I Hope I Don’t Jinx This…

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I don’t want to ruin this moment by bragging too much but tonight is the first night I actually feel confident that I’m not totally ruining this whole mother thing. All new moms… hell probably all moms feel at one time or another that they suck a big one and fail horribly at being a good parent. But tonight as Orion slept sweetly in the center of our bed, tuckered out and full if Mommy’s milk I was able to sneak off and wash bottles and put away his freshly washed clothes and tidy up before bed (I even nabbed a bowl of butter almond ice cream…yum). I was struck with a realization and took notice of my lack of panic inside. I wasn’t running around like a crazy woman as my baby screamed because I put him down to pee. I used to only have blissful moments when I nursed him. Looking down at his cherub cheeks and mess of curly hair as he sighed and cooed was my Mecca. But slowly I can feel more Mecca-like moments trickle in as Orion gets a little bigger and happier sitting in his bouncy chair gazing at the purple hippo and orange lion dangling from his mobile or staring at the shadows the trees make on the walls through the midday light or watching me dance around trying to entertain him as I make myself breakfast. It is inevitable, a little sad but also trilling that my little Cookie is slipping out of his newborn phase and slowly entering infancy. Which means I get to slip out of the crazed new mom phase and slowly into motherhood.

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Month One

My son turned one month on October 6th and I spent a few minutes (ok almost an hour) looking at photos.  Not just the photos of his birth, or even the ones of my pregnancy – but of the last few years.  Funny how suddenly huge mistakes I’ve made in the past feel like blessings, since they were part of the path that led me to Orion (the boyfriend before the boyfriend who made me begin to prefer skater guys over investment bankers…etc.).

The first month with my child has been a whirlwind.  As prepared as I felt I was, no one can prepare you for the reality of having a newborn in your home.  The long nights, the sleeplessness, the back ache, the questions, the constant Googling to make sure his cough, sneeze, poop and temperature are normal.  Then there is the joy.  The time that gets lost staring at him while he sleeps and the visitors that come and fall in love with this tiny person you made.  I wasn’t prepared for the separation anxiety.  The first time he was in another room than me I felt panic in the heart and started crying.  It was the quickest pee I ever had in my life.

Things are still very new, but I have begun to dance to the chaos instead of cry in the midst of it.  Orion is becoming less of a newborn and more of a baby.  He looks up at me and smiles with a drunken gaze, his crazy mess of hair framing his little cookie face and his tiny hands gripping my shirt.  I wake up to his gentle breathing next to my face and sometimes his accidental (accidental?) swat to the face as he tries to gain control over his little arms.  I laugh when he pees on me, cheer when he poops and explain when I have to put him down for a minute (“Mommy really needs to eat or she’ll pass out…”).  Daddy calls from work and asks for an update and pictures of his little guy.  Already I notice Orion has a different calm when he hears his father’s deep tone, probably recognizing it from when he was in my womb.  He says things like “Eh!” and “Blaghgaaah” which I consider to be glimpses of his immense genius so I clap and grab the camera to record the next outburst.  But he’s finished and simply stares at the camera blinking his black pool eyes at me.  Which is why I have a ton of video footage of Orion simply staring and blinking (he had JUST done something amazing, I promise).

All in all, we are all learning each other all over.  Even Mommy and Daddy.

Born and Born Again

20 days ago our son Orion was born.  🙂

Introducing Orion Eli Saalik aka “Cookie”

It was the most incredible experience of my life.  I can’t for a moment imagine his birth to have been any better than it was, which of course makes me feel very lucky.  My labor was 6 hours and I pushed for about 45 minutes before he arrived first into a tub of warm water and then into my arms.  I cried, I shook, I was in total awe of the entire experience.  I was in awe of my husband’s amazing support through the process.  I was in awe of my strength to endure the delivery 100% medication-free and without the assistance of a hospital or doctor.  My midwife was there – checking on me occasionally as I labored, as were two outstanding doulas.  But for the most part it was just me, my husband and my mother in the room.  My sister was there taking photos for me.  I kept inward, going into a cavernous deep place within, separating my mind from my body and allowing my physical self to do it’s work.  I remember staying pretty quiet, even as Orion crowned.  I remember a lot of breathing…. oh how breathing made all the difference.

In the end, here he is. He is laying silently against my chest as I write this (I’m wearing my Maya wrap – a must for parents interested in attachment-parenting) and he is the absolute light of my life.  I’ve never felt so motivated to work so hard every day.  My reward is knowing he’s healthy and knowing that every day I have the privilege of helping to create this person’s childhood.  What a responsibility we have as parents.

