Wednesday, April 30, 2008

post gravid

Two things I thought about at 3 am last night as I listened to the baby put herself back to sleep: 1. my total responsibility for this person's life and 2. my post-gravid body.

In an act of chivalry and team spirit, I sent my husband home to watch movies, eat Indian food, and have one last, quiet full night of sleep. This was the first night with the baby. I gave birth at 6:30 pm and was settled into my hospital room by 10 pm.

At 2 am, alone with a baby, the gravity of this post-gravid state hit me. I was in charge. I was in control of someone else's life. Who gave me this responsibility? Wanting a baby now seemed a mad and unthoughtful drive. When I wanted a baby, I could ponder a while, then forget and think of other things. Now that I had a baby, the attention was constant. The only time I get a break is when she's sleeping. But then that's when I think of SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Safety is a constant motivator. This world has lots of danger for babies. One way out is ignoring the dangers and loosening one's vigilance. That's not how I'm wired. It's my compulsion to look after that baby. So that I'm even driven to check her breathing when she sleeps.

I was helpless in the hospital those first 2 nights. I couldn't go to the bathroom by myself. I couldn't walk more than a few steps. It was my first time using a wheel chair. It was weeks before I could walk a block. 10 months later I can walk over a mile and I've gone back to ballet class. I realized in last night's wee hours that I feel okay in my post-gravid body.

My pelvis shifted, so laying on my stomach on a hard surface doesn't feel the same.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

day 2 - got together

Day two of getting it together and it got. Easing back into the workday after making weekend adjustments. Baby's back to naptime routine and she slept 9 hours, 52 minutes with no interruptions last night! I didn't dilly dally after putting her to bed and managed to grab 7 hours, 52 minutes for myself. Sleep is on of the very best things in the world. I'm glad dear daughter has discovered this.

I'm relieved that I avoided the 100 degree temperature virus of big sister. Though we may not yet be in the clear. Daddy and big sister are still home today following the doctor's orders. It's nice to have my husband working next to me in the sun-filled living room. Feels different than a weekend. There's a buzz of productivity in the air. Because Daddy is home, I was able to put on a face mask and organize clothes.

The weather's moving from the long sleeve days to the short sleeve with a cardigan days. As usual, I discovered that I do own more than clothing for just 3 days. Discovered some old goodies in the t-shirt pile and some that had disappeared.

There's also excitement in the air because today playgroup is at the artist's ranch. There will likely be good food and some drama.

And the baby awakes...back to active mothering.

Monday, April 28, 2008

mama's finally getting it together

Mama's finally getting it together. Maybe this is just a fluke, but it sure feels improved. Typing with one hand is getting easier and faster. The kitchen counter's been relatively clear for almost two weeks. We've got snacks and extra food in the cabinets. The litter box is clean. I'm almost on top of the ant situation. There's clean clothes in the dryer and there's space on the floor to dump them and sort them in the bedroom. It's taken 10 months to get here. All I did was have a little 8 pound baby 10 months ago.

Days are spent watching the baby. Literally watching the baby. For two weeks now I've had a few gates in the door so I can corral her while I complete such daily niceties as go to the bathroom. That was a relief. Two daily operations I've been unwilling to compromise are using the restroom and taking a shower. The third operation, checking email, is not necessary, but it sure helps.

I've devised methods to reach these ends daily. Dear daughter plays in the excersaucer with at least 3 books and one stuffed animal while I shower. The excersaucer is two saucers with three columns separating the two saucers. There's a pocket with leg holes baby sits in and toys attached to the top saucer. The challenge is that this crawling baby does not like restricted movement now that she's got a 3-d world and full hand-to-mouth control.

To go to the bathroom, I wait until the baby's engaged with a toy, tell her that Mama's going to the bathroom, make sure all gates are in place, and climb over the gate to go to the bathroom. I must be sure my bladder's not too full so I can still make it over the gate.

The third activity, checking email, surfing online, and writing takes place during baby's morning nap. This is the one activity I expect to regret later but it's working for now and I need more resources in place before I can change. Baby naps on my lap as I type and scroll. If she wakes, the breast is right there to ease her back to sleep. She has napped without the breast and in her crib, but that was way back before the holidays and when she was 6 months old.

I chickened out and have let her stay in my lap since January. It really is nice, though. The sun comes in the living room drenching my back in warmth. I've got my laptop set up on a tv tray with a nalgene bottle, granola bar, and cell phone. The cell phone is for emergencies and for timing the length of the nap. I control the amount of sleep. She gets the benefit of a full sleep cycle. I get the benefit of keeping in touch and connecting with the outside world. The dirty dishes do not benefit and the office remains cluttered.

This routine does help Mama feel she's getting it together.

And then comes the weekend. And then every other week there's the custody enactment of the other daughter. And this week Daddy and big sister other daughter will stay home because big sister is sick. It's Monday, though, and today, Mama's got it together.