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From the Days Before My Job Sucked Out the Very Essence of My Soul On a Regular Basis

Both Sides, Now

I woke up at 5 am this morning in a dead panic about everything I had to accomplish at work today, and tomorrow, and the day after that, and the rest of the week stretched out ominously ahead of me with the ohgodohgod I'm so behind and so tired and I think that one guy has it in for me and is going to get me fired and I just want to go back to sleeeeeeep.

Jason got up at six to retrieve Noah and brought him back to our bed in a diaper and announced that he had to change all the crib bedding because Noah had pooped at some point in the night and the poop did not stay in the diaper and well, you know.

"Clean crib sheets in the top drawer," I mumbled as I tried to find the elusive baby-sitting-upright-against-a-pillow-while-I-remain-as-asleep- as-possible-on-the-same-pillow position so I could give Noah his bottle.

Jason gave me a Look. A Look beyond the obvious I know where the goddamn crib sheets are, woman, our child is almost half a year old. A look that said Crib sheets! Ha! If only it were that simple!

"Oh no," I said. "Not like, the bumpers and everything?"

Jason nodded grimly and sighed. "I miss swaddling. It kept things so...contained."

One of my biggest fears, pre-baby, was that I was going to regret having a child. That the never-ending cycle of thankless grudgery and no sleep and less money and BODILY FLUIDPALOOZA would wear me down and I'd look at my child's face and have one of Those Moments.

Like the moment I had when my mom told me they were putting their dog to sleep. And she sounded so sad and I looked at Ceiba and remembered how much my mom always liked her and thought, "Huh. Now THAT'S an interesting solution." And then my own jaw dropped open because holy hell, did I really just think that?

After feeding Noah, I burped him and placed him next to me in bed while I rubbed my temples and tried to ignore the minutes ticking away on the clock. If I had any chance of getting to work on time, I needed to get up. Immediately. Five minutes ago. Ten minutes ago.

Then Noah spotted Ceiba across the room and started laughing. He started dragging himself towards her -- this face-down belly scoot thing isn't new, but he's certainly mastered it -- and I pulled him back before he could topple off the bed. I held him over me and buried my face in the impossibly-soft skin of his belly.

This provoked another laugh, followed by a burp, followed by spit-up, all over the top of my head.

I silently handed Noah off to Jason, for whom I no longer had any poop-related sympathy for, and went off to shower.

I used to worry that pregnancy would destroy my body. That my belly button would never go back to normal and that I would get stretch marks and one of those kind of mushy rings of flab around my middle.

Check, check and double check. I'd be lying if I said I didn't notice or didn't care, but I think I'm getting better about not  spending so much time obsessing over it. Probably because who the hell has time to obsess over a collapsed-in navel?

All my work clothes are in my dry-cleaning pile -- the pile I refuse to make any sort of dent in because that would require carrying a bag of dry cleaning out the front door with me and mess up the tentative equilibrium I've mastered (daycare bag on left shoulder, held in place by Noah's body weight balanced on my hip, purse on right shoulder, lunch in plastic grocery bag with handles threaded around purse handles, keys dangling from right index finger so as not to pinch Noah's soft thighs when right hand is used to secure him, brain trying to not think about the heady childless days when I had a free hand to carry fresh-brewed coffee to work, for Christ's sake).

I carefully lined up all the pieces to Noah's bottles on the kitchen counter and assembled each one. Bottle, flouride-fortified water, four scoops of formula, rubber thing attached to plastic tube, travel disc, nipple, ring, cap, shake shake shake. Repeat. Again.

Noah's toenails needed clipped. I still wasn't dressed. Ceiba peed on the rug and Max tipped over the garbage and was dragging a chicken bone around the living room.

Noah whined from his exersaucer, rubbing his face miserably. The new tooth caused his gums to swell back over it. His nose is running and the drool is out of control.

I was afraid of having a boy. I didn't know anything about little boys. I was afraid that I wouldn't enjoy my baby as he got older and more independent. I was afraid I would just do everything wrong.

I walked over to him and he broke out into a beaming smile and raised his arms up and out to me.

This weekend Jason, completely out of the blue, mentioned that he was thinking that he might want another baby. That he could see us having another baby. A girl, even. And maybe soon.

