THE COZYHUNTER
// she's only happy in the sun.
09
Mar 12

moment to moment.

i guess i wasn’t quite prepared for all the heartache that intertwines its hands with the sweet joy that comes along with being a parent. it seems there are no more frivolous decisions in our world – everything is weighed and considered and researched. our good intentions (for example, only using cloth diapers, not giving phoenix a pacifier, letting him feed on demand instead of on a schedule) are all pitted against practicality and sage advice and 4am desperation. as dawn crept into our bedroom on a night which could best be described as our first foray into severe sleep deprivation, dev and i discarded our bradley method training of absolutely no artificial nipples, and gave phoenix a pacifier that we’d received as a gift. i remember opening that present and smugly thinking “ha, we are not going to need this”. but there we were, at 6am, reaching for whatever it was would give us a moment of respite. and though phix took the pacifier and promptly fell asleep, i lay awake feeling incredibly guilty, spending the next two hours researching pacifier pros/cons with a heavy heart.

**

every afternoon my mother (who has chosen her grandmother name to be ‘mamani’) gives phoenix a little bath in our kitchen sink. she likes this time of day because its warmer, and if there was a ever a temperature monitor in our house it would be mamani. she’s constantly swaddling our boy, making sure his head is covered and admonishing me for not keeping his feet warm enough. there are only a three things my mum won’t tolerate – and those are: drafts, throwing away things that can be recycled, and electrical appliances that make excess noise (case and point: she refuses to use our dryer and so our backyard now has string affixed from tree to tree as a makeshift clothesline). together we place phoenix into the water, wriggly feet first. it takes him a second to adjust to the new sensations but then he relaxes his little body, closes his eyes and luxuriates.

in conclusion, even though she dresses my child for alaskan climes, i *love* having my mama here.

**

our midwife warned me that this would happen. that a certain sadness would creep in as my hormones readjusted after pregnancy. she explained that post-partum depression fell along a spectrum, that some mothers might just feel a bit blue for a couple of days and on the other end of there was severe depression. she told me that i too would fall somewhere along this bell curve and assured me that it was totally natural. and although i listened and nodded, i wasn’t prepared for the swell of emotions that hit me this week. on monday, after rox and ryan left, mum was out with her cousin and it was just phix and i at home. it was the first time the two of us had ever been home alone and we were both soaking in the quiet peacefulness of our house. i began to nurse and started and to think about the moment i found out i was pregnant. that memory was a catalyst for tears that began tumbling down my cheeks and falling on phoenix’s little face. i couldn’t stop crying. and so, every day since, in the late afternoons and early evenings i’ve felt that  sadness arrive and linger. the lump in my throat gets lodged and i feel fragile and tender. i want to curl up in a ball and cry until there are no tears left. and though my rational mind knows there’s no reason for it, my emotions tell me that i’m crying for all.the.reasons.combined. i cry because this love i feel for my child is too intense and overwhelming. and i cry because every child is loved in this way and yet in our war-torn world we can be so fickle with how we value other lives. and i cry because i am not sure i will ever take a long shower again. and i cry because i have no idea what sort of immunization schedule to follow. i cry for the incredible women i know that long to be mothers and yet cannot have children of their own. i cry because i watched the kony video. and then i cried because of all the controversy surrounding it and blurring the real issue – that no child should ever live in fear. i cry because phoenix’s lips are too beautiful and perfect and one day they will be kissed by others than me. i cry because in phoenix’s dad i have found my true partner and i can’t imagine.my.life.without.him.

and then morning comes, and the sadness retreats, and in its place is my eager excitement to nuzzle my boy and kiss his cheeks a thousand times. quite often i will catch phoenix as he ‘sleep-smiles’ and in those moments i feel strong enough to take on all the sadness in the world, because what i have at arm’s reach is so perfect.

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11 comments on “moment to moment.”

  1. Sholeh Says:

    Sending you lots of love. Keep writing, we’re reading it, and loving your little family from afar!

  2. Lea Ciceraro Says:

    So so so incredible… This might be one of the most beautiful and honest-feeling posts you have ever written. Thank you for sharing your world and allowing us to view a sliver of your thoughts. Welcome to mamahood. You’re amazing.

  3. Mirielle Says:

    I have been taking care of a little boy for the last 5 years. He was one month when I started taking care of him. I have also tons of experience with other kids. All of them used the pacifier and I am yet to meet a child or adult who had some bad consequence for using a pacifier in the past. This little 5 year old boy never liked to suck a Pacifier, he likes his thumb. When he was a little baby he started to suck his thumb,, everybody was like ” aww this is so cute and bla bla bla”… Noooo! Horrible addiction. He still sucks it and his thumb’s skin looks horrible…. Besides, I have met and know stories of 18 years old people who had to do treatment to stop sucking their thumbs….Pacifiers you can later throw away. What do you do with the thumb? If that calms him down a little…..Dont worry in giving pacifiers! :) this is my opinion.

