It's 3:40pm on Wednesday, some time early in September 2000. The only reason I knew this is that my Timex Indiglo Ironman, for which I used the “I need it to time contractions” excuse to buy, told me. I never timed a single one, by the way. Instead I used it to tell me if I should be eating, taking out the garbage, sleeping, watching the Simpsons, or heating up a formula bottle for our 4-day-old newborn baby girl. It was a very tired, tired time.
Life quickly became a whirlwind of smelly diapers, washing bottles, and small pieces of cloth everywhere. It's amazing that the new kid was home no more than 4 hours and our spotless house turned into the set of one of those movies where the asteroid plows into Los Angeles.
So about those small pieces of cloth. There were burping pads. Sleepers. Gowns. Onesies. Changing pads. Receiving blankets. Tushie wipes. Washcloths. Diapers. Wet ones. Swaddlers. It seemed we could have made it easier if we had picked up one good sweatshirt and a garden hose.
So Natalie left the hospital at 3pm the previous day. She slept the entire ride home, and until 8pm, when we fed her. Then, she proceeded to wake us at 45 minute intervals until the next morning. During one episode, I checked on her to make sure she was okay (she had been silent for 48 minutes, and we were worried) and I was greeted by a stream of white goo coming from the general direction of her face. As I picked her up to clean her off, I discovered there was already a previously projected stream under her head, which she had been marinating in for quite some time.
It's amazing she survived the night, given her parents' general lack of knowledge at the time of how to keep human beings alive.
That morning, Natalie appeared interested in spending the day at rest. Mommy and I tried to catch up on sleep - but in reality Natalie had training regimen planned for us. She knew that before we had the chance to catnap, it would be time to introduce her parents to the concept of the explosive poop. I'm pretty sure they had been feeding Natalie nothing but corn salsa the entire time she was in the hospital, because that was exactly what was coming out of her. Did I sign up for that part? I couldn’t remember. Then again, I couldn’t remember what day it was without the Indiglo Iron Man. Hmm…Wednesday... Garbage night. Man, those garbage men were gonna hate us that morning.
And that’s how the first 24 hours went. Oh, how easy those days were.