Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trial and Error

So, I sat down to write a blog about something funny, entertaining, or informative that has happened recently in my life.  But then I realized that all of my funny, entertaining, or informative stories are about the baby. And trust me, I love talking and sharing pictures of Lilly, but my biggest fear is becoming one of those moms who ONLY posts funny, entertaining, or informative stories about their children. It’s annoying and frankly no one cares.  But guess what? I’m a stay-at-home mom and that’s all I have to talk about. She’s all I want to talk about anyway.   

So here’s my funny, entertaining, and/or informative story.
(Disclaimer: the following is not guaranteed to be any of the above mentioned, but please keep reading)

Becoming a new mom is filled with the unknown and the unpredictable.  The unknown and unpredictable didn’t necessarily evolve around parenting skills, or the lack thereof, because maternal instincts kicked in pretty strong for me, but more so it consisted of the common sense things most moms learn from books….that I didn’t happen to read.

Lesson one: Car Seat Catastrophe

Three months before my due date I had Brent install the car seat…”just in case”, I said.  I wanted to be prepared for anything, and we were.  I retook my infant CPR class, read every instruction manual to every bouncer, swing, and crib.  I practiced changing diapers and using the suction bulb on my poor dogs.  I was going to be the world’s best mom…if only I knew how to get her out of the car.

 Four days old, and my mom and I took Lilly to Wal-Mart with us.  Diaper back was fully stocked and her tummy was full, nothing could go wrong.  We pull into the parking lot, get out of the car, and I proceed to walk to the store…yup, without my child. Luckily, mom was already attempting to unload her car seat and hadn’t noticed my abandonment.   Turns out, neither my mom nor I knew how exactly to remove the car seat from the base. I think I pushed every button and pulled every strap trying to get her out of the car. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? As I call my husband to have him tell me step by step how to do it I notice the lady with a daughter, two year old twins, and an infant who happened to be parked next to us watching the entire ordeal, oh and the person stopped behind us thinking they were waiting for our parking space.  I’m sure child protection services were on speed dial as they watched in disgust.  No worries folks, we go her out. Though she might have been better off staying in the car, since I put her upside down in the shopping cart.  Mom of the year, folks.

Lesson two:  Clean Up on Isle 4

Just ‘cause your boobs stop leaking for a day, doesn't mean you’re safe to leave your house without nursing pads.  The cute ladies at my local grocery story have been pretty involved in my pregnancy since the beginning.  From the moment they knew we were pregnant, they offered every kind of advice from birth plans, parenting advice, and yes, even how different our sex life will be.  So, when I waltzed proudly around Benedicts with my baby in tote, it took a good 20 minutes for one of my trusted ladies to take me hand in hand to the baby isle.  She grabbed a box of nursing pads from the top shelf and started telling me all about “milk let-down” and “leaking”.  I listened intently pretending she was teaching me something I didn't already know.  And when she opened the box and handed me two pads right there in the middle of the store, it was only then I noticed my increasingly milk covered shirt. Nursing pads: don’t leave home without ‘em!

Lesson three:  Belly button rings don’t hide stretch marks. 

I didn’t get stretch marks until my last month of pregnancy, but now I don’t have my ginormous belly to disguise them.  My body did an incredible job at returning to its pre-pregnancy state and I have to say I lucked out; I could wear my regular jeans two days after delivery. I was feeling pretty good about myself, big boobs and a flat(ish) tummy…heck yes! Standing in front of the mirror in the buff was a different story. I was feeling a little down about the zebra on my stomach.  My solution? Since my belly button ring was cute before, it will most definitely make me feel sexy now! Wrong-o.  Stretch marks with a glitzed out navel doesn’t exactly scream “mommy dearest”.  I’ll embrace the cocoa butter and hope for bikini season next year.

I’ve been doing the mom thing for a month now, and I’m loving every second of it.  She smiles almost as much as she poops, and she brings as much joy as McDonalds did during pregnancy. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Flew the Coop

Normal: nor-mal

  Conforming to a standard. Usual, typical, or expected. The usual, average, or typical state or condition.

…Since when has anything we’ve done been normal?

I think the most unusual, atypical, and unexpected thing about this whole ordeal is actually how “normal” it really was. 

Lilly “the Bird” Anne Clark landed safely at 1:21pm on September 14, 2012.  Weighing in at 7lb 15oz and 20in long.  A far cry from the 12 pound albatross we were originally expecting.  Delivery went just about as perfect as the pregnancy. Though, next time I think I’ll skip the contractions and just get to the cute baby part.  But I survived a whole 9 centimeters before hunting down the anesthesiologist and getting an epidural.  Within 4 hours of induction, out she pops, does the whole crying thing- so do I (and the rest of the family), Daddy cuts the cord, and within those five minutes my whole world was changed by the most amazing little bird ever.
Usual would be coming home to a calm and quiet house, greeting the unknown with open arms.  Typical would be a crying baby and scared parents with no one but Google to solve their problems.  Expected would be repetitive diaper changes, sleepless nights, and the feeling that failure might be around every corner.

But normal is just not our style.

We came home to our entire family; greeting us with open arms, leaving the unknown to worry about later. And with full construction on our house complete with saw, drills, and hammers, “calm and quiet” was somewhere between Timbuktu and B.F.E.  Google was saved for recipe suggestions and window installation instructions, and all my questions, concerns, and inquiries were directed to my personal live-in nurses; who just happen to be my mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother.  The only thing around every corner was someone ready to help out with the diaper changes and swing shifts to insure the chance failure was as slim as our chance as “calm and quiet”.
So now I’m home alone and I keep waiting for the fear to set in, for the unknown to catch up, and the anxiety to get the best of me.  But it hasn’t and it won’t.  Not because of anything I’ve done, but because of the support system I have at my beckon call. I have a husband who has taken on an extra role of perfect daddy all the while stays in his armor as Prince Charming. The men who became Grandpas who are more than willing to change diapers and wipe away tears. And the two young ladies who completed the circle of life and became Grandmas - they seem to have all the right answers at all the right times. They have all been here to help with whatever we need, right when we need it. I am so blessed. They have given me the strength and encouragement to be the best mom that they have always taught me to be. I love you all!   Thank you.