This Experiment

Remember when I began this daily blogging experiment, lo those two and a half months ago, and vowed to blog nightly for every night that Das Big Boy was in the NICU. Well, I’m still doing it. You’re still reading it, at least tonight. We likely both have times where we realize I’m totally phoning it in, or wish I could just shut up already. If you’re a friend I see in person, it means you’ve likely heard all of my good stories by the time I see you (or, if I assume you have, I’m being wildly presumptuous). Yes, I believe we can agree there are times we’re both over this daily check-in from Hipster Hausfrau.

So I’m going to remind myself that I was infinitely more over having a child in the NICU. And yet, I couldn’t be over it because it was my kid. After a while, you can’t be depressed by your reality because it’s just your reality (which is why, when people say things like, “I don’t know how you did it! I could never do that!” I say, “You just do.”) Just like most of us who have coped with something hard, you just keep going. But after a while during a long NICU stay, the just keep goingness of it becomes a different kind of sad. Not the anguished sad of really worrying about your child (although of course that’s right there, too). But the shock and then acceptance that this new life is your reality.

This version of Hipster Hausfrau totally listened to Swagga Like Us before going out. She also is about four days pregnant and doesn't know it yet. So she's going to drink vodka and sing karaoke (don't worry, we're talking pre-implantation pregnant, so Das Big Boy will be fine. Or he won't be fine, but it won't be because of this night). Also, that thing I'm wearing is the shortest romper ever. And I've been known to rock it in the 'burbs.

This version of Hipster Hausfrau totally listened to Swagga Like Us before going out. She also is about two days pregnant and doesn’t know it yet. So she’s going to drink vodka and sing karaoke (don’t worry, we’re talking pre-implantation pregnant, so Das Big Boy will be fine. Or he won’t be fine, but it won’t be because of this night). Also, that thing I’m wearing is the shortest romper ever. And I’ve been known to rock it in the ‘burbs.

I often walked alone from our sublet in Washington Heights to Columbia Presbyterian because Herr Husband was able to get out of bed much faster than I was, so he would get to the hospital superearly and I would loll in bed and then pump and then come over. My particular NICU anxiety made it nerve-wracking to go in the morning and impossible to leave at night (such that Herr Husband would often leave earlier than I would).

I remember a morning on which I tried to listen to the song “Swagga Like Us,” on the walk.

I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but this song was an anthem of sorts for me when we lived in Brooklyn and I was getting ready to go out and feeling like hot shit. Herr Husband was incredibly sick of this song.

On the morning I tried to listen to the song on the walk, to get my swagga back, if you will, I couldn’t even get through the Kanye solo without sobbing. Not because of Kanye. But because that life felt so, so far away that I didn’t feel like the same person anymore. I had to turn the song off. I’m not even sure I was able to laugh at myself for having to turn it off, or if I was just bewildered to feel so detached from everything. In the long run, this has balanced out. I’m not the pre-NICU me, but I’m not the NICU me either. I’ve got some swag again, but it’s a more grown up version. It’s been knocked down a bit. And I’ve earned it a bit more. To be hideously cliched, I know myself a lot better than I did before Das Big Boy came along.

And now current me is once again rocking out to the song. Only I’m not going anywhere except back to the kitchen to clean up toys. And I’ve worn this sweater way too many times in a row to feel like anything other than regular shit.

But my favorite line is still “Can’t wear skinny jeans ’cause my nuts don’t fit.”

All of this is to say, thank you for sticking with me during this experiment. Some days it’s a chore, some days I really reflect on its purpose. Thank you for being there on any of those days. And thank you for laughing with me as you imagine me crying to M.I.A, Kanye, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and TI. Because now it does strike me incredibly funny.

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