Newborn Parent Survival – Lessons Learned Part 2

by Gig Girl on April 27, 2011

Gig Girl's Germ Phobia

Lesson #2: Leave Room For The Ridiculous

After my last post on newborn parenting lessons, Gig Girl feels compelled to offer the following disclaimer: Despite my obnoxious, embarrassingly-childish tirade against Hubs’ breakfast sandwiches and diaper wipes efforts (fueled by severe exhaustion and postpartum hormonal imbalance, I might add), I was NOT this irrational and neurotically charged back when my first son, O, was born.

I was actually much, much worse…

As evidence, I offer to you:

Exhibit A: Scaring The Bejeebers Out of A New Mom

After O was born, I had the requisite pre-discharge parental consultation with O’s new pediatrician.  The Dr. introduced himself with a handshake and I remember liking him instantly with his slightly dated beard and benignly soothing voice.

And then he spoke…

And he proceeded to use that benign voice to inform me that hand washing needs to be a top priority for anyone coming in contact with my newborn son to prevent the spread of germs, sickness and most importantly, a high fever.  He went on to say that, should O come down with a fever before six weeks of age, he’d be forced to perform a spinal tap on my infant son. “Before 6 weeks of age, a spinal tap is essentially the only way to rule out meningitis,” the voice said as I felt my merely quirky and very inconsistent germ aversion supersonically morph into a full-fledged, raging and blinding phobic compulsion.

“So, that’s all for now.  So nice to meet you,” Dr. Soothey Voice said and extended what I once naively thought was simply a hand, but now recognized as a deadly weapon swarming in microscopic lethal germs that could leap from him to me and then to O.

Gig Girl didn’t think so…

Sadly, leaving my new pedi awkwardly hanging was not the low point of my newborn parent ridiculousness.  After he left my room I immediately called the first person I often dial when plagued with frenetic anxiety; I called my schoolteacher mom.

(To be read with a very sheepish tone) And this is what I said:

Gig Girl: Mom, I need to talk to you about something.

Mom: Of course, hon.

Gig Girl: Listen, I just talked to O’s pedi and apparently if the baby gets a fever, they’ll have to do a spinal tap and I’m FREAKING out all over the place. I’m sorry, but I can’t take any chances.  You’re a schoolteacher surrounded by germy little buggers all day long and I can’t risk passing something on to Owen which might result in him requiring a spinal tap.  So, I’m going to ask that you not come and visit the baby again until he’s six weeks old.

Please note, that’s not a typo…I actually told my poor mother that the next time she could see her first and (at the time) only grandchild again would be in FORTY-TWO DAYS. (And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I also informed her even after the 6 weeks lapsed, she’d still have to go home and change her clothes before coming to visit the baby.  Yes…I am ashamed).

Taking her stunned silence as agreement, I hung up the phone and began to visualize key locations for hand sanitizers throughout my house and pondered the practicality of an infant-sized bubble for a guaranteed sterile environment.  Or, perhaps I should invest in full body hazmat suits for visiting guests?

Luckily, the buzz of my insanity died down a bit and I did let my mom come over to enjoy and love her new grandson as much as she wanted.  And while I do have a bottle of Germ-ex ever-ready and still feel my throat constrict when I see an unwashed hand dangle perilously close to Tobin’s mouth, Gig Girl really has come along way since my experience with O.

Which enabled me to embrace the Hub’s newborn parenting ridiculousness when he asked a few weeks after Tobin was born:

Hubs: Hey, hon, I can wash Reggie’s dog toy with the baby’s clothes, right? (No joke.  He actually asked me this and this is actually what the dog’s toy looked like at that very moment…)

Gig Girl: Uhmmm….I’m going to give that a solid “No” darling….

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

JMC April 27, 2011 at 10:53 am

You always make me laugh!

MOB April 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Love reading The Gig Girl. About the only thing this new mom doesn’t have…but I make up for it in plenty of other ways :)

Gig Girl April 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm

LOL – I’m glad you don’t have the germ phobe gene!! To this day I’m a hand washing fiend!!!

KOH April 27, 2011 at 8:28 pm

YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT THIS! Wash your hands! Don’t double dip!

CB April 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm

OMG Just LOL Great story, I can actually see your Mom’s face when you told her
not to come.

Gig Girl April 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm

SPINAL TAP, Katie….I was fine until I heard the words SPINAL TAP!!!

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