Fears, Nothing More But Fears…

5 Mar

Timothy is a very serious baby. Most of the time he has a bit of a frown on his face, studying the world around him intently. His eyes are alert and intelligent – which makes up for lack of smiles, in my mind. Somehow I always feel sad when I see babies with carefree “less intelligent” eyes, so to speak. And when those smiles come – they are to die for! But then I fear that there might be something wrong with his eyesight. He often keeps one eye closed. And he often appears cross-eyed.

When Timothy cries, he looks like an angry dwarf, it’s so funny šŸ˜‰ He gets all red and wrinkly. I can’t help laughing at him – as long as I know the reason for his crying is light, of course. When he cries because he struggles to poop, I don’t find that funny. I hold him close and try to soothe him. I understand that c-section babies struggle a bit more with digestion problems: babies are supposed to get some bacteria as they pass through birth canal. If they by-pass the birth canal through a c-section, they don’t get those bacteria. Sometimes his bowel movements are really painful. And he poops about 5 times a day (fun, eh?) so there’s a lot of soothing going on.

I still have an occasional episode of suspecting that he doesn’t like me. Perhaps because he’s so serious. It saddens me. I sort of know it’s bullshit, but still… I fear he doesn’t like me. Or that I am not spending enough time with him.

I try to keep him at each breast for at least 15 minutes: I don’t know how to otherwise ensure he gets to the hind fatty milk. So with a change of diapers before each feeding and some burping here and there, our breastfeeding sessions can last up to an hour. Knowing that the next one is 1-2 hours away (except at night) I try to get him in the bouncer as soon as possible to either eat, or drink, or just relax a bit with a book. Although he sits and studies the world around him quite contently, I feel pangs of guilt. Should I be spending more time with him? But then I don’t want him to be too dependent on me. I want him to be able to entertain himself and just generally be on his own. I am terrified of stories of babies that won’t sleep alone, won’t stay alone, won’t play alone. I do play with him a bit here and there: rattles, talking, singing… but I need some time not spent with him. And I feel guilty about it.

He started spitting out the milk. He almost never did this before – even burps were light and occasional. Does that mean he eats too much now (meaning I have plenty of milk, finally) and gets rid of the extra milk he gulped? Or perhaps he is not getting enough milk because he spits it out? Yeah, I still worry I don’t have enough. Every time I start feeding him, I look at the clock and count for how many minutes he actively gulps on each breast. Anything over 5 minutes of non-stop swallowing makes my heart sing. But I always listen and worry that the gulping will stop too early and I will discover I don’t have enough…

I don’t find myself too preoccupied with worrying that he’ll choke on his spit-up or that he’ll stop breathing – nevertheless, every now and then I check: is he still breathing? Especially when I put him to sleep at night and he falls asleep right away: usually he goes through a couple of times of spitting out the pacifier and whining about it before he drifts away. I wonder at what age they learn to shove the paci back on their own…

And the most ridiculous fear: I am not a palm reader, but his life line is awfully short. It freaks me out. I worry. Did I spend too much time with my laptop while pregnant? Should I stop browsing on my mobile while I breastfeed?

So you see, there are still lots of fears… They do not end once the baby is born. They just become different fears…

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8 Responses to “Fears, Nothing More But Fears…”

  1. Artistmouse March 5, 2012 at 11:59 PM #

    Hey Z! Aaliyah was a lot like that when she was four weeks old — very serious looking. Even now she looks like she’s giving people dirty looks sometimes. However, now she smiles and coos so often.

    I wouldn’t worry about Timothy being cross-eyed…I read that babies will appear cross-eyed at times in the first few months of life.

    Don’t feel badly about not spending every waking minute entertaining him. You are right…babies need to learn how to occupy themselves. I feel guilty sometimes when AJ is in her bouncy chair and I’m in the kitchen preparing dinner. I much rather be playing/interacting with her. But I bring the chair into the kitchen with me and talk to her while I prep dinner.

    I sometimes check on Aaliyah when she’s sleeping too. There are times when she sleeps so soundly and you can barely tell that she’s breathing. I usually tickle her neck or ear to get her to stir a bit and confirm that she’s still alive.

    • zygotta March 6, 2012 at 2:15 PM #

      I find it hard playing with him – he’s not all that interactive – not yet, anyway. I guess it gets better by 2 months? He can focus on me for 5 minutes max… So I try and catch some rest with a book or go cook a dinner – but end up feeling guilty.

  2. Sam March 6, 2012 at 7:08 AM #

    Re him being cross eyed, all babies look that way up until around 10 – 12 weeks – their eye muscles have not developed properly yet so they look that way until such time as the muscles have strengthened.

    xxx

  3. Shannon March 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM #

    I relate to a lot of those fears! One of mine is that Natalie will often only sleep with her head to one side and I’m nervous that side will get flat and she’ll need a helmet….

    Babies become more efficient eaters as they grow, so you won’t always need to have 15 minutes on each side. His diapers, amount/frequency of fussiness/sleep, and ultimately, growth on the scale will let you know he’s getting enough.

    As for the pooping, Natalie went down to pooping just once or maybe twice a day around 6 weeks. Though one day she didn’t poop at all which made me nervous. She made up for it in a big way the next day though. šŸ™‚

    • zygotta March 6, 2012 at 2:17 PM #

      i try placing Timothy a little bit sideways in his bouncer, alternating the sides – to avoid the flat-headedness…

      I hope we go down in the pooping frequency, too! šŸ™‚

  4. Laurie March 7, 2012 at 12:03 PM #

    I wasn’t a worry wart before Ruby was born, that was my husband, but now we’ve totally switched. I worry ALL. THE. TIME! Especially since we had our little accident a month ago. I have to make a conscious effort to stop the fear from overcoming me and making me completely overbearing and overprotective. Although I do still check to make sure she’s breathing at night. It helps me sleep better at night!

    Thanks for posting the video of Timothy, he’s so adorable. All that hair!

    • zygotta March 7, 2012 at 7:45 PM #

      Thank you šŸ˜‰
      Yes, his hair is gorgeous. And it looks like he’s gonna be blond, actually – his hair roots are all blond!

      I can see how you can get over-protective after that scare… Hopefully it will diminish as the time passes on.

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