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Pelvis

by Ursula Crawford

You shook your pelvis
and they worshipped you.
Well, my seven-year-old hips
couldn’t speak that jive
but my lips
sang you ain’t
nuthin but a hound dog
over and over
to the picture of you,
pre-
white jumpsuit and
Las Vegas and
specially made fried PBJ sandwiches,
which hung on my wall.
you were sexy then, at
least to a first grader
looking back through time.
You were sexy
and they worshipped you
and then you were unsexy
and they worshipped you
and then you died
alone
on the toilet
our king.

Author’s Note: Okay, this is sort of cheating because I wrote this poem years ago. But I like it, and it is a busy Mama Bear day, thus far including grocery shopping, 3 poopy diaper changes, discouraging Baby Bear from eating a thumbtack & encouraging her to eat vegetables, my husband working all day on a Saturday after working all week, and as always — sleep deprivation.

 

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Teething is very sad for all parties involved. Baby Bear is currently teething (again) and/or sick. She has a nasty-sounding cough, which I think is caused by all her teething drool. Last night at about 12:30 a.m. she would not stop screaming. Usually she will easily fall back asleep if I nurse her, but this was not the case last night. Finally I just got up and sat with her on the couch so that my husband could sleep. After awhile of this she fell asleep and I was able to go back to bed and sleep with her head propped up on my shoulder. She still woke up every few hours after this until we finally got up around 7:30.

It’s days like this that I’m thankful that I don’t have to go to work. Although sometimes I feel like parents who work have it easier, since they get to have a life away from their child. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. (Not that I had the option of going back to work — I got laid off during my maternity leave).

Anyway, I look forward to the time when Baby Bear has all her teeth AND sleeps well all night. I also look forward to the days when she is potty-trained and no longer puts everything in her mouth! And most of all, I’m excited for when she can talk and tell me what she’s thinking and feeling. She is 11-months-old already so I know those days are coming…slowly.

Now I have to go stop her from climbing the bookshelf.

Dear Baby Bear,

We seem to have a problem. You want to wake up every 2-3 hours at night, and I don’t. I miss the days when I used to get a blissful, uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep and wake up ready to seize the day. Now I spend my days as a half- awake zombie.

I realize that you’re a baby and you don’t really understand what’s going on. The world is new and exciting, and sleeping through the night is a concept you’ve yet to appreciate. Also, I know you don’t like sleeping in your crib, but it can be awkward when you sleep against me, causing my right arm to fall asleep and my left arm to fall off the bed.

Could you try sleeping for longer stretches at night? Maybe even in your own bed? And if you do wake up –– no need to cry. Just go back to sleep and in the morning, I promise we can hang out. What do you think Baby Bear? I guarantee that you and I will both feel better.

Love always,

Mommy

I want to make new friends, but I’m too tired. Plus I forget how.

Probably the first step is to leave the apartment. Which I actually have been doing quite a bit lately. Mondays Baby Bear and I go to sign language class, Tuesdays to the library and on Wednesdays it’s yoga. We try to keep a busy schedule. Hence, I have not been updating my blog.

Going to these activities is great. They provide fun ways for Baby Bear and I to interact, and allow us both to see a little bit of the world. I’m feeling much happier than I did when we sat at home all the time.  However, I kind of wish I could make friends with some of the other moms in these classes.

But how to make friends? If I’m being honest with myself, I’ve never been great at making friends even in the best of situations. Maybe it has to do with being an only child. Or being really nerdy. Whatever. Either way, I’m just an extrovert wannabe.

This is not to say that I don’t have friends. I do. I have some wonderful friends. But it has taken years to make them.

I’ve read How to Win Friends and Influence People. It helped. I now have a general sense of how to converse at a dinner party. If you haven’t read it, the basic gist is: 1) smile 2) ask people lots of questions 3) remember their names 4) give compliments 5) never tell someone that they are wrong – even if they are.

Number 5 is kind of hard. Working on that one. All of them can be hard when you haven’t really slept much for 6 months, actually.

I have made one new friend lately. We’ve been spending a lot of time together. Some might say we’re even best friends. She’s not potty-trained yet, but she does have an amazing sense of humor. Her laugh can light up the whole room.

Me with friends — yes, I have them!

 

How did I survive the first few weeks with a new baby? How does anyone?

My friend Courtney was visiting when Baby Bear was about three weeks old. I told her that we hadn’t been sleeping much, but things had improved since the first week when we hadn’t slept more than a few hours a day.

Didn’t you start hallucinating? she asked.

One would think! According this article I found on the Internet (so we know it’s true!), some side effects of prolonged sleep deprivation include hallucinations, temporary insanity and sometimes death.

I’m happy to say that I didn’t hallucinate, although at times I did feel like I might die. Some things that helped me through the craziness were my husband, our moms, and our amazing friends who brought us meals for the first week. Homemade brownies and lasagna can help you through anything. As can love.

Baby Bear was born on a Saturday, after a night of no sleep.  When we finally got to go home on Monday afternoon, I had still hardly slept despite my extreme exhaustion. The lactation consultant was very clear that I needed to feed her every 3 hours from beginning of feeding to the next. So, if I started feeding her at 8 and finished at 8:45, I would have to make sure to feed her again at 11. That doesn’t leave much opportunity for sleep in between.

I was also still exhausted just from the birth itself. So tired in fact, it took about all my strength just to stand. And I’d experienced some tearing complications that had me on Vicodin and generally feeling awful.

Additionally, we had appointments for Baby Bear every day that first week. She had jaundice and was having problems breastfeeding. So we had two pediatrician visits, two lactation consultant visits, and two trips to the hospital for bilirubin tests.

On Wednesday, they determined she had lost a little more than 10% of her birth weight, which is a red flag for jaundice. So the lactation consultant put us on an even crazier regime where every 2 1/2 hours I had to breastfeed her, then Spencer would feed her breastmilk from a tube while I pumped breastmilk.

On Thursday we both had a meltdown and I called my mother-in-law and asked her to come spend the night. She came, did laundry and dishes, and took over Spencer’s tube feeding duties so that he at least could get some sleep.

Somewhere around Saturday I started having REM sleep again. I’d gone that whole week without dreaming, but I became so exhausted that I would sink into a deep sleep during each brief break between feeding the little one.

On Monday we went back to the lactation consultant, and she still had not gained much weight. I couldn’t believe it after we had worked so hard. The nurse gave us a new plan, where I would breastfeed her and then Spencer would feed her from a bottle. The bottle was able to fit quite a bit more milk than tube we’d been using.

The next day we returned to her pediatrician to find that she had gained several ounces. Thank God! Of course, we had to keep feeding her constantly, but the whole situation was becoming slightly less stressful.

Things have continued to get easier, and now at 10 weeks, Baby Bear is in the 75th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for height. She goes to bed regularly around 10 p.m., and I get up with her around 3 a.m. to feed her. Usually she sleeps for a few more hours after that, although last night she declared a sleeping strike from about 3:30 – 5:30.

Now, she is napping peacefully. I still can’t believe how beautiful she is, with her long, dark eyelashes and little elf ears. It all seems like such a miracle. To have such a sweet, healthy baby. To get through a natural birth and weeks of sleeplessness. To have all of our needs provided for when I was so worried that they wouldn’t be. I don’t know how it all happened. I can only say, thank you thank you thank you.

Now maybe I should nap.

 

Mama and baby ducks.