So I had a baby a month ago…Needless to say, things in this world have been a little on the, shall we say, chaotic side. Classic Old Spice and I are now officially outnumbered as adults – there are three small charges to our two older beings which certainly makes it interesting when everyone is screaming at the same time as was the case yesterday and will certainly happen at least a million times before we die. During my pregnancy, I read a great book entitled The Red Tent by Anita Diamant in which she tells a somewhat fictionalized account of the biblical story of Dinah, the only daughter of Leah who was the wife of Jacob. Leah’s sister, Rachel, was also married to Jacob who in turn raised Dinah as well. Since Jacob seemed to really enjoy his right as a husband, it seemed as though someone was always pregnant, which of course, I can relate to since I feel as though I have now been pregnant for four years…The Red Tent was literally a tent in which women were required to inhabit while menstruating or for the month following the birth of a child. During either of these times, the women were expected to rest, eat well, and generally do nothing but just wait out their menses or heal from the vigors of childbirth. When a new baby needed to nurse, someone would simply take the baby to the mother, let them nurse and cuddle for a bit, then send the little person back to whoever was taking care of him or her for the month in which the mother is in the tent. So this gets me to thinking, as I was experiencing throbbing pain in the perineum and my breasts were so sore that I would have hissed like a rabid raccoon should someone accidentally brush up against me, where the h&^% is MY red tent? I think the women in the biblical era were on to something that we as a modern society we now get jipped on – our world moves so fast these days that we can only spend 48 hours from the time in which our baby is born in the hospital then we are expected to go home and jump right back into the swing of things as if we just had a little tetanus shot instead of actually delivering a watermelon through a straw-hole. Now I know I am not one to moan too loudly as I have been blessed with a lot of help; however, let’s face it – having a newborn is freakin’ exhausting. No one tells you how incredibly difficult it is for the first couple of weeks and if they do, for some reason you thought this would not apply to you. The thing is, when one is so sleep-deprived that their contacts are pasted to their eyeballs and their speech is slurred and distracted, nothing good can happen. Small things that would not even be a blip on my radar screen suddenly become huge issues of drama in which I feel that I will only be able to work through with intense counseling. My fuse is MUCH shorter with my other two children who are also trying to figure out what this new little person means in their world – Missy Moo has decided that she loves Number Three so very much but she still cannot stand Bubba Boo and likes to make little songs up about how much she does not like him. She is now obsessed with being a cheerleader and wears her cheerleading costume ALL of the time and insists that everyone call her PomPom. When I mistakenly referred to her as her birth-given name the other day it was a full-on meltdown that would have put my post-partum weepiness to shame (this would be good work) then pushed Bubba Boo because he had the unfortunate timing to round the corner and tug on her hair a little at approximately that time. While on the subject of Bubba Boo, he thinks it is funny to hit the new baby and poke at his eyeballs to see how he will react. Classic Old Spice is hot and cold as am I – we are a great pair but nothing upsets the equilibrium of our relationship more than a new baby. Some days we are on the same page and other days I think I am going to poke his eyeballs out (maybe this is where Bubba Boo gets this desire to do so to Number Three?). We will get back on-track as this is our pattern following childbirth but in the meantime, we take it day by day. It would be so much easier if I could simply escape to my red tent – in fact, I would just now be emerging! Now that we are approaching Number Three’s fifth week of life, we are starting to see glimmers of a new norm that will someday feel like this is the way it has always been. In the meantime, Classic Old Spice has begun construction on his “mini-house” as I am referring to it though it is technically a shed. This “shed” will be wired for electricity and will have heat and air conditioning so I am thinking, could this be my red tent? If I put a bed in it, do we think I could go there once a month for a few days while my menses decide to pay a visit? Do we think anyone would believe that a mysterious condition might develop and cause me to have my menses a few times a month thus requiring me to have to go to the red tent? Something tells me that this is not going to be an option even if I change my name to Leah or Rachel..
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