Women have been doing this for thousands of years, they say.
Guess what!? As I'm sure you're aware, I had a baby! Again. I was hoping this time might be a bit easier since it was only 2 years ago the last time I had one. Surely I remember how to take care of a baby. And of course regardless this should all come naturally, right? But fear not, to me, it feels like it might as well have been a lifetime ago. I forgot everything. Or my brain blocked out all those traumatic beginning memories of when I wanted to give Nathan back, or more accurately leave him outside a church, and I suddenly realized why the hospital made us watch the shaken baby video. Babies are not easy. Even the second time around. Now I remember everything I forgot. And I wish I could forget again.
I forgot what it's like having a newborn. These tiny creatures who literally just eat, sleep, poop, and cry, and cry, and cry, that you're expected to take care of immediately upon giving birth to them. Couldn't I get a grace period of a day or two after my stomach was sliced open? Or at least until I could actually get out of bed on my own? Not sure how I could possibly obtain my crying infant when I can't even sit up and can barely walk, but sure it seems like a good idea to leave her with me.
I forgot how much listening to crying makes your ears want to bleed. Right now I am enjoying a symphony of noise including the percussive stylings of Nathan kicking his feet into the side of his crib and repeatedly screaming for "Dada," layered over the blood-curdling shrieks of Sydney who's still figuring out life on the outside and hasn't slept at all the last few nights. In a minute it's about to become a remix when I add in my soft sobbing and repetitive chorus of "whyyyyy?? whyyyy??"
Don't get me wrong, I am a self-professed homebody. I love nothing more than pajama-clothing and my couch. But I forgot how isolating being stuck in the house with a new baby can be. When my dad asked if I'd been outside lately, I said that when I went to get the mail it felt like I had broken out of jail. How sad is that? Because those first few weeks, I was literally a prisoner in a dairy. A felonious cow. I could not see the outside world. I just sat in my cell and got milked all day and all night.
I forgot how much I missed constantly smelling like rotten milk. Said nobody ever.
I forgot how much useless baby stuff I've been suckered into buying. Sleep sacks, weighted sleep sacks, sleep suits, anything that promises it'll help my kid sleep better. Compression leggings, corsets, binders, anything that promises it'll help me lose my stomach. I bought a Belly Bandit this time and when I went to put it on, I don't think it would have even fit around my thigh. Size medium wouldn't fit a small child let alone a postpartum anybody. That certainly helped my self esteem. I also forgot how much it sucks to lose baby weight. In my mind I felt smaller this time and just when I worked up the courage to get on the scale for the first time, the damn thing said "Err." The universe is cruel.
Lastly, I forgot how one day blends into the next when you never leave your house. I have no idea what day it is. Tuesday? Friday? October? November? All the same to me. It's literally groundhog day. At least this time I'm changing my clothes, attempting to shower, and not wearing the same pajamas and a bathrobe for 3 months straight. I forgot I did that...