theatokos: (Default)
Do we have an internal voice anymore? An interior world that is our own? How many of us edit what is in our own journals so that we might project our best image, or a certain type of image, or please others, or not offend them with our real thoughts? When we have constant information and input flowing in (status updates, advertisements, music or muzak, tv, etc) how can we filter and develop an interior world?

And as women particularly is our interior world valued? Is it only valuable if other people like it? If we get so many 'likes' on Facebook, or some one pays us for our memoir? Our bodies are certainly picked apart. All of our parts must be approved by some external gaze - be it male or female. If a magazine tells us curvy is in then we can breathe a sigh of relief. We can defend our figures based on whatever health fad is in. Do we get to like our selves just because?

How can we embrace our bodies, our embodiedness (flesh, earthiness, corporeality, etc) without being only our bodies? Finding this blade thin balance feels impossible on days when I engage in mainstream media, but is only slightly more possible when I read philosophic or theological texts. Any wisdom gleaned is still problematic - all theory, all big words. And how do we find the razor thin line between personal and physical autonomy, still so necessary in our world, and communal participation, still so necessary in our world? Women especially still struggle in these areas. How can we embrace our desires and hopes, aspirations and ambitions, and also serve and care for others in a meaningful way?

The greatest mystery in life to me is finding the place of balance in all these questions. I think it is one of feminism's biggest challenges in the world. How do we embrace the myriad contradictions that make up our lives? To serve and be served? To love and be loved? To embrace power (such a problematic word in feminism) and yet not be crushed by it? To attain equality with men, but elevate that equality to something that provides freedom for women and men, for all people regardless of class, size, religion, sex, gender, race?

Ultimately, how do we become whole human beings?

Religiously and theologically I think the rise in paganisms and New Age movements speaks to many of these questions. I waver inbetween mono- and poly-theism. My personal practice is FAR more pagan than Christian. And yet to be honest I think that established religions, among them Christianity, have more tools, language, depth and nuance to tackle a lot of the questions. There is so much in the Christian tradition alone that is liberatory and radical, but church feels dead. How do we/I/you find personal meaning and depth and also have community?

The modern struggle of transience v permanence, individual v community, choice v duty, private and public, and so on. We never choose sides, it's always a negotiation. An ongoing negotiation until the day we die, I'm guessing.
theatokos: (Default)
1. what is your greatest regret?

I don't think I have a single biggest one. I don't feel like regret is particularly useful. It's hard to say "I wish I hadn't been married before" because that experience really shaped who I am today and has made me far more resilient and compassionate than I was before. One thing I do regret is that I have a tendency to disappear when I feel shame - which means I lose relationships. This has happened at least twice, and it makes me sad.

2. name three people, dead or alive, that you would love to invite over for dinner. why?
Off the top of my head, I think Alistair Crowley, Jesus, T Thorn Coyle, Madonna and Bjork would be a hoot. Although they are all strong personalities so maybe it wouldn't be so good? Oh and that's five. For just three.... it would be a girls night and I would have Reese Witherspoon, Kate Winslet and Amber Tamblyn. Julia Stiles would be the back up, in case of cancellation.

3. you said that your phd is more of an exercise in vanity than a career path. ideally, what would you like to be doing 5 years from now?
I've never been career minded. Five years from now I'd like to be living in a place much like Lampeter, mothering at least another child, singing.... basically living the life I have right now. Career wise - in five years maybe I'll have this damn PhD and will be teaching some where. Maybe in five years I'll be teaching yoga and teaching religion at a community college. I'm pretty sure I make my parents uncomfortable with my lack of "practicality."

4. how badly does it annoy you when people spell PhD "phd"? ;) is there a rationale behind your dislike of improper grammar use?
I don't really care about phd vs PhD vs Ph.D. Bad grammar bothers me, poor spelling bothers me, but not too much. Honestly, if some one really has issues with the English language (and has English as a first language) then I just won't friend them here. What REALLY bugs me are businesses like Kwik Mart - GAH! That's not how you spell quick! Ack! For an extra letter you can spell the word correctly!

