Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's the little things

The little things get you through the day when there's a newborn in your life, I find. And I mean the very little things.

The little fingers...

The little chin...

The instance of a sudden little arm-jig...

Of course, the little things also have the tendency to throw your life off. Like the shoes that fit just fine before you got pregnant, and somehow seem to've shrunk one size while they lazed away in the closet waiting for your return. I'd tell myself that it's just an excuse to go shoe shopping, but I have no intention of taking the baby out of the house until he's six weeks old. While I'm sure he's getting plenty of immunities from my breastmilk, I'm just not too keen on the idea of taking him out into the general Unwashed Masses just yet.

Besides, I have yet to figure out how to get the Moby on and the baby in the Moby without feeling like I'm either
A) wrapped by a boa constrictor OR
B) about to have a newborn slide down my belly, across my thigh and off my (still bare because i haven't gone shoe shopping) foot to land somewhere across the living room.

Yes, I have the little Moby booklet for how-to-wrap-yourself-and-still-be-able-to-breathe, but at this point it seems as if the baby is entirely too floppy to be of any help when I'm inserting him. It's like trying to do a samba with a partner who took a couple Valiums to 'take the edge off;' you know how it's supposed to look and how it's supposed to work, and yet somehow bits keep flopping out all over the place and you end up getting sweaty and flushed trying to make it all come out right. Not to mention the judges watching from the sidelines are frowning more and more each time your floppy companion's head lolls alarmingly to one side and you have to use you chin to prop it back up while trying to figure out what to do with their left arm.

I'm not even going to touch on breastfeeding in the Moby. Yes, my breasts are big, but I just don't see how I'm going to manage to lift one of them up to my collarbone to get it near enough to the baby's mouth to tickle his lips.

To delay the building scream of frustration, I'll just keep thinking of the little things... little fingers. Little toes. Little nose.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day One

Five years ago, I swore I would never have children. I had decided that they would be entirely too much work (and would ruin my beautiful body). I was too self-centered, I said, to ever be a mother (of course, at 22, who isn't pretty darn self-centered?) and besides, I had dogs. Who needs babies when you have dogs?

Of course, that was before I became involved with my husband (well, now he's my husband; back then, he was 'Sooooo cute'). He may not have galloped up on a horse, or been wearing anything all that shining, or even have been knighted (as i'm told proper Knights in Shining Armor are supposed to be), but he was exactly who I wanted to be my life partner, and somehow meeting him kicked things into gear.

So, somehow we ended up married (I'm a little foggy on the details, as the whole thing went rather quickly, but I do seem to remember the friend who promised to make our wedding arrangements sobbing to me over the phone at 2am one night).

So, somehow we ended up pregnant (and I say 'we' because I made sure he suffered with everything I suffered with [my complaining would've made anyone suffer] and I also made sure he rejoiced over every little thing I rejoiced over, even if I had to tell him through gritted teeth, "BE MORE EXCITED").

And while initially I wasn't very attached to the little life growing inside of me, after a few months I found myself excited by the sound of a heartbeat during an ultrasound, the sights of tiny legs and arms waving on the grainy realer-than-real-life image, and the feeling of gas - no wait, a baby! - inside my abdomen.

What I find amazing, though, is that although I never intended to be a mother, once I found I was one, it took no thought at all to decide what aspirations of motherhood I had.

With all the things out there these days meant to make a mother's life easier - formula! cribs! strollers! playpens! jumpers! swings! bouncers! - I never strayed from the easiest path, the path that called to me: natural mothering.

That is why when people ask me how I'm raising my son, I can always answer, "Well, naturally!"