I stopped myself from posting this blog Tuesday because it would have just been an inventory of all the times Penelope pooped on me. (One of which was after I'd managed to fit a shower in during her power nap, which made it especially insulting).
I was solely responsible for a newborn from 3 am to 4 pm and I thought I might go crazy. Twice I cried, one time I let out a sustained moan as if I was giving birth. It was during one of the baby's cries. She must have had a tummy ache but there was nothing I could do to help her. She was also so tired but wouldn't go to sleep. She probably wanted to be walked around but I was tired and a little sore still and all I could do was stare at her and say "Why? Why won't you sleep? You're so tired."
The times during the day when she would sleep, she was very particular about location. If I set her down, she would soon wake up, demanding to be held. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE holding her. She's my perfect angel sweetie cupcake honey bunny baby. But I'd also like to get something done. Like clean the oven that I'd recently burned a cake in, for example. (The remains of this burnt cake incident had led to a fire in the oven when we'd tried to use it so it was imperative that it be cleaned that day in order to make dinner.) I'd finally managed to set her down long enough to take a shower which was especially critical since she kept having mustard-seed-poop blow outs, getting some on my shirt and pants. And in addition to the slight fussiness, and frequent bowel movements she WOULD NOT STOP EATING. And the times I offered her the breast she went at it like a Yorkshire Terrier gnawing a recently caught animal of prey.
Now, all of this sounds like classic baby behavior. Stuff I knew I'd be dealing with when we decided to enter parenthood. But by 1 pm I had shed a few tears myself, closed my eyes and asked Jesus if he could please babysit while I took a nap or screamed. When I opened my eyes she had spit up on my shoulder. I was eventually granted a slight repose, but before long she was at her tricks again. Making this weird gremlin growling noise to communicate her unhappiness with me, even while she was sucking down some fresh breastmilk.
Danny came to my rescue at 4, rushing in from work, anxious to hold his baby. Of course by then she was sleeping in an angelic pose, with no evidence of her prior misdemeanors.
And as soon as he took her out of my arms I was flooded with guilt. How could the best treasure God had given me gotten on my nerves so bad?
Wednesday was a new day. As psychotic as it sounds I was euphorically in love with her again. Everything she did was adorable and I was happy to change her diapers and smile while she cried. She continued to have poop blowouts, and was constantly starving, but I felt refreshed, which is probably thanks to the shift change with Danny coming home to relieve me. How do single people raise babies?? I'm baffled, astounded, in awe by their strength. Single moms and dads, my heart goes out to you.
She is one month old today. I can't believe how cute she is. And I can't believe how fast she's growing! Everyone says that all the time about kids, but I think she's already 10 pounds! She's outgrown some newborn outfits already, and I feel sad about it. Sometimes I get scared of how fast she grows, I already miss how small she was the first week. But I'm trying to stay calm, thinking about all the things she has yet to do. And how exciting it will be when I get to make her laugh, brush her long hair or show her a movie. These future plans keep me from cutting off her food supply so she'll stop growing. Happy one month, baby! You and your daddy are my favorite parts of life.