Sunday, November 30, 2008

On Being Thankful

In a brazen affront to my Canadian heritage, I think I'm going to go with this whole Thanksgiving-in-November thing. Now, now. I's unnatural. Obscene, even. In fact it throws my whole compass of right and wrong, good and evil, etc etc, out of whack. I can only plead peer pressure as a defense. I mean...defence! Sorry!!

I do find that having Thanksgiving closer to Christmas can help lend a bit of much-needed gravitas to the entire holiday season. And truly, I'm the last person to generally feel sentimental over occasions that are, to me at least (as the child of immigrants), sort of "borrowed" holidays. Like that trendoid shirt you picked up years ago that never quite fits or looks right no matter how much you try to "make it work." 

For the first time ever, though, I feel like I actually understand the sheer enormity (for lack of a better word) of my incredible good fortune. It was like being jolted into another dimension, as twee as that sounds. Like many others in my profession, I'm inclined to be sort of moody and contemplative and deeply enmired in my inflated sense of self-importance (even though I do often try to confront myself with what a tiny, insignificant being I really am - truly!). There aren't too many moments of utter clarity of the sort I've recently had, starting with a little meme I read on an online forum I frequent called something like "2008: good or bad?" I have to say that I was honestly affected by all the stories...everything from deaths, layoffs, infertility, divorce. Sometimes multiples of these events happening to the same people. And I realized right there that I have never had so many bad things happen to me that I could characterize the whole year as "bad."

Don't get me wrong...I feel like I've experienced hardship in life, including poverty and stress and loneliness. But at this time, most of that is a distant memory. Even though I've never really stopped to think on it seriously before, my life right now is so full and so charmed. I won't even try to do it justice by trying to enumerate all of my big and little blessings. Just suffice to say that I feel more than a little shame for coveting as much as I do. We have our jobs (mine that allows me to take months off with full pay to be with my Piglet), our friends, our health...and perhaps most importantly, we have the amazing good fortune to live safe and secure. The news over the last few days has been so sickening that I could barely open the news sites to see the images of the utter carnage in India. There was also an editorial in the NY Times today describing acid attacks on women in Bangladesh and Afghanistan who dare to divorce their husbands, or go to school, or act in other uppity ways. As a woman of East Indian descent, now with a small daughter, these stories are especially chilling...there but for the grace of God. I now realize how I've been building away at my life with the happy obliviousness of someone who has never had to worry much for her safety or her savings or her daughter's ability to become anything she wants.  

I know I said I wasn't enumerating, but have to throw in that I'm incredibly thankful for a motivated, kind, involved husband whose valiant efforts at bouncing the baby have allowed this blog post to you baby! And thanks.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It only took six and a half weeks...

But here's the first of I hope many little letters to Piglet. Second if you count her birth story, really! (My apologies to those of you who don't drop by for tortured chronicles of poop and sleep deprivation...will get back to your regularly scheduled programming soon!) While part of me feels like she's always been here and I've been playing at this mommy thing forever, I know this time will just slip through my fingers if I let it. Already the storm of amateur photography has quieted around here. Which is bad! Even though her development feels so natural and, dare I say it, "organic," right now, I don't want to look back and be like, whoa, where did this toddler come from?

So, Piglet! I'm grateful that you're even giving me a brief moment to type this out. Not that you don't oblige me with lots of sleep on most days, but you're terribly unpredictable. Sometimes you unilaterally decide that, nah, you don't need no steenken sleep, and do nothing but catnap all day long. Other days, like yesterday, you take loooong deep sleeps. Right now you look like you're asleep but are squirming something fierce. It almost looks like you're fighting some invisible enemy in your sleep. Sometimes you do that when you've passed out on my boob - punching and flailing while latched. Funsies!

