Postpartum Barbie

My little Maverick is one month old.

I can’t help but compare him to Z when she was an infant. And it isn’t fair to either of them. But briefly:


It’s harder in many ways. Juggling two little people instead of one. Trying to get Maverick to sleep when Z’s running around the house. Making Mom-and-Z time so Z doesn’t feel left out.

But this baby actually sleeps on his own, and when he cries he doesn’t sound pissed off like Z did.

Summer will be a whole other animal – Z won’t be in school and I’ll have them both. Together. All. Day. Long. But I have a couple more weeks of just me and my little dude during the day, and I plan to enjoy them.

Fortune Cookie, 3:40 a.m.

As many people in my online writing circles already know, I gave birth to Maverick (that’s his code name, not his real name) early Thursday morning. My water broke a little after midnight, and four hours later I had a new baby! (Like it’s that easy. And didn’t involve lots of shouting and disillusionment and internal requests for a cesarean section and/or lots of drugs. But I didn’t say those out loud. Mostly I said, “Get it OUT!” and “I’m never doing this again!”) (God bless patient nurses.) (Who are probably investing in ear plugs, if they haven’t already lost their hearing.)

Z is doing great with Maverick, she just LOVES him, wants to pet and kiss him all the time. And poke his little eyes – I don’t know what that’s about. (Actually, I have a few guesses. It’s hard sharing Mommy and Daddy.)

For some reason, his cry doesn’t bother me as much as Z’s did. Maybe because it’s a different pitch (he sounds like a baby pterodactyl, or, as Homes said, a Swainson’s Hawk). Or because his scrunchy little face looks so funny when he does it. I feel kinda bad, because sometimes I laugh when he cries.

He’s still learning the difference between nocturnal beings (creatures that are awake at night, i.e. NOT US) and diurnal beings (creatures that are awake in the day and sleep at night, i.e. US), so I’ve been awake a lot at night. Once, on a trip through the kitchen for ibuprofin, I spotted a bag of fortune cookies. And thought. 3:40 a.m. Not a bad time for a fortune cookie. I wish I could say the fortune was something illuminating and dreamy and perfect for my situation, but I think it was actually about riches coming my way next month.

And that’s okay. Because not everything is illuminating, or dreamy, or perfect. Sometimes things scream, and don’t sleep when (or where) they’re supposed to. We love them anyway.

There are nights…

There are nights that sleep descends on me
like a blanket coming down
and I stay in sleep so easily,
disturbed by not a sound.

But then there are the nights
with incidents my earplugs cannot mute
potty breaks and whining,
bed territory disputes.

Driftin’, dreamin’, dozin’,
snoozin’, snorin’, nappin’
Sleep never seems so crucial
until it doesn’t happen.

Dear Pre-Mommy Me…

There’s a fun blogsite called Dear Teen Me, where authors write letters to their teen selves. Perhaps there is another site for people writing to themselves before they were parents, but I haven’t come across one yet.

Guess we’ll just have to fill that niche, now, won’t we?


Letter to my Pre-Baby Self

Dear Pre-Mommy Me,

Being a parent is hard.

Wait. Stop. Read that first sentence again, because I don’t think you’re actually getting it. Being a parent is HARD.

You still don’t get it. Really, there’s no way you can. Maybe if you did a ride-along with another new mom, sleeping in her bed (or, rather, NOT sleeping), following her into the bathroom for the showers she can’t take in peace, experiencing the excruciating pain that is a poorly-latched breastfeeding session, and then the crazy-making times of being so super-in-love with this baby and also having to remember to keep your cool and NOT SHAKE THE BABY who will NOT stop crying and now you can’t stop crying and why couldn’t you just have been happy with your husband and a cat? Maybe then, you might get it.

You’ll want to scream shut up at every person who tells you, nodding wisely and nostalgically, that “it goes by so fast,” because it doesn’t feel that way when it’s actually going by.

And free time? You’re gonna have to fight for it. Nobody’s going to wave the magic Free Time Wand and hand it to you. Don’t forget to ask. Don’t forget to tell people what you need (because twelve months is an awfully long time to take to learn that lesson).

You will come to depend on your family and friends in ways that are thoroughly humbling and teach you the meanings of grace and compassion. Remember to thank them often [Dear Me-of-the-right now: thank those folks!].

Babies aren’t for everyone, but babe, once you have one, you’ll know there’s no going back, and even if you could, you wouldn’t.

With love, pity, and a surplus of picture books,

In-love-with-my-beautiful-family Me

PS: Your body will never look the same. Do us all a favor and get over it.



Annnnnd…because I’m going to have my hands full with a new baby in a few weeks, I’d like to invite other parents and aunties and uncles and friends who would like to share their own letters to themselves before their lives were taken over by kidlets. Your letters can help me out while I’m busy on the babywagon. If you’re interested, send me an email or use the contact page above.

Welcome to my Crib

33 weeks pregnant.

[No image to share. Imagine, if you will, a bloated sea mammal.]

We’ve got the crib.

Yup, that's my storyboard tucked inside. I promise to move it before the baby comes.

Now it just needs a room.

What? The view from here is great! Kitchen in one direction, living room in the other, and BOOM. Books.

Perfect view for a budding bibliophile.

It’s a longer story than that, but I’ll try to make it short because honestly, I need a donut. Homes put the crib together in the living room because our teeny bedroom doesn’t have enough space for putting furniture together. And now the crib won’t fit through the doorway. Even with the door taken off. So here it rests, in the middle of this room-without-a-name (I call it the Third Room, but it is essentially a very wide hallway with books), until we rearrange the bedroom to make space for (re)assembling the crib.

Oh yeah, and the place where we were going to put it in our bedroom? It would give us approximately eleven inches to squeeze between it and our bed in order to reach the bathroom.

I purposefully bought a cheapie small IKEA crib because I didn’t want a freaking monstrosity taking up the nonexistent space in my house! (!!!!!!!!!!) (Yes, those are optional exclamation points. This way you can hear me shouting that sentence, or, if your ears are feeling strong, shrieking it while I grip the lapels of someone responsible and shake them until something changes or I collapse into either a) a coughing fit (yes I have another cold) or b) a set of false contractions.)


I better get me that donut, and fast.