The carousel of time via new-mom internet search histories

A look into my new parent brain through the magic of Google.

Everyone knows it’s folly to search the Internet, especially WebMD, because it will tell you you’re dying no matter what.

Headache? Aneurysm, you’re gonna die.
Arm pain? Cancer, you’re dying.1

But when you’re a new parent, sometimes Google is all you’ve got when it’s 2:00 AM and you’re wondering if using the white noise app on your phone is going to permanently harm your baby in some terrible way that you wouldn’t know about unless you Googled it so you HAVE to Google it because otherwise you won’t sleep.2 Let’s go on a journey, shall we? We’re going to look at a month in the life of my often-midnight-Googling new parent brain, all thanks to the magic of search history. Just like the Bible, we’ll start with the Fall.3

October 5th

  • baby not cooing at 3 months
  • when do babies start to coo
  • working mom isolation

October started out with me beginning to worry about my very quiet three-month-old daughter. That, and feeling a bit out to sea in terms of seeing many mom friends on the regular. I think my frustration stemmed from the fact that a lot of mom hangouts seem to happen on weekday mornings. Even library storytimes are often during the week and geared towards stay-at-home-parents and daycares–what’s a parent watering hole for some is work for me,4 so my baby’s not there. It’s hard to find dedicated child-parent things that are accessible for working parents too. Since then, I’ve gotten a bit more balanced, mostly through getting together with friends who happen to also be parents.

October 15th

  • allergy medicine while breastfeeding
  • any amount of breastfeeding is a success

Oof. October was when things started to get really hard on the breastfeeding side of things. My baby was growing fast, and I wasn’t able to catch up to her needs. Meanwhile, my sinus issues from pregnancy were persisting postpartum.5 I was spending more time with my breast pump than my husband or my bed, or so it seemed! Perhaps on this day I needed a little reassurance that things were going to be OK. And…they were! At least on the breastfeeding side of things when I relented and started to supplement with formula. I prefer having an alive not-starving baby.

October 18th

  • does white noise hurt babies
  • grovia leaks
  • tots bots
  • flip diapers
  • fuzzibunz
  • july birthstone
  • louis ck nope gif

SO MANY THINGS this day! Leaking cloth diapers that just kept leaking! Concerns about white noise! What birthstone does my baby have, anyway?! Some sort of situation that involved needing a Louis CK nope gif! Probably the leaking diapers, now that I think about it.

October 24th

  • dogs driving me crazy after baby

You know how people say that owning a dog is good practice for owning parenting a baby? If you are thinking about a baby, do not get a dog. That dog will still be around and needy after you have a baby, it turns out!

October 27th

  • my only regret is that i have boneitis

I’m not sure why I needed this clip in my life at that moment, but apparently on October 27th, 2014, I did.

October 30th

  • autism rise cell phones
  • baby not responding to loud noises
  • baby not responding to loud noises passed hearing test

A thing about parenting I’ve learned is this: you will have theories about everything. Even things you have no scholarly knowledge of! You will wonder! And Google! You will think, “Have people studied that???” about pretty much everything. I’ve heard that people take photos most of what they fear losing,6 and I’d like to posit that people Google most about that which they fear most. By Googling it, the hope is that the internet says “Yep, people studied that, no worries young parenting padawan, move on to your next fear.” I’m pretty sure the next day or so the baby started turning her head to sound. That hearing test was right after all.

November 1st

  • how long does sleep regression last

Oh, November. You were the start of the four-month sleep regression. Google wasn’t able to tell me how long it would last. I was delirious.

November 2nd

  • brain chemicals help baby sleep
  • introduce lovey baby

The steep and sudden decline of sleep continued! Maybe there were secret magical brain chemicals that were supposed to help my baby sleep that weren’t being properly activated. Maybe the lovey would help her settle and sleep if it smelled like me. I started sleeping with her stuffed rabbit, Radish stuffed lovingly in my PJ top, but this proved exactly zero percent useful in terms of getting her to settle down and sleep if I left the room. And those brain chemicals…yeah, out to lunch.

November 8th

  • how to file a noise complaint in richmond va

When you’re in the midst of sleep regression, the last thing you want is to be kept awake in the wee hours of the morning by someone else’s dog. Luckily, a search party of equally frustrated neighbors began shortly after that search, as evidenced by the “WHERE IS IT COMING FROM?!” mob that stalked down the alley. Eventually, we all slept. Or at least, most of us did…AHEM, BABY.

November 10th

  • pregnancy dental problems
  • corgi loves baby
  • trilling baby
  • nasal baby sounds
  • “it’s better to travel in hope than arrive in despair”

This brings us full-circle, which is why I’ll end things here. A month after my woes about my daughter not yet cooing, I was instead curious about the hilariously constant nasal trilling she was engaging in. I was also looking for more encouragement about dogs and babies–I think in this case I just needed a little pick-me-up to remind me of why I really do love my dogs, but it wasn’t a search for confirmation of a downward spiral. I was still having postpartum health issues–dental this time–but things seemed to be on the uptick in terms of mood. And sure, the sleep regression was still in full-swing, but there was a little light somewhere flickering, a tiny beacon of hope that I was traveling with that it, too, would come to pass.

Each month brings with it its joys and challenges. One month I’m worried she’s never going to do something and maybe there’s a problem, the next I’m curious about the skill she’s picked up and is that normal?! One fear passes, another replaces it, one joy leaps to the front, another takes its place. How does that Joni Mitchell song go again?

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Photo by: zigazou76

  1. Alternatively, boneitis. 
  2. Note: you may not sleep anyway… 
  3. Not that I’m comparing the quality of my work to the Bible or anything. I would never. 
  4. Since I work at the library. 
  5. Basically I haven’t been able to breathe properly for over a year! 
  6. Food, babies. 
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Hayley DeRoche

Hayley DeRoche is a librarian with a penchant for cardigans and corduroys. Luckily, her professional life revolves more around technology & information than fashion.

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