Well Wishers or People Visiting the Zoo?
Phone calls were made and friends and relatives started to visit. Seeing the look of awe on big brother Evan’s face when he was introduced to his little brother made any discomfort melt away. For the next few hours I was caught up in the after glow of this precious thing called life. What we can actually create is truly miraculous.
Initial hospital visits by well wishers are always welcome. Mom and Dad are usually shocked and awed by the surreal experience they just had, and usually welcome the opportunity to tell their birth story to whomever will listen. A few of my friends and family who had not yet witnessed for themselves my pink and blue beached whale show thought that they would get a 2 for 1 special by visiting the hospital when I delivered the baby. I also think they felt that the hospital was more neutral territory where they wouldn’t get roped into a chore like cleaning the bathroom or doing the dishes.
The next day I got to take my little miracle home. Getting ready to leave the hospital, I realized that I couldn’t walk and carry him at the same time. I needed both my hands for the walker. Here was another blow to my independence. This one I really didn’t like, and it would impact me even more when I got home. Think about all the things you do one handed while carrying your newborn around the house. I guess my second born would get the same attention as my first born - sit and stare at this amazing thing I’m holding all the time. At least here is one piece of “Mom guilt” I also didn’t have to carry around.
The first couple of days being home with a newborn are always a challenge. The entire family is adjusting to its newest member, and the baby is, among many things, adjusting to breathing air instead of fluid. That black, tar-like poop isn’t so cute and interesting the second time around. Most people give new parents a few weeks to adjust. Not my circle of friends and acquaintances. We had all our neighbors visit to see the new member of our culdesac. If I needed these visits to be short and sweet, my friend the commode would trickle to my rescue. It’s amazing how quickly I could get rid of guests just by saying, “I’m sorry, but I need to go to the bathroom now,” while pointing to my little friend. People would stumble all over themselves to get out the door. They probably laughed themselves home.
Bringing my little Riley home threw a huge wrench in my well tuned machine called life with a bump and two casts. I thought I had finally figured everything out, and had developed a workable routine. Now I had to change diapers.
My original diaper changing solution was absolutely ridiculous! Our changing table was located in the baby’s room, so if I was all settled in the T.V. room, I would:
1. Put the baby in the infant car seat.
2. Stand up and balance myself on one leg.
3. Move the walker forward a few inches.
4. Hop forward.
5. Reach back and drag the car seat behind me.
6. Repeat steps 3 - 5 all the way down the hall until I reach the baby’s room.
This was my routine every time the baby needed a diaper change. The most challenging part once I reached the changing table was getting the baby out of the car seat, which was on the floor, and up to the changing table without either dropping him, or toppling over myself. It didn’t occur to me to put the car seat with the baby in it on the changing table to get him out. Perfect demonstration that functioning legs are required for a functioning brain.
How many times does a newborn’s diaper need to be changed?
How quickly to do you usually need to respond to a newborn’s discomfort and screaming?
I know, ridiculous!
After few days of this routine - depression also apparently affects learning ability - I set up a changing station in the T.V. room. The similarities between this movable changing station and my commode were not lost on anyone.
~Mary Kathryn Johnson
Author ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mom
Say Bump and Take a Left
[Next installment tomorrow. All interested parties meet back here to find out, "What's behind door #362, Bob?!"]