Although deeply inside of me, up to no more than 2 weeks ago, I couldn’t really believe it, my mom’s heart is newly, surprisingly, in love again!!!!
G. is born on the first day of February of 2012 at 10.55 A.M. with a pre-planned c-section, at 38 weeks and 1 day of pregnancy.
A brand new experience, a delivery more similar to a surgery than to a natural event, as it is usually supposed to be. But previous delivery’s conditions have, in a way, obliged to. And G., without really being prepared to the event, has actually come out in really good shape!
Beautiful as the sun, he materialized himself in front of me full of life, of fresh flesh and powerful cries. A little god, perfect in shape and strong in his behaviors.
His, was my children highest Apgar: 9-10 and when they brought him to my chest I felt his strong breath on my skin and finally, I could give a face and a body to my child!
G. has brought with him the gift of snow, so much snow to hurry us up and to leave the hospital in advance before getting stucked there, for who knows how many days. Surely, G. paid for being born before a real delivery: a jaundice and a weight loss that occurred after having actually just left the hospital. My pediatrician suggested us to bottle-fed him if the weight wouldn’t have increased in few days.
Thank God I have always had lot of milk and I don’t really know anything about bottle-feeding. I also know that bottle feeding can surely alter the balance between baby request/breast supply, especially in the first days after birth.
But the baby was so weak and sleepy that me and my husband were almost ready to begin bottle-feeding him. Fortunately, we have been stimulating him to take as much milk as he could from my breast, even during the nights, and now the weight is increasing.
G. is happier and more awake and we are all more relaxed.
Now that snow has gone, sleighs are back in the garage, snow-suites go round and round in the washing machine and my 2 bigger children are (sadly) back to school, I and G. are getting used to what in other circumstances we could refer to as routine, but that is a too pretentious word, at the moment. I can definitely say, we both are trying to find a sort of balance, knowing that everything is new and presaging tomorrow all of this will be questioned entirely.
First days after the birth are, in my opinion and experience, the most difficult ones.
Because of hormonal reasons for sure, but also because they are the moments when baby and mother actually begin to recognize themselves one other.
In this delicate period, I usually abandon myself to my maternal instincts and let them lead me to indulge towards baby’s needs: I feel G., compared to my previous 2 children, both full-term babies, is surely more in need of being protected, held, contained. And so I often let him sleep his skin next to my skin. And in his need I immediately discover mine. He likes being wrapped in the sling very much, and breastfeeding is also for him cuddle and consolation.
During the nights I breastfeed him, supporting his requests. And we often lay down side by side in bed, leaving him deciding directly how and how much sucking and letting me also sleeping for some time. His sleep is deeper when he lays near me and when he wakes up is usually calmer and more relaxed.
Before G. arrival, I had a sort of plan I wished we could all follow during the nights: children in their room with their father’s presence on demand, no more migrations to parents’ bed, now taken by my breastfeeding waking hours. And that was causing me feelings of anxiety, being scared to be neglectful of my children and making them feel excluded.
But then, after more than 2 weeks, schemes are far less rigid and I feel better, more relaxed, noticing that parents’ bed can be, however, shared and that siblings can choose to fall asleep there if they need, anyway. And maybe come back there in the first hours of the morning, if they want.
Our life has changed and it is still changing newly, everyday. But I must admit that, beyond getting used to brand new situations, we are all noticing that most of the things we liked to do together as a family, our little bedtime-rituals, our aloud readings, the old card games, are still possible. Maybe they won’t be as much as we would, but they are still habits we know we can come back to when we really want and when the occasion allow us.
Knowing that the earthquake has actually been there, but we are still us, with the addition of this little, new, beautiful, delicate and sweet gift of ours, has lifted our souls immensely.
The waiting was becoming source of anxiety and stress. And having G. here with us now, is showing us all that the new has come and we are, surprisingly, still a family we can recognize as ours, with its peculiarities and habits, even if some of those are now completely new ones.
As parents, our previous stressful questions as “How should we go through this?” or “How will it be after?” are now partially answered:
We are here.
The mere statement, the simple consciousness raising of our existence as a family, let us feel calmer.
Both B. and P. seem to feel the same, as well: the expected, and sometimes feared, novelty has finally become reality.
And living it is immensely better than simply imagining it.