The baby blues.

Okay, so I had a boy… But you know what? Forget blue!

Or pink…  Or any one specific ‘baby colour’ because I just realised something…

Those first few weeks after having a new baby, it’s like the whole damn rainbow. Wait – no worse. Probably more like Monet’s paint palette. If you’re not familiar with Monet’s works let me show you. Up close they’re a big old mess.

There are so many shades of emotion after a baby that like a Monet painting, sometimes you’re not sure what you’re actually looking at, and you have to take a step back to see the picture, and figure out what the hell you’re actually feeling.

If the baby blues are those times when you’re feeling low, possibly helpless and overwhelmed… What colour do you call it when you get the urge to take a long leisurely stroll in the nearest patch of quicksand?

Yeah I’ve had the baby blues. Dark blue, light blue, bruised and broken blue… and my favourite – Italian soccer jersey blue – because that’s a shade that takes me to an entirely different colour.

Hullo Fabio...

But it doesn’t seem right to feel sad when you have just experienced the miracle of life, an opportunity so many woman and couples long for and struggle with. Surely I should be nothing but grateful and swooning over my new bundle. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the emotions of a new mother are more complex than Wikileaks.

So – here’s my list of colours. My baby rainbow of emotions, thanks to my new baby boy.

RED – LOVE

  • I love that he’s mine.
  • I LOVE my doctor. He looks a little bit like that fat kid Ralph from the Simpsons, but I adore him and he is my hero!
  • I love that my 2 year old daughter of her own accord went up to him, kissed him, and said ‘I YUV YOU!’
  • I love that when I kiss his forehead, it’s like I’ve cast this magical spell over him and he can’t help but close his eyes
  • I love staring at his facial expressions on a full stomach.
  • I love his little sounds and gurgles.
  • I love that he grabs hold of my fingers, even if it is a reflex.

ORANGE – CONFUSION & UNCERTAINTY

  • I’m confused that baby’s are able to poo more than once a day. It’s a liquid diet!!  What’s with all the mustard-brown stuff? Am I eating too much Nutella?
  • I’m confused about sleep.  SIDS and whatever – but he’s spent 9 months curled up like a ball. You know – the ‘foetal position??’ Why does anyone think he’d be happy flat on his back suddenly? And how do you make a baby understand dark means night. Which means I’d like you to sleep THEN for 6 hours straight, not at 2pm in the afternoon.
  •  I’m confused about my weight. I gained 10kg’s. Baby weighed almost 4. I also lost the placenta, the cord, the extra fluid and blood… SO – Why the frickin’ frickety frick do the scales show that I’ve only lost a total of 3kg’s??? HUH???? Can milk-filled fun bags really weight that much?
  • I’m confused and actually flabbergasted by Libra Fleur. Why do they feel it necessary to include a panel of “ODD SPOTS” on the back of their sanitary items. You know, like when you open a bottle of Toohey’s New and there’s some piece of utterly useless information that you can share with the mates you’re drinking with, because drinking beer is a social activity and such tid-bits are considered fun conversation. But on the back of a  Maternity Pad?? “Wow, Barbie is 25cm tall. Since I’m here on the toilet ALONE, I’ll have to bank that one for future conversations.”  Incidentally, not that I have a whole lot of time for reading such crap when there’s so much other stuff to do with a new baby, but I’m also confused by the TYPE of crap they choose to print. “The bullfrog is the only animal that never sleeps.” WRONG!  I haven’t slept in a week and a half Libra Fleur! Or this: “Female elephants produce only one offspring every five years.” Well they’re bloody smarter than we give them credit for.
  • I’m confused that my husband while mostly supportive; thinks that saying “I’ll be home around ten…” means it’s perfectly acceptable to walk in the door at midnight.
  • I’m confused as to why anyone would want to be a midwife. There’s far too much ‘inserting’ going on with that career. I mean I’m happy to insert a jpeg into photoshop document… but the word takes on a whole new meaning when you’re a midwife. Props to them.
  • I’m confused by the Adam Sandler film I saw last night, but that may or may not have anything to do with my new baby. 