Yeah. Noah's that great. He's that worth it.

I would do it all over again in a minute.  My God, in a second.






My ovaries damn you and damn you hard. Thanks for nothing.


Awwww...Now I really want one!


Dear God, Amy! Your baby is worth it to me! He's so f-ing cute!?!?!


Me and my leaking montgomery gland ("that might be a third nipple" said the lactation consultant) totally agree with you. We're thinking of number two already, too. Gotta love the little boys.


Yeah, they really are that worth it. You just don't understand it until you have one or two for yourself!

ps: I read your blog all the time..I'm just now coming out of delurkersville. :)


I wouldn't doubt for a second that he would be worth it. I can't wait to have one of my own - it truly, deeply scares the shit out of me - but I'm still excited about it and can't wait.


Noah is so cute. Amazing how bodily functions no longer gross you out once you become a parent.

Have you tried making the bed up twice? Which in this case you wrote about, wouldn't help a lot....but, you make the crib up, then put another sheet, waterproof pad, etc. on top of that one. So for minor accidents, take off the top dirty layer, and there's a fresh one underneath. Especially helpful for middle of the night accidents (which will happen still when you think they're totally potty trained) But anyway......

Sounds like you're doing everything just right. As long as mama's happy, baby's healthy, the world is well.


wow, at 5 months old you want another one! Be careful, 3 women in my playgroup are pregnant and they are all going to be 13 months apart!

I have a 1 year old and can't imagine another one! More power to you!


This is the perfect thing for me to read today. I am now just starting to freak out about actually having a little person around and wondering how I'll ever be able to be a wife and mother and work...blah.

It's so good to know that all of that is not only possible, but that you do it all and you like it enough that you'd do it all over again.


(and thanks for sharing!)


dear lord, that is one realistic description of your morning! ;)

but LOOK at that child. yum. aww...


Glad you got some wonderful Noah-sunshine this morning in the midst of work panic and spit-up head, etc. etc.

I am 34 and just got married, and in addition to having no discernable maternal urges of which to speak, I have lots of anxieties about what kind of parent that I would be should we ever decide have kids. Maybe we will ultimately decide once and for all that we won't have kids, but your post gives me food for thought. Thanks!

That is all.


This is just the kind of thing that, before I got pregnant, made me very very sad.

Now it just makes me very, very hopeful.

I love your writing, Amalah.


The minute you announce a second pregnancy, approximately four thousand readers will wet themselves in excitement. :)


And you know what? Sometimes the second one turns out so wonderful that you wonder if he might even rival the first one in the category of The Wonderfulness. (But maybe not until he's 6 months old and over the awful case of the colic.)


You said the things I wonder about out loud. I'm so glad to see your answer, too.


I know exactly how you are feeling. My Zach is only 9 months old and we are already talking about the next one. Kids are so wonderful...even with all the spit up and poop!


Ugh, I totally already had baby fever BAD this week. Thanks, dude.

Miss S

OMG. I SO need one. Noah is adorable.

Nicole P

Nothing like a Code Brown to start out the day!

reluctant housewife

Beautiful. Thanks for putting it all in perspective.


It's posts like these that make me miss my mother OH SO MUCH. And make me long for the day when I'll be ready to have a kid (or two) of my own!

I hope that Noah knows how lucky he is! (Lucky for him, he'll have his mommy and daddy's blogs to peruse!)


Thats one of my biggest fears too. And nobody ever talks about it. I should have known I could count on you! Thanks!

Vaguely Urban

The amazing thing is that an entry that focused on the poop and spit up and exhaustion and stress makes all us non-mamas WANT a baby. Such is the power of Noah. And your writing. Well done, Amy.

Heather B.

All I'm gonna say is that your kid makes your babysitter look forward to babysitting and that I really would think it awesome if you all had another.


I said I'd do it again in a second and I did. Fourteen years later, I've never been so sure that I made the right decision. On the worst days, when I'm at my lowest, they are absolutely, positively the best thing I've ever done.


I'm going to be bludgeoned for this, I know it,I KNOW it, and I'm just asking to pop out homely ones when my time comes, but I wonder if people with ugly babies feel the same way?

Because yours surely is not.


What wordnerd said.


