It's nice to meet you.
My name is Kelly, and I write over here. I apologize for the generic nature of this post's title. But I haven't had breakfast yet, okay?
Pamela has been super kind and surprised me with an invite to guest post, and I gobbled it right up, trying to sound nonchalant about it when really I was like all kinds of ecstatic. First, because I love this woman, and second, because no one has asked me before. Sniff.
But then I was like, what on earth am I going to write about?
I stumbled badly at infancy (theirs, not mine), I frequently feel overwhelmed with parenthood (and I only have two children), and I get a lot of migraines. Do I want to come over here and bring my Debbie Downer attitude? My Eeyore-like approach to motherhood?
(Actually, I'm really not THAT bad. It just seems like it, if you read my blog. Ha.)
And then I thought, maybe I should write about sex. I have a lot to say about pregnant sex. Mostly that I'm mystified that so many women like it. I have a friend who was all like, "I can't get enough. I want it all the time." I felt less like a sexual creature and more like a beached beluga. In lieu of sex, I'd take a bowl of Cherry Garcia with a side of three supreme tacos from Taco Bell, thankyouverymuch.
And I just couldn't get over the idea that we were participating in some kind of demented 3-some. Things would be going okay, and then the baby would move, and I'd get totally freaked out.
Postpartum coupling was also a little tricky, WHAT WITH ALL THE MILK MAKING LITTLE DAIRY PUDDLES AND SHOOTING THIS WAY AND THAT.
But I'm guest posting on someone else's blog. (It would be most impolite to discuss these matters.) The sentence within the parentheses should be read in a British accent. Just sayin.'
So I'm going to write about time. How with its passage, memories can shift and perception can be altered.
I already mentioned that I sucked at infancy. The first time around, it was just new parenthood nerves. Oh, and a newborn daughter that refused to nurse. (Seriously, wtf with that? I still haven't figured it out.) Even the coolest of cucumbers would be a little frazzled, I think. The second time around, it was a baby who only wanted to nurse, and not sleep. I felt like I shouldn't be a mother at all, but an extra in a George Romero movie. I stumbled around, looking disheveled, and yes, a bit decomposed as well. I definitely smelled like a zombie. But I didn't want brains to eat, I just wanted some slumber.
The first night we spent at home with Lillian, our second daughter, was a doozy. She was up until 4am. We walked her around, I nursed her a thousand times, we'd get her settled for a minute and think we finally had it, but no.
I still remember vividly the sensation of walking her around our dining room, just around and around the table like we were doing laps. The garage light outside shone through the window and illuminated my desperate path. I was holding her with both hands, my right hand under her head and my left hand supporting her body. We were facing each other. My arms were tired and my c-section wound pinched and tugged.
It was hardly a moment I'd characterize as beautiful.
And yet, when I look back on it now, removed from its sleep-deprived and painful immediacy, I see it as a strange kind of lovely. I recall her face in the semi-lit dark, her eyes open and focused on me, her expression soft and relaxed. I was talking to her gently, trying to will her to sleep but also telling her how beautiful she was, how happy I was to meet her. I remember bringing her up to me, kissing her little mouth and chin.
For a long time after this night, we discussed it as 'the worst.' And certainly, it is hard to be totally unrecovered from birth and care for a baby who preferred being out of her bassinet, up rather than down. It's a boot camp of sorts. No one is yelling at you to do more push-ups, but you can't sit down, you can't stop.
And still, the way her face that night is seared into my brain, I wouldn't trade it. Insanely, I would take it over a night of blessed slumber any day.
Time has passed. More than 3 years now. And I love how these memories have morphed. Time hasn't erased the difficulty, but I smile instead of frown when I reminisce.
Like the memory of her Baptism...she screamed the entire time, from the moment we entered the church until we left. There was another family there with a cooperative baby and a videocamera, and I was mortified that their video commemoration of this Sacrament would forever contain the wails of my child. My priest said, "Boy, it looks like someone is hungry." I had to resist the urge to just say, "No, Padre, this is just her. All. The. Time. Weeeeeeee!"
And now I think back and laugh. Maybe she was just voicing her disapproval of the church hierarchy and their inane stance on gay marriage. Maybe she was already fighting for the chance for women to be priests. And I think of that other family trying to watch their video, and just saying, "Can you turn off the sound? Let's mute it," and I get hysterical. Because, well, it's kind of funny. Now. More than 3 years past.
Pamela and The Mister seem to know what they're doing. They got 4 great kiddos, and little Elliot seems to be the quiet, easy-going sort, along with looking extraordinarily delicious, like a cream-filled pastry. Yum.
They have twice my experience, so they certainly don't need my advice. But everyone can use well-wishes and happy thoughts, so for them I wish a lifetime of memories that make them smile and laugh. Even if it takes a few years.
You guys rock. And thanks for letting me stop by and chat.