Charlie Chronicles: Dr. Google

There are some people who do their best writing at night. Like Winston Churchill, who wrote most of his work from his bed. Along with Proust and Mark Twain.

I, however, am not. 

But here I am at 8pm, and this is what I'm working with, because I am also the mother of the most delicious and hilarious five month old baby. And my daytime is currently devoted to feeding, diapering and wiping various bits of regurgitated food off said delicious baby. And googling.

What's that you say? Googling?

Yes. No one told me that new parenthood was also the most research intensive experience of your life.

"Green newborn poop"

"Breaks out of swaddle"

"Hates stroller"

"Baby only turns head to the left"

Just a sampling of the thousand or so real-life searches that I have run over the past few months. Not to mention the billion other queries I did regarding sleep patterns and breastfeeding. What's so amazing is that there are hundreds of moms out there actually answering these questions on multiple blogs, forums and websites! Like seriously, when do they have time for this shit?!?

But I am so grateful to those moms because they have saved me a thousand times over when I had no clue what I was doing. Our first month was really a pretty big mess of colicky crying, late nights and aforementioned google searches. Side bar - speaking of late nights, I talked about Charlie's sensitive belly and food issues in my previous post and I can't believe I left out a key element... the fact that I DIDN'T HAVE COFFEE OR CHOCOLATE FOR THREE MONTHS.

But I survived - and so did she.

As one of Mike's colleague put it... these little babies are "parent proof."

Anyhou, back to the googling. Having a baby has an incredibly quick learning curve, and I am a huge information consumer - so there were a zillion things that I needed to research, and fast. Like was green newborn poop okay? No, it wasn't. That signaled her dairy allergy. How about breaking out of the swaddle? Yes, normal. But not ideal because then she couldn't sleep because of the adorably annoying moro reflex. The stroller hating bit? Well, we just resorted to carrying her in a baby carrier for months - she still prefers it, and so do we. Heart to heart is pretty much the best thing ever. And she eventually turned her head to the right as well.

I also zoomed through no less than ten baby books in that first month too, ranging in topic from breast feeding nutrition to sleeping through the night.

And what did I learn from all of this research? A LOT. And it eased my mind to have the information. But was it necessary? Probably not. Because at the heart of it all, the crux of every book, every blog post - is that every baby is different. I learned that in order to truly be in sync with this little being, my little being, all I needed to do was simply be present with her. To learn her cues, her patterns, her signals. And for us, once I started being able to read her and understand her, everything else clicked into place. She is extremely vocal on what she wants and needs, I just needed to give her the opportunity to share it with me. So now I listen more than I read.

I honor more than I push.

Don't get me wrong... for me, obsessively researching actually helped to calm my brain. That's just how I am wired. And I know it will be an ongoing cycle of reading and responding as she gets older and more questions arise. But for now, I am watching - and learning - every day.