5. tell me about two influential women in your life and the way(s) in which they affected you.
Only two? I nominate Twig, who was my randomly placed roommate at college freshman year. I remember speaking with her on the phone before arriving and thinking "she's nice, but we'll never be close." HA! We were inseparable! We don't even look that much a like, but people couldn't tell us apart. She showed me that being Christian didn't have to be stereotypical or afraid of the world. She is so unselfconscious and does her own thing. She taught me to pick my battles. She is the epitome of loyalty. She helped me to be silly and not to take myself so seriously.

The second is MM. We've been friends since the 9th grade, though I've know of her since at least 6th grade. We've had some serious ups and downs (she didn't talk to me for 2 years - though that experience has made us closer). She reminds me to take care of myself. She's so much like me that I know her advice is exactly what I would tell her - so when it rubs me the wrong way I know she's on to something! She inspires me - how does she manage to do everything that she does as well as she does?

Knowing these two ladies exist in the world makes the world feel safer and more sane.

My soul

Oct. 23rd, 2009 11:08 am
theatokos: (Default)
The San Francisco Bay Area. The place is amazing. In my experience thus far in the world I have to say that it is second only to Juneau for being magical and full of the best, most creative, most welcoming people. The Bay Area has world class opera, cutting edge arts, rich music, a thriving and creative DIY and entrepreneurial community, the best food in the USA, and is a spiritual mecca. The people are interesting and interested. Every one can be themselves. The weather is great. And, if I may wax hippy, there's *just something* there. Like, it must be on one of those earth spirit meridians that I have heard of.

And...... it was choking my soul. I overstayed myself by at least two years. I stopped listening to music. I constantly felt trapped. I felt overwhelmed, oppressed by stuff and motion and thrum. The non-rational part of my being was dying a slow death.

How can I tell this was for sure? I am ecstatic here. The quiet is deafening. I feel like I can hear so much more. My brain is thinking! I have so much more space for others and for myself. I don't feel so panicked. And I'm listening to music again. And singing. I sing all around the house. What am I listening to these days? Still a lot of classical music. Although I'm craving some opera: I don't own any Ruth Ann Swenson or Susan Graham! We recently discovered Florence and the Machine. Sort of like Regina Spector meets 60s rock and soul? Absolutely fab. Adam's been listening to this neat ambient/world stuff that I really like called Angel Tears (which is THE WORST name for a band ever). Right now I am downloading The Corner Laugher's newest album, Ultraviolet Garden.* And, on Tuesday, it's a double winner of a music day: John Mayer AND Hem both release new albums.

My soul is just so damn happy these days. It's almost in a manic state. After being weighed down and deadly lethargic for so long it's like... well, it's like Bennett at bedtime: cracked out.

*Yay for fellow UWLampeter student and Bay Area homies!
theatokos: (Default)
I keep postponing my partial posts 'Things that are different #2' and 'Things I like about Lampeter.' I am going to whine a little right now.

Yesterday Bennett and I went on a 4 mile, 2 hour walk out of town. I pushed B up hills and down hills, around a forest and along a river. This place is so peaceful and beautiful. The walk was just what I needed, and B had a wonderful time too. We saw cows and sheep and two swans flying low overhead. Last night I went to bed early. I crawled in with B at 8pm and didn't get up until 7.30 this morning. I didn't sleep through the night - when Bennett does, then I will! But that much physical rest was necessary and only highlighted just how exhausted I am on the inside. I want to curl up in a ball in a corner somewhere, wrapped in a big cuddly blanket or duvet, and have a cry. It's so hard trying to concentrate on reading Important Scholarly Works when we still don't have internet at home, which means Adam can't pursue his work and we can't use skype, which means I can't resolve things with our credit cards or my bank back in Oakland, which means we're getting close to the end of our available cash. And we still don't know how we're going to resolve the childcare issue. The Vice Chancellor hasn't yet responded to my letter.

I'm really trying not to panic about all of this. I know these are just bumps along the road of moving abroad. And we've only been here three weeks. But this all comes on the heels of living out of bags and boxes for three full months now. I'm really really tired. It's hard to plug ahead as if life were normal when some pretty important pieces are as yet unresolved and out of our control.

