Chris and I are pleased to announce to the world that we finally have a baby.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Wait, didn’t I get an email back in May that Heather was in labor? Surely it couldn’t take nearly three months for her to push that child out!”
While it is true that I did give birth twelve weeks ago, up until this week, we didn’t really have what you could call a baby. We had a gas generator. Not a generator that runs on gas, mind you. I’m talking about a machine that generates tremendous amounts of gas — enough natural gas to solve today’s gas crisis singlehandedly.
Maddi’s days were spent taking in breastmilk and turning it straight into pure methane. When she wasn’t releasing it, she was turning red, kicking like a little two-piston engine and screaming frantically in her attempts to get rid of it. Sure, there were periods when she was quiet, and even periods when she would bestow gummy smiles upon her loved ones. But it was a bit hard to do anything or go anywhere, because you never knew when the good mood would fade and she would thrash about like a madbaby, wailing for what seemed like hours.
Time to eat? No, time to rock Maddi at just the right speed and bounciness to keep her from losing it. Need to use the bathroom? Wait ’til Maddi’s sleeping; being alone is no fun when you’re a baby in pain. Car ride? It could put her to sleep, but then again, she could shriek frantically the entire time.
To me, and probably to Chris, it seemed as if this difficult period would never end. Every time we hit the road, Chris and I starred in our own little version of the movie “Speed,” in which we could not let our vehicle drop below 60 mph lest Maddi explode in tears. Having no time for myself whatsoever, it was impossible to get in any exercise, yet my biceps are ripped beyond words from rocking Maddi up and down for hours on end. I developed a cry threshold, which enabled me to sleep through tentative pre-crying noise and wake up only when the wailing began to escalate. I could neither remember life before Maddi’s gas nor imagine her without it.
And then, slowly, a week or so ago, the sun began to come out from behind the clouds. Maddi spent longer and longer each day playing and smiling, and less and less time working her little lungs and legs. She still has her gassy periods, to be sure, but there are only a few a day and they’re much shorter than they had been.
Mere weeks ago, I approached the weekly Baby Talk class at the public health unit with trepidation, because I am known there as The Mother of the Baby That Always Cries Loudly the Whole Time. But two weeks ago, she cried just a little, and last week she didn’t cry at all. Now I can be the mom who plays the games at the end of the hour with her baby while someone else’s infant wails. Now, instead of racing through the mall, straining to push her carriage fast enough to lull Maddux into slumber, I can stroll in a leisurely manner whilst pausing to allow strangers to coo over the darling ray of sunshine that is my wee daughter.
During the day, she can be left in her swing for short periods in which she will be awake and alone, yet perfectly happy. She now greets Chris and me with enormous toothless grins each and every time one of us enters the room, and even bestowed one of her precious smiles upon a random lady at the mall — just because.
It’s been a long time in coming, but Maddi is finally the baby we expected for nine months and knew was lurking inside little Miss Gassypants for the past 12 weeks.
Yes, we are, at long last, the proud parents of a happy, gurgling, grinning baby girl. I thought it was great before, but now it’s really awesome. Mother and baby are resting comfortably (at long last!) and the whole family is enjoying the precious new arrival.
And here’s our little princess in all her 12-week-old glory: