Today Charlie turned three weeks old, and it was one of those days where, if he were able to talk, I feel pretty certain that he would have been asking for a new mother.
I should have known what kind of day it was going to be when my pump was barely working around 3 AM, thus leaving me with no choice but to go back to bed with rock-hard engorged boobs. (Charlie does not nurse, by the way.) Once Roy got up to get ready for work, Charlie was ready to be fed (of course) and my shirt was soaked with breast milk (of course). I picked Charlie up to comfort him as he cried, and he kicked my painfully sore boobs a number of times. Finally, Roy came to my rescue and I finally managed to get some pumping done but had to order more new parts for my pump (of course). I guess I'll have to pump each side separately until the new parts come in, like pumping both boobs at once is not time-consuming enough.
The morning passed quickly enough, with Charlie eating his regular amount, but (of course) almost every time I put him down to sleep, he'd be wide awake again in a matter of minutes. I did manage to get him to sleep long enough for me to start a shower. I put his bouncy chair outside the bathroom door, which I left open, and proceeded to shower with the lights off (so as not to disturb Prince Charles) and with my head sticking out of the shower curtain. Mao immediately began getting in Charlie's face (of course), but she eventually settled down under his bouncy chair - right around the time the pacifier fell out of Charlie's mouth and he started fussing. Mao decided to not be useful and wouldn't put Charlie's pacifier back in his mouth (even though I asked nicely). So I had no choice but to abort the shower mission and scoop up my little guy, who by that time had probably decided he hated me.
And that's how the rest of the day went, with Charlie definitely not sleeping enough due to his hourly demands to be fed, which means that his mom definitely didn't sleep enough and also didn't get to eat. Still, I handle these daytime challenges much better than I do the nighttime ones. At night, the whole world is dark and sleepy, except, seemingly, for Charlie and me (and Roy, when Roy's taking care of him), and Charlie's screams are enough to reduce me to tears (which they have many times at this point).
In the gentle light of day, though, I look down at my screaming baby and observe his delicious skin and his cute little baby toes; I see how his top gum peeks out from under his top lip and how his tiny little baby hands flail uncontrollably. I put the bottle in his mouth, and instantly he stops crying, and his dark blue eyes meet mine, and everything is okay, even if only for this moment. I am, after all, the mother of the most perfect baby I've ever seen, and even if only for this moment, I am everything he needs.