Sunday, June 22, 2008

Going it alone

It was a lovely Sunday. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the robust wind was cooling on the skin. My mother-in-law was in town and we all took Little Planet out for a stroll in the park in her buggy again. She was asleep for much of the outing but when she was awake she was listening to all the sounds and looking up at the leaves and the sky with her big round eyes. My mother-in-law and I washed her hair when we returned home and then bathed her, fed her and put her to sleep. I then pottered around the kitchen, cleaning up and going online while M and his mother did some hard gardening. My sister-in-law joined us for dinner. M cooked roast lamb with mashed chickpeas and a salad of artichokes and broad beans. We chatted about my mother-in-law coming down one weekend in July to look after Little Planet exclusively so M and I can go out into town, visit some galleries and go out for a meal. But M and I may go to the Tate Modern with the baby in the next weekend or so as I really want to see the Urban History Of Photography and Cy Twombly exhibitions.

Tomorrow, M returns to work and I am unbelievably sad and nervous. We have shared these stressful and tiring but utterly magical two weeks with our new daughter together and now it will be just me and her alone. My parents are visiting for a week and that will be an enormous help I am sure, but I will really miss having M here with me sharing the precious moments. He is also such a fantastic father and so patient with Little Planet. It's been such a support and confidence booster having him co-parent with me for each and every hour of the day. I am so afraid now that I won't be able to cope on my own, that I will be too exhausted, that Little Planet will pick up on my anxiousness and tiredness and become unsettled.

Will I be able to do it on my own? I know rationally that I will, but still I am anxious and nervous and so very, very sad.


Anonymous said...

Oh honey, you are going to do just fine. I remember my own anxiety the first time I was alone all day with the baby. It seems more daunting than it really is. It will be a time of discovery and great contenment. Enjoy the time together. Doing the laundry and perfectly cooked dinners for the returning husband can wait for other times. This time is yours... just you and the baby bonding in a completely different way.

Another Kiran in NYC

Anja said...

You'll do fine! Of course you will. But it's a little sad that gradually you will become the one who knows the tricks and the rhythm, instead of both of you figuring things out alongside each other... I had that same feeling. If she becomes 'unputdownable' and you're struggling to get your meals (and toilet breaks), get a sling - ours made him go to sleep instantly and life became so much easier.

Planethalder said...

Thanks Kiran and Anja - it's so nerve-wracking isn't it? My mum says she's blanked my early days out now. My mother-in-law says she remembers every wretched day. It's not so bad with Little P but the nervousness is there regardless.

I have tried two slings - a cloth one and the Bjorn Active carrier. She's better in the latter but after 30 minutes she seems to dislike being so constrained. Perhaps I will try again in a week or two when she's older/bigger/more secure.

Anja said...

I was in a fog for those first weeks. I remember crying when K. was leaving the house because the baby was waking up and I hadn't had breakfast yet. I think the most important thing for me those days (above showers and sleep) was to have at least one cup of tea at some point during the day. When I couldn't, it all fell apart. It's completely insane; the intense stress (mental and physical) coupled with new love and the sense that a miracle just happened. Impossible to deal with I think, really. Beautiful though.

Also, you might be right about the sling - I think M. was 6 weeks when we got ours. I prefer the cloth sling from rosa ( because he could lie down it it then and now he sits in it. No adjusting, just sweaty fiddling to make the baby fit in there :) He has slept in it though during an entire trip to IKEA - that alone made it worth the expense!

Planethalder said...

The Bjorn sling is working for me better now. She's sleeping in it - this morning for 3.5 hours - I had to rouse her for her feed. I'm trying to keep her as upright as possible during the day to aid her digestion.

Anja, at what week did it all get better with your little one?