I am still a postpartum basketcase. Crying when I see new babies in public; I want to hug the parents and tell them it will be okay. Lingering on the diaper isle in front of Newborn sizes; I want to cuddle an 8 pounder again. Barely making it through the summer Olympics with P&G's advertising campaign focusing on Mom's. (I just made it 30 seconds watching the ads on You Tube before sobbing into a burp cloth.) All these outside triggers are tough, but I can make it. What really gets me is when I think of the past five months. I wonder where it went. And want to remember more than I can. That breaks me down in the worst of wonderful ways.
If it is possible to be any more happy with a baby, I don't want to experience it. My heart would be too full and I would be too overwhelmed with infatuation and intrigue to know what to do. I am on the edge of that possibility now and it is the most interesting burden. But this has not always been the case.
I joked for years that I wanted to skip the newborn months and start parenting at four months. Turns out it was no joking matter, but was my brain prematurely jumping to conclusions that were very accurate. The fourth trimester... Only three months... A mere twelve weeks... Less than 90 days... The length of a school kid's summer break. It is a very short period of time. But when spent with a newborn baby, one hundred twenty-nine thousand six hundred minutes is a looong time.
Until it's over.
And then, miraculously, a still-recovering yet always-sentimental momma can be caught baby lusting over the picture of an infant on his Mom's shoulder printed on a box of Newborn diapers.
Quickly fading are my memories of the days and weeks when the first thing out of my mouth when visiting with anyone was, "Why do people have more than one kid???!!!???!!!" They would laugh and say, "I know, isn't it crazy?" And I waited. And waited. Doe eyed and drooling for the answer and a magic morsel of motivation. My inner monologue screaming, "I'm serious! Not a rhetorical question! ANSWER ME YOU FOOL WITH 4
KIDS AND TELL ME HOW TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE NEXT TEN THOUSAND MINUTES
WITH THIS UTERUS TURD!" But nothing. They were off wiping their own kids butt or taking care of their own pregnant belly or so far removed from this phase all they could remember is that their maternity clothes weren't cute.
So I forged on. Hunched over the crib, pacing in the street, sobbing in the shower.
And now, somewhat suddenly, over two hundred thousand six hundred minutes have passed.
I remember laying on the couch one morning, five day old William laying next to it in his Nap Nanny, my Mom walking through the door for our 8:00am shift change, greeting her with a prepared smile but true feedback about the previous ten hours:
"Third night [home from the hospital] was a charm, it keeps getting better and better."
Little did I know I had the answer all along.
Time will be my enemy and friend.