Tonight I had been trying (and failing) to get Cy down to sleep. I had hoped it would happen quickly so I could get to writing this post before too long. As I lay next to him, with my eyes closed in an attempt to nurse him down for the night, I noticed he had stopped nursing. I glanced down at him and found him staring up at me, eyes all big and round, and he smiled. In quiet whispers, he cooed at me, like there was a secret he just had to tell me right then, and his little hand wriggled out from under the swaddle to hold on to mine. We lay there like that for several more minutes, and I whispered back. I knew I should be getting him to sleep, but how could I say no to a little boy who just wanted to tell me a secret and hold my hand?
Last week I mentioned that I’ve still been battling PPD, or at least some version of the baby blues. It’s not constant. It comes and goes. Sometimes I think I’m over it, and then I have crying jags for several days straight. Sometimes I think I should be over it by now and get mad at myself for not. Most times, I’m able to keep it under control by just making sure I get enough rest and by getting out of the house. Even if all I can do is take Cy for an evening walk, I try to get some fresh air each day.
If I were in the U.S., I would have gone to see a doctor about it by now. But psychiatric services here are still a relatively new phenomenon, so I’m not sure I trust what’s available. I’m dealing with it as best as I can on my own. I believe we have the power to exercise at least some discipline over our own minds, so when I’m feeling down, perhaps counter to a culture that emphasizes getting in touch with our feelings, I remind myself that not all feelings are important or true feelings, but all feelings are fleeting. Happy or sad, both shall eventually pass into something else, so enjoy the happy while I can, and when the sad or crazy steps in, remember it’s hormones and not me. My feelings aren’t me.
(I’m not a therapist, so I’m obviously not prescribing this approach for anyone else. It’s just how I choose to cope with this right now.)
Three months post-partum, and I have gone through so much change. I mentioned last week that Cy lost his baby hair (supposedly typically due to a drop in hormones). Like son, like mother I guess because I’m also losing mine. The pregnancy books all told me my hair would get thicker during pregnancy and then fall out and return to its normal state after birth. It didn’t do that. After birth, however, my hair came in so thick, but now it’s falling out. It makes me wish there were a hormone treatment that could make all that thick hair come back.
Three months post-partum, and I am about 7 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight. It turns out nursing and babywearing makes for the best weight loss program ever. I get plenty of exercise lugging around 15 pounds of baby every day, and well, I think I can also attribute the weight loss to what I call “the mommy diet”: fast, and eaten with only one hand. I’ve gotten adept at scarfing down dinner, although if I’m holding Cy, I will inevitably get food on him. Sauces, bits of rice, morsels of meat have all landed on his wee head. One night, I had been carrying Cy while eating a large, pulled-pork burrito and didn’t notice how much I had dropped onto him until we got into bed and realized he smelled like a cantina. Oops.
It’s been cold over here the past few days–enough so that we actually need to pull out the sweaters and socks. Instead of onesies, I can finally dress him in proper pants and long pajamas. They’re more work to deal with, but so much cuter on him.
Cy is starting to grab objects more confidently. He’s able to lay on his tummy with his head up for long stretches now, and even shows signs of trying to roll over. He’s become quite the chatter box, and he loves having conversations with his friend, Mr. Monkey. When I put the little stuffed monkey in Cy’s hand, he’ll stroke the face and he gazes at this toy longer than any other.
We play airplane together, and today, when I lowered him down, I nuzzled and nibbled at his neck and he giggled. I did it several more times, and with each giggle, I keeled over in love one more time.
When he wakes in the morning, after a nursing session, we’ll snuggle in bed together and quietly read a story, while his dad continues to sleep beside us. I whisper the words to him. He likes to feel the pages of the book.
And when we’re winding down for the night, we’ll climb into the red chair and read a goodnight story before going to sleep. He’ll sit still through it, even though our goodnight story is a relatively long one for him. That’s one of my favorite parts of the day: him sitting in my lap as I tell him how much the night wind, lady bugs, and polar bears celebrated on night he was born. We say good night to Mr. Monkey, Mr. Lion, and Miss Sofie, the giraffe, and then we head to bed.
Thing I Love About Cy Today: The way he coos after every good sneeze, like it was the most satisfying thing in the world.