Friday, February 28, 2014

A Mother's Dignity

You want to get a lot of attention?  First, take a shower.  Then take three really cute little girls to the mall.  Next put a newborn into a Moby and prepare yourself.

The hardest part will be not breaking down into a puddle of sobbing post partum tears when the strangers, with admiration in their eyes, keep telling you what a good mom you are.  Try to believe them when they say this.

You know, the human body has a lot of fluid in it.  Really, we are pretty juicy creatures.  All sorts of fluids, and some are supposed to come out of the body, some aren't.  Some smell bad, some smell worse.  I don't think any of them smell good... but I could be wrong?

Last week I sent this email to some people, soliciting advice.

"Hazel just peed all over me.  I'm wearing the only pair of pants that I can wear without pain from my incision.  We are leaving in about twenty minutes to go to Hallie's doctor appointment.
I mean, I could go to the doctor in my pajamas, but I just don't want to.
I feel like my only other option is to wear these pants.
That just got peed on.
What would you do?
I'm at a loss.

My friends and family came back with their advice, and in the end I wore the pants, because it is cold here and the pajamas in question were a. a nightgown, and b. thin cotton pants.  Neither of which I wanted to wear in sub freezing temperatures.

AND because I have a limit on how disgusted I can be by myself and the fluids that land on me from these little bodies I take care of, and infant pee is really pretty harmless.  In comparison to other bodily fluids, it seems like it is practically water, right?  I made the only choice I felt I could make.

We've had the vomits around here. Again. Then Again.  And then again, a few days ago.  When kids aren't feeling well you know where they like to be best of all?

Right. By. Mommy.  And you know when their tummies really start quaking and shaking who do they turn to, cry to, try and express their discomfort to?

Mommy. It all seems to come together at just the right moment and I can't tell you the number of times I have been thrown up on THIS MONTH ALONE, not to mention the six years I've been doing this gig.

Now we've talked about the pee, and the vomits.  What else should we cover? There are many options, snot, tears, spit up, breastmilk, blood, drool, the meal at dinner that just didn't taste as good as it smelled and they changed their mind about swallowing and where else should it go but all over Mommy. 

Hazel is a master at spitting up when I least expect it, and having it land in the most random places on my person.  "How did she manage to get me there?" is what I find myself wondering late at night when I am tired and can't decide, should I change, or am I not so wet that I can't go back to sleep?

A few days following that email, the day I wore the peed on pants to the doctor's office, we went to church. It was my first time back at church and I was so excited to be back and singing with the kids again.  (I'm the music leader for the children's class at church).  I ran out to nurse Hazel real quick so she would hopefully sleep the two hours I would be occupied.

Then I decided to change her diaper before I went back in.  You know, one of those wild and crazy spur of the moment kind of ideas. I don't learn from my mistakes, apparently, and decided to change her on my lap because of all sorts of reasons that just don't matter because the point is she peed on me.

I guess the doctor's appointment day was just a dress rehearsal.  I wiped it all up as best I could, got Hazel cleaned up as best I could, and out we went to face the world.

There are a lot of things I look forward to as my children grow up, but this past month (Happy One Month Birthday, Hazel!), nothing in all the world sounds so good as the day that my clothes are clean, the whole day through.  I don't get wet at all, from anything, and I don't have to change my clothes, or take another shower.  Or, honestly, a first shower, because some days it really seems like what is even the point?

Today was a victory.  I did shower.  And then I got dressed in real clothes.  And then I gave the girls baths.  And then I did their hair.  And then I actually cooked a lunch. And then we went to the mall.

This is not even a joke. I did all those things.  Before we left for the mall, I think Hazel had only spit up on me four times.  Actually, I think you can barely even  call it spit up.  It was more like white drool, or a really really wet burp.

Here's to the end of February! And a big big welcome to March!  Come roaring in, you wild and wonderful month!


  1. I completely agree about looking forward to the day when my clothes can stay clean for longer. Earlier this week, Jeff pointed out some poop on the side of my shirt, near the back. Alice had been poopy a while earlier, but I couldn't find any poop on her clothes, so I have no idea how it made it to me. Mysteries of life!

  2. Remember when I used to end up with your food on my clothes somehow? haha!

    I'm sorry things have been so rough post partum this time around (or maybe every time, and I just didn't know it). Hang in there chica. One day at a time. One hour at a time. One minute, if that's all you have in you. I believe in you. You are a fantastic mom to 4 little girls who run to you, cry for you, and cuddle up to you because you are so good to them. You make 4 little girls lives better every day that you are in it. Don't forget that when the chaos is exploding (vomit) all around you.

    Love you!

  3. William spat up all the time, the gross thick spit up, and it was sneaky, too. He still drools sometimes. I think he got me in the ear recently. Someday, I will get less drool from William, but then, I have another one who will want to share the love, I mean drool. Or spit up. Or poop.

    Also, get some more pants. Incisions hurt for a while (and then they feel weird for forever after that), and I've found that I shrink back to size slower every time I have a baby. With Emily I just squooze into pants that were too small, but I couldn't do it with the next. Getting pants that fit makes facing spit up easier.

  4. For a really long time, Ezra had a habit of projectile vomiting on me on the last possible minute before leaving for church. I mean, for months. It was awful. I could never fake him out. Hang in there. Were all in there with you.

  5. oops, that was from Alisha!

  6. You're living real life Double Dare! Call me if you ever want me to narrate it like the host does. "Slide down there in that mess -- don't be afraid to get dirty! You're doing great, go on go!" ..."Oh, you did great, just got confused in that slime pit." ... "Tell me," I'll say at the end, "What was the most disgusting one you went through there today?" I'll even pretend to be Harvey telling you what you won for the day. Maybe you'll get a walkman!