8/17/09

Postcard from Vermont: Seeing is believing.

When discussing the details of our birth plan, our doula told us that a newborn, placed on her mother's chest immediately after birth and not forced to latch on, will wriggle and squirm and latch on themselves. This seemed like some impossible natural childbirth baloney, like "orgasmic birth". (As much as I felt empowered by Eliza's birth, I would have to say that the physical sensations I experienced were pretty much the POLAR OPPOSITE of orgasm.)

A newborn, who has little control over her movements and can barely see, can latch on by herself?? I would believe it when I saw it.

When Eliza was born, after the initial bottle they had to give her because she was so big, the nurses placed her on my belly and left her there. I resisted the urge to move her to my breast, or at least a little closer to it, and just waited. My minutes-old babe, eyes barely open, started to wriggle and elbow-drag herself across my belly toward my chest. My mouth hung open in disbelief as she found her own way onto my breast. All by herself.

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Friends had told me that one day, Zoe and Eliza would start to interact without me. That Zoe would be helpful in ways I couldn't imagine.

All I could picture was baby Eliza crying that crazed newborn squawk and my sensitive Zoe covering her ears and adding her voice to the din. "I'll believe it when I see it," I said, ever the optimist.

At the beginning of our time here in Vermont before CG got here, I was fragile, brittle even. One day, I was trying to get Zoe and Eliza in the car and off to Zoe's swim lesson. Eliza was overtired, crying in her carseat. Zoe was dawdling and whining and helpfully informing me repeatedly: "Mama! Eliza's crying!".

I forgot my wallet and ran crazily toward the house, Ellie's crying seeming louder the further away I got. By the time I grabbed the wallet and got back to the car, I was a sweaty, twitchy mess. I opened the car door and jumped in the driver's seat, braced for a chorus of cries and screams.

What I heard instead? Zoe singing a made up song to a silent Eliza. There was only one verse: "Don't cry Eliza, don't cry. It's okay Eliza, it's okay."

I'll give you one guess who was the only one crying at that point.

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This Wednesday, we finally leave the lakehouse here in Vermont. After two short flights, we'll arrive in Virginia where I'll drive our new car to our new house.

Everyone says it will soon feel like home. That I'll make new friends and find my way around. That all will be well.

I'll believe it when I see it. (I'm SO READY to see it.)

8 comments:

Hillary said...

Oh good luck! On a bright note, you're getting there just at the end of the summer and fall in Virginia is lovely.

Kate said...

Oh, that song is so sweet.

Good luck with the new house!

artemisia said...

You will see it, you will!

I have chills. I love how you look onto your world. It is very inspiring.

~beautyandjoy~ said...

You are seriously an insanely good writer. Plus - I am rooting for you!

Mrs. Chicken said...

I second the comment about your writing. Gorgeous.

Just like your girls - from one to two -- the transition won't be easy. But it will be OK. It will eventually be home. I know this from experience, and I tell you this from my heart.

I'll be rooting for you all the way.

desperate housewife said...

That little anecdote about the singing in the car made me tear up. There are times when two kids are SO aggravating, but the times when they are comforting one another, or tumbling around together, giggling, like a couple of puppies? Those are GREAT.

Eleanor Q. said...

I agree with Mrs. Chicken. I think it will be a transition that takes getting used to, but I'm also so excited for you because starting a new life somewhere can also be so fun. I look forward to hearing about the new places as you explore and settle in.

Astarte said...

Hey, it's Wednesday!!! That means you're on your way to our part of the world! hooray!

There is little that is sweeter than a small child comforting another, smaller child. Oh, I miss moments like that.

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