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.  🙂

 

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