My stomach hurts. I'm sad. I'm really overwhelmed and waiting for relief. Maybe tomorrow?
theatokos: (Default)
Bennett slept like a rock last night. He's happy as can be. Thank god. He was even able to nurse. PHEW. It feels funny, though, when he does it. It's not quite the same as regular gums. It's all uneven and a little pokey. He's got the GROSSEST blood clot on the left side. But all is well. He is even giving honest to goodness hugs. This kid amazes me.

I am still unwinding from the whole ordeal. I did yoga this morning and I had that feeling in my stomach that if I let go anymore I'd throw up. My whole person was scrunched up tight. Unwinding is going to take some effort. Healthy food, sleep and a happy baby will help for sure. I'm still grieving the accident. I'm sad that Bennett is going to be funny looking for several years. It's a really minor thing, I know, and I'll get over it, but it's still hard.

More happy things to look forward to: the cats are now indoor/outdoor cats. Elliott is a happy camper. Four years ago I promised him this would happen and I'm finally following through with it. Nigel isn't so sure about the whole outdoors thing. Today Adam, B and I go to get our biometrics done for the visa application. I believe this is the last piece and we can mail all of our paperwork in tomorrow. Tomorrow night I'm going to preview night for ComiCon. Friday night Adam and I are going to go see live music! My god, I'm so excited. A guy called William Fitzsimmons (sort of reminds me of what John Mayer and Iron and Wine's baby would sound like) at a coffee house called Lestat.

Now to shower.
theatokos: (Default)
Hearing Bennett cry is like kryptonite to me. It derails my thoughts, arrests my function, overtakes my heart. I can't imagine having more than one child crying - would I explode from the overload? I feel like I've voluntarily rendered myself more mortal than I was before.

The flip side, and there's always a flip side, is that I also feel more alive in ways I never thought possible before. Little things, like having a flabby belly, which before would have sent me scampering on the rat wheel of neurosis, are inconsequential. Perhaps annoying, but certainly not important. The joy of simple moments, the delight in being alive, in being human, is far deeper than I anticipated.

But still. I have the ability to be slain by a tiny creature who has yet to know an ounce of malice.

This parenting thing is intense.
theatokos: (Default)
Cut for kindness )

Today we are heading to a park in Berkeley for a BBQ (sun, you can come out now, please). Adam's parents are flying up from San Diego for the day. There will be pictures later.

I am really, truly happy.
theatokos: (Default)
Two recent posts - well, one post and one forward - have gotten me thinking. First, there's that podcast from yesterday about genius and how we spend our time. I don't need to be a genius, I really don't, but I do know that I'm not using my time wisely, that I've been avoiding Things, and that I've been flirting with depression in a pretty big way. I also read a post this morning in which a woman talked about making all things secondary to her spiritual practice. Replace that last bit with what's most important to you, and I ask: are you putting first things first? I'm not. And I want to put my spiritual pursuits first. I do. But I don't. I'm scared shitless to do so. What does that look like? Will I become a crazy fruity loon? I fear that my life will fall apart - maybe set on fire, like Bennett has done? And just how DO I devote four hours to something, anything, with a child? I fear I'll become some extreme weirdo, or a nun, or something vastly incompatible with being a normal person and mother. I'm WAY too invested in being normal, so perhaps "indulging" this desire is exactly what I need.

What would four hours of spiritual pursuit a day look like? Probably an hour of yoga, 30 minutes of meditation, another 30 of prayer and tarot, two hours of academic study. Eventually, once I quit working and officially become a Student once more, the study will be its own thing, but I'm not so compartmentalized that I don't see that my academic pursuits are still a big spiritual quest of sorts for me.

Even writing about this makes my stomach knot up in fear and anxiety. Gah. It's this being vulnerable and open to mockery. Juvenile fears clutching to my guts and desires. And fear of overthrowing my life as I know it. Choosing the devils I know over the devils I don't. How dull.

What's my order of priority? I spend a lot of time keeping my house in order. Partly because I like clean, partly because I get stressed out with too much clutter and filth - it's a giant distraction and I think I can't handle external clutter because I'm already so cluttered on the inside, and partly training and judgement from my upbringing.

