The Now

Hey! It’s me, ST.

Our little ST. Look at him, just look at him.

I am sitting in a B & N Star.bucks, drinking coffee, and eating a gluten-filled almond croissant, feeling rather strange without my baby near. DH and I both agreed: I needed to get out of the house, all by myself, and do adult, alone things, and I am not supposed to be checking in. It has been thirty minutes since I left and already I want to call. We’ll see if I can resist the urge. After writing this post, I’ll do some late-late Xmas shopping here. This feels like a voyage, an adventure. I am remembering my own skin. I am looking at something other than my baby’s face (well, except of course can’t help looking at him in pictures), something other than my husband’s face, other than the cocoa-colored living room walls.

Never have looked at and loved something so intensely. It’s like his face and my eyes are both filled with super-powerful magnets, and I can’t pass him without looking, looking. Most of the time, I’m holding, holding, looking, looking, talking, cooing, singing made-up songs about the Great ST. Our little squeaky guy (he sounds just like Gizmo!) is feeling much better after getting the prescription from the pediatrician for his acid reflux, and after lots and lots of upright time. And—finally he is big enough! yay!—Boba wrap time. Little monkey’s warm body wrapped against mine. I ate in a restaurant with him strapped to me yesterday and I said to DH: “This is my dream. This, right here, right now.” Anyway, not sure if we’ve totally solved the reflux problem, but he definitely has much, much more happy time now, and I am thinking that he does NOT HAVE COLIC (please please please), but just acid-related wailing, which is seeming to wane quickly.

We’re also just getting used to having a tiny, crying human in our home. I mean, it’s a seismic change. Because of the reflux, we are continuing to feed him smaller amounts approximately every two hours, and we cuddle him upright for a long time after he eats…and then the feeding cycle starts all over again. With breaks for cleaning of the poo and pee, for looking at all of the things in the apartment, for hanging like a tiger from Papa’s arm, for laying on the naked pillows of Mama’s breasts, for singing and talking and kissing baby fingers and toes. And with breaks for some high-decibel wailing that sometimes has Mama putting ear plugs in her ears.

I’ve started saying to him, when he gets lost in a wail: “Don’t get lost, don’t get lost, come back to Mama,” and I take several giant, deep breaths. He rises and falls on my belly or chest. And often, it works! He calms. He senses my breathing, I think. I make these very relaxed, soothing, “Ohhhhh,” sounds, too. It’s the most satisfying thing in the world to soothe him.

I really don’t know where else to start but the Now when it comes to writing and processing all that has happened.

I feel very, very, very different. I feel like DH and I were dropped from an airplane into a high-speed whirlpool. And we had to fight our way to the surface, and out onto land, with a tiny, fragile new human in our arms.

ST has been alive for three weeks now. I’d say about two thirds of that time has felt like crisis. It is wild to experience bliss and emergency-type feelings simultaneously. I defintely need to process all that has happened. Nothing so severe as some stories I’ve read about. But, as an Appalachian farmer once said to me, “It’s all from where yer at.”

But The Now. The Now is adaptation. The Now is getting our sea legs. The Now is sitting here typing and feeling warm and secure. Looking at myself in the B & N bathroom mirror and saying, “You’re a mother now.” Letting it settle. Letting the identity fill me. Knowing that my struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss is OVER. Really over. I’m sure stuff will sometimes seep under the door, but the door is slammed closed. It’s a damn thick and heavy door.

I hereby reclaim myself! Reclaim my body and mind. I hereby dedicate my energies, and my love and compassion, to my son and husband.

My husband. DH. Man, you should see him. He’s an amazing father (of course). He is in deep, deep, deep love. He was so worried about our little man in the early days, because of some things that were concerning, but now that we are getting some answers, he is, we are both, relaxing.

DH swaddles him perfectly (my swaddles are kind of a mess). He talks to him in this light, sweet, bouncy voice. He looks at him with the careworn, stubble-covered face of a man who has pulled many all-nighters and hasn’t taken a shower in four days. He asks ST funny questions.

How I love to see him kiss his son’s forehead, eyes closed, and breathe him in.

He dances around the house with ST in his arms, swooping him in giant, Papa arcs through the air, up and down, up and down.

He places ST on his chest and whispers sweet words to him as he falls to sleep.

Sometimes I see them both in profile and they look so alike. I said to DH: “It’s kind of strange taking care of a tiny version of my husband all day.” And DH imitated ST wail, ST gas face, ST tiny arms that he sticks straight out, like Superman.

DH and I have talked about how he seems like a tiny, fragile bird. So delicate. With his little bird bones and his little baby bird mouth.

There is that sweetness about ST that I sensed while he was inside me. A heartbreaking innocense. Eyes that sparkle and trust. IT KILLS ME.

Sometimes I can’t take the huge love that bubbles up. Sometimes I have to look away and blink away the tears.

As I walked out the door for this big adventure to B & N, DH said, “You look beautiful, babe.”

“I love you,” I said to him.

“I love you, too.”

We looked at each other for a long, long time, just quietly smiling. We didn’t have to say anything. There were no words for all of the things we were feeling.

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8 Comments

  1. Love this. Just love it. :)

    Reply
  2. California mom

     /  December 28, 2014

    I’m do glad S is doing better! And if everyone is honest, we all felt like we were in crisis mode those early weeks (except maybe people with loads of family help, night nurse, etc.). You’re doing great.

    Reply
  3. Love this and I don’t blame you for just wanting to sit and stare and hold and talk and coo and love and all the other things you get to do because just look at him?! He is ADORABLE!! Congrats Momma!! xo

    Reply
  4. He is silly cute and that face just is a stunner! I’m so happy that you were able to get him in and on meds to manage his acid reflux. Hopefully this does the trick and gives his sphincter a time to heal and mature.

    And you all are so. Damn. Adorable. I love this love and passion you feel. I love how much this resonates in myself. How perfect and terrifying and intensely passionate this is. And I’m a so happy that we do get to be Mamas together! Your happy makes me even more happy, friend!

    Reply
  5. Julia

     /  December 29, 2014

    I love the love in this post. :)

    Reply
  6. So glad you see then wisdom in taking some breaks for yourself. Newborns are SO exhausting. At least it goes fast…too fast, really. A money saving tip: My baby has mild(er) reflux and we have had her on the Kroger brand of Gentle infant formula. She has tolerated it as well as Enfamil gentle-ese, but it’s way cheaper. Comforts for Baby, Gentle, purple package. Babies R Us also has it; same manufacturer, same purple box, different label. If they have either near you, you can save yourself a ton of money. Hang in there!

    Reply
  7. The image of your husband and son melts my heart…seeing fathers and their sons has always done that to me…I’m so glad everything is going so well…the craziness is just part of it, and glad to hear that ST is feeling better…

    Reply
  8. abby

     /  December 30, 2014

    I just came upon your blog after googling “antagonist protocol” and I’m so happy to see your wonderful addition!! I will be starting our first ivf cycle with antagonist protocol and I’m nervous yet excited! Happy 2015

    Reply

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