Friday, January 3, 2014


What made me think I could be a parent? Sure, I liked cute babies, but I was uncomfortable holding them because I was sure I would break them. And talking to kids? Forget about it. On occasion it has been physically painful for me to talk to kids.  I was never a "little mother." I had dolls, but all I did was change their  clothes, fix their hair, and display them with my other dolls and stuffed animals. I never rocked them, "fed" them or "changed" them. I never sang them songs or talked to them. I thought that was dumb. So why in the world did I think I could or should have my own child?

I felt little to no connection to that little baby in my belly for most of my pregnancy. Maybe that's why I didn't track the growth of my belly or track the progress of my pregnancy or write letters to Xander, like I always thought I would. Some people feel so connected to their baby the minute they find out they are pregnant and I expected to be the same way. In reality, I didn't really feel pregnant until I felt him kick at around 23 weeks.

This disconnect scared me. I was sure I wasn't going to be a good mom because I didn't feel like I knew his personality in utero. I couldn't tell the difference between hiccups a rapid fire kicks and I certainly didn't know what was his favorite way to sit/curl up.

When I woke up from anesthesia after my c section I was terrified to meet my son. What if I felt just as disconnected to him as I did when I was pregnant? What if I never felt like I knew him? What if I took this blank slate of a human and ruined him? What if I was a bad mom?

And then I met him. 

I held this tiny, swaddled bundle and all of a sudden I was his and he was mine.

For a few weeks, I listened to the experts and the momiverse more than I did my own instincts and perhaps worse, more than my husband. When he was 5 weeks and uncharacteristically screamed all night (and ended up having a UTI), I was hesitant to take him to the emergency room because the doctor said it was probably just colic. It was Paul who insisted we go to the hospital. When he slept all the time the first couple weeks and didn't gain weight fast enough, I was stubborn and refused to supplement his feedings with formula until I was basically told I didn't have a choice. Xander was essentially starving,  but the internet and books told me I should be able to give him all the nutrition he needs, so I took that as gospel. Paul had been saying for weeks that Xander was hungry.

Somehow, and I'm not sure how it happened, Xander and I seem to have reached a good stride. I still can't differentiate between cries, but I can read his cues and am pretty good about using those to tell if he's hungry, tired, or just wants to be snuggled.  I know that he likes looking at the tv, especially Law and Order: SVU and The Fox and the Hound. I know that he will always smile and giggle when his daddy makes up silly songs. I know that he loves the blue monster lovey his Uncle Ric gave him. I know that he likes to be put in his bed while he is sleepy but awake, instead of being rocked until he falls asleep. I know that he sleeps best when his arms are swaddled. I know that he loves splashing in a warm bath but hates having water poured over his head. I know that he loves the Very Hungry Caterpillar mobile over his changing pad. More than anything, I know that he loves me. I know that he knows I'm his Mama. And I know that any disconnect I felt when I was pregnant is but a distant memory.