Life is nothing if not simultaneously unremarkable and amazing at the same time right now. We (unfortunately?) spend pretty much every day almost identically: parked on the couch and alternating between feedings, little breaks in the swing while I frantically try to put together dinner, naps, "chats" in your primitive baby babble, tv, internet (okay, the last two are for me). It's been an unseasonably frigid and wet November and I don't feel so good taking you out, especially since the last few times you've treated me to a tantrum whether in your stroller or carrier. I'll definitely have to time the next maternity leave better so as not to span over the winter! But even as each day passes in its sedate way, you've already transformed in front of my very eyes from a delicate blob of newbornhood into this bright little thing with the beginnings of a real personality and some marked preferences. I always thought I'd be saddened at how quickly you were growing - and there is a bit of that - but I'm also so excited at what's to come. The thought of being able to actually talk to you and have you understand...sit you down at the dinner table...take you to Tiffany's to pick out your first set of earrings (okay, the last is for me)'s really exciting!

The latest area of exciting progress is sleep, although I'm half scared to even write this down! Since we'd brought you back from the hospital you'd made it abundantly clear that you were Unimpressed with swaddling, and we'd backed off. Well, sorry, but we take it back :). After weeks of bleary eyed mornings, following long nights of your random sporadic wakings and bouts of inconsolable crying, we tried the swaddle again and it makes a world of difference to your sleep. We even invested in the "Miracle Blanket," a/k/a baby straightjacket. Not that you don't absolutely hate the thing, and spend a long time struggling and screeching, but once you're in it and asleep, zomg...heaven! Last night you slept from 11:30 to 5:30 without even waking for a feed. Incroyable! See? It'll cure what ails ya. Except that you haaaaate it! Haha. When we took it off you the first time you immediately threw your fists up by your ears like Rocky. VICTORY! It's a little surprising as the "experts" say that babies all eventually love the swaddle but you've remained firm so far. I have a bit of grudging respect for that - you're a strong willed little creature. Maybe we'll still get you on the Supreme Court even though your daddy didn't let me name you Eleanor.

Love, Ma

Friday, November 14, 2008


Yah! That's right! I'm back...and anointed in the happy glow of new motherhood! I'm a purdy picture with my hair "undid," not a lick of makeup on and unwaxed eyebrows. But I have a fabulously snazzy accessory in my five week old little GIRL! She's enough to make me look good! :)

Just to tidy up the last unfinished story...yes, I had the baby, obviously! I eventually ended up going almost two weeks overdue. As much as I tried to resist all the messy interventions, I had pretty much all of them, and everything culminated in an emergency c-section after 23 hours of labor. It was kind of crummy - not the surgery itself so much, but the recovery in the first few days. BUT I've been incredibly lucky since - no further complications, decent healing, lots of help from my fabulous husband and wonderful friends who are keeping me entertained and well outfitted in lovely baby stuff and cooked food. Thank you all! I actually never realized how popular I was! Hah! Or at least how popular a new baby makes you!

I wish I had some profound thoughts to share on the transformative experience of becoming a mother, but it's too soon to be waxing philosophical. Every day is so different, and every hour brings with it a totally different spectrum of emotions. Sometimes I am just frazzled. Just two days ago she decided she wasn't going to nap all day and I was a little crazy by the end of it. That night wasn't a treat, either. But since then she's actually been a bit of a peach! Some days I just look at her sweet face and it's almost like I can actually feel my heart about to burst. Other times I am so bothered and bewildered - she's just so wee and unpredictable and inscrutable. Other times I want to hold her and just cry...about what, I couldn't tell you, but it has something to do with overwhelming joy, I think! Emotion just overtakes you in the weirdest way. Much probably being hormone-related ;). 

Hmmm, now has anything else interesting transpired since I disappeared into my blissfully insular maternal bubble? *ponders* Oh yeah. The world's financial system is in shambles. Horrible news! But then we elected Barack Obama president. Wonderful news! And then California banned gay marriage. Horrible news! But then Elizabeth Dole lost her Senate seat. Wonderful news! Haha. What a ride.

Anyhow - this is probably all I can squeeze out of my frazzled brain for now - but thanks to everyone who's been following our little journey so far. *wave*