Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Friday, April 29, 2011
How has Declan made his mark on the planet these past 2 weeks?
At the doc's, he weighed in at 7 lbs 9 oz, gaining nearly a pound from his teensy 6 lbs 14 oz debut.
Nowhere on his little milestone sheet did they account for his new chin. We worked hard for that chin! Despite his being only in the 24th percentile for weight, baby boy is chowing down like one of those professional hot dog eaters.
He is in the 65th percentile for height. Sadly, again, there is no marker for foot size, as my child would likely rank in the percentile reserved for Croatian basketball players traded to the NBA. Or skyscrapers.
Big feet, people. I see my future, and it is me screaming at a pile of giant, festering Converse while Declan hunches over the refrigerator, eating peanut butter from a jar, possibly wearing frayed highwater pants a la The Hulk. He comes from tall people. I fear I will soon be surrounded by a family of knees.
And how did mama rank at D's first visit? Did I manage to avoid shearing off the passenger side mirror on our inaugural trip to the doc? No rookie mistake of calling the doc because my child is (gasp!) hiccuping?
We just asked one question: why does our son sound like a broken clarinet solo while nursing? Because D was conked out, Caleb cued up the recording he made on his phone (how did I parent before apps?), and we all hovered around it, alternating staring at the phone and the doc who looked appropriately meditative. When the HONKS and ZINGS finally finished (think Dick Van Dyke's one man band in Mary Poppins - no zen nursing for me, thank you), he laughed and said while he'd never heard anything quite like it (strangely stirring some maternal pride), baby boy was eating and gaining just fine. And that was it. No more questions.
I wanted to leave with my own worksheet, show the world my gold stars and stickers for keeping my collective shit together these first three weeks. How magical parenting is when the soul crushing fear is stripped away!
Harlow arrived in a new house in a new (old) city to new parents who had no fucking clue. I still marvel that the human race survived, that we flourished despite those early days of severe sleep deprivation, self doubt, and the constant spector of accidentally killing your child dogging every single move. I simply didn't understand these parents who claimed to be "blissed out" and marinating in sweet love hormones with the new baby. Horrible Things lurked around every corner. My life was over. Who was I? Had I ever even been someone before?
Friends ask if I am just head over heels and just loving being a mom again, and I can say - cautiously - yes. I now understand the signs of postpartum depression. I understand that I had been holding my breath for months, cutting contact with friends, hunkering down, simply waiting to see if the crazy-making cocktail of hormones was going to strike again. Yet so far, so good. Really good. I feel...normal. Like giving birth this time around course-corrected for smooth sailing, not batshit crazy. Because of that freedom, I truly understand the gift of the second kid, because I now have permission to enjoy it. I laugh at his sweet cries. I know when to ask for breaks. And I give extra hugs to his sister, because I still glimpse the sweet baby she was inside the beautiful girl she has become, and I want them both to know that mama is feeling just fine.