My “Duh” List Elicited by the Greatest of Post-Partum Hormones
I’ve had baby on the brain since writing my latest book, The Baby Symphony. And with baby on the brain, I was thinking of the comedy of errors that came with all of my post-partum hormones. I’m not talking about Post-Partum Depression. That is serious, and it is a whole different thing. I’m talking about the after-baby rush of hormones that gives birth to insane emotions that make you do things that will have you looking back years later and nodding your head at yourself.
My problem with all of this actually started with being a writer! Because in writer fashion, we’re avid readers, right? And as avid readers and writers, we also become researchers, too, right? So there’s no surprise that when I got pregnant, along with what was then called old-fashioned “journaling,” I read every book possible on being pregnant. And when the bundle arrived, I read every book on what to do with him. So with the overload of information raging along with those post-partum hormones, it’s no wonder that when I returned to work and realized I had to tell my baby goodbye, I went a little bonkers!
Sweden and Norway give a hefty one-year paid maternity leave for mom and dad combined. Here, we get three sweet little months, and if you don’t have a job that pays you during this leave, we take even less time off. In the blink of an eye, it feels like you left the hospital bed to go to work. At least that’s what it felt like for me.
My son and I were just getting to know each other. I knew his habits, his smile, his frustrations, his sleeping and eating patterns, how he smelled just after a bath, how he loved the sunshine. And just like that, my three months were over and done with.
Blame it on post-partum hormones and emotions, or blame it on the fact that it was my first day back to work and I was devastated, I honestly don’t know why my momma didn’t bop me in the head when I showed up to her house on day one of back to work and handed her a list of instructions on how to take care of the most valued possession of my life. Couldn’t I just have thanked her sweet soul for taking on such a hefty responsibility and left?
Mind you, my dear, sweet mother raised six children including twins of her own (thanks for that twin gene, mom!). But guess who suddenly thinks she knows more than the seasoned veteran mom? Ah… this girl… the one typing this. The one who had been a mother for a whopping three months. *Shrinks away.*
I thought there were a few things my mother should…well… know… and I was kind enough to spend the entire evening before typing it up, highlighting, capitalizing and bolding important points! This list insultingly included directions for defrosting frozen breast milk, and how to make a formula bottle. Yeah, I think I’m so smart do I? Guess who packed cappuccino mix instead of formula into the formula dispenser? It was five in the morning! Plus, I was crying. It was rather easy to make that mistake!
I’ll spare you the story about how I cried in between all of my presentations that day, and how I was almost arrested for a “hit and albeit unintentional run” that destroyed the front of my brand-new SUV. I’ll also spare you from the story of how I could not set up the pack and play unit at my mom’s which brought out the naughtiest of sailor mouths, and most of all, I’ll spare you the entirety of this list! But here are my favorite excerpts from my “Things You Need To Know About My Baby List,” or as I like to call it “My Duh List Elicited By The Greatest Of Post-Partum Hormones.”
- Mom, WASH HANDS after EVERY diaper change. (Really?)
- WASH HANDS BEFORE making a bottle, especially if you’re dipping your hands in the formula can. (Ah… really, really?)
- Don’t put him to sleep WITH HIS BIBB ON. He can STRANGLE himself! (I swear I really capitalized all these key words for her. I even bolded some of them for further emphasis!).
- NEVER LAY HIM ON HIS STOMACH! He can SUFFOCATE!
- Don’t put pillows or blankets into the crib with him. He can SUFFOCATE!
- Don’t let him get too warm. This causes SIDS!
- DON’T give him WATER! This can thin out his blood!
- KISS him A LOT!
- HUG him A LOT!
- TALK to him A LOT!
- ANSWER THE PHONE WHEN I CALL OR ELSE I’LL PANICK!
- IF I DON’T ANSWER TEXT ME!
- THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Well, at least I said thank you, right??
Six years and three babies later, I think I’m okay now. But it really just depends on who you ask, as I’m slathering sun-screen on them even on a winter day, or standing over them like a night-stalker to make sure they’re breathing. Oh… did I write that out loud??