Poop, Pee, Milk, Snot, Spit-Up, and Bloody Discharge
(Warning: Now we get gross. This is reality as the parent of a newborn knows it.)
What a party! The party of In-Any-Other-Context-Disgusting Substances! What do you need to play? Diaper wipes—boxes and boxes of them. Boxes of tissues, too, one in every room. Ready? Bring home the baby, crank the lullaby tapes, and let's go!
The Celebration of Burp! That's what all those tissues in every room are for.
The Celebration of Engorgement! Breasts ready to burst? Try a warm shower to relieve the pressure.
The Celebration of the Lochia! As if your poor body hasn't been through enough, you've got the endless period! That's the bloody discharge part I mentioned.
We're not talking about the Celebration of the Hemorrhoids here.
And You Don't Even Care!
Here's the amazing, miraculous part of it all. All this disgusting, gross stuff, all this wallowing in the primordial ooze, and all you can do is be blissed out by your baby! (Well, sometimes there are the baby blues, but they rarely have anything to do with all the goo a baby brings into the house.)
Our Story Continues
In retrospect, it felt as though I sat on the couch and nursed Annie continuously for three weeks. Well, there was the time we took her out to brunch when she was three days old. And seven days after she was born, I tried out that new stroller and got all the way to the end of the block, hands welded into the stroller handle, so sure that the stroller would suddenly take on a life of its own and dash into the street. (Did I mention the block was utterly flat?) By the end of the block, I was exhausted and overwhelmed by the bright light of the autumn sun. I turned around and pushed the stroller back, barely making it to the couch before collapsing to nurse again.
Still, we got the nursing part down fairly early. It was the Celebration of the First Bath that floored us. Bill got the towel ready. I got the baby bath ready—warm water, about two inches of it. We stripped Annie and she howled—newborns don't like to be naked. We took off her diaper and placed her gently in the bath. A look of horror came over her face—betrayed, dismayed at the misfortune of being born into such a cruel family—and she promptly pooped and peed wildly, with great force. At that point Bill and I both needed a bath, too, and if Annie hadn't before, she certainly did now. We quickly rinsed her off with a cup of warm water and wrapped her in a towel, where she promptly pooped again.
The Celebration of Parenthood
The first adventures with a newborn thrill, excite, enliven, and terrify. Though it may not seem that way at first, everybody adjusts. It was true for us, too. Slowly, the drama of each of the firsts faded, and we became accustomed to the endless cycles of diapers and wipes, feeding and sleeping. We got used to it. Except the sleepless nights. And the worrying about anything and everything. And the total joy of loving a beautiful, healthy, growing child.