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2008-02-16 - 7:20 p.m.

...Baby Fluid Dynamics, or just going with the flow...

Last night I had my first real experience with ... spit up... o. my. god. One phrase: Mount Vesuvius.

Okay OKAY - I KNOW I KNOW this is normal. I was a babysitting PRO in high school and I did alot of babies. I've dealt with this stuff. But for a brief irrational moment there last night, I thought that my kid had turned into a defensive sea cucumber and was in the process of turning herself inside out. OY.

Cleaned it up. Changed all clothing and linens involved. No problem.

Took Baby's Temperature. Read the Baby Book chapter about Spit Up. (I know it's just spit up - but I might as well be informed about it). In the process, came across about ten possible ailments that Baby MIGHT get (if she were, like, on a field excursion in China). Took baby's temperature again. Felt ridiculous for getting irrational over spit-up. Tried to put Baby Book away, and nearly dropped it on Baby's head. Felt like there was something poetic about that. Went to sleep.


Really, and seriously. I started out this parenting thing pretty calmly - I honestly didn't freak out during the delivery when they had to extract blood from the baby's head in utero to make sure that she was getting enough oxygen. I didn't even freak out when her heart rate dropped in half and they put ME on oxygen. I stayed calm as they wheeled me into the OR and I signed the papers authorizing the emergency C-section if it were needed (it wasn't). I did stay calm - you can ask K.

But somehow they spooked me with the whole "thrive" thing, and now I find myself more likely to worry that something's wrong ... before I regain equilibrium, realize she just needs a diaper change, hug little Susi, and move on. And before long we are all one day closer to her being a grown up.

The relationship between parent and baby is not perfectly linear. There are advances and then there are setbacks. It's not a straight line towards confidence and perfection. But one can definitely feel that the relationship grows stronger. And one can definitely feel adjustments being made....

My Advances in New Parenthood:
1. Surviving on 2-hour sleep snacks
2. Getting through the night without wanting to kill K at least 100 times
3. Getting through the night without wanting to kill K at all.
4. Getting through the night and wanting to kiss and hug K, fix him a coffee and breakfast.
5. Getting through an entire feeding cycle (wake baby, breast 1, diaper, wake baby, breast 2, pump, wake baby for third time, bottle feed, sterilize, second diaper, try to get baby to sleep) on my own.
6. Getting through an entire feeding cycle on my own in less that an hour and a half.
6. Getting out of the house.
7. Getting out of the house and having two hours on my own away from baby.
8. Feeling awake, healthy, and coordinated enough to help with housework and cooking, with a baby on one arm.
9. Mastering a cloth diaper.
10. Getting showered and dressed before noon four days in a row.

Things that still freak me out:
1. spit up.
2. baby's eyes going crossed.
3. baby staring endlessly at unknown THING over my left shoulder
4. baby deciding to stop breathing for, oh, three seconds.
5. baby just not waking up.

Things that melt my heart:
1. baby cries like the end of the world has come and I'm not there to save her.
2. baby quiets to a whimper when I able to comfort her - as if she wants me to know that the world almost ended and she's still a little afraid.
3. baby falls into sleep coma sprawled across my chest - or with her arms draped possessively across K's belly.
4. baby hears my voice, looks up in my direction, and smiles.

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