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You’d think I’d be an expert at living life postpartum, now that its the third time around. Newsflash to motherhood: each child does not give you another notch of expertise. Darn. Would be nice though. Third time or first time, postpartum life, particularly in the first week is still just as messy and surprising.
Take the other night for example. I’m up, nursing the baby. Its about 3am in the morning. I currently sleep with the boys now – them in one bed, the baby and I in the other, so Daddy gets his sleep for work. Most of us are familiar with finding a situation where the dad gets his rest, so he can make it to work, think clearly, and at least we will have one, level-headed and open-eyed adult in the home. Anyways, the baby is just now starting to spit up, which I forget. I’m falling asleep while burping him when he starts to get gaggy. Oh boy. He launches yellow grossness all over my hair, shoulder, back and himself. YUCK! I jump out of bed with him and immediately realize jumping out of bed was not a good idea. I NEED TO GO TO THE BATHROOM STAT! I can’t hold it well at all, so I’m running and holding the baby with yellowy-milky liquid all over one side of me. I have to lay baby on the shower rug and slide onto the toilet as fast as possible. Now I have damage control to address, which I don’t need to describe in too much detail, while the baby is crying on shower rug. At least its soft.
I hear a knock knock on the door. “Are you okay in there?” Seriously, Daddy is awake??? The whole point of this sleeping arrangement is so he can sleep all night right?
“Yes, I have spit-up all over me, and I really had to go to the bathroom.” I come out with one disaster fixed for the moment, and at least I have some help cleaning myself and the baby up at 3:23am. We gave each other a hug and high-five. I guess it was like a go-team parenting moment where we both were up and cleaning messes together – or it was just a delirious, why-are-we-up-if-we-high-five-maybe-we-can-go-back-to-sleep moment. Anyways, I headed to my bed with the baby. There was little Jack awake and laying on my pillow. “Hi Mama!” He was way too excited. “Hi Jack, its time to go night night.” He refused to get in bed with Benjamin, so he was in bed with me. I managed get the baby asleep and Jack night night next to me. I layed there waiting for morning when I could get in the shower. I still had spit up in my hair, but I was way too tired to do anything about it, so I hid it in a bun.
It’s amazing how no matter how many times you’ve given birth, changed diapers, pumped milk, washed clothes, made crafts etc. You never know what’s going to happen. You prep, pack, clean, think ahead…and it can all go surprisingly wrong in an instant with kids. I was hoping more kids meant getting better/mom life getting easier. I envisioned myself knowing what messes and disasters would be coming ahead of time so I could ninja respond before it actually happened. I think with the third baby I’m less ninja like, and more like a freezing goat. You know, the ones that are running all pretty, then they just freeze and fall over? Yea, I’m closer to that still. I am so caught off guard by the amount of things I don’t expect to happen, I stand stunned for a hot second while I contemplate if it’s really relaity. I’m sure (or I tell myself this) that a lot of mom’s have their postpartum mishap stories. It’s too bad we can’t get a medal for each baby and graduate out of the messiness that follows childbirth, but then again, maybe we’d have way too many babies if that were the case.