Sunday, November 01, 2009

One month old

It's a disgusting mess we come through to be born, the sticky-wet of blood and afterbirth, mother wailing, child crying...the helpless soft spot at the top of its head pulsing, waiting to be kissed. Our parents and teachers say it's a miracle, but it's not. It's going to happen no matter what, there's no choice in the matter. To my mind, a miracle is something that could go one way or another. The fact that something happens, when by all rights it shouldn't, is what makes us take notice, it's what saints are made of, it takes the breath away. How a mother comes to love her child, her caring for this thing that's made her heavy, lopsided and slow, this thing that made her wish she were dead...that's the miracle.
--From The Birth House, by Ami McKay

I haven't finished reading The Birth House, and at the rate I'm going, I probably never will (I started it while I was still pregnant, and I'm on page 25), but this passage struck me really hard while I was waiting...and waiting...and waiting for him to come. It's resonated even more as our cutie hits one month old, and has spent the last week crying all night. Either my sweetie or I has threatened to throw him out the window at least once, if not multiple times, every night for the last week, usually at 2 or 3 in the morning, after he's been crying for hours and refusing to be put down. Yet morning comes and he's still with us, and we still think he's awfully cute and lovable. We're idiots, but that's probably hard-wired, hunh? It's got to be, or I think the human race would have died out long ago. So I guess it's not a miracle: we're slaves to our genetic compulsion to Not Kill the Baby.

By all reports (from friends who are already parents and laugh at our difficulties) it's going to be months yet before this stops. Last night we actually broke down and brought him into our bed with us, but this only worked for a short while; once he woke up, he couldn't be soothed even in bed. I ended up having to sleep with him in the recliner. Forget the bassinet--even if he's put down asleep, within half an hour (usually within ten minutes), he's awake and crying. I can take this during the day, but at night it's really, really trying. We were spoiled by three and a half weeks of relatively good sleep--he'd go down for a couple three- or four-hour blocks per night--so being up all night now is especially difficult in comparison.

I confess I have occasionally thought that the only thing stopping me from giving him up for adoption is that the grandparents already know about him, so it would be difficult to explain.


Anonymous said...

I am so there with you. All I can tell you is that he will sleep someday -- probably around 6 months of age. I the meantime, make a sling if you don't already have one. ( It will save your back. And invest in a rocker.


Nancy said...

Glider rockers are amazing. My kids are school age but I refuse to part with mine. Worth every penny.