Thanks so much for's a good thing for us childless people to read so we understand that pretty much every feeling of babies being poopy and throw-uppy is there but moot because it is your own child and dammit you love them.


Noah is so cute and I am sure every mom has these feelings. It's all part of life. I am positive you are an excellent mommy...Noah thinks so. He looks so content in your arms.


I'll have to admit that there was one time when daughter was 16 and doing poorly in school and our whole life was one big screaming fight, then she said "I'm going to go live with my dad!" and I was ready to help her pack.

We got over it.... but I could have given her back that day.


Well dammit. That ending made me cry. I just wrote the other day about how I'm happy with the two I have, and yet I'm grieving the fact that this is it and there won't be any more. Reading this reminded me that even on the worst days, babies are worth all of it.


That's just the thing - it doesn't make any sense, but for some reason it always feels worth it. Even on the worst days, I never regret the decision to have a child. It's the best thing I ever did, and I guess the only thing better would be to have another one some day.

Another Amy

I agree with Leah -- my ovaries are throbbing reading this post, and they are white hot angry with you.


GREAT post :)


Hey, my kid is 3 1/2 and his Daddy isn't entirely sure where his sheets are kept. Wonderful Daddy, but not so good with the icky messes.

You're a lucky woman, in more ways than one.


After 3 years of infertility I had my first son via Clomid. When he was just 5 months old, I discovered I was ever-so-improbably-and unexpectedly pregnant again...8 weeks. We always knew we wanted several kids, but that soon? I cried for the first 3 months after I knew, and was embarrassed about the whole 'look at us we've become Mormon/Catholic/immigrant people who pop out kids like rabbits'.

When my second son was born I knew immediately, IMMEDIATELY (like the moment they laid him on my stomach) that I wanted to have more babies. I had my daughter about a month after you had Noah.

I'm completely over being embarrassed about the ages of my kids, or how many. They have made my marriage stronger, made me a better person, and are the light of my world. I can't imagine life without them.

I totally see how people have 4-5-6-7- kids, it has almost an addictive quality to it. I would have 10 if I knew for certain we could afford to educate them all with ease....


I think you nailed it. Hectic mornings, crazy life, no control or freedom but every minute is worth it and I couldn't change a darn thing either. Glad to see motherhood is as amazing to you as well!


The momentary consideration of putting the dog to sleep cracked me up -- I have a very fluffy, very bad cat, and one day when he was being particularly monstrous, without thinking, I turned to my boyfriend and said "I'm going to make him into a coat!" I was kidding, of course. But as it came out of my mouth, for a split second, I thought about what a nice, QUIET coat he really would make.

yet another from the legions of Amys

T-minus 8 weeks until my own firstborn makes a grand appearance. Thank you for the reassurance that all the little things we worry about are just that--little things. I know I can do this, but sometimes I forget and get nervous. Then I read words like these and I know it will be great.


HA! Okay, I meant that I thought about giving my dog to my mom, but now that you mention it...


I know whatcha mean girl...


My mom has been proclaiming the first time they lift their arms up to you to be one of the all time best baby moments. Right up there with the first real smile and first real laugh. Can't wait for it to happen here! Has Noah been doing it long?


Ha! I seriously thought you meant you were considering putting your dog to sleep just like your parents had! That's so what I read that to be. I'm cracking up over here.


You write the best posts!!

Also, I have thought many times what nice slippers my cat(s) would make. Also, how much easier it would be just to have them stuffed and mounted. That way I could give them a good shaking when they needed it. Then there is the idea of leaving said (stuffed) animal in the car on a hot day just to see how many people call the police. But alas, no such animal exists in my home!!

workin' mommy

God bless you woman! I have two kids (4 y.o. boy & 1 y.o. girl) and they are more ridiculously delightful each day.

Hey, I just started reading in order to try to cure my unhealthy addiction to celebrity gossip blogs and it's working! Thanks.


Oh wow, Amy. That was a great post. Yes, they are worth it, aren't they? I hope, for what its worth, if you do decide to hop on the "TTC Train" again, it goes smoothly for you.

Yeah, somedays I think I might just die from the love I have for my son, and I too was scared to have a boy!