I'm currently working and that is sucking a lot of my energy. I think I'm going to just bite the bullet and have a heart to heart with my ED. Going into work makes me noticeably depressed. This is not good, even if I am quitting in a few months.

I spend a vast portion of my day online. This is because this is where the majority of my social life and work take place.

I want to make some changes. I'm scared. I'm dragging my heels. But I'm already throwing myself into the fire this year with motherhood and moving and going back to school. Why not harness my time and energies into what I *really want*?

If only there was some magic pill that reformed my habits and fears. But instead it's the steady, daily, messy, awkward work of one step at a time.

A new year

Dec. 21st, 2008 03:34 pm
theatokos: (Default)
Before Bennett, we hosted Thanksgiving, threw a Solstice party, and celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve by wandering around San Francisco, going out to eat and catching a carol service. The next day was spent in jammies, lounging about eating Adam's homemade cinnamon rolls.

The new year feels like it is starting now, with the solstice. The wind down to this holiday, for me, usually starts at Thanksgiving. This year's Thanksgiving was amazing but came during a very difficult period. Last night was a Feast Bay and it was such a great way to spend the evening. Adam's parents were here for 24 hrs and so we had gift opening this morning, over strong coffee and oatmeal cooked in coconut milk. We will modify our Christmas Eve plans by taking Bennett and going in the afternoon, ending with dinner, so we can start our baby bed time routine at the normal hour. Christmas morning we will still have cinnamon rolls, but we might go for a long walk and find a morning carol service. New Year's involves making a collage of the year to come. This year I'll be in Australia for that. I really love Christmas/Solstice/New Year.

This year we are adding a special occasion: our trip to Chez Panisse on the 26th. Thankfully we have found a babysitter. A trial run with Ansel, the guy were are probably hiring as our nanny. It is very very weird to say that we will have a nanny. The word brings to mind privilege, people not interested in parenting, high powered careers, mousy 20-something women. All images not necessarily true. We have Ansel, the 20-something, vegan, gamelan playing, wants to be a farmer, possibly gay male, two days a week so I can go to work.

What new things will 2009 hold? I feel a little bit like our trip to Australia is a buffer between this long year past and the new one to come. I have some decisions to make and I hope the time abroad refreshes and revives me, allowing me some rest to recharge with the clarity and strength to keep setting fire to my life.

Great loss

Dec. 15th, 2008 12:06 pm
theatokos: (Default)
I don't know how I missed the entry.... well, I do. I was working all day yesterday and didn't read my friends page. A woman from one of my due date communities lost her sweet, beautiful daughter yesterday. I have been crying my eyes out at work. I cannot even imagine the grief. I have never met this woman, but I respect her so much and I loved her stories and pictures of her little girl.

This puts every difficult day in perspective. I will take a hundred difficult nights of crying and sore nipples and getting kicked in the belly and a hundred zombie days of sleep deprivation if it means another day of little Bennett's smiles and snuggles.

What is remembered lives.
theatokos: (Default)
This is for all those who are parents, especially those who are stay at home parents, whether that's one day a week or full time. I need your experience and advice.

Today is a particularly off day for me, because I'm tired: it's been a busy week at work and last night had me at work (with B) unexpectedly for 5 hours. Then, I hit the grocery store and came home to roast a chicken for the potluck we hosted. I was beat and remain so today. I don't want to do anything expect veg out. But I have a baby who doesn't play by himself - sometimes he will for at most 10 minutes. Being held, touching and eye contact, are his most favorite things ever. I love this about Bennett, but I can hardly get anything done - either home-wise or personally.

When I introduced All About Bennett Thursdays, this was a revelation. A day wholly about Bennett was a load of fun, but I knew that it was only once a week. For one day I could go completely according to B's patterns and desires. Super fun and actually pretty easy.

But I can't do that every day. One, because stuff needs to get done, and two, because I am freakish about Plans. I don't like this about myself, but I will say it is what keeps me organized and way more productive than a lot people. I'm doing a better job at lightening up on things like the a perfectly clean house, but this having a baby gig is revealing the depth of my neuroses.

My questions: For those of you at home with your kids, particularly babies, what do you do? Do you create a schedule? I assume toddlers might thrive on this, but what about babies? How do you meet your needs AND do stuff around the house? There are naps, but if I work through all of those I feel WIPED OUT at the end of the day. Do you have help? Either a nanny/mother's helper? Do you have a house keeper?

