Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bit by Bit

The comments on my "What is bonding?" post have helped shift something in me. A switch has been flipped. I am no longer looking at ways in which C and I have not bonded. Because it isn't about that. We have bonded. We continue to bond.

I have fallen in love at first sight with people. And (for me) it felt like addiction. [Not saying that "love at first sight" is not real or valid - it is real and it is valid - I had to have those experiences and I may again]. With my partner I fell in love slowly, bit by bit, over time. Some parts of falling in love were instant and some took time and evolution. Our relationship is so balanced. There is something very true about our love. There is something very true about the way we love each other. It's been a process.

I kind of see bonding between mama and baby as a process. Some of it is instant. Instantly I wanted to protect her and nourish her. Some of it is bit by bit and over time. As she changes and grows and develops, we see new sides of each other. Or we see the same stuff but in different ways. Bonding evolves.

It no longer works for me to look at what we didn't get when she was born. I am looking at what we have now. I am not even looking for it - it is just there.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

2nd Annual Earth Hour

In a half hour we will power down and take part in Earth Hour.

Go to for more info.

Hopefully you can participate too.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What is bonding anyway?

At Easter dinner yesterday my cousin, my mom, and I were talking about breastfeeding. My mom said she believed that Mother Nature invented breastfeeding to help mama and baby bond. My cousin was saying that she used to worry those days when her little one (now 18 - where does the time go?) would seem to be latched on to her 24-7. Probably a growth spurt. She agreed with my mom and said "yeah some pretty wonderful bonding came out of those 24-7 days."

I've always been sad that I didn't get to see (or touch or talk to) to little C when she was born. A got to see her in the moments after she was born when her apgar was 2 and they were "bagging" her - the midwife brought her in to the OR in case C didn't make it (I was knocked out and A was in the waiting room during the surgery). Then C was whisked away, quickly. A saw her again an hour or so later when she was hooked to machines and monitors and in an isolette. But couldn't touch her. I got to see her the next morning - some 12 hours after she was born.

"They" say that first little while after birth is so important in terms of bonding. I still wonder what we all missed out on - the three of us. I've also worried that we aren't "properly bonded." Whatever that means. I look for clues to prove that we aren't bonded - I did that a lot in the first few months. Clues, like: I can't seem to console her right now. This spirals into: she finds no comfort in my presence, therefore we are not bonded, and I suck. Seriously I've taken it to this level - and I'm a fairly confident woman with a relatively good self-esteem (but suddenly I suck).

When does bonding happen? I mean, I agree with my cousin and my mom. Those 24-7 days are bonding. Working together, mama and baby, to figure out how to breastfeed is pretty bonding. Being up in the 3am silence feeding her is bonding. But what about those first few moments after birth - what did I miss?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Going Bananas

C had a bit of organic banana in her mesh feeder today. Her first solid food ever. When she was finished she put the feeder down on the tray - dramatically, I might add - and then pulled her bib off and put it on the tray.

Exactly 6 1/2 months today.

Sleep last night was good after a few days of not so good sleep. [Teething, maybe?] So yeah last night she went down at 10:30pm, up at 1am, up at 6am, up for good at 10:30am. And the 1am and 6am feedings were easy and she didn't need help going back to sleep. I feel refreshed.

I don't even want to get into what her sleep was like 2 nights ago. Just picture 2 very sleepy women handing a screaming and very awake baby back and forth with the clock reading 3:52.

Off to MI tomorrow. C's first time crossing the border.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What is it good for?

C went to her first peace rally today. She slept through the whole thing.

It was particularly sad because I thought of all those soldiers - young women and men - who will never come home to their mamas. I thought of their mamas too - who carried and loved them as babies and watched them grow.

A's nan in England passed away yesterday peacefully at 94. She lost her husband in WWII - and was never the same after that loss.

When will we learn?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Use Your Words

Towards the end of our walk in the park yesterday (when it was 5C) C started to cry. When we got back to the car she was inconsolable. I took her out of the stroller and bounced around with her and talked to her and tried to calm her. When she was calm I started to put her in the car seat and she began crying all over again. I've only seen her like this a few times. So I took her out of the car seat and held her. I didn't want to leave her in the car seat crying. I didn't want to have her crying in the back seat while I drove home. I ended up trying to nurse her with us sitting in the back seat - but she didn't want boob. Eventually she calmed down long enough for us to get home. Once home, I fed her, changed her, rocked her, and she napped for 2 hours.

