A Fourth Trimester
So Caesarean Sections are fun. “The main thing,” people keep saying, “Is that you and the baby are both safe.” No, the main thing is that someone cut my stomach open and rummaged around in there WHILE I WAS AWAKE. I mean, bonus that I had a baby, obviously. But did I mention that I WAS AWAKE WHEN THEY DID THIS?
Being, like his father, genetically predisposed to goth, the baby made a suitably dramatic entrance. Forcibly removed amid blood and guts, on the night of a raging thunderstorm, his birth was more like the creation of Frankenstein’s monster than the mindful water birth I’d intended. Minus several hundred hippie points, but plus ten for style. We’re the Adams family (click, click); I wouldn’t have expected anything less.
After two previous rides on the parenthood deathcoaster, you would think I’d be well prepared. Arms and legs inside the vehicle, sick bag at the ready, etc. But no. Thanks to the random nature of genetics*, everything I have ever learnt about raising kids is basically useless, and I regard the baby with the usual mixture of affection, obligation and abject, pants-shitting terror.
As I’ve said many times before - but seem to have repeatedly forgotten myself - if you are the sort of introvert who recharges with alone time and Netflix, do not have children. When you’re looking after a newborn baby, there is a point where you realise that you honestly have no idea if or when you will have any time by yourself. Just think on that for a minute. No alone time. NONE. Yeah.
Sure, there are times when the baby naps. These are the times when people without children will say you should be sleeping, because they have never experienced the moment where you are so overwhelmed by all the things you could potentially do with your hour of freedom that you spend fifteen minutes staring at the baby until some jackass uses your letterbox and wakes him up.
Most of my life at the moment is spent trying to get the baby to sleep. I am desperately grateful for the four-to-five hours he sleeps from 8pm, in which I should be sleeping but am mostly drinking gin and staring at the carpet. But besides that, it’s a depressing merry-go-round of feeding him to sleep, walking him to sleep and feeding-and-walking him to sleep while silently screaming WHY WON’T THE BABY GO TO SLEEP?!
The fugue of sleeplessness is really kicking in, now. I frequently forget the baby’s name and stare blankly at people who seem to know me, but of whom I have absolutely no recollection. If I have stared at you that way recently, I’m sorry; it’s really not personal. And here’s another symptom of my slipping grasp on normality: I’ve lost my writing mojo. Having no idea how to end this post, I simply shall, right here.
* I know the nature of genetics isn’t random. Don’t write in.
** Don’t really send help; I’m an introvert. Also, if you ring the doorbell while the baby is sleeping, I cannot be held responsible for my actions.
Image: My Instagram
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