I’m filled to the brim.  🙂

 

When Summer Falls

My bump, months ago. Lifetimes ago.

 

Slowly the sweltering heat calms to a simmer and once again the breeze enters our lives; breaking up the monotonous summer.  Fall approaches, lingering on an invisible fence, timidly considering its own arrival.  As the season gently shifts so does my life.  It’s getting closer to the day that I meet my son and I’m filled with stillness and gratitude.  It’s all done.  My bag is packed, his bassinet is set up and resting in its place near the door.  Husband and I have completed our birth class, we are certified now – its official business.  I have bottles and booties and tiny nail clippers.  I have cloth diapers and blankets and a million burp clothes all washed several times over with non-toxic, biodegradable, Jesus approved laundry detergent.  We are what one may call, “Locked and Loaded”.

So I wait.

I climb stairs hoping it will set off more than one contraction – but nothing.  This child will choose his birthday and today is not the day.  It’s one of those rare moments in life when you know your life is about to change.  You know the face you see in the mirror will never look the same after this, you will never be the same person exactly.  I remember only feeling this way a few times in life.  The day I got on a one-way flight to New York.  The day I got married.  And now.  Something tells me this is the doozy though.  I try to imagine it but I have no frame of reference.

So I wait.

A week or so from now I’ll probably read this post (if I have time).  I’ll look at it the same way I do old diary pages from high school.  Smiling down at the girl I used to be with a half-smirk.  Thinking about how I had no idea of the tidal wave life was about to hand me.  So until then I’m signing off.  My next post will be as a new mom!
Annnny day now…..

Embracing Life and All It’s ‘F*ck It’ Moments…

Facing my future – in a bikini.

If pregnancy has taught me anything it’s that I am not in control over a single thing except my own perspective.  Life doesn’t just give us ups and downs – it IS the ups and downs.  We can expect to be facing as many trials and tribulations as we will be facing moments of bliss and utter happiness.  Some say, it’s only because of the darkness that we’re even able to see the light.  Whatever metaphor rocks your boat – let’s just say, I’m getting the drift (finally).

I used to feel like in order for my life to be fulfilled it had to go a certain way.  A and B would take place and lead to C and D and E would follow.  I invested so much energy into that tried and true pattern that anything that came along and fluffed my feathers was quickly dismissed or fretted over.  I’ve never had to be patient for anything.  When jobs got boring, I quit them.  When cities got boring I moved.  When boyfriends got boring….well you get the point.  But you can’t walk away from or even pause the tape when it comes to becoming a mother.  Nature has you in the driver’s seat with one foot strapped to the gas pedal and two hands strapped to the wheel.  You’re going to be there and all you can do in the mean time is wait and be that ever-haunting “P” word…patient.  Ugh.

So patience isn’t so bad after all.  At least I’ve had plenty of time to figure a few things out about myself.  In fact I’d say the past two and a half trimesters have taught me more about myself than the past 28 years.  Maybe its just my time to grow up.  Or maybe it’s nature’s way of smoothing a woman out into a mother.  Either way I know that I have to stand by my convictions and put aside my fears and for the love of all that is holy – I need to let life take it’s time with me.  Because whether it’s in this life or the next, all we really have is time.

 

If we are facing in the right direction,

all we have to do is keep on walking.

-Proverb

The Laundry Phase

Laundry has always been my least hated chore.  Probably because ultimately the machine does all the work, maybe it’s the folding – fluffing hot sheets and towels and folding them into creased submission.  However, never in all my days has laundry been such a joy than when I started sorting through my unborn son’s tiny garments and soft blankets and washing them in preparation of his arrival.

It was when I was standing in front of his bassinet folding up little onsies with lions and monkeys stitched on the front that it hit me – I have a son.  People keep saying, “When he arrives” and “When he gets here”, but for me….he’s already here.  He’s been here since that day in January when I saw two lines appear on a pee stick.  It’s an amazing thing – the little kicks and rumbles that actually makes you grateful for your menstrual cycle and anything else that brought you to this place of holding a person before the world has a chance to touch them.

His things are all here.  His tiny shoes and socks, his cradle and car seat and all the little things you need to keep baby clean, fed and well rested.  He’s got a list of people ready to love him.  One nervous father and one very anxious mommy.

Yea…laundry never felt so good.

8 weeks to go…

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