I know I’ve been somewhat less active, but the holidays are really taking it out of me this year. Between work stuff, Ellie’s upcoming birthday, and the usual Christmas craziness, I’m ready for a vacation.
Yesterday began the three days of Elliemas. Tim and I made a executive decision: Ellie’s birthday should be about celebrating her birth, but the three days before it will celebrate surviving her birth.
Ellie was born after a three-day-long “festival” of sleeplessness and on-and-off labor, much of which is still vivid in my memory because it was easily the most surreal experience of my life. How can passing another living being through your body not be surreal? And then there was the fact that it took three whole days to get her out (she will never live that down) and all the drama surrounding the hospital transfer and so on. What did I say? Surreal.
That pretty much sums up new parenthood as a whole. Everything around you is the same–your house, your family, and your friends haven’t really changed in the few days you’re out of commission–but from the moment they placed Ellie in my arms, I saw the world through a new filter. And kind of like how it takes a while for your eyes to adjust to a new lens prescription, this filter made everything look just a little off. Add this to the fact that I’m pretty sure everyone and their mother got to look at my boobs for the first few weeks–not a regular occurrence around here, I can assure you–and then there was the lack of sleep, the routine examination of baby poop (“Honey, what color would you call this?”) and the persistent, nagging feeling that I was totally out of my league.
In hindsight, those first few weeks were just plain weird. It’s no wonder there are thousands of books on the subject of parenting. Unfortunately, none of them seems to adequately answer the question “When will my life go back to normal?” I think I can answer it now, though… and the answer is never. You’ll just get used to The Crazy. You’ll learn to embrace The Crazy so The Crazy doesn’t overtake you. And that’s really the best you can hope for.
I am not sure how we’ll celebrate the “three days of Elliemas” but I think we should start with a date night (something we haven’t had since, oh, February) and a cocktail or six. Although now that I think about it, that’s probably how this whole mess got started…