Ow, ow, ow. The joint pain in my hips and knees is starting to get to me, and my lower back… Ow ow ow! It’s so frustrating, knowing that the solution to the back pain is to do comprehensive ab work, but being unable to focus on that because a) still feeling a bit delicate after the C Section and b) where the heck do I find the time and energy? B is struggling – she is going through a developmental leap, also known as a Wonder Week, which means that she is going through a huge transition in her perception and understanding of the world. The side effects of such a crazy shift are of course crazy crying fits, sleep regressions, clinginess, and changed behaviours, which can occasionally make it feel like you’re doing an absolutely awful job as a mother because your once happy baby seems MEGA stressed out. That said, it isn’t ALL the time. In the main, in fact, she remains quite delightful. Her development has been immense! She actually has conversations now – experimenting with sounds, and pitch, and has developed a few specific sounds that are clearly cries for attention without crying. I’m still learning what they all mean, but it’s great to be developing a real dialogue. She occasionally gets frustrated with my ignorance, so she has to bawl her eyes out, but she really doesn’t do it as much as I had expected a baby to in these early weeks. Some crazy reactions have come out of her…. One; last night I was in the kitchen making flapjacks (yummy) while she played with Dad. Dad brought her in to visit & observe what I was doing. She looked at me, suddenly looked REALLY upset, and proceeded to have a HUMUNGOUS crying fit. I mean… It was intense. Insane. And made me sad, because I think that maybe it was hard for her to see that Mum is truly a separate being, and can be in other places, doing other things. When I let myself think about it, it makes me sad too. I didn’t process it when I was pregnant – I didn’t think I’d feel any kind of loss – but I do. We were the same being once, and separation is kind of tough. In a way, I’m glad she feels it too. I feel that in my day to day life, I’m too given to a heightened sense of “connection” to people I love, and can often feel rejected because if I truly express the depth of what I feel I’ll never quite get back what I seek. I’m a tough one to please, basically. The only thing that could possibly fulfill my deep need, apparently, is for someone to live inside my body, inseparable, for 9 months. No mean feat.
It’s funny how having a baby is bringing home just how emotionally needy I am. There’s such a deep craving for connection – such longing for the unspoken sense of being completely “tuned in” to another person. It doesn’t have to be romantic – I just want to feel that I’m part of the fabric of humanity, and to have my emotional intensity validated, somehow. In a way, I’m fearful of B getting older. The process of a child growing up and moving away from the maternal comfort you provide is one thing, but in another way… It might just feel like losing a limb, or something. I look at her when she’s sleeping and my body fills itself with such a strong, nameless emotion. Unimaginable love. Fear of anything happening to her. Anxiety about how the hell I’m going to make a good job of this. Frustration because I can’t solve all of her problems forever. At the moment, I can solve some of the issues that she has. Feed her when she’s hungry, change her nappies, talk to her, play with her, soothe her… But as she becomes more and more autonomous…. I won’t be able to do that anymore. She may even have to withdraw from me because I inadvertently push her away, my own issues and fears of being hurt and vulnerability stemming from loving her so much paralyzing my ability to truly give. I’ve felt a bit low lately, and I wonder whether some of that is down to grief. Grief that we are now separate entities, and the gulf between us can only grow. It has to, for her to become the free human being she deserves to be, but already.. It feels hard letting go. I guess I don’t have to do that yet in any major way – that stuff is for the future – but I’ve never been one to let the future happen without looking to it first. I recognize the potential in myself to create a gulf, not because of basic nature, but due to my fears of being emotionally hurt. If I shoot first, perhaps I can stop that from happening.
I just want to be a good Mum. For her to be happy, secure, and to know that no matter what, she will always have a place to call Home, physically and emotionally. Now my job is to do everything I can not to abandon her. Abandonment is a horrible feeling, but it’s too easy to inflict it on those closest to us if we don’t address our own emotional fears. Or something like that.
It’s been an intense week Finding the time to do this has been nigh impossible. Finding the time to do ANYTHING outside of the baby has been hard Even eating and sleeping have taken a back seat. Any free brain time (of which there isn’t much), is taken up trying to work out why crying is happening, why sleep regressions are happening, agonizing over whether to eat or sleep, feeling frustrated about not being able to find the energy to do anything, or planning / reading what kind of stimulation is healthy for her at what age WITHOUT running the risk of overstimulation. How the heck is a baby supposed to concentrate for a THREE HOUR Baby Massage class? How many adults can truly pay attention for that length of time? Jeez.
There’s lots on my mind. Goals, what I want out of life, financial matter – oh, baby stirring – she’s so damn cute! – is she going to wake up? How long has she been asleep? Is this a shift into a different sleep stage? Ah, she’s calm again. How long will it last? Squirming again…. I should stop watching her. She’ll do what she does, and I’ll react accordingly.
Where was I? Ah, yes. Lots of personal considerations. I do feel kind of lonely at the moment, in some strange way. It’s not a lack of friends, or adult company. It’s deeper. Like what the eff am I actually DOING? How do I make all of this work? It all seemed simpler before stuff with the company plummeted,. If I’d waited another year to get pregnant, knowing the landscape properly, would it have made a difference? No. B is perfectly timed. But I feel let down, somehow. This is what it feels like to walk on air, I suppose. It doesn’t feel that great.