 YELLOW – HAPPINESS

  • I’m happy to be alive after an intense labour.
  • I’m happy to live in a country where there are medical professionals, safe streets, and maternity wards with queen sized beds.
  • I’m happy to have a husband who tries the best he can to be supportive even though his job is demanding and stressful.
  • I’m happy to have a boy and a girl, now that my career in child bearing is officially over.
  • I’m happy that I get to experience motherhood, and co-captain what I hope will be one kick arse team.
  • I’m happy that I can now say with complete disregard to what anyone else thinks…. My name is Cindy, and I’m a control freak!
  • I’m happy that Cadbury Crème eggs are for sale in store at the same time I happen to be stuck mostly at home with a new baby and not much to do. If this is not a sign from the universe telling me to go for it, I don’t know what is. Incidentally – check the colours out on a crème egg wrapper: red, yellow and purple. Love. Happiness. And Frustration that it will essentially make me fatter.

 GREEN – ENVY & JEALOUSY

  • I’m jealous of anyone currently shimmying their bony ass into some exquisitely sexy lingerie.
  • I’m jealous of anyone going to see Black Swan at the cinema.
  • I’m jealous of women who LOVE breast feeding. Kind of. I think.
  • I’m jealous of any 23 year old girls currently getting tizzied up for a night out on the dance floor. Actually, to you I say this: Give it all you’ve got, shake that booty, pump it, pump it nice and hard… because one day your arse won’t be sitting so high, your jugs will be getting ogled at for something other than sexual gratification and eye-shadow will be something you used to remember wearing.
  • I’m jealous of all men. You’ll never truly know. Lucky you.
  • I’m jealous of anyone who has their mojo back 2 days after giving birth. You know – those yummy mummy types who hit the pavement running without so much as an “ooh, that kind of hurt.. I want to go home now, and look in the fridge.”
  • I’m jealous of anyone who gets to play opposite Ryan Reynolds as a love interest. That has nothing to do with having a baby, but I thought I’d throw that one in there because it’s something I think about a lot.

 BLUE – SADNESS

  • I’m sad that I currently have a wound resembling Heath Ledger’s mouth as ‘The Joker’ in Batman Returns’ right across my stomach.
  • I’m sad, and am grieving over the possible permanent loss of my obliques
  • I was sad every night in hospital when I had to say goodbye to my 2 year old when I just wanted to leave with her.
  • I’m sad that my labour made my doctor worry so much, and that the midwife who was there has to have counselling
  • I’m sad that my own family aren’t closer, and that most won’t get to see him til he’s nearly one.
  • I’m sad when I think that my daughter might feel neglected and unloved by me when I show the baby too much attention.
  • I’m sad when I think about babies who are still born or sick or injured; or mothers who die without getting to watch their babies grow; or women who for whatever reason can’t have babies.

 INDIGO (purple) – FRUSTRATION

  • I’m frustrated that he annihilated my nipples in the first 3 days. No more titty for you little guy! Actually I’m frustrated and perplexed my own internal argument for and against this ‘natural’ violation of my pink bits.
  • I’m frustrated that I feel weak, impotent and out of control.
  • I’m frustrated that I’m sleepy and can’t afford a live in nanny, cleaner, driver, and chef.
  • I’m frustrated that shopping is now a team sport with other players on the field to consider.
  • I’m frustrated that I still look 6 months pregnant, can’t wear all my clothes, have kankles AND my fingernails are all breaking.
  • I’m frustrated that I can’t leave the house because 2 children, stormy weather and who knows how many stitches don’t mix.
  • I’m frustrated that I can’t make him burp, so the belly bubble becomes a fart – and that usually means screaming. Aaarrgh!

