Archive | May, 2014

No Filter: The Mommy Definition of Gross

6 May

Before I had a baby, I thought it was gross to clip your toenails in the living room. I thought drinking out of the milk carton COULD be considered gross — although PoppaNut knows I sneak a swig or two out of carton from time to time. Things like chewing with your mouth open, digging in your ears and wearing dirty underwear are certainly gross, motherhood has completely changed my grossness radar.

It started with pregnancy, when my belly served as my lap tray and catch-all. My belly became a magnet for all things sticky, like ice cream, jelly and BBQ sauce — and I’d sit blissfully unaware for hours that my shirt had been stained with “insert random sticky thing” and I was proudly displaying it everywhere I walked. Yeah, gross!

My Rather Large Catch-All Belly

My Rather Large Catch-All Belly

 

Then, there was labor. Let’s just say a lot of gross things happened within those hospital walls, and everyone has been sworn to secrecy. Between the blood and the bodily fluids, I’m pretty sure PoppaNut and I are both still scarred from the experience. I mean, there was a morning when I literally had to pee with a lady two inches from my hoohaa while she used a spray bottle to clean said area — and that’s the most mildest gross part I feel comfortable sharing. Again, I’m pleading the fifth on the rest of it, but it was beyond gross.

Then, we brought baby home, and within five minutes of our big arrival, I managed to get poop on our freshly painted nursery walls. That beautiful Quicksilver hue now featured spots of Reece’s infant tar, and no amount of scrubbing seemed to diminish it. Double gross!

Fast-forward to Reece’s gastrointestinal appointment, where PoppaNut and I try to keep our little one entertained for 20 minutes while we wait for the doctor to arrive. We bounce, we tickle, we play games, he pukes … all down the side of my shirt and arm. And the crazy thing is I don’t even flinch. I don’t rush to clean it up, I don’t make a gross face, and I don’t even move like something gross has happened … because at this point, it’s happened a billion times and now I’m used to it. When the doctor walks in, I’m still casually dabbing it off with a burp rag, and without any hesitation, I go right into Reece’s symptoms. It’s like “Yeah, nothing to look at here, folks … just puke down a new mother’s favorite top … keep it moving.” But it’s still gross!

Now, for the grossest story to date … Reece was about one month old when he woke up at 3 p.m. for a nighttime feeding. Sluggishly, I threw on my pink fluffy robe and headed in to assess the situation. Reece was making some grunting noises, so I placed him on the changing table and checked his diaper. No poop. But the pushing continued. So, I took off his old diaper, put a fresh diaper right underneath him and pressed his legs up to his chest, foolishing thinking the diaper was well-positioned to catch anything that might come out. Well, I know personally now where the phrase “Shit has hit the fan” comes from. Shit hit everything BUT the fan in this case. It shot out like a Supersoaker Max D 6000 Water Blaster, minus the water. I received one hit to the chest and one to the arm. The wall and diaper genie were blown away, and I sat completely frozen for a good minute solid.

How in the heck do you clean this up? If it was in the morning hours, I would’ve hosed myself off on the side of the house … that’s how bad the destruction was. No one told me poop could fly! 300 wipes, 30 minutes and a scrubbed bath robe later, most of the remnants were gone and the poop explosion became my motherhood fodder. Nasty!

Now, there’s a whole new host of things I do that my before-baby self would gag at. I talk about poop at the dinner table. I pick crap out of Reece’s ears and nose with my bare finger. I regularly find lint hiding in my baby’s formula-collecting neck rolls. I’ve found a dirty diaper in my purse (and my mommy brain has no recollection of how it got there). I get puked on a few times a week, and sometimes, I don’t even change my clothes. And when Reece farts, I almost always laugh.

I could go on and on. In a way, I’m kinda proud of this new me. Who knew I had an iron stomach and balls of steel to deal with this motherhood crap … yes, the flying-across-the-room, hitting-mommy-in-the-chest crap. And that’s life in a nutshell.

MommaNut

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No Formal Training: Learning to Be a Mommy

3 May

I was never a baby person. In fact, the first baby I remember interacting with was my brother … and that started out pretty rocky. My first memory with him consisted of me dancing around the living room in my fancy new plastic headbands and then biting him when no one was paying attention. I’m not proud of it, but the good news is that we’ve come to love each other as grown adults.

Me and My Brother

Me and My Brother

 

Flash forward to high school, when everyone babysat for extra cash. A woman in my neighborhood asked me to babysit her three young children, and I jumped at the chance. How hard could that be, I thought. Four hours later, covered in macaroni and cheese and watching “Dumbo” for the third time after a “falling down the stairs” incident, I literally met that momma at her front door with her destroyed children and vowed to never babysit again.

When I was in my twenties, my sister and her family came to visit, renting a beautiful condo on the beach. She asked if I’d mind watching her youngest son while she took her other older children to an amusement park for the day. Condo on the beach? Yes, please! So, that morning, I said goodbye to my sister, changed into my swimsuit and headed to the pool with JR in tow. Well, I had no idea that babies don’t really lay out and lounge by the pool, so our stay lasted a whole 10 minutes at most. But when I lugged JR and all our beach gear back upstairs, I realized we were locked out. So, there I was in my bikini with no shoes and a baby on my hip crossing the ever-busy, tourist-lined Gulf Boulevard to get an extra key from the rental office. Beyond embarrassing and one of my biggest redneck moments!

Since that last incident, I hadn’t spent more than maybe two hours alone with a child, and then we got pregnant. Luckily, PoppaNut has far more experience, but that “plus sign” meant it was time to learn a thing or two myself. So, I poured over baby books, mommy blogs and family testimonials. I Googled everything I could and spent hours watching YouTube videos like “How to Wash a Baby,” “How to Feed a Baby” and “How to Swaddle a Baby.” Yes, I literally YouTubed this stuff, and it was actually pretty helpful.

Then, I signed us up for the baby class, “Childbirth Preparedness.” I came with a notebook, pens and my academic ethics. I was going to sit at the front of the classroom and learn EVERYTHING I could because knowledge is power. And PoppaNut was a great sport about it — he participated in the question/answer session and even walked around the room with me while I stomped and squatted (techniques I was told help the baby drop). I learned about the birthing ball (yoga ball you can use during labor), signs of labor and a whole host of other things. But when it got to the C-section portion of the class, we scooted out. We aren’t going to need that anyway, I thought.

Boy, were we wrong! After being induced and spending 12 hours in labor, I had a C-section. I didn’t get to use the birthing ball and I didn’t need to know the signs of labor. I completely forgot most of the things I read in the baby books and blogs. And from then on, I just did what I thought was right. I still make jokes about how I’m completely not qualified to have a baby, and it’s still quite unbelievable that I’m somebody’s mommy. And suddenly, that same girl who never was a baby person now can’t imagine her life without this amazing baby in it. Amazing how becoming a mommy can change you. But I guess what I learned is love is the magical ingredient. With love leading you, you find your way. And that’s life in a nutshell.

MommaNut

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