Please Don’t Hand Me Your Child Because I Forgot How To Baby

891287-001I’ve heard a lot about labor amnesia, which is apparently a thing where your body forgets the pain it felt while squeezing out a baby—or in my case, having your insides sliced open, your baby scooped out, and then being stapled back together. I don’t have labor amnesia. Sure, some details are fuzzy, but I know that there was a lot of vomiting and pain. Worth mentioning is that most of Savannah, where I gave birth is paved with cobblestones. Bumping along over that mess on your way to Kroger where those sweet, sweet pain pills await without popping a staple or shoving your husband’s face into the steering wheel should qualify you for some kind of award.

No. In fact, all someone has to do is mention words like “mucus plug”, “dilation”, and “Chux pad” and my uterus will begin to crawl higher up into my abdomen in an attempt to disappear as the vivid memory of labor settles in.

You know what I do have? Baby amnesia. It seems that as soon as my child progresses through a stage of development, I forget all about it. As far as I know, she’s been seven years old forever, and there was never a time that she didn’t sleep like the dead, make her own sandwiches, take showers, and use the bathroom without assistance.

She is the quintessential “good kid”.  She says “please” and “thank you” and “excuse me” and reads books and doesn’t sneak candy. I have had to remind her more than once not to call me “ma’am”, something she’s picked up in Texas but makes me feel super weird, like I’m some kind of overlord Joan Crawford type. She’s not perfect, but she’s easy. The mistake people make is assuming that I made her this way. We had her in college, and my husband and I like to say that she is not the child we deserved but rather the child we needed at the time in order to not kill one another and/or set the apartment on fire.

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  • jendra_berri

    This is SO true. My cousin had a baby a couple months after me and she’s asking things about four month sleep regressions and I’m like… oh yeah! Or the evenings of hours of grouchiness. Right, right. I remember that now. But I seriously block out EVERYTHING as soon as it’s done.
    And I also have an easy baby. He doesn’t cry much. I do nothing to make this happen, thus I’m a useless tit of no-knowledge because I’ve never been properly tested and haven’t learned too much.
    And like you, I’m having one kid. Quit while I’m ahead. Got the kid my husband and I need to be parents and happily married at the same time, and we’re done. Luck. Sheer luck.

  • Kay_Sue

    I’m pretty sure the woman in the picture is holding it upside down…right?

    • Theresa Edwards

      This deserves more upvotes.

  • Maria Guido

    There is so much truth here. I remember nothing about raising my first child – and he’s only 3. I have to look up everything all over again for my seven month old. ha

  • Paul White

    but…I need someone….anyone…to hold the scream-monster for 5 minutes.

  • aCongaLine

    We had our girls 20 months apart… This is a standard conversation in our house:

    Hubs: Do you think Younger Daughter doing XYZ is normal?
    Me: I don’t know. She looks okay. Probably.
    Hubs: DOn’t you remember when Older Daughter was this old? Think!
    Me: You think. I blocked that shit out. I’m getting Dr. Google.

    And now that BFF is expecting, she’s asking me all these technical OB medical questions, and I’m like “I don’t know. Call your Doctor? All I remember from being pregnant is reruns of Grey’s on Netflix.”

    hehe. I’m so done with that shit. For now.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Why are you describing my life perfectly yet again??? I feel like I have two Disqus accounts. ;) I always ask my husband if my baby is doing the same thing that my toddler did at his age, 16 months apart. I normally freak out completely and am like, why is he eating so much/little/trying to kill himself on the stairs already? And my husband like, that’s exactly what happened with son #1. CHILL.

    • aCongaLine

      Aw, Gawd, we really are the same person, I think lol. We should have a convention :) At the very least, it would be an awesome playdate :)

    • Bethany Ramos

      I know!!!! My local mom friend count is zero. :/

    • aCongaLine

      me too… boooo. Stupid geography.

    • Theresa Edwards

      My native Texan friend count is 1. All my other mom friends are transplants and they keep leaving. Slags.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Hello, I am in TEXAS!

    • Theresa Edwards

      Texas is like the size of France. I literally only know where Austin is because the rest of Texas is like a mysterious dark forest only instead of trees there’s just dirt and rocks.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Take a left at Austin, and I will be waiting….

    • Theresa Edwards

      So, California?

    • Véronique Houde

      LOL that’s what the baby books are kept for ;)

    • Bethany Ramos

      Yes, I remember nothing!!

