Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005
- Name: WinterWheat
- Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States
I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
I have this tendency to internalize both real and imagined critics and to modify my behavior in anticipation of their criticism. In my experience, most of these critics have been women. So to read all these supportive comments from intelligent, funny women, women with integrity, means the world to me. Thank y'all for lovin' on me.
So, the picture: Here Fi is a little over 4 weeks old. Yesterday we visited the pediatrician's office. She's holding steady at the 99th percentile for height (er, length).
I'm having flashbacks of the Warner Brothers cartoon Goo Goo Goliath, the one with the giant baby who ends up wearing the Brown Derby restaurant sign on its huge toddling head while thundering down Wilshire Blvd.
We, however, have no drunken stork to blame. We're giants and we had a giant baby.
The funny thing is, she already outweighs the dog.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Bonding or Bondage?
I thought by now I'd be talking about being "hopelessly in love" with my daughter, but I'm not. Could I be failing the bonding test? I've experienced a craving for her that feels almost physical; when I haven't been around her for a few hours I have this intense desire to rush back. And I kiss her and sing to her constantly. These things all feel natural. But I don't feel "in love" yet, perhaps because I'm still so intimidated. Her most common facial expression is one my adult mind reads as a combination of vexation, disappointment, and skepticism, like she's just sized up her lot in life (assignment to me) and isn't too happy with the pairing.
I've been forced to supplement with formula because my cups runneth not over: I haven't been producing enough milk to make her gain weight, in spite of 10 feedings a day followed by religious post-feeding pumping combined with fenugreek, warm compresses -- all that "increase your milk supply" crap. I feel terrible guilt over not being able to feed my daughter 100% with my own body, and now it appears that I'm projecting my feelings about myself onto her. Poor little thing. Only four weeks old and her neurotic mother is already projecting adult feelings onto her innocent infant psyche.
Maybe this is to be expected, given that nothing in this birth went the way I wanted. I was committed to a natural vaginal birth and ended up with an emergency c-section. I was committed to breastfeeding exclusively and ended up needing to supplement with formula. I was committed to eating healthily after the birth and ended up consuming endless "family size" bags of M&Ms that only worsened the crippling constipation I've been experiencing since I came home. (The junk food overconsumption ends tomorrow, I swear.)
Occasionally she breaks into a huge dimpled grin. It's totally random and only happens when she's asleep, but it's emotional manna to me. Could I be that dependent on a smile to bond with my baby? Will she learn that the only way to win Mommy's love is to put on a happy face? God, I hope not. But I'll tell you, the power of a smile is nowhere more evident than during interaction with a baby.
On the up side: She's adorable, she smells great, she's healthy (knock wood), she's easygoing when properly fed, and she loves art. I know this because I have a Marimekko wall hanging over my bed that she just sits and stares at after feedings.
I am so lucky. I know this. So why can't I seem to relax and just enjoy this time with my sweet, warm, squishy little girl?