Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Fourth Trimester: How to Survive a Newborn Invasion

Note: Despite the title, this post is not the first chapter of my new zombie/vampire/werewolf sci-fi novel. I'll save that for a later post. 

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So, I had a baby. A beautiful, dark-haired, blue-eyed, pink-skinned babe with the sweetest little fingers and toes and eyebrows and well, you name it, it's cute. And this is a very, very good thing. Because the cuteness almost makes up for the middle of the night crying jags. I kid, and yet, whilst in the middle of the so-called 4th trimester, there are moments where I wonder why anyone has more than one child. I don't really mean that, except sometimes I do.

People, it's hard adding human beings to your family. Especially the kind that don't believe in sleeping at night or feel that not being constantly cradled is a form of torture.

In light of these things, I just stress-ate a whole bag of chocolate chips over the past few days.

The day we brought our newest babe home, I had this incredibly euphoric feeling of contentment with my shiny little brood of two. I commented on this to my husband who also had a bit of a new parent glow about him. It was a glorious twenty minutes of perfection.

Then, we actually got home. It wasn't long before I was crying those big, hormonal tears and my husband was once again mystified by the whole "I don't know why I'm crying" explanation. There was also the baby-crazed preschooler who wanted to kiss and hold and hug and squeeze the life out of his new, seven pound sibling. I didn't anticipate this extra bit of crazy. It's sweet, but also rather intense. And by intense I mean, insane.

In other post-partum related news, I made the mistake of putting on pre-pregnancy jeans within a couple weeks of having the babe and wore them triumphantly to the grocery store. It wasn't until later that evening, while bending over the tub for Sam's bathtime, that Matt informed me there was a three inch rip in the seat. Darn you, postpartum love handles. Matt suggested I sew on a patch. Bless his heart.

After 4.3 weeks of being in newborn survival mode, I've compiled a list for those of you who have just had a baby, are about to have a baby, are thinking about having a baby, or may possibly have a baby at some point in the future. You're welcome.

Keys to Surviving Your Newborn:

-Wear yoga pants at all times.

-Expect to have lots of awkward conversations with adults and possibly laugh at ill-timed places in said conversations. It's the sleep deprivation. Plus, you won't even remember you talked to those people by the next diaper change.

-Always have some form of chocolate close by.

-Don't feel guilty about all the PBS Kids your preschooler is watching while you retreat to the pantry to eat chocolate chips and regain an infinitesimal portion of your sanity.

-Go to Target.

-Drink a large pumpkin spice latte. Don't even think about the fact that it costs $4.

-Always have Oxyclean stain remover on hand. Possibly apply it to the clothing you're currently still wearing.

-Keep a post-it pad nearby because your short term memory has just been flushed down the proverbial commode.

-Watch Kathi Lee and Hoda for grown-up company when you start forgetting how to use words with more than two syllables.

-Eat fiber like your life depends on it because it might.

-Call a friend. Let her tell you about the things she did in the outside world which you currently only dream about. Live vicariously through the dinner and a movie date she just went on with her husband, sans kids.

-Shield your eyes when you walk in front of the bathroom mirror after getting out of the shower. I know you're curious, but it's not worth it. I promise.

-Never go to Wal-Mart with your children. Ever. Wait at least one year before attempting said trip.

-Send your husband out for groceries.

-Send your husband out for wine.

-Send your husband out for chocolate.

The chocolate is key. Make sure you write that one down.

I'll write about all the sweet new baby stuff later when I'm less sleep-deprived/caffeinated/hormonal/brain-dead/socially awkward.

This face makes it all worth it.



  1. I might wear yoga pants for the rest of my life if I were as tiny as you....amazing!! The Walmart topic just makes me smile - oh, the memories we have made in Walmart with our two mini humans that are 19.5 months apart. God bless those who have witnessed our 'memories' in that store.... I try to visit during school hours only. :)

  2. You're the best! I love your perspective and your writing style! I wish we lived right down the street from each other so we could wear yoga pants, eat chocolate and send our husbands to Costco for a pallet of boxed wine. :)

  3. My first trip to Walmart with two children I ended up sitting on the floor of the baby isle, nursing Colin while Elijah pulled toys off the shelf. By time time we arrived home, both boys were crying and I was close. The second trip was much better (though how could it not be?). And now we really can go with (usually) no tears at all! Oh the joys and struggles of mommyhood.... praying for you this afternoon.

  4. This just makes me smile. I think you've captured it perfectly.
    Mom of a 2 year old and 3 month old

  5. I just read this 3 years later while my babe wiggles on his play mat next to me giving me maybe 10 blessed hands free minutes and gave a yes and amen to everything on this list.



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