Tuesday, March 22, 2016

If I Knew You were Coming, I'd Have Baked a Cake, Baked a Cake

So. Here we are. 10:17 PM, this March 17th. One year ago I had been experiencing labor pains for 18 hours now, morphined* up, but feeling much pain for all that. Javier was bored at this point** and drowsing on his cot. The doula*** massaged my back with every back spasm, and leaned in, if I wanted her to. The original shift nurse who had shunned the doula and ignored her outstretched hand to shake, was long gone (thank god), and other, more open, medical staff wandered through to check vitals, update charts and utter things perfunctory and upbeat. Nooooo, I'm not going to take you through my whole birthing process, but I am surprised that over the last couple of days, I have been experiencing momentary flashbacks. I still don't have that parental sense of "Oh my god, it goes by so fast" exactly, because while this past year did flow more quickly than others, it was also so full, and so boring, and so great, and so everything, that yes, it certainly has felt like a year. When I put her down this evening, it was startling to see how long she has become. Full, too: oooooph! we manage to not say, most times we lift her.

The Baby has been hoodwinked by Daylight Savings Time. Or rather, it has passed her by -- this week, she has crashed around 6, and demanded the breast, even if her solid food schedule disagrees, and is dead asleep before 7:30. It has given me a new lease on the night -- when I was only fully done with her around 9, it was early in the evening, yes, but late to start some new thing of one's own, especially when one has been babying since early morning. So pretty much: a beer, TV or reigning show, wait until Javier appears.

But 7:30? Surely you can get something done, then! This earlier turning in may not last, but so far, I have carved every night, and begun to think (the tiniest bit) beyond the finish of my picture book. Which was part of Javier's & my agreement -- I stay home the first year, I finish the current project as best I can -- and really, there are only the final two pages lacking final sketches now which is A.MAZ.ING. Marketing? Nope, not so much, and aside from some loyal, wonderful friends, audience growth for the blog seems a bit...slow****, but honestly, I have found this difficult to work into a regular schedule. Which all say is paramount for blog readership. In terms of taking it one day at a time, though, it has been absolutely lovely to write a few times this past week. I always feel better writing. If nothing else, it's a satisfying way of existing in the mind, with a little optimism thrown in -- this act, in and of itself, was worth it, in this day it was written. Return to daily existence, in the best possible way.

from 2010, but a nice shot of the folks
Hey-ho, March 22nd -- my own Momma's birthday. She succeeded in getting skype to work on her notepad (the ability to do so -- always a question mark) and we skyped while Baby ate her solids. The one-sidedness was a little sad, with Mom going: "HeLLOO BABY, oh you're so PRETTY, you ARE! Hi, Baby! It's your Grandma, I'm your Grandma, Hai!" and the infant (excuse me, One Year Old, heretofore known as O.Y.O. for at least 12 months) rumbling and thrusting her pointer finger in the direction of more hummus and toast fingers. I would have said, "She's pretty hungry," but really -- no more than usual. Like her Mother, it is unlikely she'll ever go on a date and order salad or just an appetizer, in order to appear falsely feminine.***** We will have to counsel her that tripping is a socially unacceptable manner of dealing with people standing in front of one's food. O.Y.O. threw Mom a few smiles and chuckles, once her food was done, so I think everyone was happy.

We had a little O.Y.O. birthday party and man, I am so glad we did! It was all that I hoped for. Thrown together kind of last minute, with some minor ass busting (i.e. cleaning + baking -->  citrus poundcake with citrus glaze, brownie cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, buttercup cupcakes with fudge frosting, a nice little lalala presentation). A flurry of friends, much baby love, some props to us adults for emerging from the first year. Naturally the streamers and honeycomb paper decorations from last week's Target run I put off to the last minute and so remained in their bag. But really, all I need is some kind of nebulous fuss at the key moments in life, and this most definitely qualified. Busy enough that I didn't take any photos at all, though a groovy friend-of-a-friend was scooting around with a serious camera in the background, so I think there is some cool visual documentation. "I thought there would be all kinds of photos," said my Sister, "Pictures of her opening presents and eating cake. I kept waiting, but I didn't see any. And on Sunday, I still didn't see any. It's like the only reason I go on Facebook." I didn't realize our laxness was having a negative impact, but I understand there needs to be an ongoing current of Baby documentation.  

On that note, rustling in the nursery. Is it a portent? Will she awake, wailing and afraid of her shadow? Always the question: is it a glitch or a the start of a phase? In this modern age, babyhood still jettisons you back to reading signs and symbols. This means that; that means nothing; but that there? Means everything's okay.

*Oh my god, Morphine is such a cheat. You think: Oh thank god, the big guns! But no. Heavy curtains, and behind that, underneath it, the pain.
** wise enough not to say this at the time. In his defense: yes, hours and hours of not pushing. If one was not personally experiencing the pain, sure -- boredom.
***Oh my god, if you're pregnant, get a doula. For heaven's sake, get a doula. Have someone give this to you as a gift. 
****Bahahaha, growth. As in: free time really grows once you have a child or freshly baked cookies grow on the free table in the office lunch room or office supplies grow plentiful in a workplace employing dissatisfied librarian types
            -->I love librarian types. And I love useful, organizing items, like office supplies.
            -->And not that I'm bitter. I have slacked, I slack, I may slack again. You get 
            what you give.
***** I think one shoddy excuse for a date said something like,"Wow, I didn't think you'd be able to eat all that. You must have a really good metabolism, haha!"

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