Thursday, April 15, 2010
Nerves of Steel & A Little Shame
Gage is asleep and Curtis went to help a friend with something, so I am home alone. And, that's a rare occasion. Of course, I COULD be folding laundry or something else productive. But, frankly, I don't feel like it. So, here I am.
Today was an interesting day. I went to DeSoto to see my parents and have lunch, and finally pick up my maternity pictures done by Shelley Nelson Photography last October. They've been ready since the week after I got them done, we've just been everywhere but there. She rocks. You should check out her work
Anyway, Gage slept the whole way there, which was nice. And, he was appropriately cute and adorable for my parents. But, he woke up on the car ride back home, and proceeded to scream. Yep, wouldn't stop. I had to finally pull over (after playing in-and-out of stop-and-go rush hour traffic) and go to Central Market in Dallas to get the baby out of the car for a while. I ended up getting some steaks for Curtis to grill (hey, he offered, and I will never ever ever turn down his offer to grill. The man could grill an iguana and it would taste good. I call him The Gril Master.) and I learned that I have no idea how to pick out a steak, let alone know what a certain type looks like. I had to throw myself on the mercy of the butcher who did nothing to hide his amusement at my ignorance. Good thing I was too annoyed with Gage to care.
So, I figure 25 minutes of being CARRIED AROUND LIKE A FOOTBALL IN MY ARMS WHILE PUSHING A CART at the grocery store would make him happy for the car ride home. Nope. He screamed. Then, while we are going approximately 25 MPH on the highway, I make a bottle and break my arm and dislocate my shoulder to shove it in Gage's mouth in the rear facing car seat. Note: this was not regular highway speed. This was rush hour traffic in Dallas. We never went above 35 while I was giving him the bottle. I think I've got this figured out. Well, about halfway through the bottle, he decides he's not happy either way. And, proceeds to scream.
Eventually, I break all driving rules and find a break in the HOV pickets and jump into the HOV lane to get some speed and get home faster. Well, guess what? The HOV doesn't open up again before my exit. And, I have to go two miles out of the way and make a U turn to come back down the service road. WHILE GAGE WAS SCREAMING. Yes, I screamed too. Gage is asleep. Thank you, Jesus. I now have nerves of steel.
And, in reference to my post about progress....well, let me say that after you have a child, avoid drama for 4 months. Resist the urge to repsond to COMPLETE STRANGERS who invade your life for no good reason. In fact, as a new mom, you should only focus on taking care of your new baby and taking care of yourself. Get enough rest. Don't have deep conversations or make any huge life decisions. Don't worry about the damn laundry or dishes. Order in or send your significant other for tacos. Don't let people who don't know you or have any respect for what you're accomplishing as the life source and provider for a new baby get to you. Avoid listening to people who don't matter. Don't worry about anything you don't really have to worry about.
Survival mode wore off at about 16 weeks for me. That's when I could look back at the first couple of months and see where I was and where I am. I didn't realize how much of am emotional situation I was going through until I was through it. I had some really dark moments. And, you don't think clearly, being sleep deprived and waiting for your body to heal from the hardest thing it will ever do. If you've never had a child, don't underestimate the changes endured by a woman who gives birth and then takes 24/7 care of that child she just delivered from her own body. Have some damn respect. It's hard as hell, and if you dare to spill drama into that woman's life, SHAME ON YOU! You might never know what it's like. Maybe that's why you're hateful. Maybe that's why you don't understand.
But, really, my advice: Protect yourself and your family as much as you can in those first weeks. Your life can't and won't go on as usual. Don't expect too much from yourself. You'll only disappoint. God, I wish I had been smarter. I wish I had known to do that.