Through Rachelle’s pregnancy and the birth of Jones, our first child, we’ve learned an awful lot.
The first thing we came to understand is that you have to cede a lot of control and adapt to your baby rather than have your baby adapt to you. It’s also been important for us to discover that there are a billion different ways to raise a child, and any attempt at raising the child in a glittering, TV commercial kind of way is doomed. For instance, our Doula was an ex-cop who took smoke breaks throughout Rachelle’s labour, and shouted things like, “Push like there’s no goddamn tomorrow, push till you feel like you’re going to shit, then push ’til you feel like you’re going to shit and puke!” It wasn’t what we expected, but it worked.
When we found ourselves overwhelmed, disoriented and exhausted after the first week of being parents, we reached out for the help of a night nurse who would come in once a week and look after the baby while we slept. We found a man named Jim through an ad on Craig’s List. He had a super reasonable rate ($75 and a bottle of wine) and seemed very nice on the phone, so we thought we’d give him a try.
These are the notes he wrote for us (feeding time, amount fed, etcetera) when he was caring for Jones:
11: 15 pm— James is a cute, little bugger. Sometimes when he’s sleeping it looks like he’s punching at somebody. Think he’s going to grow up to be fighter. We gotta give him a fighter nickname. I like “Little Fister,” but it’s your baby, so it’s your call!
11:45 pm—Had quick shower.
11: 50 pm—Crying like it’s the goddamned end of the world. Solution? Bottle. Four ounces of the good stuff. He loved it, just like a little wino. Got him to burp, then changed his diaper (Hoo, daddy!) and told him stories about the greatest hockey fights of all time until he fell asleep at about 12:30 am.
12:35 am—Didn’t see any cheese in the fridge. Not a big deal, but just thought I should let you know. Always good to have a lot of cheese in the house.
1:00 am—Now watching Netflix and completely into the totally awesome Deep Impact, which is a way better end-of-the-world flick than Armageddon. Can’t believe how young Leelee Sobieski is in it! She looks like a little child! Hard to believe she grew up to be a sex bomb. Not that long ago, somebody hacked into her cell phone and spread her “personal photos” all over the internet. Did you see them? Me neither. I’d never look at stolen material. (LOL!!)
2:00-2:30 am—Smoke Break: Left some Loggins and Messina on in the nursery to help calm little Jimbo. (Note: You have raccoons in your backyard)
2:45am—James crying. Fed him four ounces of milk, changed his diaper (just pee!) and then soothed him while watching the rest of Deep Impact. By the end, James had stopped crying and I’d started!
3:15 am—Put James to sleep. As a point of interest, this is the time in the Amityville Horror movie when the father killed his entire family while they slept. Always gives me the creeps this time. Weird thoughts.
3:20 am—Washed hands.