The metamorphosis of a mother - part 2
In this episode, we see the development of HomefrontSix's inner turmoil and begin to understand why 'normal' is just a setting on the washing machine. And highly overrated, if you ask her.
Two and a half years later, The Boy made his entrance. It was a relatively quiet entrance - no drama beyond back labor and not being able to eat for 18 hours while I was laboring in the hospital (and EVERY. SINGLE. COMMERCIAL. WAS. FOR. FOOD.). But his quiet entrance masked the chaos that was to reign for 6 months. Pyloric stenosis (undiagnosed thanks to condescending doctors and my lack of experience in being a forceful pain in the butt parent) plus colic plus reflux plus a toddler with potty-training issues equals a big freaking mess. Oh, and just for kicks, add in there flight school and a mild case of post-partum depression (probably brought on by all of the other variables).
If it hadn't been so crappy, it would have been funny.
But it wasn't.
We didn't go anywhere, not that there was anywhere TO go in Enterprise, Alabama. And when we did, we went with 3 changes of clothes for everyone. The Boy was incredibly adept at puking on anyone and everyone within a 3-foot radius. Eight ounces in, six ounces out. Because of this, I never let anyone hold him. The sad thing was, *I* didn't want to hold him. What mother doesn't want to hold her OWN CHILD? We didn't use burp rags, we used hand towels and bath towels. And it was a blessing that the flooring in the houses at Fort Rucker were linoleum tile. He puked all.the.time. It was embarrassing. It was maddening. It was depressing. It was my life. And, for a time, it was awful. We joke about it now but I'm pretty sure that, had a roving band of gypsies or carnies come past my house, I would have handed him to them. I say that in jest now, but at the time, a very large part of me wanted to be anywhere other than where I was. And I wanted to smell like anything other than baby barf. But the guilt associated with even just that thought was gut-wrenching.
That set up an internal struggle, the magnitude of which I am just now beginning to realize. I resented both of my children, but mainly my son. What little 'life' I thought I had prior to his arrival vaporized along with any thought of sleep I might have hung on to. My last shred of independence was gone and I was unable to reconcile myself with any of it.
It was a long six months.
And my husband was unable to offer much in the way of help. I'm not sure exactly what we were smoking when we decided that flight school was a good time to have a baby. It probably would have been easier on everyone if we had opted to have a baby while he was deployed. At least then, I wouldn't have had to try (unsuccessfully) to keep quiet a baby suffering from the digestive issues my son was dealing with. I was home with screaming Sir Pukes A Lot all day and, when MacGyver was able to come home from school in the evening, I had to try to keep screaming Sir Pukes A Lot quiet so MacGyver could study and then sleep in order to get up and do it again the next day.
Like I said, having a baby while my husband was deployed would have been easier. On EVERYONE. I'm still not sure how we made it through that time period with our marriage and our sanity in tact. God's grace, I suppose.
But he grew out of the puking/screaming/not-sleeping stage just as I grew INTO my role as a mother. I don't know what changed in my brain but I'm sure it had to do with an increase in the meager amount of sleep I was getting combined with a decreasing frequency of Exorcist-like puking episodes from The Boy. Whatever it was, things eased up just slightly and I felt like I could breathe again.
I've always said that 6-12 months is my favorite baby stage and The Boy reinforced that belief. At about 6 months he started keeping his food down on a more consistent basis. He started sleeping for more than 2 hours at a stretch. He stopped screaming all the time. He started being much more fun. I'd say he was much less work but I'd be lying. He was a master at undoing any and every attempt I made at trying to clean my house. He was a one man wrecking crew and his sister cheered him on. I was, at that point, outnumbered in that department. A foreshadowing time, if you ask me as I am still completely outnumbered in the 'keeping the house respectable' department.
His whiny, cranky disposition gave way to an easy-going, easy-smiling baby and he was much more enjoyable to be around. We relaxed. And we moved to Hawaii. And Hawaii makes EVERYTHING better, doesn't it? Yes, yes it does. The digestive issues hadn't completely resolved but who cared? It was easy enough to dip him in the ocean and rinse him off. And warm enough to strip him down to his diaper should he make a mess of his clothes (which he did. Often.).
I think I have one more part left. It's not done yet but it's getting there. Might be two parts. We'll see. Thanks for stopping by!
at May 03, 2012
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