Oh my god, NO. A mustard-like stain begins to grow, taking over the entire backside of his brand new candy cane-striped Christmas onesie (gifted to us the night prior by Grandma). It’s sticky, wet, and starting to get all over me. HOW IS THIS HAPPENING? Rustling past the rows upon rows of business men, I carry my poo-moist infant to the lavatory. In the stinky germ-gross airplane toilet, I’m holding him in the air, pulling diaper wipes with my teeth, trying to deal with the mess as best I can, but it’s impossible. The shit has sprayed onto me.Twenty-six wipes later, we finally have things a little under control, but I’m forced to stuff both my t-shirt and his onesie into the garbage dispenser. I’m left wearing an ugly nursing bra under a cardigan (with no buttons), the type of sweater that you cannot close.
Shuffling back down the aisle, my son wearing only a diaper and me flashing all with my unattractive milk-wet bra — What? you’ve never seen a leaky tit, mister? FUCK OFF! — we finally get back to our seat. The stewardess is trying to tell me to sit down (she is the must unhelpful human being on earth), and, holding back tears, I snap that I need a couple minutes to organize. I finally get him into fresh clothes, phew. But I am left sitting in my bra, still smelling of poo. WHERE IS THE SMELL COMING FROM? On my sweater sleeve? On my leggings? IN MY HAIR? While I obsessively sniff, I quickly realize that I will arrive at Heathrow just like this: milky poo-bra, no shirt. WELCOME TO THE UK!
Yep, having a newborn is c-r-a-z-y. On our personal Facebook pages and Instagram accounts, we may hint at the chaos with a wink or sprinkle of carefully crafted sarcasm, but moms are cautious not to sound overwhelmed, anxious, ungrateful, or depressed.
“This is his ‘I’m not going to let you sleep a wink’ stare-down.” Says the caption below a photo of an adorable child and a smiling mom, both wrapped in soft white linens. A photo like this will set off a brigade of comments: “SOOO CUTE!” “OMG, those CHEEKS!” “Delicious!” “I can’t believe you just had a baby! You’re glowing!”
On the Mommy Groups, however, shit gets real: “Can anyone help?! I’m going F&#*CKING CRAZY! My nipples feel like someone has literally stabbed them with thumbtacks, and I can’t sit on the goddamn toilet seat because I have a massive hemorrhoid. I literally haven’t slept for more than two hours, and I’m pretty sure my husband is in the basement playing a video game. I want to MURDER HIM. Can someone please tell me that this will get easier because I’m losing my mind!”
Finally, there’s a show that honours the reality of early motherhood, in all its shit-piss-puke glory.
Launching this week on CBC’s Punchline, Newborn Moms is a hilarious laugh-until-you-pee (if you’re a new mom, you will) web series created by Toronto-based sketch comedians, Aurora Browne and Nadine Djoury. It takes an “honest look at the secret shames, daily struggles, and poopy mess that is real life for new mothers.” The crying (moms crying), the 6059 issues that come with breastfeeding, the pathetic attempts at romance, suavely trying to pick up mom friends at the local splash pad (I’m a player at this), passive-aggressive baby-wearing hippie moms who make everything look impossibly easy, baby monitoring obsessiveness — it’s all there, and it will make you howl.
Aurora and Nadine get it. Watch Newborn Momsnow. Thankfully, each episode is only 1-3 minutes long, so this is a series you can ACTUALLY watch without having to pause six hundred times. (In that first year, we never watched one show, beginning to end.) This was made for you.