so yes, the eyes have been a drippin’. i don’t want to alarm anyone and i do appreciate the hugs and well wishes. it is just – so hard – to deal sometimes. i love babies. i love love love them. and i think, to be brutally honest, i love how they need me. need need need. i am the only one who can feed them, who can comfort them, who can get them to fall asleep. i mean, in theory i want the help but i also love feeling needed. and although i can pretty safely say i am lazy that sounds mean so i will say i am all about the path of least resistance. so, if my baby is up in the middle of the night and the fastest way to get her to sleep is to let her lay across me and nurse to her hearts content, that is what i will do. for years.
in fact, the bean still needs me to fall asleep. he will be three in a few months. i have never left him overnight. and flash and i have not been on a date that would go past a time when he would need to be put to sleep. except maybe once, and i got home and he was still up. that is ok. it is. but it would also be ok to not let that happen again.
although i am lazy i also like to be perfect. and for the last three years, almost, i have been so focused on being a mama. on practicing attachment parenting, and i have held myself to very high standards. i. must. do. it. all. perfectly.
and i am a stay at home mom. so we were not pushed to make anything else work. bean needed me to fall asleep, no problem. i was here all day and every night. if he had to be cared for by someone else so i could work we would have been pushed to make him struggle through the transition. but, in my efforts to keep everyone in my family calm i just did it all and never pushed for flexibility. i didn’t mind being home every night, and i still don’t, but that doesn’t mean it can go on like this for three more years.
flash is running short on patience for coming in third place all day every day and every night. his natural parenting style doesn’t involve all this cosleeping, and babywearing, and never ever letting anyone fussing. he wants to make sure that the pea is more independent, more flexible about going to sleep – sooner. so i have got to up the anti and give this all a try.
there is a part of me that has a glimpse of this freedom (i could go to an evening meeting, i could go out for drinks with my girlfriends) and just lights up like a bulb of joy. and another part that simply can’t imagine it could be true. and yet another that does not want to let go.
this is it – my last baby. my very last little being to snuggle through all night nursathon’s. my last chance to smell that milky breath in the deep darkness of midnight, and 2am, and 4am. my last hours spent rocking and nursing to sleep. being needed deeply and fully and in the most natural of ways.
it is wordlessly difficult for me to say goodbye to that. and to feel good about it. and not to feel like i am letting her down. or me down. or babies all across the globe. i want to change. or, i think i might be able to change. and i do not want anything to change. so, really, the best way to deal with this all is to turn into a big weeping puddle. for hours if not days.
because when i commit myself to trying to teach her sleep on her own, fall asleep on her own, and so on it means saying goodbye to a lot of things i love. wearing her twice a day while she naps. and feeling her little body sweat and her breath blow on my collar bone in that funny baby sleep pattern. bringing her to bed with me when i go to sleep and falling asleep myself holding her perfectly solid little body snuggled into me. sitting in the rocker thinking about my day while she peacefully nurses herself into lala land. and then rocking longer just staring at her beautiful nursing sleeping face.
just the other night she stirred in her sleep and i put my hand on her to settle her and she reached out and held my finger and fell back asleep. and i had this surge of feeling like this was such a gift. i actually felt so good i felt a little sorry for parents who don’t (have to or get to) sleep with their babies. just that they never got to feel that thing that was enveloping me at that moment. because i love sleeping with my baby.
it feels to me like it was just a few short moments ago that i was on the bathroom floor (staring longingly at the birth tub about 8 feet from me) listening to my midwife say, “don’t push yet just breathe” and i was thinking “are you insane lets get this over with as soon as possible!” and then, there she was with all her crazy hair and the blue marks around her mouth that no one was worried about but also are not very common. she was so tiny and new and she was breathing. and she looked at me (after they figured out how to get her through my legs and into my arms) and i thought, “hello. here you are. my last baby.”
for weeks she was making this silly clicking sound when she nursed that was driving me insane because that is not how it is supposed to be and i am a kellymom addict so i should have this down pat. plus it was making her so gassy and i wanted her to sleep more and burp less. and all her newborn diapers were too big on her. and her bellybutton got this really funky odor so i had to go at the thing and clean the heck out of it so people didn’t think my baby was rotting.
and then she finally figured out how to deal with my overactive let down and we had the uphill nursing down so fantastically well that we had learned to do it with our eyes closed (well almost closed) and the clicking finally stopped and her baby hair started falling out. soon she was practically bald in the back and had a receding hairline and i thought it was all going to go but no, she decided to keep a big tuft on the top so i can give her a crazy sticky uppy ponytail up there which entertains me to no end. you should see it.
and now we are here. two seconds since she was born (on the floor with the freakin’ birth pool in sight but i couldn’t – could not – move to get in it how unfair is that?!?) and she is getting her first tooth, and chomping on broccoli, and i need to teach her to fall asleep on her own i think. or at least without me. and i just need to pull myself together and say ok i am ready. i am ready to say goodbye to having a baby. i need to do it because it is time and because i am not just a mama i am a wife and flash needs this to happen sooner rather then later and that is ok. he has been patient enough with me and my not mainstream ways.
so it is time to stop dripping. and i wish i wish i wish i knew how.
you just had to see it