Six weeks ago was my second blog post. I somehow managed to stretch "I cooked supper" into a few hundred words, and felt it was worth posting. I had nothing to say, but all kinds of time to say it. This brings us to today.
On September 9, 2016 at half-past exhausted AM Cecilia Meghan Rempel was born. She weighed a few pounds less than she does now, and was about the size of a baby. Any time I've thought about writing another post I've either chose napping, or had so much to say that I didn't know where to begin. Now that things have calmed down a bit, and I've forgotten half of what I would have posted, I thought I'd give this another go. Here is some of what I've learned.
I have a new respect for nurses. Michelle received a lot of excellent care while at the hospital. These people deal with poop, pee, blood, and fluids I didn't know existed. while doing this they're comforting patients, talking to family members, and somehow trying to chart everything so nothing gets forgotten. When their patients get better and leave the hospital, the nurses get to start all over again. It sure does make my gripes about singers who don't get me the damn set lists on time seem trivial. But singers, get me the damn set lists on time, OK? I have a baby to look after here. I can't drop everything I'm doing to learn your songs 1 hour before rehearsal. Realistically that's exactly when I’m going to do it, but I'd like to at least have the option of preparing in advance.
I didn't realize just how hard it would be to navigate a hospital as a blind person. It was humbling to have most of my independence taken away for the time Michelle and Cecilia were there. Even had I the time and energy to learn my way around the ward, halls filled with nursing carts, and stretchers aren't the easiest to navigate. It was such a relief when they came home and I could be of more help.
- Diaper changes are scary. There's terrible smelling sticky shit everywhere. What if I get something in her vagina and she gets a yeast infection? What if the diaper touches her umbilical cord? What if I touch the umbilical cord?
- What if her neck is bent too far forward? is it too far back now? somebody help me! How can I put this hat on her head without having her head fall off? Is the hat covering her eyes? What if I poke her in the eye trying to check?!
- Her breathing is too loud! She could be very sick... but now I can't hear it. she could be very dead.
- Baby snuggles are the best.
- I take it back, sleep is the best.
- Diaper changes aren't so bad. Just use lots of wipes. If you think it's clean, wipe 1 more time just to be sure. If you don't put the diaper on properly, don't worry, you'll find out in an hour when the poop leaks through her clothes and into the crib sheet.
- If she is clenching her fists and grunting, DO NOT take the diaper off. Doesn't matter if you are in a hurry, it's worth waiting.
- Wakefulness is not a symptom. I spent the first week trying to get Cecilia to sleep if she was ever awake. "Oh no! The baby's awake! That means we can't sleep. Quick, feed her and get her back under!" I think it actually took my mom pointing out that it's OK for a baby to be awake sometimes. Makes sense, if you have time to think about it.
- Best do laundry BEFORE you run out of sleepers. Also, why do we have all those other clothes. Sleepers are to babies as worn out jazz festival shirts with holes in them are to me. Got it.
Week 3 until now:
- Instead of wiping and wiping and wiping, it's OK to touch her bum and make sure there's no poo. It's just skin, it's just poo. It's actually a comforting feeling to know that I've cleaned her well, as opposed to just wiping a bunch and thinking "Surely that's enough."
- Baby making sound does not always mean baby is crying. Still working on differentiating between happy sounds and I'm about to cry sounds.
- Cecilia, sorry for bonking your head on the door as I carried you around the house trying to get you to sleep. I'd love to say it won't happen again, but.....
- Michelle went grocery shopping, leaving me alone with a baby and no boob. Stay asleep! stay asleep! You are not hungry!
That's it for now. Let's not pretend I'll be doing this weekly anymore. I'll write another post..... when the time is right.