opinions about life, work, and spirituality

Birth Control

June 16th, 2009

So. You think you want a baby.

It’s 2:30 am, and you have not yet gotten to bed. Your body feels like a bag of soggy rice. As you head towards your place in bed, imagining the lovely soft, cottony feeling of your head upon the pillow, you smell something rank. You pick up your little bundle of joy and head over to the change table. You unsnap her sleeper and begin the diaper change. Suddenly: Boom! Floosh! Prrrush!

Your little one has projectile pooped all over the change table and your hand. Now you watch, as in slow motion, as she pees. Your cat-like reflexes are not what they once were due to five weeks of sleep deprivation, and before you can snatch your sweet babe off the change table, you watch the pee run backwards underneath her back, soaking her undershirt. It’s 2:35 in the morning. You, your child, the change table, and any surface within a metre are covered in urine and feces. Your angel begins to holler. The sound of her mewling brings you back in time to when you were eleven and your friend dared you to chomp upon a massive piece of tin foil with your new cavity-filled molar.

You firmly but politely ask your now-awake partner to watch over the wee one, but bewilderingly, she runs out of the room, into the kitchen. “What is she doing?”, you wonder with only the slightest annoyance, “Now is not the time for a bowl of cheerios or a plate of nacho chips!” You call for your partner with only the slightest edge of perturbance in your voice. “This child pooped and peed everywhere! I could really use your help! What are you doing!?” Your partner spins back into the room.

For the ladies: You spin back into your bedroom, breast pump in hand. Your baby will need to eat after this diaper change and you are seriously engorged; your breasts are the magnificent size of five-pin bowling balls, and just as rock solid. If you feed your child in this bowling ball state, milk will spurt into your child’s mouth like water from a fire hose (yeah, I know it’s a cliche) and she will gulp down too much air, resulting in rivers of chunky spit-up. Your mid-wife has cautioned against this, though she really didn’t need to, as you are sick and tired of cleaning curdled milk off the sheets, mattress, pillows, walls, carpet, chairs, walls, the ceiling, your hair, your favorite abstract painting and everyone’s clothing. As you rip your undershirt off (because gone are the days you can wear a sexy little negligee to bed) your partner turns to you with a look that is just slightly enraged. You hold up the pump like a talisman.

For the men: Your partner holds up the breast pump with one hand, the other hand cupped beneath her magnificent breast which is the size of a bowling ball . If you weren’t covered in urine and feces, more exhausted than you’ve ever been in your life, and trying hard not to scream yourself from the sound of your child’s screeching, you would be turned on. But you are not. You are just slightly enraged. “This child has covered my hand in poop, decimated the change table with feces, and marinated herself in her own urine.” (You always get poetic when you are just slightly maddened.) Your partner sighs, and trudges over to you.

The two of you head for pails of water, baby soap, washcloths, clothing, mop, steam cleaner, vaccuum and high-powered pressure washer. As you run for these items in your exhausted state, you glance in the mirror and are reminded of when you were eleven and your friend dared you to sprint after spinning around in a circle 100 times. As the two of you get to work, you pass your newborn back and forth like she is a football and you are in intense training for football season. She is not impressed. At last, between the two of you, you manage to scour every surface in your bedroom, fanagle your child into a diaper, and wrestle her into a sleeper. She lets you know you haven’t done any of this fast enough for her liking. As you head to bed, you glance at the clock which now reads 3:35 am and realize there is still the matter of your partner’s bowling ball breasts. Neither of you feel like another hour of cleaning spit-up after your babe’s feeding, so you rock your howling infant in your arms as your partner hoovers milk into a bottle. Finally, as you hand your child to your partner to be fed, the clock reads 4 am. You sink back into your pillow into a very deep sleep.

It’s 6 am. You have slept for a total of two hours. You notice your child smells rank. You head over to the change table…

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