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Notes From Motherhood

Posted Aug 10 2010 12:00am
My day began at 3 am. That would be when Max decided it was time to wake up – for real – and start feeding every hour on the hour. Because he’s growing or something like that. Because he wants to see how little I can sleep and still function? Or how long I will go without touching caffeine (I’m still on the decaf). I’m not giving in kid, I WILL NOT GIVE IN!

Really I think we have created the ultimate endurance athlete here who can go on very little sleep, requires a shot of 100 calories every hour and does not seem to tire no matter what we do with him. Yes, I plan on shipping him off to the Springs as soon as he’s old enough to travel alone. With a note attached to his foot to check his V02max and start training him for the 2028 Olympics.


If you plan on ever having a baby, like ever as in maybe some time in the next 20 years, start buying diapers now. Stock pile them under your bed, in your closets. Because no matter how many you have, it will not be enough.

Saturday was a record-setting day at the Waterstraat house. Before 9 am, we went through…

5 diapers
3 onesies
1 bed sheet
1 mattress pad
2 towels
2 loads of laundry

I won’t even mention the damage in baby wipes.

By the end of the day, the vibrating chair was barfed upon and the car seat exploded in breast milk. Each day is an endless cycle of feed – poop – feed – poop. My child actually has an entire choreographed dance of squirms, grimaces and movements that precede the poop.

I suspect he got this from Chris?

God bless Diapers.com. Let me praise them: I ordered 100 diapers at 1 pm on Monday. By 10 am on Tuesday, with 2 day free shipping, THEY ARRIVED. I used to get giddy when a new piece of triathlon equipment showed up on my doorstep. I almost cried tears of joy when the diapers arrived.

We don’t have to leave the house to go buy more!

Max feeds about 12 times a day. Each time for up to 20 minutes. Do the math with me. That’s nearly 4 hours of my day spent feeding this little man. It’s totally unpredictable. Sometimes he feeds every 3 hours, sometimes every hour for several hours straight. Of course breastfeeding is a good thing but can I be honest with you? It is damn boring! A few suggestions for expectant moms: have a few places in your house where you can nurse; a comfy chair, a towel, a Boppy. It helps if there is a television nearby (and trust me, I am NOT a television watcher but the alternative is staring at my baby for the 10000th time that day…really, a little distraction is ok). For late night feedings, may I suggest the iPhone. I get oodles of work done in responding to emails, reading articles online. Sometimes though I’m so tired that I can only keep one eye open which makes typing with one finger even more fun.

This is my day, every day. But I’ll admit it – I like being a mom. It’s busy, it’s hard work but in a good way. I have this little person who needs me, who loves me, who each day looks more like me and who one day will possibly wipe my own elderly butt in return.

Which is more than my dog will ever do for me.

In other baby news, my stomach is going down. Every day it looks smaller. Either that or I’m so sleep deprived that I’m seeing things. Unfortunately my weight loss has plateaued around 22 pounds. When I told Chris this frustrated me, he kindly pointed out that I just had a baby 2 ½ weeks ago and that at least 10 pounds is trapped in my boobs. He’s right – they are huge - but still…you get this crazy sort of impatience about regaining your old body back. I don’t want to buy any more clothes – I just want to wear my old ones and look like me again.

In an effort to shrink myself back to real elf size, I’ve been walking 4 to 6 miles a day. Sometimes all at once, sometimes in a few shorter walks. Yes, I’m the crazy woman pushing the baby stroller at a sub 15-minute mile pace (amen for finally being able to walk faster than 20-minute miles!). I’m officially sick of seeing myself walk around the neighborhood but it’s all I can do right now. I tried walking on my treadmill but found that it tugged at my incision and didn’t feel right. So I walk laps around any paved trail or street I can find. Chris told me that if I don’t slow down I’m going to blow out a wheel on the stroller.

Yesterday, the wheels started squeaking. Bad.

I’ve talked to a lot of women who had c-sections, all athletes. I’ve heard everything from I ran 10-days post c-section to I was on the elliptical after 4 weeks to I waited the entire 6 weeks. I’m still planning on waiting the entire 6 weeks…I think. It’s much easier to say that than to do that. The thought of walking as my only form of exercise for the next 3 weeks is about as enticing as walking across hot coals. Don’t get me wrong - I love to walk – but it’s been 90 degrees here with high humidity and the mosquitoes are out for blood. Mentally I'm ready to swim-bike-run. I just don’t want to tear anything and have a setback. I got all freaked out on Friday that my internal stitches were infected because under the incision feels puffy and hard. After waiting 45 minutes to see the doctor (one thing you realize when you travel with a child is how important – and rare – punctuality is…waiting an unexpected 45 minutes with a ticking baby bomb is bound to end badly), the doctor informed me that everything was healing fine and that it will take many months for the internal to soften.

I got a little jealous on Saturday when Chris came home from masters. It was 9 am and I had been up for several hours feeding, changing, washing dirty clothes while he got to escape to the pool for 90 minutes. And you know how the 90-minute swim goes. You leave the house at 7 am, swim from 7:30 to 9 am and then get back by 9:30 am. When it’s all said and done, it’s 2 ½ hours. I wondered: will I ever have time to do that again? He told me they swam 5000 yards and I got even more jealous. I love long swims. I’m not even sure it’s jealously. It’s more resentment that he can continue to pursue what he wants to while I’m still waiting. It’s all worth it, of course, but I’m just being honest here. Sometimes you can’t help but feel like…when is it my turn? Will it ever be my turn again? And when it is my turn, will I really want to take 2 ½ hours of my day to go swimming? There’s got to be a more time efficient way!

I might not be able to exercise like I want to but you know what I can do? Drink wine. AMEN! Last week I declared Friday night as wine night. I pumped up 3 bottles of milk, brought in my mom to baby sit and we went to sample at the wine store. I was highly disappointed because after 7 sample-sized glasses, my husband was bright red and I was not even borderline drunk. Not that I’m advocating getting drunk but work with me here – I’ve been off the sauce for 40 weeks. It was time. As I sat up at midnight pumping – and then dumping – I thought about drinking it instead of dumping it to see if it would get me any drunker.

Motherhood is challenging, in many ways. People talk about how hard it is – I’m not finding the sleep deprivation hard, or balancing it with working very hard or taking care of this little person very hard. It’s that you are hit with the fact that suddenly life is no longer just about yourself. I’ve spent 35 years coming and going as I please, taking my time, following my own schedule and wasting my time in any way I want. It was a pretty cushy, easy life. Sometimes I think to myself I want to go back to that life. It was so easy! I didn’t have to worry about squeezing in my own activities in between feeding and napping. I didn’t have to prioritize. But at some point you have to get over yourself or risk becoming trapped by your own myopia of self-obsessiveness about your needs, your schedule, your life. Life goes on if your schedule gets out of whack, if you can’t eat breakfast until 9 am, if you have to miss a workout because someone decided to take a glorious 4 hour nap. And if you feel like it won’t go on, I’m convinced a glass of wine is all it takes to make that feeling go away.

Is it too early in the week to declare this Friday night wine night?
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