How can I love this little soul so much? I love her so much that I want to sleep with her hand in my mouth to warm it up. I curl up like an animal around her and smell her sweet head for hours. I want to kiss her little scrunched up face when she gets pissed off and cries (which is with every feed when it is time to latch). I feel like my heart breaks from this overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude and awe, and I have spent many moments crying from this emotional mixture that feels so engulfing.
Today I started worrying about her future: will she be healthy, will she be safe? I think of all the dangers that lurk around and I so don't want to be that woman that stops her child from living because she is afraid. Plus really, we all know that if something bad does happen, there is no preventing suffering because one has done the work of worry beforehand. I remember that two days before I went into the hospital with Adrian I was thinking "another three weeks and he will be viable, what is three weeks, nothing much can go wrong in this time." I was so worried about the pregnancy the whole time, because of several episodes of bleeding. Well, all the worry beforehand did not help one bit when the disaster happened, and when I lost him I was not more prepared or more protected from suffering. I still had to grieve just as much.
Now, onto more mundane things: she really really does not like to latch. If anybody can give me tips on how to deal with this, please do. A feeding session goes something like this: she wakes up from her 3 hour sleep cycle, and starts to smack her lips and look for a boob. I notice it and pick her up as she is just waking up. I take off the lillypad and wash the areola with water, then express some milk and spread it over the area to make it smell more appetizing. I wait until she opens her mouth wide, and offer her the breast. She takes one taste of it and scrunches up her face, then pushes her tongue out and does not latch. I offer her the breast again, she refuses again, about six times, until she wakes up properly, gets pissed off, and starts to cry. I try to pacify here by walking, talking to her, etc, and she does pacify but she is hungry and keeps rooting for food. I give her the breast again. She spits it out disgusted again. Many many times. Then she gets annoyed again and cries, then I pacify her, then again we try. This goes on for what feels like (and sometimes is) half an hour. Then, for some unknown reason, she latches on (after I offer her the breast for the millionth time) and sucks like she is getting water out of a stone. I can hear her gulping and finally relax a bit. After she is done 10 minutes of sucking, she pushes out the breast, and starts looking for it again (for the same breast that she has just spit out, for goodness' sake!), and the whole half an hour struggle to latch begins again. The second and third time it takes less time to convince her to take the breast, but really, a feeding session lasts anywhere from one hour to two hours with all this spitting out the breast, then eating like a hungry lunatic for a long time. Today she ate so much that my arms were aching from holding her (when she finally latches, I am terrified that any movement will make her unlatch, so I hold her in whatever unorthodox position she is in at the time of The Latch. I am going to capitalize it like it is holy event really).
She eats well, and is filling in nicely with plumper cheeks and lips, but oh, if only she did it more efficiently!
That being said, last night I was up from 4 to 6 with one of these lengthy negotiations with Emma, and she cried, and she cried, and cried so much that I was sure that the neighbours would evict us from the strata. MrH had to work early this morning so I did not want to wake him up and ask for help. (Plus he has no boobs. Not the working kind anyway). I looked at my daughter's sweet face crinkled up in the middle of an angry-baby crying fit, and kissed her like I always do on the cheek, the lips, the eyes, the everything I can get to because I want to kiss her non stop especially when she is so feisty. And I told her from the bottom of my heart that I would sit with her no matter how long it took to help her fall asleep, or latch, or calm down and unwind, or whatever. I feel like for her I have infinite patience. I have had time to practice infinite patience throughout this whole wild ride to get here.
That being said, tonight she is sleeping and I was tidying up the closet together with MrH. We had such a nice time together, him and I, that for a moment I forgot that I had been pregnant and had a baby and it felt like it was just the two of us again. Then I walked into the bedroom and Holy shit, there was a baby on the bed. So there, I am at the same time capable of spending hours crying because I love her so much, and of completely forgetting that she is here. Demented, I say.