Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Whole Lot of Nothin'

That's what has been going on over here.  Well to clarify, it has been a whole lot of feeding and some napping.  But that's pretty much it.  And you know what?  It's blissful.

I don't know why this is so different the second time around, but I am completely content to sit on my ass in my house and just hang with my new baby.  Now that doesn't mean that I didn't do that with The Boy, but I was just so nervous the first time.  I was worried about every hiccup, every sneeze, every facial expression, pretty much everything The Boy did, I was concerned about what it meant.  And that just isn't the case this time around.  I really haven't worried about anything.  I am just soaking in all of the moments of being at home with my newborn baby.

I know that one big difference this time around is that I am single.  My particular relationship was flawed to begin with at the point when The Boy was born, but looking back, it is amazing how much it affected my newborn relationship with my baby.  The dynamics of a two-mom household is tough with a newborn.  I think that when there is a man and a woman at home with a new baby, the roles are more defined.  But when you have two actual women, both of whom are supposed to be the mothers, it is tough to figure out who does what.  I remember last time with The Ex that I was SO consumed with making sure that she got as much out of the "mothering experience" as I did, that I really cut myself out of a lot of the fun part of being a new mom.  And more specifically about being a new bio mom.  There are certain things that really "belong" (for lack of a better word) to the bio mom.  Breast feeding is one of them.  I blatantly didn't even try last time because I didn't want to limit the feeding experience to just me.  But I was still very adamant about The Boy having mostly breast milk.  So I pumped.  And I pumped.  And I pumped some more.  And I could never leave the house for more than 2 hours at a time.  And really, I rarely got to actually feed my baby because as soon as I was done pumping, I would hand the goods off to The Ex who would feed him while I washed all the parts and got prepared for the next go-round.  

And the actual hours of just sitting, cuddling with my baby and looking into her eyes and watching those facial expressions, and snuggling her up on my chest to smell her baby-ness and falling asleep in that position...well I didn't revel in those last time either.  I would make sure to not "hog" the baby and give him off to make sure The Ex was having those moments as well.  And now?  Looking back?  She wasn't even having the moments.  She would sit with him, and there is no doubt that she loved him, but she didn't have that bonding like I did.  Probably because he didn't come from her body.  Probably because she never wanted to be a mom like I did.  I tried to force her to feel what I was feeling and I don't think she ever did.  And in the process, I was just taking away from my own experience.

Now don't get me wrong.  I LOVED being with The Boy and up until this experience, I would have never said that I missed out on anything.  I have loved motherhood from the moment he was put into my arms.  And I really enjoyed all of the beginning parts of being with The Boy.  But it is just now...with a contrast in front of me, that I am realizing how much I actually DID miss.  And all of the moments that I "gave away" in an attempt to share this experience with someone else.  And the bitterness creeps in...  The Ex told me when The Boy was 4 months old that she wasn't sure that she loved me anymore.  She told me that I hadn't lived up to my end of the bargain ("the bargain" being that we wouldn't lose ourselves and our relationship in the process of having a child).  She basically made me take those first moments of my son's life and make it all about trying to save my marriage.  And on THE DAY that he turned 6 months old?  She moved out.  And she walked away from our relationship, but mostly she walked away from being a mother to our son.  And all of those moments in the beginning when I tried in vain to make her feel and share this amazing journey of motherhood?  Wasted.

Whew...sorry...caught up in some old emotions there for a minute (gotta love those post partum hormones...).  My point in this post wasn't to take a trip down memory lane.  It was to show how very different this experience is.  And how very much I am enjoying it.  I am doing what I want this time around.  I am following my gut feelings.  And I am taking all of these moments for myself.  I am breast feeding my little peanut and LOVING how that makes me feel.  I never would have thought that it could and would be this powerful.  I still pump once a day to give the boobs some relief and create a "back log" of frozen milk for emergencies and for when I go back to work (don't even discuss it...I can't even think about it right now).  But other than that?  It is all she and I.  Just time for the two of us.  And when she's done eating and falls off my boob with the milk dribbling down her chin and snuggles in to my chest?  Well I just curl her in towards me and suck in her little baby smell and close my eyes.  And sometimes we nap.  And sometimes we look at each other.  And sometimes I just look at her.  But all I know is that I am not concerned about ANYONE else in the world and how this experience is effecting them.  This is a newborn experience between my daughter and myself (and The Boy to some extent, but he is still at school all day long during the week so we are having some quality time just between the baby and myself).  

So if we are doing a "whole lot of nothin" and just waking up, feeding, napping together, and doing it all over again an hour later?  No problem.  And if we're up four times during the night and I don't get more than 2 hours of straight sleep?  No biggie, we can nap during the day.  There isn't anything better in the entire world.  I will never get this time back.  And this is my last child so I will never get to experience this again.  I don't want to miss a thing.  And selfishly?  I don't want to share it with anyone.  So I am not.  I am living it up and taking it all in and just enjoying this precious time between the two of us.

And since it goes against all blogger rules to have a new baby and not post pictures, here are some pictures from this last week.  First of all, lest we forget who is the biggest boy and best big brother in the world, here is a shot of The Boy enjoying some chocolate cake after dinner...  He refuses to use a fork because he says that cake time is "finger time!"

And here is a shot of my little peanut after eating, when I sat her down on the ottoman in front of me to wipe up my boobs and secure them back in their bra...  She curled herself up in a little ball and just looked so sweet.  Plus, check out the outfit.  The little "feet" on the sleepers kill  me!
And is a shot of her wrapped up in a blanket that my sister in law made for her.  My sister in law LOVES babies and is known around the family as "the baby whisperer."  This is because as soon as she gets her hands on a baby, they become putty in her hands and immediately fall into a deep sleep.  She has a gift...truly.  Anyway, it appears that the blanket she made for The Girl contains this same quality.  All you have to do is put this blanket around her and she falls into a deep sleep and is as content as they come.
PS--I am working on the birth story.  Problem is that every time I sit down to write some of it I totally cry.  Not sure why given that I wasn't all that emotional when it was happening, but something about going back and trying to write about it brings all the emotions out.  So I sit here in front of my computer sobbing like an idiot trying to get it out and it all just becomes too much and there is a sweet baby nearby that I could hold and snuggle instead of crying and well...  Anyway, it is coming.  I'm working on it...


Jenny said...

So glad everything is going well for you!

Your discussion of the last time trying to co-parent a newborn with your Ex is really sad. I'm the nonbio mom (this time around anyway), and I am 100% in support of teh wife breastfeeding our baby. I really hope she doesn't end up feeling the way you feel, where she's constantly trying to hold off to give me my share at mothering... but I do know for sure that I absolutely will NOT feel the way your ex did when I sit with our baby. I want this child SO MUCH and I am so incredibly excited to meet him or her. I have always wanted to be a mom and I don't think the baby not coming from my body means that I won't be able to bond with the baby in just the same way. I know I will stare adoringly at the baby, because right now I am staring adoringly at the bump and talking to it as it kicks and writhes.

We will need to pump in September when the wife goes back to work, and I'll get to take over a good chunk of the feedings then, but likewise, I think there will be other things that I can do with the baby that she can't do (for example, speak German to our child, go running with the jogging stroller, sing lullabies).

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is I really hope not every nonbiomom's experience is like your Ex's... which I don't think it can be, because I cannot even FATHOM the idea of walking out on my wife of five years and the child that we made together.

AuntFancy said...

After everything you've been through, with the Ex and bringing the new baby into the world, you deserve all the blissfully happy moments!