I think I'm asking the big parenting question: how does one take care of responsibilities, meet one's own needs, AND provide a rich, loving, interactive space for one's child?

Personally, I think having Bennett is a tremendous spiritual practice in letting go and re-prioritizing. My previous post of being on fire relates. I feel like if I am all about Bennett all the time my life will burn down to the ground entirely and I'll live in filth, be crazy, friendless, and hungry.
theatokos: (Default)
I haven't been posting much or anything of meaning lately, because I've been having a very difficult time. The sleep deprivation has been severe. Bennett has been waking every 1-2 hours at night and even when Adam decided to take a shift, Bennett often only wants boob or just to be near me. It's exhausting. Add to this my normal tendency toward anxiety and depression, a busy time at work, as well as the normal major life shift adjustments and well, it's been me staring at the abyss.

However, last night B slept for 5.5 hours straight and WOW! It's amazing what some sleep can do.

Bennett is an arsonist. Having him is like setting my life on fire. That phrase is very deliberate. My life is aflame and I have no idea what needs to burn to the ground or what I should douse and save. The flames throw much of the shape of my into relief, for better or worse. But the flames also throw shadows; sometimes I'm not sure what is real and what isn't.

It's been suggested to me that I get some sleeping pills to help at night, but that's not really the problem. I could go on anti-depressants, because yes, I am depressed. I know this. Is it post-partum depression? I've been struggling since February when I was 5 months pregnant.

While I hate the roller coaster ride of my mental state, I think that depression is useful. Clearly, something needs to change and I am not happy. I need to find ways to get more rest and more physical exercise (I have never in my life been this out of shape and unfit) - two things that help with self-esteem, mental health and general happiness. I know I need to get back to my (currently painful) practice of meditation. I know I need to figure some stuff out: job... PhD.... place, both temporary and longer-term... community...

2008 has been a hard year - not just for myself, but for most people I know. I am looking forward to starting 2009 with a vacation. An honest to god vacation. I will be with my family, in a quiet outdoorsy place. I can go walking in the morning with the kangaroos. I will have loving people around to watch Bennett so Adam and I can have some time together and I can have time by myself.

I don't feel very clear at all right now. Everything is a muddle. I want to *solve* this. I want to find the answers and get on with "it" already, but that's not how these things work. I'm tired of forcing the issue and Working Hard and Being Awesome, so I'm just gonna be over here burning up in the corner.
theatokos: (Default)
Holy crap. Is this what I signed up for?

Car share to run errands. Should've stopped while at Whole Foods and nursed and chilled. B hates car seats and after being awesome for the first two stops (birth cert - he's legal! groceries - we'll eat!) he had a melt down. Began as a standard "I'm hungry and I hate car seats" fussy fit. So we stopped and nursed for 15 min. But then at the next stop. I was gone for 90 seconds when I came back he was in convulsions. Like, he looked like he was in pain and choking. Bug eyed. Red, sweaty, swollen face with tears streaming and a cry/scream I'd never heard before. My heart has not leapt out of my chest like that ever before. If Adam wasn't calm I think I would've freaked completely. I jumped into the back seat (car not moving) and got him out of the seat and clutched him to my chest. We decided to drive home that way. No car seat. It took most of the way home to de-escalate. I sang and rocked and held close.

I still want to cry. Even though as soon as we got into the house and had a 5 minute nurse he was a-okay. He's now sitting in Adam's lap talking up a storm, smiling and chill. Me? I'm a wreck. I need to cry (not like it's there, but I can feel it all gunked up inside of me). I have a stiff drink next to me. I am breathing.

And grateful that all was fine driving home with him not in a car seat and that the only person who will have trauma from this afternoon is me.

Brain and heart and body. I have officially learned that these are three different mechanisms. I have learned today that being a mother means opening myself up to moments of panic unlike any I've ever experienced before. I have every thing to lose.

5 years

Aug. 26th, 2008 10:29 am
theatokos: (Default)
Five years ago last week I moved to the Bay Area. I came to Berkeley to start graduate school. My intent was to finish with a masters degree and move back to Juneau. Lots and lots of things changed that first year in grad school.