Pre-Kid Days, I, too, was scared that I would be tired of the whole "mommy thing" and then whaddya do? You're STUCK. By the time you figure it out, the 30 Day Money Back Guarantee with the hospital is OVER.

But I'll be damned - the little toothless grins really ARE worth their weight in poop.


I love the picture of him with your purse. So cute! And if Heather's ever busy, I live right here in Arlington, and have experience as a Nanny. :) Now, I make maps though. And babysit on the side. :)

Real Girl

An awesome parallel: I'm sure many of us readers (the non-babied ones) worried about the changes Noah would surely bring to

But every baby picture makes me smile. Every single one.

Just Linda

Dammit, now you went and made ME want another one and I already have 5! LOL


The cuteness! Ok, I have four children ages 11, 9, 2 and 1. Yes it's a lot of work but it's so much fun too. I have no regrets. So my body doesn't look like it did when I was 25, and I drive a minivan, and we certainly don't have the freedom we did before kids. This is nothing compared to the joy our children have brought us.



Maybe in like two weeks....after a good nights sleep.

Okay, maybe tomorrow. XD


Hell, even MY ovaries are throbbing. You're that good of a writer.

(my dad used a Buick to take care of excess pets. Just sayin')


You brought tears to my eyes.

Though my precious boy is only 6 weeks old, I have those same fears, that one day I'll regret this amazing adventure I'm on or that my complete lack of understanding of little boys will render me the world's worst mother.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reassurance that I'm not alone, and that in the end it's all worth it.


stop making my ovaries ache, beeyatch!


this was an awesome post! I agree, my ovaries are itching and aching now too. I just need to be patient, I think.

Noah is so amazing.


I have four little darlings, so done now.


I know what you mean. With everything they do that is awful there are a thousand things that make you want another. There is nothing compared to your first child.


Many thanks to you, Jason and Noah for once again for raising the heat level of my baby-lust from "hot" to "caldera of lava". Please send me a note if you get tired of Ceiba (Kidding!) and would like to pay part of your Debt to Society for making us all want a Noah by giving me a cute and loveable dog.

Project Babalah, section deux? I would looove to see the results be a girl...imagine the tiny Coach items that would ensue!


so good, amy. it's amazing the way every day life sucks you in. sorry about the poop thing.


Hope this doesn't count as assvice but thought I'd throw out there, having learned this as a working mom of twins, that you can make a large batch of formula ahead of time and keep it in a pitcher in the fridge. Each brand varies as to proportion (ie if making a quart) of formula to use and how long to keep for, but they will tell you if you call the info number on the can. That way, you don't have to individually mix each bottle every morning. Every little bit of saved time counts in the wee hours of the morn.


Pants--When my mother saw my sister in her drug induced fog soon after my sister was born she burst into tears. Not out of joy but because my sister was seriously funny looking. 30 years later we all wish we were that funny looking-she's the hot sister.


You give me such hope! I read everyday in hope that one day I to will be a mother! I needed to read this today. I am having a hard time right now. I haven't had my period in eight months no, I am not pregnant but I am going through a lot of testing right now. And I feel all alone until I read your blog and then I feel a little better! Thank You! And your son makes me smile to!


It's interesting that intense love for children can manifest itself in different ways. I find myself wondering if there is enough of me to divide up between more than one child, I feel so tired and drained half of the time. I applaud your ability to bounce back so quickly!


Yay! Amy procreating AGAIN!

I know exactly where you're coming from, too. We are toying (and I mean that in the broadest sense of the word) with the idea of expanding our family, simply because we just adore our two SO MUCH.

I can tell you that having two kids is fucking amazing. Everyone should try it.


Wow. There are so many days when I (6 months pregnant, everyone around me constantly fussing and fawning like I'm carrying a superhuman being) just freak out about what kind of terrible mother am I going to be because I can't stand the thought of no more late mornings, splurges on sandals, fancy highlights, etc....why I can't revel in the same kind of exhilaration over this life-changing event that everyone else seems to be feeling....

Until I came across this post. Thank you for being so honest.


We spend our whole pregnancies freaking the hell out with every idiot who says "get sleep while you can, ha ha ha" or "say goodbye to movies ha ha ha" or "get ready to for poo on your Anne Fontaine shirts ha ha ha." Because we can understand no sleep. We can understand no movies. We can understand dry cleaning bills.

