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I Want to Remember

I haven’t written much in the last two weeks.I was syndicated on BlogHer.com

When Grace was born, I wrote every day. I wanted to remember every moment, every little sigh and every baby grunt.

I haven’t written anything this time because I don’t want to remember.

I don’t want to remember the sadness, the tears, the hardships. I don’t want to remember how crying became normal, nor how I detached from my children.

I don’t want to remember the struggles, the frustration, the mourning for my former family, for easier times, for deep sleep.

I don’t want to remember the temper tantrums, the anger, the raw feelings. I don’t want to remember, “I don’t think you love me any more.”

big sister

But I should be writing.

It hasn’t been all bad. There are things I want to remember.

newborn

I don’t want to forget gummy smiles so fleeting the camera missed them. I don’t want to forget the silent laughter that shook Allie’s belly when she was a week old, nor the way she rolled over at the pediatrician’s office at her 7-day check-up.

I want to remember Allie’s puckered lips and wrinkled brow when she first wakes up. I want to remember her tiny arms stretched up in that moment, and her tongue that licks the air while she roots for something to eat.

I want to remember how Allie kept her legs pulled up tightly against her belly for the first two weeks, as though she were still a fetus in my uterus.

I want to remember Allie’s suspicious face as she eyes me and the soft chestnut fur covering part of her tiny head in a manner akin to male pattern balding – sparse on top and thick on the back and sides. I want to remember her tiny eyelashes and eye brows, nearly invisible.

I want to remember how teeny tiny Allie is, even at twenty-four days old. At fifteen days, she was smaller than at birth. Her whole body fits between my palm and my elbow. She’s only slightly above her birth weight.

newborn

I want to remember the tiny red splotches that she has on her left eyelids, stork bites, and the strange shape of her developing belly button.

I want to remember the fervor with which Grace hugs and kisses her sister, even when it rises to the level of annoying – for Allie and for me.

sisters

I don’t especially want to remember the breast pump to which I am tethered for several hours each day, but I am happy to be able to nourish my baby the way God intended.

I want to remember the happiness of our first day bottle feeding. I slept for the first time in three weeks. Joe felt needed and helpful. Grace was delighted because I could play with her for hours. Most of all, Allie had a heavy, full belly, and she slept more and cried less than any other day of her life.

I will remember the day she started snoring, day twenty-three.

I won’t relish the sleepless nights, but I won’t forget weeks of nights spent holding a baby who needed to hear her mother’s heartbeat and smell her mother’s scent.

I’m ready to write again.

Happily submitted to Give Me Your Best Shot, Finer Things Friday, Just for the Joy of It, and I’m Lovin’ It Fridays

© 2011 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

19 thoughts on “I Want to Remember”

    • In the weeks when I was working so hard to breastfeed, the transition was horrible. Impossibly hard. I was sure I couldn’t do it. But since Monday, when Joe and I made the decision to give Allie bottles instead, the transition has been manageable. I CAN do it.

  1. She really is that tiny. I am dying to know how much she weighs; she feels bigger than she did, but I wonder how much bigger she is. Her teeny tiny outfits are actually starting to fit instead of looking like potato sacks, so that’s a good sign!

  2. It’s been a real conundrum. I try to stay positive in this space, but bed rest and the first weeks of Allie’s life have not at all been a positive experience. I’ve struggled, and I’m sure I’m not the only person. I thought it was important to share the truth of what happened so that other struggling new moms will know that they aren’t alone.

  3. It already seems like it happened to a different person. Splitting the overnight duties and having time to actually put the baby in the swing and spend quality time with Gracie have made all the difference in the world. I feel centered and rested and clear-headed. I can’t believe that we just changed over to bottles five days ago. Five days! Less than a week! It feels more like a lifetime.

  4. Thank you, Jami. I felt like a failure with Grace when she wouldn’t breastfeed. It was awful. I cried a lot. This time, though, I have complete peace about it. I struggled long enough. Allie got lots of breastmilk. It was time to do something else, something that would make all four of us happier, more satisfied people.

    Giving Allie exclusively breastmilk was short-changing the rest of us in so many ways. Grace wasn’t getting enough attention. Joe and I weren’t getting enough sleep. Joe wasn’t able to help at all and felt inadequate. I was becoming an emotional wreck and was physically exhausted. Even Allie was fussy and cranky and not doing very well.

    Since we switched to mostly formula and all bottles, I have noticed that breastmilk makes Allie fussy. She has a lot more gas when I give her breastmilk, and 2 onces only satisfy her hunger for twenty to thirty minutes. Clearly, it’s not what her body needs right now.

    I’m sure that’s not a popular conclusion, but I want a baby who is content and gaining weight and not having gas pains around the clock. With formula, that’s what I’ve got.

  5. I’m very glad that things are starting to turn around for you. It almost sounded like you were suffering from Post Partum. I did after my second child and I felt like a complete failure when I wasn’t able to breastfeed Miles for more than a week. You are a good mom and are making great decisions. I’m happy to see you writing down the good memories!

  6. I can totally relate to what you’ve gone through with Allie – Lily’s first 3 weeks of life were almost exactly the same. I understand your wanting to forget the difficult times. Praise God that Allie is thriving now and you are able t get some sleep! Take care!

  7. You’ve got to take that time to get used to life again. Glad you’re feeling ready to write again. Love your babies — the big and the small!

  8. I hate that I wasn’t blogging when my babies were tiny! It all goes so fast– this is such a great way to remember. 🙂

  9. Tara – I appreciate your words because I lived so many of them with my daughter. I cried for three weeks after she was born, my milk never came in though I pumped and pumped trying to get some for her. She was in the NICU for 7 days and we had a 90 mile roundtrip drive everyday. We were exhausted and crazy and scared and I wish I could have come to peace with things much sooner and done what was best for us. I feel wiser now for the journey and while we still struggle I hope I’ve learned to trust what works best for us. I wish you continued good luck and peace with your family.

  10. I could have written these exact words three years ago. I don’t like to look at the photos from the first few weeks of my second child’s life, a time I think of as “my dark time.” I was never diagnosed with any depression. It lifted at 6 weeks anyway, so I didn’t pursue any treatment. But he wouldn’t latch; we spent three weeks trying, with him crying from lack of food and me crying from the worst breastfeeding pain I ever felt. At three weeks I started pumping and things improved dramatically. I pumped for 9 months, with enough milk to last for 14 months. (My single greatest accomplishment of my life!) At 10 months, I finally felt like I could handle two kids. Definitely not what I expected.

    Kudos to you for writing, for sharing. Everything is better when you can talk about it. Good luck navigating these new waters!

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