Wednesday, August 5, 2009
How do we ever survive?
Babies survive in spite of us, not because of us! Watching my daughter go through all the uncertainty and nervousness of being a first time mom, I realized that I went through exactly the same thing. It's inevitable - you react to every teeny noise they make, each motion of their bodies, each time they eat or don't eat, pee or don't pee - everything appears like a crisis in waiting. Without a current expert at your elbow every moment of the day one feels so alone. (And I say "current" because what was considered right or healthy for baby even 5 years ago is so silly, even laughable, you need to keep up with the immediate advice).
And since everyone has an opinion and the professionals often provide contradictory recommendations, it often boils down to our guts - does this "feel" right? Is my baby thriving and happy? Does this make sense? Seems scarcely enough data to raise a child on, yet most of us make it!
And I find that I wish I was a pediatrician, an experienced and gifted nurse or a trained adviser in some aspect of this journey they are on. My newborn experience was decades ago and in hindsight, is mostly a blur. Doctor's waiting rooms, emergency ward visits, consultations with other parents, I remember lots of those. Mostly I remember feeling very ill equipped for this role as someone's mom and somehow inadequate because it didn't all naturally come to me. What is with this idea that we should have all this knowledge inside of us?? Are human beings that more complex than the deer that roam around by my house? Mama Deers seems to know what to do. Yes, but what if their babies get constipated?