Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How do you turn it off?

Momdar is an unexpected gift - or maybe better described as a side effect - from having a baby. It is the ability that allows you to hear every squawk, grunt, sigh, cry, scream or coo your baby makes all the time. Mom Radar is very primal and the instinct is (well, at least it seamed so for me) developed overnight after the baby is born. Momdar is a useful tool, the precursor to modern electric baby monitors. But unlike the modern baby monitors which broadcast to you and anyone else listening the noises of your offspring and can be turned off, Momdar allows only the mother to hear sounds even when the baby is not within reasonable listening range and can only be turned off after said child has moved into their own home some 20 to 30 years from now.

It doesn't seem to matter if your baby is accessible to you as in the case of my boys being whisked off to the NICU. This new super human power is activated, and I think the Momdar is maybe heightened by the fact that you can't have access to them should your baby be in the NICU. This is what prompted me to call the NICU at 2am most nights.

An example of Momdar's power would be like being in the shower upstairs and your baby on the first floor of your house with the TV on, the radio on, people talking, the trash truck passing by, and dogs barking and you can tell your baby is crying and has been for longer than you'd like. It's when you wake up in the middle of the night so certain that the baby was crying when they haven't. It's dreaming that the baby needs something and you have the uncontrollable need to get it now so you get out of bed and do it, losing precious sleep just because though they aren't crying now, they might need it later. It's the never feeling comfortable with anyone, even your own awesome family who've been helping you all along, because unless you are right there nothing will seem good enough to make the baby happy. It's the startling awake. Every. Fifteen. Minutes.

Add to that the oxygen compressor noise, the edginess of listening for an apnea alarm and a pulsox alarm, two babies crying and it's a very busy place in my head.


Trish said...

Yeah. It really needs a pause button. But I do get a little thrille when I "feel" something and find it to be true. Hey! I DO know my kid! YAY!