Two weeks old today – it just doesn’t seem possible. Our lives still feel turned upside down by you – you are very much like that pesky hurricane in how you’ve just blown in and thrown everything we’ve taken for granted out the window. Years have already been divided into BM and AM – before Marion and after Marion. The ideas we had of you being on a schedule and all the things we thought we’d do with you, lunch with friends, quiet mornings at Starbucks, enjoying books together at Borders – HA! When you do go down to sleep, we feel like we’ve been handed a time bomb, we just don’t know when it will go off. I rush around, trying to fit in a shower, a load of laundry, brushing my teeth, and for your poor dad’s sake, at least make an effort to get out of my pajamas, all before you wake up and we start this cycle all over again.
It’s worth it, I know. Especially when I think about all the what could have beens – especially since we’ve lived that. It’s just hard sometimes to know that it’s worth it – you still seem like such a little stranger to us. In a vain attempt to get to know you, I’ve become a bit obsessive about recording your every move. Then I compare what you did yesterday and the day before in an attempt to say, well I think at 10:05 a.m. she should be on her second nap of the day. Naturally, you’ll then decide that you want to be wide awake and playing at that time of day. But you are becoming less of a stranger to us – you know our voices and sometimes respond to us. Last night, as you were going to sleep after a bottle, you were smiling like crazy. Gas or just muscle tics I know, but your daddy looked over at me and said, I can’t wait for when she smiles for real. Sometimes you follow me with your eyes, or look around if you hear my voice and I fall in love all over again.
It’s been a trying week this week – and am I ever in for it if I’m saying that after just two weeks! But it’s been harder on me than on you, and I think that’s okay. After all, I’m still older than you and can handle this stuff better than you can right now. You had your two week pediatrician appointment yesterday and we found out you’re still losing weight. It’s heartbreaking to hear that – to know that what I thought I was doing for you, isn’t enough. We’ve had to add in formula and I cry every time I have to give you a bottle. Josh said he’s sure there’s some sort of life lesson in that, that what we want for our kids may not be the best thing for them. I say, I hate life lessons. I wish we could fast forward twenty years and you could tell me if it made a difference to you if you were breast fed or bottle fed. I wish you could give me some sort of feedback now, so I’d know if I was making the best choice.
I’m still struggling with your birth and now to have this added on to it, it’s hard not to feel like a failure. The hardest part is knowing that I failed only myself – not you, not your dad, not the general public, just myself. You’re fine after all – despite the weight loss, the pediatrician said you were in perfect health (particularly your lungs!) It’s as if I’ve failed at what makes a woman a woman. I couldn’t bring you into this world without intervention, and now, I can’t feed you without intervention. It really makes me question my ability to mother you. We have so much baggage as women – will I dump my feelings of failure on you? Will you spend the rest of your life trying to make it up to me? At the age of fourteen will you tell me that you hate me and I’ve never loved you and slam the door in my face? And will I think to myself, I loved her more than she has any ability to ever know right now? That I put aside my dreams and my ideals about myself and parenthood and womanhood and motherhood to do what was best for her? Will this be something that in thirty years from now, you sit and look at your own baby girl’s face and go, I finally know what mom meant?
Each day that goes by gets us closer to that mythical turning point, where everything seems to click and gets better. And I long for that day – I can’t wait to feel that I know what I’m doing, that I know you and what you want better than anyone else. But as tempting as that day is, it’s also bittersweet to know that every hour that goes by is an hour we won’t get back. It’s one more hour that pushes you out of being a newborn and into infancy and into being a toddler and then a little kid. That you’re growing up and we can’t stop it. So I’ll try to relax. I’ll try to take it easy on myself (and on you.) I’ll try to remember what we’ve lost and that really, really, nothing in this world matters more than the fact that you are actually in my arms, breathing your sweet little milk breath on me, meowing like a kitten and that you are mine and you are safe.