Friday, June 10, 2011

The first...



I had the first moment of PTSDish awfulness yesterday, short lived, and probably could have been easily avoided with a little thought.
So my dear husband's grandmother is in town. She is an absolutely steadfast, loving, amazing, tall and true Albertan. She drove the combine up until her 80th birthday. Like me, she lost her first daughter and then went on to raise three daughters and one son. I adore this woman, and I love the lifelong influence she has had on my husband, who reveres her with just cause. I love to share my children with her, and so when Maeve finished nursing just after she arrived yesterday afternoon, I cheerfully snuggled her sleeping little body onto Gigi's shoulder. I was truly happy to give this amazing great-grandmother a nice, long time with her newest great granddaughter. But this was a difficult time for me to share my baby, because it was right after a nice, long feed, on a long, hot, lazy afternoon. She slept, and slept, and slept. An hour went by. For that hour, I did throw myself into playing hard with Fiona, I threw a ball with Liam, and chased Aoife around. I did some things I couldn't do while I was pregnant, and definitely can't do with Maeve in arms. I can handle being parted from my baby for short periods when I am actively babying my other babies. But then, my cousin who was visiting brought Liam and Aoife down to the river to swim. And Fiona was puttering around on the swingset, and suddenly it hit me just so hard and deep, I needed my baby. I needed to breathe in the milky smell of her neck, I needed to feel her warm little scrunched up limbs in my arms. My eyes welled up and my milk let down, and I was over by the swingset gazing across the yard at her.
What happened then was that I got stuck. I was angry for not having her in my arms, grumpy with Greg for having family who swept in and took over my newborn, desperate to have her in my arms, but unable to come up with the words or the strategy to get her back. Words Greg had spoken to me when Fiona was a baby, and I struggled with this often, came back to me: She's your baby, just ask for her back. But I couldn't do it without thinking of a good reason why. And I can't lie. So I began to cry, just a little, staring across the yard at Maeve, feeling so awfully desperate for her. Fiona, who was standing on the platform of the slide next to me, leaned over and kissed my eye, and stroked my cheek. She wrapped her little arms around my neck.

Just at this moment, Greg came outside. He knew. He went to his grandmother, and gently fetched me my baby. He laid her in my arms. She smelled a little like somebody else, but she fit so snugly in my arms like a little lump of bread dough. She's so soft and wobbly and perfect right now. I took her down to the river and she laid in my lap as the cool rose up from the bedrock below us. I breathed a sigh of relief. I wished I could have just said something.
(p.s. can you see the huge bugbite on her forehead? bad mommy...)

7 comments:

butterflymom said...

Whoa...that's a pretty intense feeling as a mom. I could tell how much you need that baby back in your arms when it's been too long. I'm so glad you have such an amazing and supportive husband who is able to understand you wants and needs so well. Maeve continues to be such a beautiful baby. ((hugs))

Hope's Mama said...

I remember these feelings with Angus, on more than one occasion. I can see it happening again this time, too.
You're an amazing mama, Carol. And never a bad mama, even with the bug bites! Maeve is so lovely.
xo

dude said...

honey, take a deep breath and say, "I need her back now" trust me, they'll understand, and if they don't, who cares. it's ok, she's YOURS.
I *still have those moments with my Lemon and she's 18months.

Ya Chun said...

Wow. This explains so much to me. I hated my MIL for being here and wanting to hold the baby 'all the time'. I wanted to hold her all the time. I had no idea that was normal! You have just lifted a huge burden I have been carrying for 15 months!

And I just want to say, babies are made for holdin'!

Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say said...

Oh geez, my milk is about to let down just reading this! :)

I get that feeling so well right now. My husband's cousin was just here today to meet our daughter (now 3 weeks old) and as she held my baby while she slept, I wanted her back (even though she only had her for about 15 minutes or so). It's wonderful to share her with friends and family, and it's even better when she's with me!

Olivia said...

I think that feeling is why I love bedsharing so much. I just needed to hold my baby and could not stand having her in a separate bed, let alone a separate room.

Beth said...

I remember that post very well when you needed Fiona right near you. When my baby was a brand newborn, I remember crying the same thing... "But I need her right by me!" My husband and my mom wanted me to sleep, but I needed my baby. So they brought her to me. And they said "she's right here." And I remembered that post about Fiona.

I must admit, I don't read the blogs very much anymore, because they became too difficult to bear not only my own grief, but everyone else's. But I always make my way back to yours. And it's been SO long, I didn't even know you were pregnant! When your blog said you had four living children, I was like, wait, what? I counted your children in my head and I knew there must have been another new addition! I also always remember your beautiful post about the relief you felt when Fiona arrived safely. I will have to scroll back and find I'm sure a similarly beautiful one about Maeve. Much love to you and your beautiful family.