But oh my it is so hard to hear my baby cry and not be able to fix it right away.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

We got out of the house.

We went to the library and we went for a walk in the park!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Life in a Snow Belt

I just know that the warm weather is around the corner. Even though more snow and dipping temps are predicted. That's life in a snow belt.

A's three days off in a row end tomorrow. She goes back in the morning. We've spent the time well.

A looked after C today for a bit and I had a luxurious nap. The two of them sorted through clothes that C has outgrown. I see her everyday and I am aware that she is growing, but I had no idea just how much until I looked through the box A will be dropping off at the G00dwill. Our little baby is growing up. Anyway...

Tomorrow I'm hoping that C and I will get out and go to the library. I have books to return and new ones to pick up. I have mad library love right now. I used their on-line search thingy to check out various titles that I am interested in. What fun!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bitter Sweet

C turned 6 months today. I swear she grew a bunch overnight! She was born 6 months ago at 6:50pm. I didn't know I had a baby girl until I woke up at 10 to 8pm - well after that when the nurse in recovery found out and then told me. I had C via c-section and I was under a general anaesthetic. My heart hurts that I was not there to welcome her to the world. Even more that her baba couldn't be there to welcome her. I feel tremendous sadness about it all today. We looked at the clock at various points and said, 6 months ago right now contractions started, the midwife came, water broke, left for the hospital, she was born, etc.

Last week I was aware of the intense fear I felt when they rolled me in to the OR - feeling contractions and freaking scared of the general and the knife and for my baby's life.

Today it is sadness.

And I am so happy she is here, so pleased, so in love, so in awe. She is everything. Everything to me. My heart aches with these joyful feelings too.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Book Love

I have (re)discovered the library in my limited income maternity leave ways. And I am a bit nostalgic about it. It's like I am back at college. It helps that the library system in this city is pretty effing amazing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Intense Baby

Mamas of babies who are past 6 months: Please tell me it is normal for my almost 6 month old to get so freaking frustrated (to the point where she screams) at not being able to crawl to desired toys. Please tell me it is normal for my almost 6 month old to have what appears to be a tantrum because she can't roll back over.

And please help me out here. Do I just fetch the toys for her (this is what I am doing)? Or, help her move/creep/crawl to the toy? Or, just let her figure it out (you know as a way to gain the crawling skills)?

Should I be worried that her freaking out now is somehow indicative of the intensity of her personality and that when she is 2 she is going to have major tantrums? Is there a correlation?

Book Meme

I was tagged(!) by Owl at Enough Grows.

1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.

2. Open it to page 123.

3. Find the first 5 sentences and write them down.

4. Then invite 5 friends to do the same.

Until we heal original relationships, we will never truly be in fresh relationships with others.

My dad had driven the twenty mintes from his home in Oakmont to meet me for dinner in Sonoma. We met at a coffee shop in a shopping center that had a supermarket, a bagel shop, and a Rite Aid drugstore. We ate our sandwiches and caught up on the news about Nicole, the house, dad's lady friend, sharing warm feelings. When we finished eating we left arm in arm and walked around the shopping center on a mission to find a single razor blade for his shaver.

The book is Buddha Mom by Jacqueline Kramer and it is way more ineteresting than the sentences above might lead you to believe.

Okay so I am supposed to tag 5 other people - this is where the whole meme thing stresses me out... so... um... if you want to do this meme do it (and let me know that you did)... and to my reader Jen (with no blog), you have been tagged to do it in the comments for this post.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

But Today is Not the Day

Reading others' February 29 posts has made me realise that there is so much more I could write. So much more that I need to write. I don't know where to begin. I don't have the energy. I am afraid to open the door to all those feelings. Others' posts have me aware. And inspired.

I know now that ttc and pregnancy and birth are all about loss. Things that are essentially all about creating new life are also about loss.

I know now that there are so many people out there who can say it so much better than me. It is amazing what happens when someone (or in the case of February 29, many someones) put words to so many things that I have thought, have felt, still think, still feel.