Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Getting through the tough days - Superare i giorni difficili

They say you are not the same person once you become a mom and that no matter what are your needs, your baby needs will come first. My husband John, when we found I was pregnant, immediately told me not to worry about me being used to wake up at 2 pm on Sundays in London after my Saturday night whereabouts. I remember he said to me with a smiling face, the baby, not the alarm clock, would have soon forced me to wake me up early in the morning. And by early in the morning he did not mean 8 am but 6:45 am and in the worst cases 5 am. What I could even less imagine was the following. That at 6:45 am and at any time of the night, no matter in what mental or physical state I would find myself in, the crying face of the baby would immediately snap me out of bed to hold him in my arms, to feed him and to star at him while he is absorbing every bit of energy I feel in my body. In the last two weeks, with me getting sick, the challenge has been harder than I could ever imagine before becoming a mom.

Since I came back from our trip to Italy, the smiling Italian grandma and grandpa faces in ecstasy at seeing their sweet grandson arrive at their house, was replaced by the old baby mat with the same old animals hanging from the top William no longer was looking at, by the 10 minutes of William's happy time on the jumperoo and by the large mirror in our bedroom which William recently started hitting with his hands out of frustration. As a Londoner I rarely spent a full day inside the house, without a serious reason. These could be serious reasons: incredibly cool movie to watch, being late on a University assignment or having to work to do caused by a morning of web surfing in the office. As a full-time mom living in freezing Boston in winter, it has now become vital for me to find fun things to do with the baby indoor. And without the car, given that I am still the old Londoner who does not drive.

In this state of matters, a new CD bought in Italy with Italian songs about animals and loud, weird animal sounds became the most exciting thing I could possibly find. I cannot say in words how exciting it was for me to listen to and sing along with the CD playing in the background these new songs while looking at William getting excited about it. I could never predict earlier in my life that one day I would be so excited to hear such a CD with my baby!

When I started feeling the throat swelling, at that point I knew: the fun was over. In less than two days,I was like a dead body glued to my duvet, grunting and moaning in the most horrible gym/nursing clothes I own, with my poor husband John going backward and forward in the house to look after William, the house and his work commitments. All I remember of those first two days are a glass of cranberry juice and the cups of coffee delivered by John on a tray to my bed. And the repetitive offers of boobs to the baby - the only part of my body not dead - when William was coming to claim his milk rights. So, the old 24 hour non-stop nap I used to take as a student when I was sick with only a quick run to the kitchen to get a tea with honey, have now turned into naps of half an hour every two hours in between one feeding after another. I was and I am still occasionally coughing with monster like sounds. Believe me, sneezing while avoiding to hit the baby in the face is not an easy thing. Icing on the cake: William, to prove that he is a real Italian, often goes on nursing strike!

Despite these challenges, even this time, like in the first three weeks of William's life, to my surprise, with John's help, I functioned. I was able to get through the tough days and see William smile. Is it possible?

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