I thought I’d be a much more relaxed mom this time around. I had visions of taking our new baby boy to bar-b-ques with friends at the local park, drinking a lovely cold beer and watching our youngins throw rocks in the water. I thought I’d be a lot better with the over-protective side of me that took almost a year with LB before I felt confident I could leave for the weekend and she’d still be alive when I got home.
It was a lovely thought.
Instead, I brought home a preemie, one that came with a pamphlet of instructions from NICU nurses, pediatricians and lactation specialist. If there’s one thing I am not lacking, it’s information. We have information on the dangers of his little lungs getting sick. We have information on the scary-ass NICU stay that would be inevitable should he so much as get a cold. We have information on why I ABSOLUTELY must try to pump my milk and why he ABSOLUTELY can not sit in a sling/carrier/car-seat/swing. We have all the information we need. It’s worse than google.
These professionals literally scared the living shit out of me with their warnings. I don’t think they’re aware they’re talking to a Type-A hypochondriac that just so happens to worry about SIDS, choking and purell eating. I’d never leave a child unattended on a table or bed, I’d never leave him in the bath water, I’d never set the carrier up high. I know this about myself. So when they heap on “DO NOT LET HIM GET SICK. DO NOT GO IN TO PUBLIC PLACS. DO NOT PASS GO.” I admit, it got to me. Just a wee bit.
Then Mr. Flinger got strep throat. The SheChild sneezed on her brother. My antibiotic-infultrated breast milk won’t come in and when I try to take the herbs, I have an allergic reaction. We try to make a simple run as a family to the park and I start bleeding like last night’s pre-cooked steak dinner. It seems as if the more “they” pile on, the more the Universe fights back. Stay well? Public places? A life?
And so here I am wondering why I thought this was hard the first time around with my full term baby and her fully cooked little self. I’m wondering what I worried about so much with her and why I would watch her sleep at night. I’m wondering if I had any perspective at all, if I would’ve been a bit calmer with the whole new-baby thing. Maybe not. But I wonder.
Then I hear my husband and our daughter playing ring-around-the-rosy upstairs, the baby is sleeping, the sun is poring in our kitchen window lighting up the bottles and pump paraphernalia from the night before and I think it’s not so bad after all. That I can do this. And that, right there, is a whole ‘nothah level of comfort I never thought I’d reach.
You know, it sounds like you are in a really good place. I’m so glad that this time—despite the challenges—YOU are doing well. The last thing you need at this point is PPD, and that whole nightmare.
By sleeping mommy on 2007 06 01
You’re doing wonderfully.
And just in case it helps - I was TWO MONTHS early in 1980, and my mother’s doctors gave her the same two week long list of crap I couldn’t do/see/touch/hold/breathe/think. When I didn’t put on weight like I should have, she switched doctors and ended up with one from a thrid world country who told her that as long as the baby is healthy and functioning well, the BEST thing you can do is let it go outside and be out in the world. He said that was how babies who started out weaker could be given the opportunity to grow strong and healthy and develop good immune systems.
I’m 27 now, and even sort of smart, so I think it worked out alright.
My point, long winded as it may be, is simply that doing your best is enough. That little boy is surrounded by love and family, and he will grow up to be a big strong terror, like all little boys should!
By heather on 2007 06 01
hey friend, I am glad that you are able to see the good moments.
Gotta go. Brady is messing with teh computer and Hope is trying to send you her own little message. I am not going crazy, right?
By hilary on 2007 06 01
“a whole ‘nothah level of comfort I never thought I’d reach…”
you sound great. i know it’s hard to step back from the middle of ‘it’—but recognize what a wonderful mommy you are to your two amazing kids!
By Lizzy on 2007 06 01
Dear Mrs. Flinger,
I felt the need to write you this tiny note of not only congratulations, but of admiration.
I haven’t been available to comment, lately, but I have been keeping up with your little, well, NOT so little family via Flickr.
I think you are a wonderful Mama, person and blogger. You done good!
By some girl on 2007 06 01
You can so, totally, completely, thoroughly pull this one off. I know it.
By Wacky Mommy on 2007 06 01
You can do this. You have done it before with LB. No, it was not this challenging, but it was all new and scary then. There are added challenges with Baby O, but you’ve done the newborn thing already. You can raise lovely children who don’t eat the purell and who breathe and smile and charm everyone around them. Hang in there and I’m so glad you can enjoy the little moments.
By LauraLou on 2007 06 02
You’re doing great and it will get better.
(Jan ducks as Mrs. Flinger throws a coffee mug at her head)
I’m still praying for you and your family. *Hugs*
By Jan on 2007 06 02
Ahhh. I do not make light of your struggles, as they were mine as well. Just consider yourself lucky that O was born now and not in September (i.e. start of RSV season) like Declan was. The first time he ever went to the grocery store was MAY. Hang in there kid. It gets easier. I promise.
By aimee / greeblemonkey on 2007 06 02
Yes, you can do it. Finding the beauty in the middle of everything being so hard proves it.
By jenijen on 2007 06 02
Whoever said “Knowledge is Power” definately wasn’t a Mom… And when the hospital gives you too much info, I can see how it’d be even easier than normal to freak!! Hang in there!
By Holly on 2007 06 02
I’m impressed you found time and energy to write six paragraphs! You CAN do this - and your family will THRIVE!
By AmyM on 2007 06 03
It would be super silly of me to tell you not to worry. You’re a mom, of course you’re going to worry. It’s like me blogging about Jacob not eating (seriously) and one of my readers saying all kids are picky. It makes me mad when people say they understand but can’t, not really.
The one thing I will say is this: just know that you have TONS of bloggy friends who will listen (or read!) and write back strong words of encouragement. I came into your pregnancy a little late in the game, but that doesn’t make me any less concerned for you or your family. I can’t tell you how many times a day I think about my “bloggy friends.” Maybe I need to get some real life friends Just take things one day at a time, my friend.
By Melissa R Garrett on 2007 06 03
I didn’t/don’t have the exact same situation, but I just saw myself in your description of yourself. All hail the type-A hypocondriacs!
By Tere on 2007 06 04
I was so excited to have a summer baby after having a late fall one and then she had to go and come 6 weeks early leaving us with the “LIST”. What got me through? A more relaxed pediatrician and my general bitchiness! I took the 5 pound peanut places and then bit off the hand of anyone who tried to touch her; I pumped, gave her formula, and continued to try BF and eventually - around her due date actually - she got it.
I knew I had done it before and had proof that I wouldn’t kill a newborn (the toddler is another story entirely). You can do it
I got to warn you though - Rachel is almost one and the preemie “crap” is still with us and she wasn’t even that early!!!
By Andrea on 2007 06 05
To comment on Andrea’s comment…several things. If Hope can withstand her PreK brother, she can live through anything I am thinking!!!
And on the preemie crap…I taught a third grader who still had the preemie “crap” attached to her. She was behind the rest of the class, yeah, but ALSO everyone had done everything for her and had babied her. She was a sweet girl.
I never did like labels…I am going to go now before I really get started…
kl t y bnb b
(Hope sends her love!)
By hilary on 2007 06 05
i think this is just the way life is. we make plans and then other shit happens. how you handle it makes all the difference.
its the precious in-between moments of non-insanity that make it all completely worth it. but naturally, those are few and farbetween.
By texasbelle on 2007 06 05