Friday, May 11, 2007
It's not nothing
It has been such a busy week.
My mom, dad, and sister were here last weekend, until Tuesday morning and, with one thing and another, there just didn't seem to be time to do much else.
It was a really good visit, in particular, I think, because Baby Girl was just thrilled to see them. She warmed up to each of them within minutes of laying eyes on them, even though it had been since January since she had seen them. It was a good reality check kind of visit, for me especially, as my guest/visitor mode over the past nine months has really changed.
When people used to come for a visit, I would get all hyped up about them coming, cleaning and shopping and planning, menus, activities, et. al.
Now, people are lucky if I mop the floor.
I think my family got thrown in pell mell into the flurry of our lives, which may have been a bit jarring for them. Even though Jason and I are pretty relaxed and mellow in terms of how "scheduled" we are in relation to some of our social counterparts, it was obvious that we are in overdrive in comparison for my parents. Baby Girl is so particular about her schedule, and even a 15 to 20 minute deviation can result in tears that may drag on for hours (or just what might seem like it).
This was brought home a couple of times during their stay, the most dramatic of which was Monday night, the last night they were here (and my parents' 40th wedding anniversary). We had dinner a bit later than intended, which put me a back a bit whisking her off to bed, which put her in a right mood because I skipped part of her routine, which set her up for being disgrunteled while we were nursing, which then caused the utter and complete meltdown of Baby Girl at bedtime.
Needless to say, this was followed up by the utter and complete meltdown of mom (me).
The next morning, Baby Girl's world had returned to normal and with the smiles came the glimpse of a brand new tooth poking through the gum line. It still needs to work its way forth completely, but she' s now up to a grand total of three and, no, I don't have pictures of them yet besides this one because she is very adamant about not letting anything near her mouth unless it's got food on it.
So, between the tooth and visitors, it's been a very up and down kind of week, full of inadequate naps, raging smiles, and crocodile tears.
She had a doctor's appointment on Thursday, and it would seem that our days of worrying about weight may be slipping behind us. She checked in at 26 1/2 " and 17 pounds, 4 ounces. We are almost ready for size 3 diapers, and I now have a very concrete reason as to why my back is hurting so much.
In addition to this, in the last nine days she has become an adept crawler. She will crawl to something if she wants it and is starting to cotton on to the idea that if she wants to, she can traverse from one room to the next. She doesn't seem to like to get too far from whoever is playing with her, however, and if you walk too far away (in her estimation, of course), then the gig is up.
With more crawling skills has come pull-up skills. To wit, we have had to lower her bed this week as, on Tuesday morning when her father went into her room, she was actively trying to pull up on the sides of the crib so she could stand.
It's all very exciting, as the idea that one can walk freely from room to room and she is responsible for her own locomotion is awesome.
The question came up this week from a friend about how long I was planning on breastfeeding (actually, she asked Jason, but neither here nor there). When Jason asked me what my intention were, I said that I still wanted to get to a year. But I realize that that answer is much more complicated than that. Nursing has been the source of my greatest pain since having Baby Girl and one of the sources of my most intense pleasure. From the difficulties with latching early on, to the low expressed milk output, to the weight concerns, to the general learning curve of it all, it has inspired a wide range of emotions in me, and not all of them serene.
But, over the months, we have come to a compromise of sorts. At first, when I went back to work, I would get up in the middle of the night to express, and before I went to bed, too in order to have enough milk for the day. I eventually gave that up and started supplementing with formula. Then her nursing habits changed as she got more aware of the world, and we supplemented more and my supply adjusted and now I no longer express at work. We nurse before I go to work, and when I get home, but I don't worry about it otherwise and we're in a place now where that's really ok. Now that she is such a good eater, breastfeeding isn't about giving her food or antibodies or even brain-developing amino acids. It's about this relationship. When I walk in the door after work, she looks at me and smiles and begins this half giggle, half whimper at the sight of me. That's my cue to wash my hands (shame on me for not coming with them already clean!), to pick her up, to snuggle her against my skin, and to let her hold on.
I look forward to the day when Baby Girl will walk away from me, and not look around to see if I am still there. But, that day isn't right now. Right now, Baby Girl still looks for me as she starts to crawl away and, as long as she does that, then she's still Baby Girl. So, we'll keep nursing as long as she wants to.