Monday, December 13, 2010

I Want to Live in New Zealand or Thoughts about Stuff

I spent some quality time this weekend worrying about how to pay for Christmas. I worried about the gifts already purchased and the gifts still left to purchase. I worried about the cost of the food that would be made, the cost of stamps for Christmas cards and the cost of shipping to get some gifts to the out of town friends and family.

Then I read a post from Learning Along the Way and got really sad that my Christmas has turned into something very commercial and material. I have been so caught up in squeezing every possible moment and experience into Smug-Baby's first Christmas - after all, this is the only first - that I am making myself crazy.

I don't get crazy about Christmas. I never have. I'm the one who starts shopping in October, a little something here, a little something there. I never stress, I always enjoy. But not so much this year. I know that I am over-stressed as I adjust to my new work schedule and money is much tighter than in years past, but Christmas isn't about stuff, or gifts or even food. Its about love and togetherness and being happy.

So, I resolve to let it all go. I've purchased my last gift for the season (who cares of Smug-Baby doesn't have a full stocking on Christmas morning?!?! She doesn't care!!!) I'm going to concentrate on singing carols to my girl and doing what I love about Christmas - BAKING!! I want to watch classic Christmas movies and hold my baby girl and nothing more!!

My sweet darling girl is sick. She isn't quite 10 months old and this will be her first illness. Friday evening, she felt hot to me. Her dad had been holding her and he runs warm, so I figured it was just that, but after she had been playing in the floor for a few minutes, I felt her again and she was decidedly warm. I got out the thermometer and she was at 101.3. I held her close and she curled her body into me and I knew she didn't feel good. I had been feeling like I was coming down with a cold myself (scratchy throat, achy, nose running - you know the drill), so I thought perhaps she was getting the same thing.

I quickly got her ready for bed and we nursed a long time until she fell sleep and then we both went to bed. I remember waking in the night and feeling her hot little face and neck and worrying that perhaps I should be doing something else. My step-mother had suggested something to reduce the fever, but I knew that the fever was actually a good thing and her body was fighting off this thing and introducing a medicine would just cause her body to have to work harder. Sometime in the night the fever broke and she was much cooler Saturday and although she slept more than normal, she was acting like her normal self. Sunday was more of the same - lots of sleep, but no more fever and her nose had even stopped running.

When I was reading Simple Peace Mama's post on illness, I was happy to know that I had done the right thing, letting the fever run itself out and I am proud of my baby girl's strong immune system that was able to work hard and fight off this cold really fast. Me, on the other hand, I feel like there is an elephant sitting on my chest!! I am drinking herbal tea and taking Airborne and Emergen-C, and as much as I would love some chemical that would make me feel better and take away my suffering, I know that letting my body fight this itself is the best thing I can do for myself!!!

Last topic! A girl I know gave birth to her daughter this weekend. While I am very happy that all is well finally. I am heart sick about how it all went down. I truly hope that she is happy with her birth experience and not traumatized like I would have been in her situation and I really don't have many details. Its the same story we hear all the time - Doctors are concerned that mom won't be able to deliver the baby as they are sure that the baby is over 9 pounds, so they induce, give epidural, labor doesn't progress, they break the water, labor doesn't progress, they move to a c-section, mom has complications, baby is only 8 pounds.

I am just sick that they convinced this young mother, who was already anxious and excited to meet her baby to induce and the baby wasn't ready, so more and more interventions had to done and now there are complications. I hope that my friend is so in love with her baby right now, that she doesn't care about how it happened and she is totally fine with how it all went down.

I just know that I would feel angry and betrayed by the doctors I trusted to help me, knowing that they caused all the problems. I would feel mad at myself for not trusting in God. I had almost exactly the labor experience that I wanted and my baby still had problems and I wrestle with  the "what if's" all the time. What if I hadn't had my membranes swept? What if I had done the home birth? Perhaps the midwife would have handled the cord issue better, perhaps Smug-Baby would have nursed right after birth and aspirated breast milk which may have cleared her lungs within moments. I know that I wouldn't have hemorrhaged because the cord wouldn't have been cut, and the placenta wouldn't have been forcibly delivered.

Here is the thing - I can feel guilty or place blame all day long. However, what happened is in the past, it can't be changed it can only be learned from and I hope that my friend is able to do that, learn from her experience and not spend a lot of time thinking about what could have been.


  1. Ryan ~

    I love you. You are such an awesome momma and an awesome birther. Our first babies teach us so much from the moment they enter this world. I often thank Steven for teaching me how to love, how to mother, how to just be......When I read your post sometimes I wish I had had your knowledge when he was a babe, but alas he taught me.....Look ahead at what an amazing woman you are creating in Mary. Enjoy her babyhood, her childhood, but KNOW she is destined for greatness, greatness created by love and intuition from awesome parents.

  2. Thanks for the props on my post. I hope it was helpful to you! When your baby is sick, it is so so tough. I think it's tougher on the mama than the baby. Really!! You are doing a great job, and I know you are on overload right now. Keep on.