Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Lull

5 months postpartum the spring in my step is back but the bounce in my boobs is probably gone forever. No doubt it got lost between the Boppy and the couch cushions at some point.

This is the lull between the sleeplessness of having a newborn and the chaos of having a mobile baby. The time between being a walking zombie and a chicken running around with its head cut off. I know it is brief because I have done it before. So here I am with a 2 year old AND a 5 month old and I am already crazily thinking "I could do this again." But not just yet, because, like I said, this is only a lull.

It's funny how soon the memory of total chaos fades. A month ago, neither child was sleeping, and so neither parent was sleeping. Spiff was getting up 5-9 times a night to make sure we were readily available as we had not been in the beginning and promptly messed up his night life which he had hitherto spent blessedly unconscious. We messed up, I'll admit it. Fred was camping outside his room on an air mattress so he was at Spiff's beck and call. Squidgee was a newborn. His getting up was not surprising but he did seem to need to eat a lot at the all night diner. A lot. A lot. I was, being the milk supply of demand-feeding, at HIS beck and call. And they were both getting up early as well. This was only made worse by the fact that it was approaching Winter Solstice and it was as dark at 5:30 am as it was at midnight. It was dark by 4 PM. No doubt this was all compounded by a serious lack of vitamin D on top of fluctuating postpartum hormones, but I had had a couple melt-downs.

I distinctly remember crying in the kitchen making a pot of coffee (a half pot of half caff-- nursing can be so cruel!) while Fred made his old-faithful office lunch of PB&J. (We were existing on a diet of take-out and frozen food, so there were no leftovers.)

"I don't think I can do this again!" I said. And I also said I was not, no way, ever nursing again because neither of my kids seemed to take to a bottle and it was taking its toll on my emotional well being, being exposed 75% of the day, having a baby dangling like some sort of over-sized Christmas ornament off my areolae. And now I am here thinking, was that so bad? 4 months? What's that in the grand scheme of things?

And that, my dears, is how nature gets you to procreate. The memory, out of necessity, twists and blurs and fades. We lose sense of time. 4 months, I am here to tell you if you are math-deficient, is 1/3 of a year, out of hopefully 90 years. A mere 1/270th of your life, of their lives. And yet to the mother of a newborn it is no less than eternity. Having had 2 newborns, I have had two eternities plus 28 years. I am older than sin and still stupid. Maybe more stupid.

I have heard that babies burn brain cells. It must be true. I used to know everybody's phone number by heart, every birthday. I suppose the lack of phone number memory could be attributed to the invention of speed dial, but I now have to think for a moment before giving my own firstborn's birth date. I always seem to mess up the year with the day. Granted, my second is also an August baby, but really that is no excuse.

Yes, two Leos. I am desperately hoping there is more to nurture and birth order than there is in the stars or, as great as those lions are, I will have my hands over-full. I myself am a Cancer, and if the alignment of Mars with the Earth's Moon actually does mean anything at all, then it is true I have a hard shell. Which is fantastic! One needs a good set of armor when raising two boys two years apart. And I am ready for it. I am using this lull and half-caff to ready my forces.

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