Thursday, January 25, 2007

The awesomeness increases by the day

Yesterday: first swim, in a wading pool at a community recreation centre in the west end. No crying, but no smiling either, just much seriousness. "Well, Mama's here, so I guess this is all right." I even dunked her twice, with no complaints. Wow.

Also yesterday: she rolled over by herself again, from front to back, and promptly had a fit. "What was that?!? I didn't authorize that!" Poor baby. I think a lot of being a parent is figuring out how to stifle one's giggles while making the appropriate soothing noises.

Today: she laughed. She laughed. I was changing her diaper and singing the "Baby balm on the baby bum!" song, and I tickled her belly, and she laughed. So I called her dad, and she laughed for him, too. Good thing, because I could barely speak.

Also today: I decided it was her naptime, so I took her in to the bedroom, fed her for a while lying down, tucked a soother into her mouth, and then left the room while she was still awake. I expected to have to go back in a few minutes later to calm the fussing. But: ten minutes later there was silence, so I took a look: she fell asleep on her own.

So much excellence I can hardly stand it.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Mine is full and sore.

We went to a birthday party for a friends' one-year-old yesterday. There were a lot of older kids there who were nice enough but made me feel like the Grinch anyway, at least when they started with the maracas and the tambourine and the triangle and the noise noise NOISE NOISE NOISE!!! The last twenty minutes or so that we were there were incredibly stressful for me, as I stood there, shoes on, holding Clara's bunting bag and waiting for the kids to stop climbing all over Mr. K so we could leave. Extra-strength Tylenol hasn't touched the headache.

For now I am content to be the parent of a single child. I am writing this to remind myself later, in case someday I get the crazy idea that I want another one.

I finally went back to the gym. Oddly enough, I have lost a tremendous amount of ground from where I was just before getting pregnant. I can't do 410 pounds on the leg press anymore, and I can't finish a second set of ten reps of 50-pound bench presses. If I tried the 200-pound deadlift again I'd probably rip my arms out of their sockets. I think the best attitude to take here is that I suck, n'est-ce pas?

(Not really. It felt wonderful to be back. I'm going to shoot for lifting twice weekly and FitMomming once a week until I run out of FitMom classes, and then go back to three times a week at the gym. Should be able to get back to where I was pretty quickly. God, I've missed it.)

I owe a lot of people e-mail. I usually remember who they are at about midnight when Clara is finally drifting off to sleep. If you're one of them, I'm sorry. My inbox is a mess right now; I still read everything in Pine on a Unix shell, in plain text, and once something has scrolled off the top of the screen I tend to forget it was ever there. Bleah.

Speaking of sleep, we haven't figured out the best way to approach it yet. Clara's been sleeping in my arms every night, but when she writhes and twitches she wakes me up and I'm grumpy all day afterwards. So Thursday night we tried putting her in a sleep sack back in the co-sleeper. She didn't sleep well, and screamed and screamed and screamed and screamed all day Friday. (Perhaps that is what poured the foundation for this headache; the noisy party framed it, and the hideous nightmare this morning finished off the roof.)

However: I am very close to finishing a sweater. I sewed the last seam today, and am going to try to get all the ends darned in and the buttons sewn on tonight. Clara will probably have outgrown it by next Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

But what will the neighbours think?

My mother has complained bitterly all my life about her own mother's obsession with what the neighbours would think of any given situation. (The answer is usually "They don't. They have their own lives to worry about.") Instead of enabling me to become a devil-may-care type, however, her complaints seem to have installed this same attitude in me. I am my own worst critic. (But we've known this for a long time.)

Clara is still tiny for her age. As of last Friday (at 13 and a half weeks) she was nine pounds, 1.5 ounces. This is off the bottom of the growth curve that the paediatrician uses (and I'm pretty sure she's using the new one that's calibrated for breastfed babies, who tend to be much leaner than formula-fed ones). Even so, Dr. D is very happy with Clara's development, which is right on schedule: she's grabbing at things, she smiles and coos at people, she controls her head better every day, she rolls from her back to her side at will, and so on.

Yesterday I went back to FitMom after the holiday break (which I had confused with the Movies for Mommies holiday break, and assumed was one week longer than it actually was). Two things depressed me a lot.

(a) I've lost a huge amount of ground with my fitness again -- it's like being back in high school gym class and being the biggest sluggard there. I know from so much past experience that it's just a matter of buckling down and exercising three times a week and eating more protein before I'm getting stronger and feeling better again, but sleep deprivation plus shorter days plus having nine pounds of raw need right. there. all. the time. are making it harder for me to convince myself that this really is something I have to do. And all the pep talks in the world from other people don't help.

(b) I'm to the point where I'm embarrassed to tell people how old Clara is, because she's so small and mothering seems to be such a competitive sport. I talked to one woman yesterday whose ten-week-old's slow weight gain had prompted her paediatrician to recommend supplementing with formula. The mother did, and the baby gained more than a pound in a week. Clara gained 13.5oz in the past month.

There are lots of reasons I really don't want to supplement: reduction of my milk supply, changes to Clara's intestines (PDF), messing with the incredibly fine-tuned system that is a nursing mother and child. Plus, she's obviously healthy and developing appropriately; Dr. D. even said that if she stays on the curve she's on now, even if it's below the "official" one, there's no need to worry. (I like Dr. D.)

But good ol' Lizard Brain is shouting at me that People are going to think that I'm a bad mother because my baby is so tiny. I know this is stupid, but I feel this way anyway. Telling myself not to doesn't shut it up.

I've read that parenthood is a whole lot of being faced with things you can't fix and learning how to deal with them anyway. I've spent most of my life fighting my weight and feeling rotten about the bigness of my body; who'd have thought that my first big challenge would be trying to accept my daughter's smallness?

Friday, January 05, 2007