My baby, Leo, passed the one month mark and I don’t know how that’s happened. I’ve been living in some weird baby time warp where the days are long but time still somehow flies by. It feels like we just came home from the hospital with him yesterday but I’ve also been sleep deprived which makes every hour feel like one-thousand. I’m confused by it, too.
It’s been a wild ride. After we brought him home from the hospital I cried a lot, had a massive anxiety attack, and spent hours wondering why someone would let me leave with a breakable human being. Who decided we were fit to do this? I was terrified. Francesco had to go back to work after only three days so I found myself alone, sitting in the living room staring at this perfect little creature when he suddenly opened his eyes and let out a dinosaur scream that I’m pretty sure shook the foundation of my house (and my confidence).
The weird thing is that I’ve been around babies my entire life. I’ve taken care of infants, lots of them, ever since I was way too young to be trusted with them (I put an ad in the newspaper when I was nine to babysit and a couple actually trusted their two young children with me after school. Like way young. Like a two-year-old and an infant. And I kept them alive and everything.). But there’s something about it being my infant that really horrifies me. When he cries, my brain sends an SOS signal that makes me panic and do everything possible to fix him. I love him. And it’s kind of killing me.
I haven’t slept more than a few hours per night in well over a month. Swimming in a vat of coffee helps come sundown I have to fight with all of my strength to stay awake to take care of a baby who is hellbent on keeping vampire hours. Sundown? Let’s fucking party, mom. After he breastfeeds I keep expecting him to roll his own cigarette and ask me if I’m into electronic music (he’s half Italian and a dual citizen, after all). Last night he fell asleep on my chest and I nodded off for a minute and woke up SOAKING WET because he peed through his diaper, clothes, all over my t-shirt and comforter. So that was my morning, peeling pee clothes off of myself while comforting a screamy baby. FUN!
Despite the lack of sleep, the pee, and the dinosaur screams, he’s pretty damn adorable and I love him to pieces. He’s practicing noises and is getting chubby cheeks. He’s looking more and more like half of me and half of my husband. He likes to look at black and white cards and makes a funny noise when he gets comfortable that is the purest sigh I’ve ever heard. It’s like a regular sigh nestled in clouds.
What’s helping me survive right now (aside from his cuteness) is my friends and neighbors. They’ve been AMAZING. They randomly swoop in and hold him so I can do laundry or shower or stare at the wall listlessly. I don’t know what I’d do without these people. If you’re a parent, my biggest advice so far is to ask for help. Let people be there for you and get your support system ready before you bring the baby home. Sane parents, mostly well-adjusted baby. Plus, adults will do just about anything for a whiff of a baby’s head. I did not know this before having Leo but people get really excited to smell him. It’s like his baby head is made of top-notch cocaine. And I’ll leave off there because why wouldn’t I?