Yesterday, you read a post from one of my very first readers. Today, I'd like to introduce you to the other of my very first readers, Mimi, from Not a Bride Yet. Mimi was married almost two years ago (goes by so fast!), and since then she's been busy with a new project: her baby boy, Henry. I was excited when she, too, agreed to write a post here about the hectic life of a new mom. Lord knows I've been thinking about these things lately. And there are days when I think that there's no way in hell I could raise a kid and do it the perfect way I imagine it in my head, plus work 60-70 hours a week, plus blog, plus, you know, tend to my husband. Here, Mimi explains how you give up some of those ideals, and you get real. Enjoy!
so happy to be inspired by marty to write a post! it's been a while. i know that you, marty, are not in the same place in life as my post describes but i am hoping that one day you will look back at it and get some laughs from it. or at least let this serve as a warning to you!!
when i first got pregnant oh the plans i had! i was bound and determined to have the perfect pregnancy and to raise my child ... how shall i say it? perfectly is the right word i think ( read: make your own baby food and use cloth diapers). but more than that, i wanted to have this baby in style and simplicity, dispense with the unnecessary and tacky (read: modern crib and no cartoon figures on any accessories.). of course, most of all i wanted to make sure my child got all of the things that would nurture him in the best ways. (read: wooden non-toxic toys) and i thought, "i am OLD, 42 when he was born, i can do this right because i am wise and experienced and patient." all my friends told me it was a lofty goal, i should just make it easy on myself (read disposable diapers and food from jars) and now i see they were right. mostly.
the pregnancy. i said i would eat pristinely. perfect whole grain, vegetable and fruit filled diet for my unborn babe. ha! nobody tells you about the strong sugar/carb cravings. (there's actually a lot of stuff nobody tells you but there's probably a reason for that.). i ate ben and jerry's phish food, half pint a day. i had several glasses of wine during the pregnancy. also it was hard/impossible to ignore the del taco beef and cheese burrito cravings. some people i talked to craved fruit. lucky them.
next let's go on the the actual birth. i said i would not have an epidural. i did not have an epidural!! oh right, so that is not what this post is about. but i kind of wanted to brag. i stuck to my guns with some things.
ok back on track now that you are impressed.
i said i would not send out pictures of my son on birth announcement or holiday card. i also said i would not put him in little costumes. here is evidence of the way i dispensed with both of those resolutions in one fell swoop. oh -- resolutions get it? new year's?
he looks pissed.
excuse me henry is crying. be right back...
ok the world's cutest baby is asleep. (language i never thought i would use.)
i did not want to take a lot of professional pictures of henry as a newborn. it's so cliche and they look so squishy and funny anyway. all of those pictures of toes and hands? ick. and i now regret it. it's the only thing i said i would not do and now regret. for some reason the newborn stage was much more delicious than i thought it would be. i wish i had more pics of his little teeny hands and feet, god help me. probably because it was my own child? the photographer came to our room at the hospital and i said no thanks. we took a lot of iphone pics because you can send them right out but they are such bad quality i realized duh. witness the grainy iphone pic:
maybe pass this off as arty?
*** do i even need to mention the fact that i said i would never go around showing people pics of henry? it's not my fault, it's apple's. they make it really easy to be an obnoxious jerk. flip flip flip flip thru the phone. here's my dog. here's my dog again. here's my baby.
plastic baby shit as my friend sarah calls it. i was not going to have any of it in my house. none. first of all, it's bad for the environment to buy this junk and then use it for the 3 months anything lasts in baby world. secondly it's hideously ugly. and three i want henry to have all educational toys made of sustainable non-toxic finished wood that stimulate his creativity and enable his (my) plan to win the nobel peace prize. here's one of the first times i broke my rule.
this thing is so bright and tacky and it sits right in the middle of our living room. so i let him bat around at those scary looking plastic thingys while i made lunch or peed. i let my babygroup friends tell me it was developmentally helpful to let him have something at which to aim and to practice grabbing. a few times i would come back to him and find him with a frightened look on his face. that star thing with the face in the middle was scaring him i think. i mean look at all of that STUFF on that thing. i now know that ikea has something similar that is cheaper and much less frightening. fyi.
other gross stuff that ended up in my house:
-an ugly plastic swing
-a really ugly plastic chair lounger thingy with music and an underwater theme. also scares him. maybe because the batteries are dying and it sounds now like a scary movie soundtrack. underwater.
-a rock and play sleeper. whatever that means
-an upholstered nursing glider. not ugly but remember i said simple and it's the recession, we are supposed to be cutting back. or it was the recession anyway.
-a bunch of plastic toys. only one that talks and lights up. so far.
-one of those awful foam padding floor square mats. you know the ones that seem stylish but ARE REALLY NOT.
-a pack and play. you won't even know what this is if you don't have a kid. it's not that interesting. don't bother to find out what it is.
other evidence of weakness:
-the baby monitor. seemed extravagant but just wait to see how paranoid you are with your first child. you will need to check his breathing every five minutes.
-the mirror in the back seat so i can see his face. see above paranoia.
-two strollers. apparently this is not a lot. i don't care. i think it is a lot.
-disposable diapers -- but only at night!
-the crib bumper. you aren't even supposed to have these, they may not even be safe!!
-oh, and the pacifier. a sign of weakness on baby's part, i used to think. but they are born with the strongest urge to suck! my boobs could not handle it. if you aren't there yet, you'll see...
may i list my prouder moments?
-still exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months despite some hard times with it.
-his wardrobe is not extravagant. could be much much worse.
-we have a lot of the "stuff" we have because of hand me downs.
-a lot of his clothing is from a second hand store. it's called grow kid grow in silverlake and it's really great. recommended for l.a. mommies.
-babywearing him sometimes, trying for more.
-i have stuck to my guns and had the pediatrician give him his shots on a sloooooooow schedule. despite strong peer pressure and nurse ratchet at the office.
-i have been seeing all of my friends! keeping in touch. we have had several dinner parties. of course if you get an invite from us, i hope you like pizza.
this whole experience has been humbling, as are all big life experiences i guess. i felt this way too when i got engaged and when i got married. i realized i was a crappy friend to my friends who had been through these milestones before me. somehow i just could not know what it's like and respect the other person's experience until it happened to me. my friend who recently lost her father said that experience is the same, you just can't imagine how it feels until it happens. so now, when i see another mother (which by the way is really cool, all or at least lots of moms see each other and kind of nod. acknowledging the fellow warrior), i feel the respect. even if she has a bunch of ugly plastic shit all over the place, bad outfits, screaming kid and ten different strollers. well, ok, i judge a little. but really a lifetime of judging can't go away overnight.
and really, the reason i gave in to the things i strongly did not want to do or have? this love i have for this little guy, it's overwhelming. so much so that when the hormones were still going crazy right after he was born, i would cry to see his foot at night and think "where have you been all my life?" oh boy. not the mimi i know. the new mimi cries folding laundry because he is growing out of his onesies. i have to say it's a new, kinder mimi. i don't think i can blame the hormones any more. i like the new mimi though. (thank goodness).
the reason for the new mimi: henry
(Photos by Mimi at Not a Bride Yet)
You can check out more from Mimi (because hopefully she's going to post more, right, Mimi???) at Not a Bride Yet. Tomorrow, I'll be back with a Friday dance! That's right, an actual Friday dance! See you then!