Saturday, January 3, 2009

Why Mothers are the Best Thing in the World!

... and husband and sister and friends ...

I feel very blessed to have lots of support. I am lucky to have my mom, Bonnie, in the same city. I realize that many people are not as fortunate to have family and friend support.

week 1 Jai was off work and at the hospital Tuesday-Thursday & then at home Friday-Monday, also Bonnie was with us at the hospital and home Tuesday-Saturday during the day
week 2 Jai returns to work on Tuesday, Bonnie is with us Monday-Friday during the day
week 3 Bonnie is with us on Monday, Susie arrives Monday night and stays with us until she leaves on Dec. 29, Jai was off Wednesday-Sunday
week 4 Bonnie was with us Monday & Tuesday during the day, my first day alone was Wednesday (New Year's Eve), Jai off for New Year's Day, again I'm alone on Friday

I really wonder how couples without resources, or especially single parents, handle the overwhelming work of being new parents. Despite the amount of reading Jai and I did and do, we constantly feel like we don't know what we're doing. Instinct and common sense help, but sometimes we are perplexed and paranoid about Julia's welfare, especially during the LONG crying moments.

Anyway, back to my mother. Bonnie was with us every day while at the hospital, then when we went home until my sister arrived and then Susie was with us until she returned to Phoenix. We suspect it was so Bonnie got to hold Julia as much as possible! : ) We're lucky she says hello to me and Jai before demanding to hold Ms. J. Sometimes she has to bide her time & visit with me if I'm breastfeeding when she gets to our house! : )

On the days she doesn't come to our house, she calls and checks on us. Bonnie is an invaluable resource - good suggestions, sounding board, confidence builder, especially with the breastfeeding challenges. Even though she didn't breastfeed Susie and I, she is constantly supportive and advocates for Julia and I to succeed.

Normally I see my mom regularly, usually every Sunday at church, and then at biweekly knitting group meetings. In addition I saw her almost every other week for healing sessions during most of the third trimester while pregnant. However, it has been really nice to have hours of time with her to talk about various topics, most parenting-related, especially during the many hours of breastfeeding.

Initially we processed the birth experience. I feel sad that we had to leave my mom alone in the L&D room as first I left to be prepped in the O.R. and then Jai joined me there. I remember hearing her say "make sure someone comes and tells me what happens." She was there to be our coach as well as welcome her first biological grandchild into the world and she lost that experience. Luckily she met Jai and Julia in the hallway as they went to the nursery.

I stare at Julia for hours and sometimes J looks like Bonnie which we all have noticed though usually I see Susie in her. That makes most people laugh since S and I are twins & therefore Julia looks like me! : ) However, Susie & I are not identical twins, despite some thinking otherwise. When I think of our baby pictures, I recall that S has a different shaped face, more oval shaped. Anyway, it has been neat for Bonnie to examine Julia for family features. She hadn't been able to identify with the other 4 grandchildren (my brother Joel is adopted if you didn't know) in that kind of way. However, we all think Julia looks like her cousin, Jaliyah (Joel's middle daughter) who ironically I think is most like my personality (though she enjoys playing in the dirt and gardening with Grandma Bonnie).

There are usually lots of funny stories when I think of my mom. She says and does funny things as do most of us. This one really surprised me. However, I will cut her some slack. It was a very visceral response to seeing and being with Julia - overwhelmed with the love.

We're in the hospital room.
B: I have to go shopping for an outfit for her.
T: ... WHAT?!
Bonnie: She's so adorable and I need to put her in something cute.
T: (sigh) Bonnie, you know how we feel about consumerism. She doesn't need a new outfit.
B: I know, but I want to put her in something!
T: We have plenty of clothes. You can go "shopping" at the "store" in the nursery at our house.

The next week when we're at home, Bonnie goes upstairs to the nursery while I'm feeding Julia. Bonnie is putting stuff away in Julia's dresser. Soonafter I hear exclamations of "oh, that's cute" and "so adorable!" as she looks through Julia's many outfits. Some of them are not fitting yet since she's so small still, but we're looking forward to all of the future choices for Grandma Bonnie.

Another funny story about Bonnie and Julia. When Jai and I were discussing our ideas for child care for the baby, we hoped that my mom might be willing and able to watch her for one day a week. We asked her about it and she said probably it would work, but she wasn't particularly committed, kind of vague. Once we learned of the lack of a flexible work schedule for Jai, we didn't worry too much about Bonnie's hesitation to commit.

Well, the other day she tells me about a new plan that involves her watching Julia one day. She also might get some others (Buddy, Lois) to help us for 2-3 days ... Julia truly has captured Grandma Bonnie's heart! She really thinks Susie won't be able to be separated from Julia and could be our nanny. : ) Also while I'm on maternity leave, I asked and she agreed to give me some time when I need a break (go to the dentist, see a movie, visit a friend). She said she was going to offer, but wasn't sure if it was too soon!

Love it! Love Bonnie! Thanks, Mom! : )