But we can never quite understand the love. We just have to get there. And feel it for ourselves.


I am finally de-lurking. Noah is adorable. I love the pics!

Did you ever find a diaper bag/purse combo to make life easier??


I got pregnant again a year after my first was born, and while it was difficult at first (2 in diapers what the hell was I thinking), it's great having a built in playmate. They're best friends.

Little boys are the best. I have 2, and wouldn't trade them for the world.
Your little Noah is a keeper!


What Nila said. My boys are 26 months apart and best friends.

I LOVE that picture of Noah in the exersaucer. He's concentrating so hard on what he's doing.


My daughter is doing the whole head dragging crawl too. It is so adorable, but I'm wondering how I'm supposed to explain forehead rug burn to the pediatrician in two weeks at her 6 month visit!


Okay, delurking after many weeks. Mama to baby Vivian born 9-28 and always a formula baby after I got very very sick in the hospital following her birth. Big time saving suggestion: make formula in batches, not one bottle at a time. A scale helps -- 136 grams of formula in 32 oz of water = 4 bottles, plus a little extra. I make it in a pitcher with a stick blender to whirl it together. Takes about five minutes to make them all.

Also: I invented the Every-damn-thing bag (tm). I keep the basic stuff from my purse (wallet, makeup bag, etc.) in one big mesh zipper bag from Container store. It can move from a purse to the diaper bag to a briefcase in seconds, so I don't have to carry more than one bag at a time. Again, just a suggestion.

Gorgeous writing! But I'm still not sure I can have another one. Oh no, not just yet...


That was so beautiful. My first sproglet is 11 months and damn some days I want to eat her whole head because she is so cute. And then some days when she is screeching and whining alllll day I consider sending her to Grandma's so I can have a bath, on my own.

Watch out for those hormones having fun with you, I got a bit broody approximately 16 weeks ago and look where I am now. Pregnant again, like an idiot! If I hear another "oooh you'll have your hands full" I will stab myself in the ears.


That was such a beautiful post Amy. I love being 18 months apart in age from my little sister. Also: I second RealGirl's comment; The addition of baby content (and pictures of Noah, yay!) to your writing has been nothing but awesome.


OK, I have to admit that I thought you meant you had a fleeting thought of euthanizing Ceiba. Now I feel silly. Give her to your Mom! Yeah that makes more sense. Duh.

Noah is are a lucky woman.


Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine a feeling of true contentment at the thought of getting up, going to work, being married and being a mom would bring at the age of 16, 18, 20?

I always thought that I would travel the world, save lives or something, and I would never be tied down by anyone of anything. Now I couldn't imagine a better feeling in the world then coming home to my babies every day, the excitement in their faces and going to sleep next to someone I love every night.

Growing up, it's all in the details. Thanks for the reminder to stop and look at what we have.


This has to be hands-down one of the greatest essays on parenthood ever written. EVER.

This essay should be sent out for publication and BENJAMINS.

Because, woman, it is brilliant.


I completely understand you. I have a 10month old boy, who is AMAZING. And I'll do it all over again.
(by the way..I'm from Chile, Southamerica...far, far away from you guys!)
I discovered you a month ago, and now I'm an addict!

Silly Hily

Fabulous, fabulous post. I don't care what my daughter does or how tired I am or how crazy my life seems, one smile or "Wuv you" from her and it's ALL more than worth it. And I did it again a year later. He should be here any week now.


I love how moms worry about pooping on the table and all that *ahem* crap, when really, there is so much more to think about. And when it all comes down to it, having kids must be really amazing for us all to forget our labors/deliveries and even consider having another one.


How delightfully weird. Yesterday on Blurbomat (Dooce's hubby I think) he mentioned having another you...

It must be spring! All the creatures are nesting! Yay!


God, I'm so incredibly happy for you. Knowing that your baby makes you feel that way is the best.

And also, Jason! And Noah, in his infinite cuteness! The three of you are so great together, it really makes me envy you (in a good way, of course!). I just hope my fiancée and I are as happy as you guys when we get married.


Isn't it funny how a beaming smile from their drooling faces can make everything okay?

