got like 4 ounces of milk out and I was really sad to waste it, but I mean I GOT TO DRINK.
Yesterday, Eric and I decided to head out with the baby to a restaurant. It was a big step for us because we’ve been eating either my quick meals (chef gourmet Sam has fallen by the wayside since I gave birth) or eating take out while taking turns holding the baby. I fed her and we went to dinner. It was 4:30 but does that even really matter? Negative. We were hungry and we figured if Charlotte had a melt down then there would be less people in the restaurant to witness it. We went to Tony Roma’s and Charlie girl fell asleep right when we sat down at the table, stayed asleep the entire meal and THEN even stayed asleep as we went to Ralph’s for ices. Peach for Eric, root beer for me. I really wanted salted caramel off the creme ices menu but couldn’t have it because of the dairy bullshit that is my dietary life. Eric and I both said it was the first time we felt like a couple again since we had the baby. It was glorious and much needed and now I’m not worried even a little bit to take her out to eat with us. I’m not going to go fancy schmancy restaurants with an infant, but Applebee’s boneless buffalo wings are calling my name (sans blue cheese dressing, WAH). Big things happening for this family!
There are so many beautiful things about being a mother. Creating another life that is a part of you and is yours forever is really a magical thing if you think about it! But there are so many things about motherhood that are just, how can I put it? A pain in the damn ass. Every day isn’t sunshine and rainbows! Here is a list I have compiled in my short time as a mama.
1. Night time diaper changes. Changing diapers is actually much more annoying than I anticipated. Charlotte always uses diaper change time as a chance to kick her legs like a salsa dancer or to straighten them out and lock them in place. And those are just the good times. She also likes to go to the bathroom the second I take the diaper OFF. During the day I don’t mind diaper change time as much as it annoys me at night. Eric works all night so unfortunately I am always on night duty (except for the weekends where he takes over THANK THE LAWD) and while I never mind waking up to feed her, (I have perfected rolling over and sticking my boob into her mouth and then just going back to sleep) I really hate waking up to change her diaper. Ninety percent of the time I spend more time questioning whether or not I can get away with not changing her than it would take to actually change her. The worst.
2. Nail care. Why is it that this child’s nails grow faster than a weed? She has talons! I have to take care of them at least twice a week or else she scratches her face in one of her FEED ME NOW OR FEEL MY WRATH fits. Right now she has a tiny cut on her nose from her beast nails. Nail care would seem to be something simple except for the fact that the child nail clippers are the same size as adults and her fingers are smaller than a thimble. I just cannot do it AT ALL. So, since birth I have filed her nails with a buffer and/or bitten them and it is always such a production because she has to be out cold or else she starts slapping me in the face. I really hope I’m not the only person to bite their baby’s nails. We do what we have to do to survive, right?
3. Nose situations. Sometimes Charlotte gets a stuffy nose and I see a booger in there. Getting shit out of your 6 week old baby’s nose is like playing a game of Operation. You have to maneuver ever so slightly and if you win you are awarded with a booger, and if you lose you are awarded with the wails of the damned. Neither of those options seem like a game I want to play. Yesterday I had to put a drop of saline in her nose and use the dreaded booger sucker and what a production that was. She screamed at me and kicked me in the tit and I’m pretty sure she did it on purpose. I never got that booger out either so I wasn’t even rewarded with anything. I have literally never typed the word booger so many times.
4. Putting the baby into the car seat. She loves being in the car and goes to sleep almost immediately, she loves going for walks, but going into the infant carrier that leads to the car or to a walk is such an ordeal. She screams like I’m putting her into an electric chair. In the beginning I was certain that I was hurting her somehow because I never heard such screams, but now I just yell right back at her. It doesn’t work, but it makes me feel better. So if you ever hear me going “stop being so difficult Charlotte I’m not trying to kill you dear god PLEASE CALM DOWN” just know that everything is fine and I’m just trying to place my child in the safety seat that will protect her from death in the event of a car accident. I wish she knew I was doing something NICE for her!
It took me two hours to eat two eggs and one slice of toast this morning. This is pretty much my morning every morning, and I’m sure every mom out there has the same struggle. The second I got Charlie to relax after feeding her and took the eggs out, her little eyelids shot open and she screamed to be held. I would totally let her scream for 5 minutes while I shoved food into my mouth, but my husband gets home from work at 8:30 and he’s trying to sleep at least three hours before she screams for something else, so I quickly scooped her up and turned off the stove. She started to drift off again, I clicked the gas on and she woke up again. I honestly think she finds pleasure in watching me starve. I calmly told her that if mommy doesn’t eat she will stop making milk and then you won’t eat either. She looked at me with those alert blue eyes and let out a huge burp, followed by spit up. Touché, Charlie girl. Touché.
I finally am able to finish preparing the meal without the blood curdling screams of death emitting from my child, and I sit down to eat it with her hiked up over my shoulder. She doesn’t want me to use a fork and get the food to my mouth like a normal person without squirming and screaming, of course. So this morning I ate my scrambled eggs like a dog. I just think you all need to know this.
