I haven’t slept in two weeks. It has really been challenging. I think that being a new parent has been the hardest thing I have ever done. Wait, scratch that, I know it is the hardest thing I have ever done. “She is crying again.”
All the people who meet her tell me how she is such a quiet baby. They tell me how lucky I am because I have such a quiet baby. I am not sure if they are lying to me, or if babies really do cry much more than she does. If so it is a wonder that people have more than one.
Tonight has been especially difficult. Anthony is at work. He works for three days in a row and sleeps at the station, and then has six days off. This evening is the third without him. “Lucky bastard,” I think to myself. Tonight I am ready to pull my hair out.
Tears roll down her cheeks. I can see all the way down the back of her throat as her tiny tongue quivers with her squeak-like screams. Her arms flail at her sides with clenched fists. “How did she get her arms out?” I ask. I swaddled her like Chipotle burrito last time. The clock on the night stand reads 3:30 am. This is our third time awake tonight.
“Are you hungry honey?” I ask her in a soft gentle voice. The answer I receive is more squeals followed by a few squeaks. “Whoa!” I exclaim as I peal the side of her diaper and find the present left for me. I’m not sure that adults can poop this much.
I lay her next to me on the bed and proceed with changing her diaper. This action does not make her very happy, but it has to be done. “It would have been nice to have had gloves for this.” I think to myself as I notice that I have baby poo on my hands. I blow the hair out of my face and rub my nose with my forearm and proceed to wipe her bottom clean with one hand holding her feet. I grabbed the new diaper and as I lifted her hips off the bed. “Squirt.” All I see is greenish brown fluid traveling quickly at my face. I am unable to dodge fast enough as some of it lands on my cheek and my shirt. It has also sprayed all over the white sheets on my bed and the wall behind me.
Crying with feces on your face really sucks. But the wall of emotion hit me like a ton of bricks. The lack of sleep, the hormones, the poop on my face, and the still unhappy baby was about all I could take.
I reflect on that night and many others as we contemplate bringing another child into the world. I think we are going to adopt.
A letter to my daughter
Your beautiful smile full of missing teeth brings a joy unattainable by any other means. You have truly enlightened me. I understand unconditional love and what it takes to be a parent. I am a better woman because of you. Thank you for humbling me and teaching me so much.
I hope that one day you will read this and learn from what I have learned and try to use good judgment. Crying with poop on my face was what it took to break me from the selfishness within myself. I have never resented you. I only may have wished to have been better prepared.
But then again, I wouldn’t have this story or many others like it if I were. Like the first words I had ever spoken to you, I still “promise to always love you, be there for you, and take care of you”.
Amy, Daughter of Beth
Do you have any horror stories like this, I would love to hear them! Make a comment below.