About two weeks post partum; I was taking a shower (a commodity that had become sparse at best), listening closely to the monitor that sat on the toilet seat and trying to decide exactly what body parts were most important to wash in case my baby decided to wake up.
Suddenly, I remembered that I hadn’t waxed my eyebrows in over a year. I was shocked by this thought. Not the thought itself, but the fact that it was about me and not Oakley. For two entire weeks, every second of every day, I had been thinking about the baby.
I wish I could say that moment was some kind of revelation. I wish I could tell you that I determined then that I would take more time for myself and make sure I got my eyebrows waxed. Instead, I washed whichever armpit was smellier and got the hell back to be being a Mom.
Because being a Mom is exactly that-constantly worrying. I didn’t want to ever leave the hospital after O was born because what would become of it? If Oakley’s poop looked weird, there wouldn’t be a nurse to tell me what to look for; there would just be Google. But if she didn’t latch right, would Google be able to hold my boob for me until she got the hang of it?
Once you bring your baby home, every day you become a little more insane. The concerns go from her stools and eye boogies to swearing up and down that her headband is too tight or that she always has a fever or her soft spot is sunken in or she’s spitting up too much or she’s eating too much or she’s not eating enough or she’s not sleeping enough, except on the days when she sleeps too much.
My most recent concern takes the cake (so far). I had placed O on her Boppy Lounger so everyone at the house could adore her and shower her with compliments. She was wearing a bib because as we previously discussed, she spits up too much. My mother pointed out that the right side of her bib was always the side soaked in spit up. She then went on to say that this was because she always turned her head to the right.
I mulled this over. I thought about the way I held her. If she were in my left arm, she would always face me. If she were in my right arm, she would always look out into the room. I looked at her in her Boppy as she smiled to the right of herself at her daddy and I panicked.
“Go to her other side,” I ordered. But he wasn’t moving fast enough so I went there myself.
I snapped my fingers next to her left ear, called her name and made funny noises. The most I got was a glance out of her peripherals.
“Oh my God,” I said, my mind on the speed dial to her pediatrician. “She can’t turn left.”
Next, I took Baby Zoolander’s face in my hands and tried to manually move her head all the way to the left. It worked, but she immediately turned back.
I was convinced: we had to completely change our style of parenting. Everything had to revolve around getting her to turn left before college. Tummy time would be facing the other way as would bed time and feeding time.
My mother told me not to worry and I told her that she could say that with confidence considering she clearly raised me correctly, for I could turn left.
By the end of typing this I have discovered ten other things to fret about. Partly because I watch too much TLC in the middle of the night and have become way too familiar with various disorders that affect every one out of a billion kids. But mostly it’s because it comes with the territory of having a child.
When Oakley has to get shots, is overly tired, or just plain fussy for no reason, I always have this overwhelming urge to roll her up and put her back in my belly. Although I rarely got a glimpse inside, she just seemed happier in there.
I also notice that in her ultrasound pictures she didn’t seem to have such an aversion to her left side. Just more evidence that it is something I’ve done. 🙂
OMG. So right.