Before I got pregnant, I lost almost 20 pounds for my one year anniversary trip to Jamaica. It was the best shape I had been in since the first grade. I was able to fit into size 4 white denim shorts. WHITE DENIM SHORTS. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was feeling super hot. Then a few months after my anniversary when we decided we wanted to have a baby, Eric basically sneezed on me and I got pregnant. Neither one of us expected it to happen as quickly as it did, and the beginning of what I like to call the deterioration of Sam’s babe body began. For 9 months I tried to eat healthy as best I could AND I even exercised almost 4 days a week every week until Charlotte arrived, but I still managed to gain almost 50 pounds. FIFTY POUNDS. I can’t imagine what I would have looked like if I never worked out or ate like complete shit. I used to stress about it in the beginning, but by month 7, 8, and 9 I really just let nature take its course. The weight would come off eventually, right?
6 weeks postpartum and I have lost 30 of those pounds. I haven’t exercised or started Weight Watchers yet, so I can attribute that hefty loss to the baby, the placenta (which I did not eat or turn into vitamins, by the way), the ridiculous amount of fluid inside my pregnant body AND nursing. Breast feeding works WONDERS. Charlotte can attach herself to my boobs forever if it means I will keep losing weight. Because of nursing, my stomach went down dramatically fast, so now all I am left with is a ring of skin that I like to call my doughy kangaroo pouch. I can actually grab it and knead it like dough. I AM SO SORRY for that visual. It’s disgusting to me, but I think Charlotte enjoys nuzzling her body into my doughy midsection. She needs to learn to enjoy something else though because I am soooo over it. Now that 6 weeks have gone by, my milk supply is beautifully established (file that under things I’d never thought I’d say. I laughed out loud when I typed it.) and I feel almost as normal as I can on 5 hours of sleep a night, I think I’m about ready to start exercising again. And starting Weight Watchers, which I honestly think is the greatest weight loss program out there. Throw in the fact that I can no longer eat cheese and I’m ready to tackle these last 20 lbs and get back to myself. Even though I think ALL women who give birth are amazing warriors and should embrace their bodies at every stage, no matter what size, (I mean, we did just grow a HUMAN BEING), I just think I will start to really feel like me again once I am cursing Jillian Michaels out in my living room. I feel like taking out those white denim shorts and hanging them on my fridge so I have constant motivation. Jillian Michaels is ready and waiting for me. LET’S DO THIS!
…Too bad all I want to do is eat an entire tray of brownies and I get winded walking to my car.
Here are just a few of the things that have gone on inside my sleep deprived mind since becoming a mother:
“Do I really need to change her diaper right now? It’s 2 AM and I don’t think she shit, but even if she does I don’t like her pajamas so I can just throw them out and not care.”
“I really hope she grows into this nose.”
“Can you please stop smacking your lips on my nipple?”
“I slept for 3 hours straight! I feel so refreshed! I am a new woman!” (I then put salt into my coffee.)
“Can you please lift your chin up a little higher so I can get the spit up out of your neck rolls?!”
“Why do you need to wake up right in time for the Real Housewives of New York City? Please shut up and go back to sleep.”
“Please stop putting your foot right into the middle of your dirty diaper. I am in no mood to bathe you today. Or tomorrow for that matter.”
“She only spit up on this shirt 3 times. Can I just let it dry and leave it alone?”
“I really don’t want to start exercising again, but I really don’t want to continue to be able to grab my stomach with both hands and shake it.”
“Don’t even look at yourself naked in the mirror. I TOLD YOU NOT TO LOOK AT YOURSELF.”
I remember when I used to come home after a night out at 3 AM. I can even remember some nights where I was still out at 3 AM going strong with a cocktail in my hand. Last night at 3 AM was an entirely different story. Last night I was sound asleep for one of my 3 hour stretches that my darling daughter allows me to have every night (thank God for small miracles, 3 hours is a blessing) when I was awoken by what sounded like a small explosion happening next to my bed. What could be so loud that it would wake a mother during one of her precious hours of sleep? If you guessed an explosive shit coming from a 9 pound infant, you guessed correctly.
Yes, my friends, Charlotte Shea was shitting and the sound was loud enough to wake me out of a deep sleep. I knew when I heard it that it was going to be a bad one. A complete strip down and redressing. There is nothing I look forward to less than taking off my daughter’s clothes and putting new ones on at her 3 o’clock in the morning. I took 10 seconds to mentally prepare myself, threw my hair in a bun (hair falling down in your face while dealing with a diaper explosion is NOT good, I know this from experience as well) and picked up my baby. I felt the warmth through her clothes and my heart sank. There would be casualties in this war. Would the onesie be garbage and the pajamas be saved? We would soon find out.
I placed Charlie on her changing table, who was now wide-eyed and making gurgling cooing sounds like this was the most fun she’s ever had in her whole damn life, and I began to undress her. The pajamas would NOT be saved. I don’t even understand how so much can come out of such a small person. Somehow the onesie was almost perfectly fine. I have no idea how this happened or how it was possible, but at least we only have to throw out one article of clothing. Once I got her naked I took off her diaper, when she promptly decided to kick her feet wildly like she was practicing for swimming at the Olympics. Her feet, of course, landed in her shit diaper. I looked at her through exhausted, burning, blood shot eyes and I swore she was going to smile. And then she threw up.
Nothing good happens at 3 AM.