    Beautiful post btw. Enjoy the moment! Everything will be beautifully fine :)

  4. Tamsin Says:

    The emotions you describe are so familiar, so tender and so deep. I recall crying at a TV ad about ‘feed the starving children’ and being so distraught at the fact that my child was the recipient of so much love, and how could these children NOT be loved and cherished? It was just so unfair and I felt motherly towards all the world’s needy children. Prior to pregnancy and babies I would have felt sympathy and rationalised about the injustice in the world on viewing such an advert, but postpartum the effect was to open the floodgates and I just couldn’t close them – it felt so personal.

    I marvel at nature that although we get sent on somewhat of a hormonal emotional rollercoaster ride, for most of us it galvanises us to push through the sleep deprivation to love and care for our precious charges.

    Ultimately, those tender feelings will motivate us not to allow the world to send our children off to war ever again. And never to neglect the needy ones of this world.

    At least your midwife did warn you.

    By the way, he’s gorgeous. Like his mum and dad. Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing.

  5. leila Says:

    I avoid the tough stuff that’s out there in the world. for this time in my life, i think it’s okay to not fill up my head/heart space with horribleness. because there is just so much horrible out there. but so much more awesome! you know this, obvs. but it’s a tip that a friend suggested to me: while i’m reading/watching something, AS SOON AS i realize that it is something that is making me sad/anxious/upset/worried/angry, i SHUT IT DOWN. i close the tab. or whatever. that’s why i’m reading jane austen for the nth time and watching beloved sit-com reruns and hanging out with people and faces that make me smile. all the uplifting stuff helps me to stay in touch with the overwhelming awesome of the world.

    it works for me, and i’m just mentioning it because of that.

    also, onya for keeping in touch with how you’re feeling. SUCH a delicate time of life. kia kaha, bro (as my dad would say). and mamanis are aaaaaalll about the baby warmth. i’m amazed that you were allowed to do skin-to-skin contact with her in the vicinity :) i had to campaign for that.

    xxoo

  6. Tara Says:

    golriz, i read this quote last night before bed and when i read the words “moment to moment” i immediately thought of your blog post. i’m not sure if you read this quote as well and then titled your post based on it, but i thought i’d share it because it is so fitting. hope you feel better soon, i am sure it will pass :)

    “The beloved of the Lord must stand fixed as the mountains, firm as impregnable walls. Unmoved must they remain by even the direst adversities, ungrieved by the worst of disasters. Let them cling to the hem of Almighty God, and put their faith in the Beauty of the Most High; let them lean on the unfailing help that cometh from the Ancient Kingdom, and depend on the care and protection of the generous Lord. Let them at all times refresh and restore themselves with the dews of heavenly grace, and with the breaths of the Holy Spirit revive and renew themselves from moment to moment.” –Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, p12

  7. Leslie Says:

    Ah Golriz, between this post and your last one, I’m sitting at work with tears in my eyes! Thank you for looking at motherhood in such a beautiful, artistic way. Gosh I appreciate your writing and getting a glimpse into what being a new mom is like! Thank you for sharing this exciting season, Phoenix’s first, with all of us!

  8. carolina Says:

    dear golriz,
    i don’t know you in real life, only through friends of friends and through this site that i stumbled upon a few months ago, but i just wanted to tell you how much i appreciate your writing! i wish i had written down more of what i felt during pregnancy, labor and those early days, and you have articulated so well the delicious insanity of it all! :) your photos and narrative hit the spot!

  9. martha Says:

    Gol,

    Thank you for this beautiful, honest, heart wrenching post. I have no words for the love i feel for you on this journey. ps, let me know if he needs a moose onesie.

    love. mar

  10. Papalop Says:

    My dearest daughter Golriz,

    These tears and emotions are the pearls of your heart. Let them flow freely. They will help to wash away the pain, fear and uncertainty and give you strength for the challenges that lie ahead. I am so greatful to God that that you and Devon found each other and have created such a beautiful and precious gift. I could not ask for a better mother for my grandchild and know he will always be blessed and protected. I love you so much it aches my heart..

  11. sutton Says:

    I just found your blog and am just overwhelmed with the openly flowing emotions you just shared. I just cried, because I too felt those same feelings and sat and cried, myself, when my little one, Hawke, was born two years ago. And I cry because I know that with the due date slowly approaching for little one #2, I will again be faced with those same feelings. Its frightening to comfort them head on, but you did so perfectly and without flaw.

    Thank you so much for being so honest and real. No one, but a mother, can truly understand the rush of emotions we go through during those first few weeks and months as our heart overflows with love for a child we created, almost like magic.

    Your beautiful. Shine on.

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