Category Archives: Adventures in Parenting

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Pregnant (Part Deux)

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1. Kiss whatever’s left of your modesty goodbye. The night I was admitted for my induction, every time I got out of bed, I’d hold my hospital gown closed in the back so the nurses wouldn’t see my butt. Ha! Isn’t that adorable? Less than 24 hours later, it was lady-part central up in that delivery room and I couldn’t have cared less if the pope himself had walked in.

You see, in the movies and on TV, women are always covered up when they’re giving birth, and the baby daddy is beside her, holding her hand, completely and blissfully unexposed to what’s going down beneath the sheet. In my very limited experience, this common depiction of childbirth is a load of crap. We had planned for Jonathan to stay far, far away from “that area” during the actual pushing part. He was to remain above my shoulders at all times. It was going to go something like this: I grit my teeth and push while squeezing Jonathan’s hand and cursing him for “doing this to me” (cue laugh track). Baby comes out. Proud daddy cuts cord. End scene.

My doctor and nurse had an entirely different plan.

“You’re going to hold her leg up like this,” they instructed him.

I’m sorry, what’s that now? Who’s holding what and my leg is going where?

53 minutes later, Jonathan may or may not have been scarred for life. The jury is still out.

2. You are not Heidi Klum. Duh. Why am I dragging Heidi into this? Many of you might remember that Heidi famously strutted down the catwalk just five weeks after giving birth. To her FOURTH child. At age 36. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. 

Now, I wasn’t planning on walking the runway in front of a national audience. However, I was positive that by the time my maternity leave was over, I would be back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Sadly, I was mistaken. It didn’t help that I was so ravenous from breastfeeding that I routinely stuffed my face with graham crackers and once ate an entire sleeve full of Oreo cookies in under five minutes (true story). It took me a good eight months to squeeze back into my old jeans, and if we’re being totally honest, there are still a couple of pairs I don’t dare to wear (oh, super-duper skinny Seven jeans, I WILL conquer you someday soon).

This isn’t the case for everyone. My dear friend (who shall remain nameless to avoid incurring the wrath of women across the land) was back down to pre-pregnancy weight by her six-week follow-up visit.

I’m officially down to my pre-prego weight, but things just don’t fit the same. Well, they fit, but it ain’t pretty.

3. Mommy brain is a real thing. I used to roll my eyes at this notion of mommy brain. I thought it was a myth. An excuse created by The Mommy Club to forgive forgetfulness, habitual tardiness and general brain farts. But, people, let me tell you. That ish is real. Truth be told, I suffered from an undiagnosed variation of mommy brain before I even had kids. I’ve always had a tendency to misplace things (Jonathan has found my cell phone in the fridge more than once) and I’m always late (to be fair, I am Puerto Rican). But ever since C.J. screamed his way into the world, my random acts of idiocracy have reached new levels of WTF.

I’ve shared several memorable “momnesia” moments with you before (see Pajama Thursday and This Morning Is Bananas), but lucky for you, I suffer from daily episodes, so here are a few fresh ones. Just this past Monday morning, I came thisclose to getting on the 5-mile-long bridge to work before I realized C.J. was still in the backseat. I had completely forgotten about the whole “dropping my baby off at daycare” thing. Oops.

Last week, I was minding my own business, checking email at the kitchen counter when I noticed the room was suddenly filling with smoke. Turns out, I’d left oil heating on the stove for just a tad too long. Also, in addition to mismatched socks, mismatched earrings are inadvertently kind of “my thing” now.

4. Time will seem to fly even faster. And before you know it, your baby will be two months away from turning 1. (Refer to Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Pregnant Part 1, item #5)

 

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Pajama Thursday

Every Friday, our daycare sends home a peppy little newsletter informing us of next week’s theme and activities. For example, March 2 was Dr. Seuss’ birthday, so Read Across America with Dr. Seuss kicked off that Monday, and Wednesday, Cat in the Hat paid the classroom a special visit. (According to C.J.’s daily infant report, he REALLY enjoyed Cat’s visit — I only wish I could have been there to see it).

I keep this newsletter on our fridge. Sometimes I read it, sometimes I don’t. One evening, while perusing the fridge for an after-work snack, I happened to take a peek at it and noticed that the following day was Pajama Day. I immediately got excited because A) Dressing a baby doesn’t get much easier than P.J.’s and B) Honestly — is there anything cuter than baby in a footed onesie? (Sidebar: Two years ago, I would have said, “why, yes” and pointed at my dogs.)

I had just the jams for this occasion: a brand-spankin’ new, bright blue number with lime green buttons, footsies and an adorable little turtle on the front. I de-tagged it, washed it and the next morning, we were ready to roll.

“I wish I could wear pajamas today, too,” I whispered to C.J. as I carried him from the car to his school. He flapped his arms and responded with his happy pterodactyl shriek. Seeing other kids amble up to the building with their parents, I deduced that Pajama Day was not a school-wide initiative. Lucky infants! I thought.

There were only two other kids in C.J.’s class so far. L, who was, as usual, red-faced and screaming, and J, who as usual crawled right up to C.J. and swatted his face. Neither of them was in pajamas.

Guess their parents didn’t read the newsletter, I thought smugly. I was impressed with myself; it’s not every day I’m so on top of my game. I got to work and IM’d Jonathan to give him my usual unsolicited report of how drop-off went.

 Me:  That little stinker was so cute in his little turtle jammies.

Jonathan:  I know.

Me:  L and J were in there, but neither of them was wearing jammie jams. Oh well.

Jonathan:  You definitely got the day right?

Me:  Yeah, it was today. I don’t really care either way. Rainy Friday. He’s cozy. Still stylin.’

Jonathan:  Yeah, except it’s Thursday.

Me:  OH [word I can’t say on my blog or I’ll get fired]!

Jonathan:  Oh well—he still looks cute—but you are losing it.

I felt like a complete moron as several realizations hit me all at once.

I wasn’t sure which was more troubling: the fact that my child was likely the only one in the entire school wearing his pajamas, the fact that it wasn’t Friday or the fact that now his teachers — not just my husband — know I’ve lost my mind.

I had tried so hard to keep the crazy confined to my house. No one has to know that sometimes I absentmindedly toss dirty clothes into the trash can instead of the hamper. Or that once in a while, I run around the house frantically searching for my cell phone only to realize minutes later that I’m on it. Or that just a few weeks ago, I unloaded groceries and stored a box of trash bags in the fridge. Or that every so often, I yell at my husband for moving my phone charger, then later on, I find it in my laptop bag.

I contemplated calling the school and explaining myself, but I thought that might make me seem even more crazy.

So I did what any normal, sane human being would do. I laughed so hard I cried.

Overheard in Our House

– A conversation between me and Jonathan hours before leaving C.J. with a sitter for the first time.

Me: I feel weird having a pizza delivery person go to the house with just the sitter there. What if he’s a psycho?

Jonathan: Dial it back, cuckoo.

Me: I don’t think that’s that crazy. Cute girl, all alone, babysitting, ordering pizza. That is a perfect recipe for a scary movie.

 Jonathan: Erika — would you not order pizza if you were by yourself?

 Me: Yeah, I would.  

Jonathan: What’s the difference? That’s nutty. I don’t think this is a, “Hello, Sydney” situation.

Me: The difference is, I’m a mama bear, and she is not.

Jonathan: This kid is going to need therapy. Should I just go to the movies with the babysitter and let you watch C.J.?