    • Theresa Edwards

      Yes I’m also useless at advice. I’m like that old crotchety lady telling you some coca tablets will soothe your teething child.

    • aCongaLine

      Hehehe. BFF looks at me quizzically when I’m like “Google it. Voodoo. Is voodoo appropriate for XYZ problem? No? Google it, then.” Like I should remember, but nope. I remember nothing. I’m totally useless. :)

    • SusannahJoy

      I couldn’t watch Grey’s Anatomy while pregnant. That show makes me all teary and weepy under the best circumstances, while pregnant I had to take it off the DVR because I would become so depressed that I’d just sit there and cry. I missed most of a season. Which I am now desperate to catch up on!

    • aCongaLine

      THe only time I really really wept was when George died… and I called BFF and was like “WTF?” and she was like, “Umm, that was, like 8 years ago.” Because we only have netflix, and no cable. lol.

      It sucked me in, dude. That shit is addictive.

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    My son probably has a better memory of his infancy than I do because I can’t remember a damn thing.

  • Aimee Beff

    I don’t know how we’re supposed to remember anything about the early stages with the amount of sleep we’re (not) getting at that point!

    • Theresa Edwards

      There’s a reason sleep deprivation is an effective form of torture.

  • val97

    This is so true! I have 2 school aged kids, but I’m kind of at a loss with my 18-month old niece. Naps? Oh yeah, forgot about that. Um, what does she eat? As my sister was 20 when I had my first kid, it’s almost like we’ve traded places.

  • allisonjayne

    TOTALLY! I held a friend’s 4 week old a few months ago and I was like…um, I have no idea how to hold this baby? I felt like such a doof.

    I am part of a few parenting groups on facebook and when people are asking questions about anything from the first year or so, I completely draw a blank…..then I get bored and wonder why I got so wrapped up in all that stuff myself.

    • Theresa Edwards

      Oh lord and if they’re watching you try to fumble a baby, you’re bound to fuck it up more. It’s like having your boss standing over your shoulder.

  • EX

    I am realizing this as I wait for baby #2. I didn’t do any of the prep classes this time because, duh, I did this just 2.5 years ago but now I’m realizing I remember nothing. I am totally terrified of the idea of holding, bathing, dressing, feeding a newborn. I am hoping it will come back to me?

    • neanie

      I hope it’s going well because I am currently in the same exact position! I have a 2 and 1/2 year old and I am due with #2 in January. It’s all a blur and now it’s a whole new ball game with getting my oldest to like her new sister. Yikes.

    • EX

      It all worked out fine! It did all come back to me (although my second was different from my first in just about every way – feeding, sleeping, etc.) so it was a totally different experience but I felt pretty confident anyway. My older daughter loves her big sister and now I can hardly remember what it was like when I only had one! Hope it all works out just as well for you!

  • ShanLea

    In my experience, you forget it ALL….every stage as they grow! My two boys are 10 years apart, and it’s like being a new mom all over again. I thought it was just maybe the infant stage, since gear and recommendations change so much over time, but now at 2 1/2 I’m completely clueless when it comes to toddler tantrums and potty training!

    • Eve Vawter

      My mama always said if women remembered how hard labor was everyone would be an only child

    • ShanLea

      Exactly! Luckily, the one important thing I remembered for the second time was “Give me the F’in epidural before it’s too late for me to have one!”

    • momjones

      Reminds me of a friend of mine who told me before my first was born, “It’s just a few tough pushes.”

    • Theresa Edwards

      Sure she’s your friend?

    • momjones

      Well, this was 34 years ago (shows you what I remember). That was about the extent of what we shared with one another in the “old days”…and getting any specific info out of my mother was even worse. She was knocked out, and she stayed in the hospital for 10 days!

  • Courtney Lynn

    Both my kids are easy and I get asked, “Do you realize how lucky you are?” YES! Every damn day. Because if they were worse, I would be dead.

  • SusannahJoy

    My baby’s only 9 months, and I don’t really remember him crying much. In my mind, he was always a pretty happy, easy baby. And then I read old Facebook posts and blog posts about how he’d been screaming for the past 4 straight hours for the 6th day in a row and it’s like “huh.” I honestly don’t remember that…. I should probably be more afraid, but eh. Fear takes so much effort and I’m tired.

  • sarahb44

    This is great.. Here i thought I was the only mom (have a 5 year old son) who feels awkward and weird around babies.

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