I’m not a numbers person. I can hardly be bothered to measure in a recipe. Excel spreadsheets and data are all Matti Daddy’s department. However, I’ve become uncharacteristically obsessed with our charts measuring poop, breastmilk, sleep and all other matters Winnie June that will fit into a penny-sized column each hour of the day.
It all started in the NICU when we began recording every breast pump with meticulous detail. I was barely producing enough to keep up with Winnie’s feeds, and were under constant threat of running out and having the doctors revert her to formula. So, as my journey into sleep deprivation began, I found that it was somehow satisfying to record that 3am pump, even if it had been pitiful. But look, there it was, I did it. I roused myself once again to squeeze liquid out of this immature body to feed the little bugger. Toward the end, Matti showed me a plot of all the work I had been doing for the last 2 months and it felt at once satisfying, relieving and weird to be put on a chart.
Now, these charts are like an indispensable daily diary. While inelegant, I feel like the scrawling script and messy code are sort of a reflection of our new parent state of mind. When did she eat last? Shit. I have no idea. I can’t remember when I brushed my teeth last. Thank god for the chart.
There are also patterns, however fleeting, beginning to appear. Maybe the semblance of a sleep schedule? a poop schedule? A reason why she is fussy or crying or grunty? Or just a reminder that I can’t seem to get to the pump during the day.
I’m still not sure if these numbers help relieve stress, or cause more guilt. It’s probably a little bit of both. What I do know is that I can’t wait for a time when I feel like we don’t need the chart. I know everyone says that it all goes by too fast, and maybe that will feel true in the future. But for right now, I feel like we inadvertently purchased the “extended plan” with this one and I’m ready to be done with the 3rd and 4th trimester.
Winnie, thank goodness your days as a grub are numbered.