My life is unbelievably enriched for living here.

But I still wake up every morning and want to move back to Juneau.
theatokos: (Default)
Sometimes it is still difficult having a premie. I hate having to explain why our baby is so small when we go out. It's hard to hear how fast other babies are growing. Bennett is finally packing on the weight and it seems that each morning he is a little rounder, has a little more heft. But he's still small: probably over 8 lbs, maybe 8.5, and he'll be 12 weeks on Sat. Weight and feedings were so fraught for so many weeks. I feel like my confidence was undermined. My capitulation to the nightly bottle of formula comes from this. In all of Kaiser's determination to support breastfeeding, they actually intimidated me: did I need that much help? Doesn't the body produce enough to me the child's needs? Our nightly bottle/s of formula are doing good things for Bennett and for us, but I know that if B had been born "on time" we wouldn't be doing that.

I've been told not to compare my baby with others, since he's on a different schedule. This seems true. I don't see any signs that he is slow, struggling, sickly, etc. Still, I wonder if his lack of smiling at me and Adam is just his chill personality or a developmental problem. He's so chill around other people too, that I do long for him to smile just for me, just some recognition that I'm a little bit more special than other people. [ETA: He is smiling, there's just no discernable pattern, it's not gas. Maybe it's a me? Hard to say.]

I'm still harboring resentment for Bennett's month in the NICU. I joined a premie group on LJ and one mother who had her baby 6 weeks early only had to spend 6 days in the NICU! I feel cheated. I feel cheated, even though circumstances necessitated the NICU. B contracted a UTI, which in premies usually means that there is a valve that hasn't fully developed (50% of cases). But after doing some reading, two rounds of tests, and talking with my midwife and the pediatrician she consulted, it appears that Benn just got sick from the NICU. B is STILL on prophylactic antibiotics and Kaiser still has not called to arrange his final test so we can get off these meds. I am grateful that antibiotics exist, but I am very much against the overuse of them. My delivery, recovery and our time in the NICU had too many elements of ass-covering for my liking. These meds smack of it too.
theatokos: (Default)
I can't look at pictures of Juneau. It's like porn for me, or something.

Right now, I want to move to back to Juneau. I want to raise my baby there. Screw the restaurants and opera and whatnot, give me trees, clean air, grey skies, carharts, and fishing boats.

Seriously. I want to move home. The question remains: what would we do there?

Now isn't the time. But soon.
theatokos: (Default)
Oh man. The voices are loud in my head today.

And I feel like rthe worst mother ever. Adam is taking B this afternoon and he even made me lunch. But I head B making noises and the first thing I thought was "Oh please don't wake up! I don't want to feed you!"

But of course, when he wakes up I will.
theatokos: (Default)
Gentleness. It's all about adjusting and gentleness. Being gentle with Benn, even in the middle of a crying jag, is easy. Being gentle with myself, at 4am, trying to change a diaper when all of my fingers have turned to thumbs and I can't stay awake long enough to even keep B on the boob is much harder.

Last night should've been a triumph: B slept for 5 hours straight. No shit. And then he slept for 3 more hours. I was so exhausted, but kept waking up to make sure he was alive. I've had it drilled into me that he needs to eat every 3-4 hours. But I've also been told repeatedly to let a sleeping baby sleep. Ack! B went nearly 10 hours with out a substantial meal. ....And he survived. I barely did. I think getting so much sleep at once only highlighted my exhaustion. I have done nothing all day. And felt worried about that all day long.

How am I ever going to do all the things I like doing? Work, my degree, yoga, my spiritual practices, cooking and being domestic, sing - all while having an infant?

Right. Gentleness and adjustment. Adam reminds me that I'm only in the middle of my second week of having B home. We've hardly settled in and we're still decompressing from the 4 week ordeal that was the NICU and my mother's 2 week stay. Gah. I'm an overachiever. I don't want to be the woman who has a child and turns into the person who doesn't shower for days on end, only wears sweats (I don't own any of those, so I'm safe there), and neglects all her friends and ambitions, watching reruns of Oprah and then waking up at 40 and wondering where her youth went. Catastrophizing? Me? No.....

