Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Last Diaper, or, how my day went yesterday

Eleanor and I are pretty good at getting out and about together. I thought I'd be a wreck driving with her, but I'm really not; at first it was hard to work up the motivation to get out of the house, but I realized that the more I did, the better I felt, so we're really making an effort. On Tuesday we took the T into Cambridge to visit Andy at his office; yesterday we went to breastfeeding clinic at the hospital and then to the mall; today I'm meeting some friends for lunch.

But every once in a while we have a day that makes me think maybe I should have stayed home after all.

Yesterday started out fine - I really only stopped by the breastfeeding group because I had plans to visit with Patty, the nurse who heads the pregnancy loss team at the hospital where I had Joseph. She'd been on vacation when I visited the other nurse and the neonatologist, and I really wanted her to meet Eleanor.

Eleanor fed well at the clinic and charmed everyone with how alert she was (and she's just learned to smile!) and our visit with Patty was sweet. So we stopped by the mall because I needed a few new T-shirts...I never realized how many of my clothes are really only good for work, or anyway not so good for nursing a spit-uppy infant.

Eleanor had eaten at the clinic at 1 pm, so I figured we had until at least 3:30 or 4 before she got hungry. No such luck. As I browsed in the Gap, she began to fuss and suck on her fingers, so I took her to Macy's, where I knew there was a big dressing room with a chair in the baby section. But first, I needed to use the ladies' room, so we stopped there. I had barely maneuvered the stroller into the handicapped stall and sat down when Eleanor let out an earsplitting wail. She NEVER cries like that; she must have been really hungry (maybe a growth spurt?). But there was nothing I could do at the moment except frantically offer her her pacifier, which she was having none of.

There were several women out by the sinks, and I heard one of them say disapprovingly, "That baby is in pain!" I wanted to sink into the floor as Eleanor screamed even louder and I heard more half-whispered conversation about me; I couldn't tell what they were saying. I finished as fast as I could and emerged to find several older ladies clucking at me. The original speaker said officiously, "Ma'am, is your baby all right?"

"She's hungry," I muttered, red-faced. "I just need to get somewhere and feed her." I washed up as fast as I could, not meeting anyone's eyes. As I wheeled her out, a little girl of about five asked, wide-eyed, "What's wrong with the baby?"

"SHE'S HUNGRY," I repeated and got the hell out of there.

We found our dressing room and I started to feed her, but she was worked up from crying and kept popping off the nipple to fuss. Finally we were done - sweaty and tired and fussy, but done. And then I did a stupid thing...I decided to change her diaper. I got the changing pad set up and, crouching on the floor of the dressing room, awkwardly got her wet diaper off and a fresh one on. Then I buckled her carefully back into her stroller. The instant I snapped the last fastener I heard:


So off came all the straps, out came the changing pad, and I did it all over again. This time as I reached for a diaper I realized it was the last one in the diaper bag. Oh well, I thought, at least I'm going home now.

I didn't even get it closed before she exploded again.

So my poor child had to go home in a dirty diaper, and CPS should be knocking on my door any minute now, since Ms. Officious probably had me tailed.

Amazing that I actually left the house again today, isn't it?


At Thursday, August 24, 2006 6:39:00 PM, Blogger delphi said...

I'm sorry, but I did find this a tiny, little, itty bit funny. Not from a laughing at you perspective, but from a "this world is absurd - where do people get off?" perspective. And also from a "stories about poo are funny" perspective. I have the sense of humour of a child sometimes. :)

Oh, and by the way, people in malls are idiots, all of them. Brains are checked at the door. Just look around - everyone wanders around with a dazed look and glassy eyes. To bad they don't have to lock their mouths when they park their brains.

Sounds like you are doing an awesome job, despite the nosey and uninformed around you.

At Thursday, August 24, 2006 7:16:00 PM, Blogger NervousKitty said...

Oh, of course it's funny! Well, it's funny now. Not so much then.

I must also be twelve, because the sound E. makes when she poops cracks me up every single time. (She also farts louder than some frat boys I've known.)

At Thursday, August 24, 2006 9:44:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Ahhh... poop. One time at church, Brody went through 5 diapers and 3 outfits in less than 90 minutes.

After that, I learned to keep a couple of spare diapers in the car!

At Friday, August 25, 2006 8:01:00 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Loud, messy poos and babies - teehee!

I would however have jumped loudly (and foul-mouthedly probably) to your defense in the case of that biotch in the loos.

It happens to us all I guess. So wrong...

At Friday, August 25, 2006 3:34:00 PM, Blogger gabesmama said...


I am so happy to say that Ethan Emsley made it. 7 lbs 14 ounces!!! He was delivered on August 16. He looks like Jeff and is SO beautiful. Can you e-mail me so that I can e-mail you back with the birth story? When you get a chance? If I can ever get a moment to do it. I think I will start another blog as well. I've missed blogging. My e-mail is

At Saturday, August 26, 2006 8:25:00 PM, Blogger Julian's Mom said...

I'm sorry to say, but I was so glad to read this entry and realize I'm not the only one! I have felt like a horrible mother on several occasions over the past few weeks as I've tried to calm, feed, and change Natalie in public spaces. Her hysterical crying makes me feel like strangers must think I'm pathetic and selfish for dragging my newborn baby out of the house just so I could shop at the Gap and drink lattes (hell, that's what I naively used to think of people who brought tiny babies out in public!). Anyway, good to know that it's just part of the whole deal. And of course we wouldn't trade it for anything! You're doing a great job, hang in there!


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