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Not an exciting first

September 15, 2011

Baby Girl has been sick this week. Awful. Everyone has been warning me about teething, but she’s been perfectly fine, no crying, no biting, no pulling on her ears or at her jawbone. I was so unprepared for a virus. I should have known Baby Tailgating was too good to be true.

She was burning up (tylenol should have helped with that, but didn’t), she couldn’t nurse for more than ten minutes at a time, she couldn’t sleep unless I was rocking her (tylenol used to help her stay asleep longer,* but it didn’t). She looked at the rest of the family longingly with sad puppy eyes, she fussed when anyone else tried to give me a break and hold her.

My employer has been very supportive of the “sometimes single mom” lifestyle. I worked from home until she was almost three months old and I will work from Germany – though fewer hours – after we PCS. So this week I also worked from home. So much has changed in the last six months, let’s review:

Three-month-old (healthy) Schedule:

  • 6:00-6:30 am: nurse
  • 6:30-8:30: nap, Mama works or pays bills, make appointments, does laundry, drinks decaf, snacks, usually some combination thereof
  • 8:30-9:00: play time, Mama is distracted
  • 9:00-9:30: nurse
  • repeat until midnight, when Mama crashes into a heap and doesn’t move for six hours

Eight-month-old (sick) Schedule:

  • 6:00-6:30 am: nurse
  • 6:30-7:00: Mama tries to snuggle back to sleep, fails, change diaper
  • 7:00-7:30: Mama tries to feed herself with Baby Girl in her arms, fails, toast crumbs all over Baby Girl’s bare back and no doubt in her diaper
  • 7:30: Mama makes coffee instead. Not the good kind (that requires boiling water) but the one-cup press-a-button-kind, good enough. Baby Girl is not happy, she wants Mama to share
  • 7:35: Mama calls the office, checks email, all with Baby Girl whimpering on her chest, fail. It’s just after lunch in London and there’s a problem. Mama fixes it. Work win
  • 8:00: Mama calls the doctor (say it with me now) and the Doctor says: no more openings on the morning of – okay 10:45
  • 8:05: Baby Girl is not happy, either she wants Mama to share the phone, or she wants Mama to stop talking so she can rest
  • 8:30: Baby Girl is asleep, Mama tries to type with one hand, fails
  • 8:32: Baby Girl wakes up screaming as soon as her back hits the crib
  • 8:45-9:30: Baby Girl is calm, Mama returns to typing with one hand, rocking baby girl while balancing laptop on her knees. Emails get answered, painstakingly. Not much else is going to get done this way

As you can see, I was less productive this week. I was also exhausted. Our transition to Mama-works-from-home is going to be harder than I thought.

This is the kind of day where I get really annoyed when my roommates (read: parents) suggest, and not subtly, that any time spent in my bedroom is time spent sleeping. It’s not.

It’s spent nursing/rocking/singing/reading/praying/packing/folding/wiping/washing/laying in bed whispering “two more minutes”/laying down with one eye open and sometimes doing yoga.

This is also the kind of day where I lose control of my emotions. I hear myself thinking “one more voice is going to push me over the edge, ” and I’m not talking “of glory,” oh no. I’m talking about a Naomi-Campbell-style-burst-into-tears-and-throw-things-fit. This happened in front of my poor unsuspecting brother once, I am more careful now. I retreat into my room to cry and watch reruns and bad romcoms, which of course only serves to strengthen the roommates’ misconceptions.

But Baby Girl doesn’t judge me for joining in her chorus of sobs. She gives me a concerned look when I sob while nursing her, but not in a judging way. It’s so sweet.

*After she got shots and when she started teething, I’m not one of those “take some vitamin T” mamas, sheesh

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