I Hate(d) My Baby

July 24, 2019 — Leave a comment

I had my first ‘I hate my baby’ moment the other day.

I had heard of them. I knew they could happen.

But to other people.

Not me.

My Sadie is so perfect; so easy, so wonderful, so loved- that I could Never hate her. Even for a second.

And then, this past Saturday, I bundled up Sadie around 4:00 pm and took my mom to the airport for her flight back to Ontario.

The airport was hectic. It was supposed to be a quick stop and drop. But my mom’s luggage was overweight (because cramming over 23 KILOGRAMS of clothing into a suitcase is way too easy for my mom), and we had to take 12 POUNDS of clothing out at the airport for Mom to avoid a $100 overweight luggage charge. There was also a typo on her ordered ticket versus her printed ticket, and we had to get that cleared up. While we were fixing NayNay’s issues and slamming 12 pounds of clothes into the bottom of Sadie’s stroller for safekeeping, Sadie started to fuss. A light fuss. A fuss that sounded like ‘I’m hungry’, even though she had eaten just before we’d left for the airport.

I hadn’t accounted for this- I hadn’t packed an extra bottle. I should have, but I had other things on my mind, like parting with my Mom and making sure she got to her flight on time.

By the time Mom was safely on her flight, I was buckling Sadie into her car seat. She was fussing a bit more now, but not terribly.

I got on the road. Deerfoot normally calms her down when she’s fussing.

On this day, while I was feeling very sad about my mom leaving, and a little haggard from the airport experience, the sweet, calming chaos of Deerfoot at 110 km/h did Nothing for my girl.

Her fussing turned to screaming.

The screaming was incessant. Loud. Angry. Raging. Painful.

Incessant.

I was trying to get her home; get her in my arms, get a bottle in her mouth.

I tried ignoring the screams. Focus on traffic.

The screams got louder. She sounded So, So angry.

I could hear her uvula just flailing around in her throat- I’ve never heard her make noises like that.

I felt angry. I felt annoyed that I had a job to do- get us home safely- and that she wouldn’t stop screaming.

I was angry at myself that I didn’t bring a bottle.

I was sad that my mom had left and that I couldn’t even feel my feelings because Sadie wouldn’t let me.

The screaming got louder.

I was So Close to home, but I couldn’t take it anymore.

I took an overpass, found the first dirt road I could, pulled over, put my hazards on, and hopped in the back with my girl.

While I was driving, I had been mad at her. I had- for a moment- ‘hated’ her.

But as soon as I got into the backseat and looked at her angry, beet-red little face, pink toothless gums, open maw, little blonde hair covered in sweat from the exertion of her screaming, I crumpled.

I just thought ‘you poor, sweet, sweet little thing. You have feelings too. And you feel all of my feelings. You could know that I’m sad that my mom just left. You could be sad too. You could be hungry. You could have gas. You could just need a hug. There could be So many reasons that you are sad, and you depend on me to know them all- and to fix them all- for you.’

And I scooped her out of her car seat, held her to my chest and started to cry too.

She needs me more than anyone in the world and she trusts me to help take care of her feelings.

There’s been a few moments since her birth where time has felt like it’s stopped, and this was one of them.

While I kissed her forehead and held her tight to my chest, I memorized every single detail of that moment.

The weight of her little body against mine, the curve of my wrist that supported her bottom against my tummy, her one hand tucked into her chest against mine, and the clammy, fingers-spread-open relaxed and tiny hand of a girl who had finally unclenched it because her mom had pulled over, forgot about her own agenda, took her in her arms and comforted her.

I cried full-hearted and happy tears that this person trusts me to hold her and to comfort her. To know what she needs and then to meet those needs.

I cried at the magnitude of it; that this little person cannot walk or talk or meet any of her own basic needs, and that I get to be her Mom, and then I cried for all the babies that cry and don’t have mothers who can scoop them up in their arms.

And then I cried because Sadie is only three months old right now, and there will be a day someday down the line, where she’s let’s say, 14 years old, and she Can talk, and she Can walk, and she Can meet all of her own basic needs- and I hope so fervently that even then- when she has a bad day, has a mean friend, fails a test, feels not enough- I hope that even then, she will crawl into my arms for comfort.

I will Always keep a hug for her ready in my arms.

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Is it normal to stare lovingly at your baby’s face for over an hour and count that as ‘doing something for the day’? Yes.

Is it okay to keep your child in the same dinosaur onesie for days on end if they haven’t puked on it yet? Yes.

Is it okay on other days to dress your baby up like they’re going to a baby beauty pageant but you’re really just going to Walmart for diapers? Yes.

Is it okay to need more alone time than you ever have before? Yes.

Is it okay to bail on commitments and tell your friends that you basically need to put your friendships on hold until you can figure out how to ‘Mom’ to the best of your abilities? Yes.

Is it okay to take the only opportunity you’ve had to connect with your spouse in weeks and use it to binge-watch all 8 episodes of the new Stranger Things in less than 2 days? Yes.

Is it okay to look at yourself in the mirror on Tuesday and say ‘I’m a chubby wanker, I really need to work out again’, and then to catch your same reflection on Wednesday and think to yourself ‘goddamn I’m hot for being freshly postpartum.’ Yes.

Is it okay to accept that your house will basically never look like it used to and accept that as long as it’s still sanitary, this view of your living room is your new normal? Yes.

Is it okay to join a Mom’s group online and then be terrified to meet other Moms cuz what if they don’t like you and what if you don’t like them? Yes.

Is it okay to hate that lady at Walmart who literally looked up your baby’s butthole on the change table and pronounced that you needed to buy better diaper cream?? Yes.

Is it okay to constantly vacillate between feeling like you’ve got it all together and then having all these questions for other moms, like ‘is it normal?’ And ‘is this okay?’. Yes.

It’s okay.

It’s normal.

You’ve got this.