Over this last weekend, we switched Edie's formula twice. On Saturday night she produced the smelliest, most explosive mess in her diaper that the entire upstairs reeked and Jeff had to start laundry at 2am just to ensure that we didn't asphyxiate in the night from the stink of the changing pad cover. She then went on a poop-strike that lasted until about 2 hours ago. The low grade panic that this poop-strike caused in me motivated an early morning call to the pediatrician and much nail biting guilt over having switched her formula too many times. We had our friends Jenn and Andy over for dinner tonight (they brought dinner). They have a 3 year old and a 4 month old and I was a little worried about how Edie might handle the chaos, but it went swimmingly. With all those bodies all over our little house, it felt like Family with a capital F. Andy wanted to hold Edie so I passed her off, only worrying a little that she might start shrieking. But instead she enjoyed herself so much that she proceeded to fill her diaper with another giant stink bomb. The relief I felt while wiping her butt with the 20th wipe was palpable. She isn't going to implode from poop-build up! I didn't wreck her!
Last night, we all laid down for a "family nap" at 7:15pm. Edie decided she only wanted a 10 minute nap and since Jeff seemed more spent than me, I got up with her thinking all she needed was a feeding and then we'd head back to bed. But that feeding deteriorated into a 2 hour off-and-on cry-fest. I finally lost it at 9pm and woke Jeff up by croaking, "Please wake up, I need your help." Then I burst into tears. I hiccuped and sobbed while jostling our daughter so as to keep her from screaming bloody murder. I confessed to a moment of panic while he was napping - what happened to our quiet existence with Maurice? It's too late to get that back! I'm a horrible Mother for thinking this! Luckily, instead of looking at me in horror, Jeff confessed to the occasional similar fear, typically during hour two of an Edie-meltdown. We are both completely smitten with Edie, but there are moments when this small creature is screaming despite having just been fed, changed and rested, jostled, shushed and sung to and you just can't help but think oh God, what have I done? Then this afternoon, after spending the entire day without screaming, I put on a mixed CD that Kristin made Edie and the two of us had a dance party to Alexi Murdoch and then rocked out to Stevie Wonder. She stared at me wide-eyed while we danced around her nursery and I could swear she recognized me as her Mom. It was fantastic.
I'm always such an emotionally stable person, but wow. This life change has shaken that up entirely. I've probably cried in front of no less than 10 people in the last 15 days, including the lactation consultant over the phone! I cried in front of our pediatrician when he asked about breast feeding, I cried to my Mom about my boobs, I've cried tears of gratitude and wonder when I think of how good Jeff's been to me, I've cried when looking at Maurice and worried that he's going to leave us for a family that doesn't have a screaming baby, and the other night I cried when just watching Edie sleep. When Jeff caught me doing that and looked at me questioningly, all I could say was, "She'll never be this small again."
All of this is not to have you worry about my mental health. I'm not worried. I'm just putting it out there to say that this experience has been a massive emotional roller coaster. And I suspect it will continue to be for years to come. I've always been incredibly uncomfortable being emotionally vulnerable with anyone but Jeff. My nickname with my closest friends is Heart of Stone for God's sake. But Motherhood is changing all that.