Gather Round Children It's Story Time · Mom Stuff

Adventures in Parental Anxiety Part 2 of Infinity

Some memoirs from the early days and some recent adventures.

I learned a lot about newborns during my stay in the hospital.  One thing I falsely believed was that newborns were like regular humans, just itty bitty.  This is not true.  They are weird, freaky little creatures who will terrify you with the scary stuff they do.  Here are some newborn fun facts I learned from the very kind nurses who never acted angry when I hit the call button every 9 seconds because I was convinced something was terribly wrong with my child.  They twitch, pant like dogs, take pauses in their breathing, sound gurgly and wheezy after they eat, their eyes loll into the back of their head, their skin is dry and they shed it like a snake, they go limp when they sleep deeply, their hands and feet are cold, they are lobster red when they cry and ghost pale when they sleep deeply.  These are all, I was told, normal things.  (Consult your personal physician.)

Oh, and who the heck has heard of ‘newborn rash’? I think this might have been the scariest parental moment to date.  So, there I am in the hospital, it’s the middle of the freaking night, I was up with baby and noticed a little blemish on his cheek.  Just a red circle with what looked like a white head in the center.  I hit the call button for the 400th time and the nurse says oh yes, looks like a touch of newborn rash– no big deal, completely harmless, is actually just nothing more than clogged pores, 50% of newborns get it.  (If it was that common why hadn’t I heard of this?!).  She says he’s lucky, most babies get it all over their body.

It couldn’t have been more than an hour later and I take off Frogson’s little shirt to change his diaper, and HOLY JESUS MARY AND JOSEPH FLAMING PINEAPPLES LORD ALMIGHTY.  RASH.  TERRIBLE RASH.  EBOLA MEASLES MUMPS RUBELLA POLIO NOROVIRUS BIRD FLU WEST NILE H1N1 RASH.  CALL BUTTON CALL BUTTON CALL BUTTON CALL BUTTON

Oh yes, she says, it’s just that same harmless newborn rash, and now he has it all over the place just like I said was normal, remember?  She tells me the official name is Erythema Toxicum, which the pediatrician would later describe as “the scariest name there is for a harmless condition” and I agree.  (If you want to have an idea what I was beholding, here is the google image.  Warning: graphic and nasty.  But tell me you wouldn’t flip out too.) I was like lady I really hope you’re right, but you roll this baby right out of here, take him to whatever baby experts are at my disposal in this facility, and confirm that that’s all it is. Cause I’m pretty sure it’s Ebola.

Yes, he was officially diagnosed with harmless newborn rash and what do you know, it never bothered him and was gone in a few weeks.  Onward to new stuff to worry about.

Last night, Frogson had by far his longest unobstructed stretch of sleep in history.  (AN EASTER MIRACLE!) Let me make some disclaimers quick.  I recently whined on Twitter about other moms (with babies younger than the Frog) who took to social media to rejoice in babies sleeping through the night, jeans fitting, etc.  I cooled down a bit because I realized, you know, if they’re making these statements about sleeping through the night with ten exclamation points, they’re probably really excited cause they’d had a tough time up till that point and I should cut them some slack.  And obviously the jeans thing I have no right to be bitter over, cause they’re probably making exercise a priority whereas I’m on the couch with a glass of wine during the 2 hours I have to myself after he goes to sleep at night.  And why people would select exercise over that, I will never know.  This is why they deserve to fit into their jeans.  And why I will remain in my elastic pants clutching a bowl of cake batter ice cream.

So, I do think chicks should go ahead and do a public happy dance when they have a sleep-through-the-nighter, but make a statement of solidarity for the rest of us, you know? Because it stings to read your bright-eyed and bushy-tailed little status message when I’ve been up every 90 minutes the night before.  But watch this: “ZOMG [baby] slept through the night!!1!!!1!!! Stay strong sisters, like Jiminy Cricket says, dreams do come true!!!” Now you have your celebratory remark with a hopeful note for the rest of us.  And you’ve dropped a Jiminy Cricket quote like a boss.  It’s not every day you have the opportunity to do that.  It’s a win-win-WIN.

ANYWAY, baby and I both slept well last night.  It wasn’t always like that, so don’t hate me, I’ve earned my stripes! But for about the last month, he’d been doing really well with sleep.  He’d go to sleep easily (knock on wood), wake up for two nighttime feedings at predictable intervals (knock on a lumber yard), and then go back to sleep easily again (KNOCK ON THE REDWOOD FOREST).  So we were nowhere near a full night of sleep, but that’s cool cause he’s not biologically ready for that and I would never rush him, (martyr mommies unite), but we were faring well.

Last night he blew past his first wakeup time by 2 hours! You don’t understand how crazy that was.  He wakes up at 2:00 and 5:00 like clockwork.  It’s eerie how clockworky it is.  Like if he wakes up at 1:50 then he will wake up again at 4:50.  Last night I woke up at 4:00 and was all say whaaaaat WTF is this!? And my boobs were all, you better find us a baby to feed NOW cause this place about to blow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow.  And of course why be happy when you can panic, and in my sleepy haze I was convinced that something terrible must be afoot in the nursery.  So I shoved Jeff awake and made him go check on the baby.  Which made him immediately wake up, but that was fine, because up until yesterday I was convinced I’d be up at 2:00am every night until he was, like, 4.

What do you know, (again), Frogson was fine and just decided to be an awesome sleeper last night.  I woke up in a great mood but then had 99 more left pinky problems today (ugh I won’t even get into it except to say I have several orthopedists perplexed with my stupid screwball finger.)   Sorry this conclusion is awkward.  Later gators.

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