I can’t count all the times in the last year where I had to pee and all of a sudden four hours were go by and I would realize I still hadn’t made it to the bathroom and my bladder had me near to tears.
Why am I remembering all this today? Even a year later I still have those days where I am so consumed by caring for Pip, the house, and work that I don’t take a moment to myself. Pip was sick today, actually, and so she needed extra cuddles and attention throughout the day. I love giving it to her- now it’s like she can hug me back, which is just the best feeling in the world. But I did laugh at myself when I thought, “Wait, I still haven’t gone to the bathroom?!”
Having a baby has a way of trimming all the fat from your life, and even some of the lean meat afterward. As a new mom, home alone with my bundle of love, I had it down to the bare necessities: eat, sleep, pee, shower. One day I was so beside myself with exhaustion and hunger (and I’m sure my hair hadn’t been brushed in over a week) that I finally had a meltdown and cried on the phone to my friend in despair out of not knowing if I should eat or sleep. I had ten minutes – maybe thirty, but who knew, with the newborn naps? – to do something. I was starving. Famished. And exhausted. Bone tired. The clock was ticking, banging the inside of my skull like a countdown – TICK, TICK, TICK! and I just froze, overcome and overwhelmed. (And part of that was my incredulity that a competent, master-degree-holding 31 year old woman be stunned stupid with the choice between eating and sleeping…..)
My friend’s advice has stuck with me: Eat. Get some nourishment. Even if it’s some peanut butter and toast. Then sleep. And so that’s what I did. I ate. Then I slept, hard, cuddled on the bed next to my newborn.
And finally, after we both woke and she nursed and we were fed and rested, I got to pee.