I am not a first time mother. I have three beautiful little girls.
Josie was so easily over-stimulated as a baby. She would loose it and cry and cry. I would often find myself in a quiet room away from the group so that Josie could calm down. Marie was always so tiny. I remember being consumed with a feeling that she needed protecting. I never let her cry long, always had her in my arms. Now with Sarah I am just sometimes at a loss. She's not my first, I've done this twice before. The truth is though that there are times when I have absolutely no idea what to do with Sarah.
She cries in the night. Lately she's been waking up and staying up. Rather than take it for what it is, her age, testing limits, figuring out day and night, whatever; I worry. I worry like a champion. I am up at night in a quiet house with a child who is denying herself rest and it scares me. She will cry herself sick. Literally cry until she throws up. It adds to my worry and makes me a basket case. Because Marie lost the ability to sleep through the night when she got sick. I can see the difference, the rational part of me knows that with Sarah it's not the same but I don't know what to do about it. Marie vomited without warning several times a day for months until it was stopped surgically. I will never look at vomit the same way again.
All signs point to Sarah being a completely healthy, full of life thirteen month old baby. The problem is, in the course of my life I have completely forgotten how to take care of a healthy baby. I know crisis. I know how to soothe a child getting a blood test for the millionth time. I know how to change gauze bandage and hook up tubing and make it into a game. I know just how to cup my hand and thump a back to help weak lungs cough. I know to rock and sing for hours to try to distract from discomfort. I know how to read my child's eyes and look for the meaning there, and just how to massage muscles tightened from movement disorder. And when something goes haywire with my completely healthy baby I totally over react.
I became so good at handling crisis... I've forgotten how to live normally and don't know that it will ever come back to me again. Sarah is doing things all babys normally do. I just don't live in normal any more. Is this a sign of that, could this be the reason for that?
And I need to remember to cast all my worries on the Lord, His shoulders are bigger than mine. And this will pass... Luke and I may be a little overprotective, a little compulsive, perhaps we over react a bit. I think it made us better parents to Marie... and hopefully Sarah will benefit from that too... it's just so different caring for her... it was easier to calm every cry and snuggle it all away... so that's generally my strategy with Sarah. Now if I could just get her to sleep a little better...