My husband and I lost our first son when he was eleven days old. I got pregnant as soon as I could after that. That meant I spent 16 of 19 months pregnant. Not fun, but totally worth it. All I have to do is see his smile or hear his laugh.

Darn their cute little faces.

Johnny Sapphire

Seriously, your kid is quite possibly the most adorable child I have ever seen.


I think this post was ripped from my head and shuffled for eloquence and twisted with your unique spin. So, so true.


Gah! again, love the background. those painted walls. !!! There should be a post: Noah's Crib. You could throw in some how-to advice and whatnot.


And I am sitting here worrying about money when I wonder if we can really try for baby #4...and then I realize everything you just said. What would I do without my 3 gorgeous little boys? Being flat ass broke never in a minute made me regret them. Thank you for reminding me of that. :)


I remember when our 1st ( a cranky daughter whose picture is next to the Webster's dictionary definition for "difficult") was playing in the sandbox of our local park & I was watching her through a haze of sleeplessness & thinking, "I'll never get past all the physical drudgery of taking care of her. The sheer amount of work to keep her alive will kill me first."
18 years later & I'm near tears because I'd give anything to have those days back again. They are SO worth it.


I have felt everything you said... and could never have put it into words. You are awesome!

I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old. I want another but my hubby wants to be done. I just can't imagine that this might be the last time I see a first smile or hear a first laugh.

I agree with the person who said that if I could educate them ($$) I would have 10!


What a loving post and tribute to your adorable boy. I had MAJOR anxiety attacks before my first son was born thinking of how I made a big mistake. I now have two boys that I love more each day. Hoping to have a 3rd and dread the comments that I am "trying for a girl".

Bottom line - people should shut the hell up about the negative things that come along with having children. One I love you SO much from my 4 year old more than makes up for the sleep deprivation, poop incidents etc.


Noah has a twin. No joke, but a sad one. Go to: Its a site for available children seeking adoption (some have special needs). The picture of him is so Noah-like, I thought they stole it from here.

Very sad. (Not that he looks like Noah, but that he doesn't have a familah)

My downer for the day.


Forgot to tell you which boy it was (you'll be able to tell from the picture, but...)

He's #51068 born 5/05.


WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY? (that's my first thought)
WELL, OF COURSE YOU DO! (that's my second thought)

didn't someone once say, "kids-can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em"? damn, no matter how painstaking childbirth is and how pergatory-like motherhood can be, we keep begging for more. what is it with us breeders?


Well, my son's kindergarten class, hell, the whole daycare/preschool has a head lice infestation. All I can say is THANK GOD (knock wood) that he has not gotten them. I look at him every day, even when he is whining to no end and looking at me like he hates me b/c I won't buy him ANOTHER hot wheels track...HE is the best thing I have ever done. EVER. If I weren't divorced I'd have already had another one.
[in an aside, i seriously have looked at my cat, whom i adore and thought that when he goes...i will never have another cat ever, ever again. Especially when he pees on the pile of dirty laundry in the basement waiting to go into the washer.]


I am going to bookmark this post--one of the hateful things about infertility is all of the time it gives you to ask all of those questions (what if I regret having a child, what if I'm not a good mother, etc.) This entry was beautiful, and real, and just what I needed to read today.

Also, I often threaten to make my cats into a lucious coat. Or perhaps a stole and a little bag.


My two middle children are 13 months apart. T'was hard work when they were little but SO worth it.

So how soon will we be living vicariously through your new pregnancy?


Okay, that's it. I'm going back and rewording the part about Ceiba to make it clear that I just thought about giving her away, not putting her to sleep.

Just because I am imagining the hate mail I'll get from random Google searches in the future and lo, I am sore afraid.

Not that I haven't thought about turning her in a very small pair of mittens.

(Hello Internet! My job is EATING MY VERY SOUL TODAY. Wah.)


I totally understood what you were saying about Ceiba.

Noah is adorable as always.



I worry about those exact things. I'm 5 months along, and hope above all hopes that I will never get the feeling that "UGH. I am SO tired, was this worth it?". Thanks for your encouragement.


I also thought that about Ceiba, but thought it was a sarcastic thing.

Wow. Kids 15 months apart. Good christ, that sends shudders down my spine. I think you might want a martini while you ponder that.

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