Still, it's hard not to be depressed when I'm sitting at the dining table, with B in my lap, eating a Safeway frozen dinner of lemon chicken (Adam's mother bought us a freezer full of frozen, factory meat filled, safeway dinners. Thoughtful, but, ew). Basically it's like some one threw up chicken chunks and pasta and then doused it in lemon juice to disguise the smell. The meal is coupled with a glass of the blandest chardonnay, a bottle of Weston chardonnay (avoid this) that Adam's aunt got us. Adam's family, generous, but lacking any interest in food whatsoever.

I just didn't have the desire to cook tonight and Adam is out. I think the rest of the evening is going to involve me smooching my baby and watching Scrubs.

I know I can find a balance in my new life. I am even more inspired than I was before to do things that I really want to do. But gentleness, patience, and adjustment - I must keep reminding myself of these things.

Overall though, for all of my fears (I thought I had choked Benn today when I gave him his vitamins, and I fear sometimes that if I don't wake him every 3 hours to force feed him he'll never gain weight), I love being a mother. Really. It's way more amazing and lovely and inspiring and beautiful than I ever expected.
theatokos: (Default)
Finally, Adam and I are alone. My mum left this morning. This is the first time we have ever truly been left alone with our baby. He is 5 weeks old.

I am this guy's mama. That reality is slowly setting in. At last. The other night I shed some tears while breast feeding, overwhelmed with happiness and the immensity that this little person is *mine*, I built him, flesh of my flesh and all that. I even got choked up at Wall*E* (Adam & I took advantage of my mother to have a date), the innocence and very black heart nature of the main character reminded me of those qualities I see in B (and infants in general). I was also (am usually these days) extraordinarily tired and just haven't had much space to process the stress and intense emotions of the last 5 weeks.

I still feel hounded by Kaiser. Since coming home, a week ago tomorrow, I have been back to Kaiser for my postpartum follow up check and have had 2 home health nurse visits to see how Benn is doing. I thought once we left the NICU we would be done with taking his temperature and logging how many minutes of breast feeding (how many minutes on each side? how often? how many times during the night? etc), at what time was his last poopy diaper and what was the color and consistency of it? AHG!!! Plus, he must be weighed (new borns, at least this one, hate being naked, and he has to be naked to be weighed). The home health nurse wanted him to gain 2 ounces in 2 days, but he only gained 1/2 an ounce so I had to listen to yet another litany of suggestions for better feeding. I'm going to call on Monday and cancel any repeat visits. I'm sick of it. I feel beset by Medical Advice. Do all new mothers have to keep such detailed tracking of the minutae of feedings and diapers and hours slept?? I was so hoping that would end when we left the hospital.

I am more worked about this than I realized.

However, I have realized some things about our NICU experience for which I am grateful. I will post about those, maybe later today.

*Wall*E is spectacular. I hope it gets nominated for a best picture Oscar. The first third of the movie is some of the most beautiful animation ever. Pixar's ability to create films that have meaning (the environmental and consumer messages of this film may or may not be subtle...) as well as keep a 4yr old amused are unparalleled. I want to go see this again, soon.
theatokos: (Default)
Ok people. If ever the was a time my heart could get broken it's this week.

The doctors are gearing us up for Benn's release later this week. He hasn't had any bradys for a couple of days. His antibiotics will done on Thursday (I hate that he has to have them this early in his life, but it is clearing up his UTI). He has to pass the car seat test and have no more bradys and then..... Thursday or Friday he'll come home. !!! For the next two days I am going to spend 12 hours straight with him "rooming in." This way we can get more acquainted with one another and I can exclusively breast feed. Then, at night the nurses will bottle feed him (breast milk) so that he is fully ready to feed at home. In preparation for that the nurse removed his nasal tube today.

If he doesn't come home this time, I'm not sure I'll be able to withstand this start and stop, almost but not quite, back and forth.

I can't wait to get off hospital time and onto Benn time. I can't wait to take him for walks. To live a normal life with a baby. Sheesh. Let's get this started already!


theatokos: (Default)

October 2010



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 19th, 2017 11:44 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios