20. The last thing you do before leaving the house with a newborn is change into the shirt you DON’T want covered in spit up.

I thought that I’d have a lot more patience as a mother.

Considering how much we wanted Clara and how much we went through to have her, I thought that I would be a lot more patient as we figured each other out. Considering the challenges that we had with breast feeding and then with pumping, I like to think that I’ve made the best of a difficult situation. So I had a baby with a bad latch; we worked through it and life goes on.

But nothing prepared me for what it would be like to have a baby that spits up ALL THE TIME.

I know (now) that there are babies that spit up a lot and some that don’t at all. We have one of the ones that do and trust me, there are days when I feed her the milk that I worked so hard for and then she spits it up that I wonder if this is nature’s way of telling me that for some babies, they’d be better off on formula. Certainly, I’ve gotten some resistance to my pumping, from people that see how much work it is and don’t understand why I bother when formula is just as good. Except it’s not, and the formula companies, who want you to buy their product will put on a disclaimer on their packaging, reminding you that there’s a food better for your baby then what you’re about to buy.

I suppose there’s a chance that Clara could respond better to formula and not spit up do much but she could also respond to a reflux medication. I’m not running out to try either – Clara’s doctor hasn’t suggested it, she’s certainly gaining enough weight – and my instincts tell me I don’t need too. I look at her chubby little legs, those beefy little biceps and I get a sense of pride knowing that *I* did that.

So I keep feeding her the milk I’ve pumped, she keeps spitting it up, I keep pumping more. Eventually, she’ll stop spitting up as much and I’ll forget about the days I changed her half a dozen times.

The first time she spit up down the front of my shirt, I laughed and reflected on Facebook that I was officially a mom. There was the night she projectiled through the bars of her crib and she sprayed my pajama pants and I took a photo to show my friend Anna Lee, sufficient payback, I thought, for the time we were at lunch and her daughter gushed a waterfall of spitup that overflowed Anna Lee’s not quite fast enough hand, ran down the leg of her pants (Anna Lee’s, not Taylor’s) and splattered the outdoor terrace at Fazooli’s and all I could do was cry, “oh gross!!!” Did I jinx myself that day? I’m guessing I did. And yes, parents use their hands to catch spit up.

But then the novelty of being puked on started to wear off and now, it’s getting old. Really old. She still pukes down my shirt, on a daily basis, and I still scoop it out, making sure to get it out if my bra because it gets in there too. (There’s nothing sexy about my breasts these days, even if they’re porn-star big, and just as hard.) And most days, when I’m scooping the puke, it’s not that big of a deal. Probably because I’m in a yoga tank and sweat pants and I bought like a half a dozen of the tanks from the Joe section at the grocery store so I can pull the stained one off and pull a new one on.

But then there are days like yesterday, when I’m running on very little sleep because of an allergy attack from the night before and I can’t take anything for it, and Clara is doing that shrill shriek that she’s just learned how to do and while it’s funny to her it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me, and we’re running around the house because we’re going to be late for our Infant Massage class, and I’ve JUST put on one of the few shirts that still fit me and is appropriate to wear in public and even though I tell her, I plead and beg with her not to spit up on me, of course she does. Right down the front of my shirt. And even if there was time to find a new shirt to put on, there’s not another shirt to put on and so I’m wiping at my shirt as we continue the race to get out of the door and my lack of patience creeps through as I wail and ask her why did she have to do that, wasn’t the five hundred times she spit up on me earlier that day enough?

(I indicated in my post on sleeping (#31) that I was going to continue it but I’ve since changed my mind – I write these posts in the middle of the night and there’s just no time during the day to go back to them to edit or add more. I start writing when the pump goes on, when the pump turns off, the post is done. And as for doing a post daily – I’m finding nights where I’m too bleary-eyed to write, much less think and that’s when I’d rather be reading blogs (ahem you infrequent bloggers, help a girl out) than writing them).

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2 Responses to 20. The last thing you do before leaving the house with a newborn is change into the shirt you DON’T want covered in spit up.

  1. Jody says:

    Owell, I suppose you are lucky that you don’t have a two year old in poopy diapers demanding your attention, and a dog that needs walking while Clara is doing all her puking 🙂

    (I’m not belittling how stressful it can be, I’m just pointing out it could be a lot worse 😉

  2. Alby says:

    Point taken–I’ll try my best to write more, but as you have described, it’s tough to write when you are not feeling up to it. But as always, you keep me inspired so, as I said, I will try harder!

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