Tuesday, July 28, 2015

One Breath At a Time

Looking back at my journals, I can see that during the first few weeks of Jordan's life (not surprisingly) I was on an emotional roller coaster. 

After she was born I cried a little bit each night. She cried an average of two long hours each night. Once the friends and family left, and Adam went back to work, Jordan and I tried to find a schedule, a routine. At 19 days old, she began sleeping less. She used to wake up crying at 4 a.m., then it went to 3, then 2, and then 1 a.m. We tried everything to calm her down, but nothing seemed to work.. The doctor told us that she felt out of control and uncomfortable while she was lying flat on her back, but we were told not to lie her down on her stomach. I felt like saying, "Um Doc, this is all pretty new to me. How should I lay her down, because I'm at a loss right now."

So we became expert swaddle-ers. I'm surprised that she could even breath because we wrapped her so tightly. It helped a little, but she still seemed agitated and would not fall asleep. She obviously couldn't hold a pacifier yet, and she didn't find her fingers or thumb, so I held the pacifier in for her. In retrospect, I wonder if that was a good choice. But I couldn't ignore the fact that while she was sucking, she was relaxed and happy. When the pacifier fell out, she was screaming. Loudly.

I tried nursing her. She would stop crying while she ate, and start crying again when we were done. And I certainly couldn't nurse her forever. She took over 20 minutes on each side, falling asleep on and off. It usually took about an hour for her to eat. All the books said that I was supposed to nurse her every two or three hours. You do the math. I was like a walking bottle. 

This reminds me of when we were still in the hospital and the nurses told me that I "just have to wake her up because she needs to learn to eat and suck". I felt like saying "you try to wake her up." (It's still almost impossible to wake Jordan up today.) What did they want me to do, slap her? I tried a wet rag, moving her, tickling her... nothing worked. So of course I feared a bunch of things in those first two days of her life:

One: That I was possibly going to starve my child.
Two: That my milk would never come in if we didn't get this nursing thing down today.
Three: That the lingering labor pains from nursing (which was quite honestly the most cruel part of this whole experience) would never go away.

Some days were easy, and some were very difficult. When she cried it was intense, and it seemed to go on forever. It made my heart hurt. But if I'm being completely honest, it also made me angry. As her mother, I should have been able to fix whatever was wrong, to take the pain away. But I couldn't. Small tinges of resentment also entered into my mind, because before I had Jordan I pretty much had everything under control. Now it felt as if nothing in my life was in my control.

Other days I wondered how I could love someone so much. The more I understood her, the more I loved her. Everything about her was amazing. I mean she was a miracle. A half-Adam, half-Me miracle.  

Yes, looking back, I was a bit all over the place.

I know that babies are very sensitive to other's emotions, especially their mother's. Could that be one of the reasons why Jordan struggles with anxiety? Maybe I stressed her out because I was on edge and obsessed with her every move. But then again, I probably wouldn't have worried so much if she hadn't cried so often and so hard.

I wonder which came first, my feelings of stress and anxiety, or hers. Ultimately, at this point in our lives, I guess it doesn't really matter. I found a quote by author Jasinda Wilder that helps me to sum it up.
"All we can do is try,
do our best. 
Give as much time as we have to give,
one day at a time. One breath at a time."

And so the Beck story continues. One day, and one breath, at a time.

Thanks for breathing along with us.

No comments:

Post a Comment