VIOLET – CALM & IN CONTROL

  • I feel calm and in control when both rugrats are asleep.
  • I’m calm with an open jar of Nutella and a spoon on my lap.
  • I feel in control now that I have mastered the delicate art of cleaning poop off and around testicles. Just think of a ball sac: It’s wrinkly and little bits of poo get caught in the crevices… And you’re doing it one handed because the other hand is holding the feet out of the mess. It’s a tricky feat but I’m proud to say mission accomplished! Also – add to that I have an almost 2 week old boy and have not been pissed on yet. Totally in control y’all.
  • I’m calm when I’m sitting here typing. It’s the best feeling in the world writing down stuff that although nobody may read, or may read and skip and say to themselves…. Geez that girl waffles… makes me feel better. And it’s far more effective than venting to my husband who doesn’t always get it.
  • I feel in control when I’m shopping. Even if it’s just for groceries. It’s funny because whenever I’m anywhere near any kind of shop – I’m actually TOTALLY out of control, but it doesn’t feel like that – especially when the baby is asleep and the 2 year old is being compliant.
  • I’m calm when it’s just me and the little guy, having our own little conversation – him staring up and me, no doubt thinking I have got to be the most beautiful, gorgeous woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Me thinking he is definitely the most beautiful, gorgeous baby boy I’ve ever laid eyes on.
  • I feel in control when there is silence.  Sound waves of nothingness making their way to my ears. Oh what rapture fills my bosom!  It’s as if I turned off the sound on the remote that controls every noise in the universe.

Of course not every new mother has these feelings. I’m intense, sentimental and passionate. And maybe a bit of a drama queen…. so for me – the new baby thing is a little bit of a chore, so in-between some lovely cuddles and precious moments…. basically I’m mothering a beautiful, sweet, innocent, precious little slug. 

Bring on the 6 month old!

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7 comments

  1. Sian Bell · February 21, 2011

    LOVED IT!!!! I laughed, I cried, I nodded my head, I shook my head. Now Cindy I’m quite sure you know this but just in case, on the breastfeeding front, your the mummy and mummy is boss! You do what You know is right for Your family and everyone else can stick their well meaning opinions and advise up their nose (other body parts are available). Enjoy your babies you brave woman. xx

  2. Mel · February 21, 2011

    Cindy, hands down, one of my favs that you have written. The honesty is beautiful. Not enough women are willing to admit that sometimes things can be hard, but that it’s still ok. Here’s wishing you more red, yellow & violet. Mel xxx

  3. Laura J Critchfield · February 22, 2011

    WOW – that is perfect. I do believe one of the hardest things is when you are in the hospital and watching your older child have to leave, not really understanding what is going on. I had never even been away from Kobe for an hour before and I missed him SO much. I love all the emotions that we have though – it makes us feel alive. I’m sorry you had a hard labour but I am happy that you are okay and your baby is well.
    Love reading your thoughts – keep them coming.

  4. Laura C · February 22, 2011

    Cind – I’m right there with ya! Ryder is almost 4 months old and I barely got him sleeping through the night. (Thank you formula & Baby Wise) But, on the breast-feeding note, I tried it again this time, was successful, and I still didn’t “enjoy” it. It did the job, and now I’m happy to not leak through my shirt! I also dislike when women say, “I LOVE breastfeeding”.
    I also agree – Poo-balls are the worst!

  5. cyclonecindy · February 23, 2011

    Thanks ladies.
    It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who doesn’t sometimes struggle with all that comes with a new baby!

    xoxo

  6. Dani · February 24, 2011

    “I’m calm when I’m sitting here typing. It’s the best feeling in the world writing down stuff that although nobody may read, or may read and skip and say to themselves…. Geez that girl waffles… makes me feel better. And it’s far more effective than venting to my husband who doesn’t always get it”

    Just letting you know we get you and I DO read your sensational articles Cindy!!! You rock and nailed this piece. I’ll be going through this 4th time around and will watch out for those amazing rainbow colours!!!

    Enjoy falling in love with your new little man. Xx Dani

  7. Victoria Penrose · March 1, 2011

    Am currently more than halfway through my fifth pregnancy (having had four recurrent miscarriages). As always, Cindy, you really do hit the nail on the head – am excited and terrified and this has been a real struggle to get this far for me….it doesn’t stop the fear and uncertainty that all new mothers must face – whether this is a first, second, third or whatnot baby for them….thank you!

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