Sunday, January 01, 2006

I May Be Ten Days Old, But I Wasn’t Born Yesterday

We’ve been parents for ten days, but I feel like we have existed outside of clock time since BabyG was born. I have to look at the calendar to figure out if it is a weekday or weekend. Time has largely become the interval between breastfeeding, poos, pees, and naps. We barely noticed New Years.

We have been fortunate to sleep for hours at a time at night. MaGreen has managed to breastfeed lying down in bed and fall asleep while BabyG suckles. We are not overwhelmed or exhausted. On the contrary, we have enjoyed ourselves. But we are consumed by caring for BabyG. It is all we do.

Each day, we try to learn some new parenting skill. Two days ago, we made the switch to cloth diapers. Yesterday, MaGreen set up her Ameda breastpump. Today we have been trying to use Elimination Communication (EC). So far, we have “caught” the majority her poos and pees in a little bowl (and she’s had a cloth diaper on the rest of the time). I have been amazed by the experience. The claims made by EC proponents about bonding between parent and child that I thought were outlandish have been true for me. Since I don’t have a breast and BabyG’s two activities are eating and eliminating, the EC bonding is what I've got to work with.

Switching to cloth diapers helped us study BabyG’s elimination patterns because we could actually tell if she urinated. That helped us prepare for EC. She pees about seven minutes after ever breastfeeding. She poos after breastfeeding around 10 pm, 4 am, and 7 am plus some other times. I have learned tell the difference between her rooting for MaGreen’s milk, general digestive distress, and straining to eliminate. When I hold over a little bowl and she needs to eliminate, she is quite calm in my arms. It is a tender moment. When BabyG kicks around and whines that means she is done and I know to put her down. I’m shocked that the communication part of Elimination Communication is real. My baby may be ten days old, but she wasn't born yesterday.

1 comment:

Marcia said...

Welcome, Lila. I'm eager to see everyone soon! We read several books on potty learning without diapers before Pearl was born, but dealing with colic sapped our resolve and our reserves. I'd love to learn more now that Carrie is here. Robin and I were both fascinated by the idea. Much love to all of you.