Can We Talk?

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Can We Talk?

Baby Boy Comes Home

I was so proud of myself. I actually lost all my baby weight in the hospital and came home slim. I was weak, though. The stitches hurt and I had lower back pain. But the suitcase was packed and husband was there to pick us up and take us home.

As soon as we got home, husband snapped. He started to scream, threw the suitcase down, the baby started to cry and so did I. I was confused. I thought this ought to be a happy moment. Instead, I was made to feel guilty for having our son. It didn’t make any sense. He behaved so strangely, as though he resented this other little person coming into his life.

In the middle of the tirade, friend Margaret walked in and comforted me. She claimed her husband behaved in the same exact way. She helped me to set up the change table. She helped me with the formula. I don’t know what I would have done without her, at that time.

Meanwhile, her husband is giving husband advice. He said to move out of our bedroom and into another room because baby boy is going to cry all night and husband needs his sleep or he can’t function at work. Well, it made some sense but I was feeling deserted.

The first night, incredibly, baby boy slept all night and didn’t wake until 6AM. I thought wow, all those people were wrong. Baby boy will sleep just like the rest of us. Wrong.

In husband’s defense, he hired a nurse to take care of baby boy. Since baby had slept throughout the night, he hired her for the day shift. I guess we could have changed her time but she did a lot during the day, including all baby’s laundry (no disposable diapers back then), fixing the formula, having everything ready for me during the night.

The next night was a different story. I awoke out of a deep sleep to crying. I felt disoriented for a couple of minutes. Funny how babies cry. Sometimes they cry so long, they seem to have trouble catching their breath. Anyway, I didn’t know what to do first. He was wet, the sheets were wet and I’ll bet he was hungry. Meanwhile, husband growled to make him shut up. “How do you do that?”, I thought.

I rushed into the kitchen to get a bottle and stuck it in the warmer. Meanwhile, I changed, wiped and powdered baby boy and changed the sheets. Now, I got him to feed and, while he had the nipple in his mouth, he was happily sucking away. I followed the whole routine of burping, etc. and put him down to sleep. I fell instantly asleep, exhausted.

It might have been an hour or two and I was once again awakened by his crying. Back to the changing and the feeding but now I had to leave the room because husband was growling about being woken up.

Husband moved into the guest room, like his friend suggested. Well, who can blame him? He wasn’t any help anyway, so this way I didn’t have to put up with his growling whenever baby awoke. But, after a few days, husband took on a strange habit. After baby boy was fed, changed and put back down to sleep, I’d hear a woeful cry coming out of the guest room. “Mommy. Mommy”. I swear every word is true.

I would then go into the guest room where he slept. He needed to go to the bathroom and wanted me to help him. I would then take his hand, lead him to the bathroom, wait till he finished, lead him back to his bed, kiss him goodnight and, gratefully get back into my bed to fall back asleep. What was that? I’d never heard any other woman relate even a similar story.

Pretty soon, like a few days before Christmas, mother and sister arrived. Mother slept with me. She was supposed to help me. Truth was, she was no help at all but at least she didn’t growl. And while she was there, I didn’t hear the “Mommy. Mommy” sounds coming from his bedroom.

After a few days, husband complained that he felt discarded because he wasn’t allowed to sleep in his own bed. It had been his idea but that made no difference. “Well”, I said, “Come back”. I’m sure Mother won’t mind sleeping in one of the guest rooms. I was right. She was grateful to be able to sleep through the night. So, back in he moved but the growling never stopped. Of course, nobody wants to be woken out of a deep sleep. I didn’t enjoy it either.

Christmas and New Year’s came and went and my family went home. I was glad. I felt completely overwhelmed what with Christmas, house guests, new baby boy and a husband who regressed into infancy. It was all too much. We kept the nurse on for another three months until we hired a nanny.

November 27th, 2006 Posted by | Family, Long Ago and Far Away, Nostalgia | no comments

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