Thursday, December 3, 2009

Birthday Eve

Exactly 2 years ago from right now, my alarm was going off. Husband and I were heading in for an induction. At 42 weeks pregnant, I was desperate to give birth. J was due Nov 19, and here I was having a December baby?! He wasn't born until Dec 4th, but the 3rd will always be my Labor Day. We had a totally awesome natural birth, and I immediately became Suction Cup Mama. The severe anxiety set in by day 2. Any signs of distress from the baby sent me into orbit. I thought I was just being a normal new mom, but looking back my responses were fraught with adoption baggage. Anything that wasn't just right, any struggle J had, the littlest things made me feel like my validity as a mom was being threatened. If he fussed and I didn't fix it, if his cord fell off too early or too late, if I complained an ounce about sleep deprivation, someone would come to take him away. If my first baby were better off elsewhere, maybe this one would be too? Maybe someone/something would intervene and he would disappear. J got a cumulative 2 ounces of formula on day 3 before my milk came in and I agonized about whether I could call myself an "exclusive nurser"; had I taken the easy way out that day? (I am so not a 'formula is the devil' breast feeder, it was only my own anxiety.) When J was 3 weeks old, I took a 15 minute walk with my mother. It was the ONLY time I was away from him until I went back to work at 10 weeks. We co-slept full time, so I literally held him all day and night. I physically could not bring myself to be away from him, which fed the Anxiety Beast even more. My husband and I were primed to watch for depression, or the blues, but that anxiety hit me out of left field. I won't even talk about what it was like to go back to work.

I remember one day when I was away from him and I had the thought I am his mother even when I'm away from him. It was a novel concept.

The anxiety is better and different; but not gone. I still catch myself feeling like my motherhood is less valid. I no longer cry every time I leave him, but I lay in bed and wonder: did J run enough today? did he laugh enough today? did he get enough protein? should I have played blocks instead of talking to my mom on the phone? does he feel loved? am I doing something wrong? ---- I KNOW that J is well cared for, happy, healthy, lighthearted, stress-free, and all those good things. But, I'm still trying to prove to someone that it's cool that he's with me.

Thankfully, he is a total mama's boy, so we spend lots of time cuddling, which is obviously the best feeling in the entire world :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! He's so cute.

    As an adoptive mom I've had some of these same feelings but in a different way. Mine are centered around someone giving us the biggest gift we could ever imagine and trying to do everything possible to honor that and give our daughter the best possible life. It's in a way, the same concept of trying to prove yourself as a mother.