Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Agony And The Ecstacy

So I took Little Man to his 2-month check-up at the pediatrician the other day.  The agony over whether or not to vaccinate, and when and which ones to use, rages on.  I had hoped by now I would have a much clearer opinion on the subject, but basically have narrowed it down to this:  I know there are a few nasty things out there that my child could actually still contract and I am okay with giving him vaccines for those specific diseases, in two-month intervals, and in mercury-free, single-dose injections.  I just don’t want him injected with anything just yet.  He is so young, and the first two years are when so much brain development takes place.  I’m just not okay with it.  Add to that the thought of someone taking a needle to my precious little baby’s skin and the thought just makes me want to fly into a Mama-Bear hysterical fit. 

But my pediatrician, God bless her, has been really helpful in grappling with the indecision.  Not one to take the “I am Doctor and know best” approach, something I really hate, she explains the risks and benefits of everything thoroughly without the hard sell and adds a good dose of sympathy:  she, too, is a mother, and has had to wrestle with the same issue and feels my pain.  She also relays the information in a mother-to-mother respectful way, which I reciprocate to her.  I am quick to tell her I am not some shithead who reads a few things on the internet and suddenly thinks they have a medical degree.  I take my opinions from several sources, keep an open mind, and settle on whatever makes the most sense for me.  But this issue is really making me nuts and I would appreciate any feedback from others who have also struggled with this.

Meanwhile, our little boy is doing great.  He is now up to 11.1 lbs and 24.5 inches long.  He is a tall boy!  He still breastfeeds with gusto and is having more awake time during the day where he smiles and kinda does this little giggle thing.  It kills me, it’s so cute.  He sleeps about 12 hours per night, except for two feedings, after which he conks right out again.  So I get a good deal of sleep, it’s just broken up into three and four hour sessions.

And now for the hard stuff.  It’s hard for me to even talk about it because I will break down into tears like some deranged mushmonger (yes, I did just invent that term).  I love him so much, it nearly breaks my heart, every minute of every day.  There is no respite from the pain of loving him – it is always there.  I remember reading a quote from Erma Bombeck that said something like deciding to have children was like deciding to have your heart go permanently walking around outside of your body.  And now I understand what that means.  And he is so sweet and loving and trusting that the rare occasions he actually cries feel devastating to me.  This part of motherhood is something I never could have prepared for, and is something I struggle with every day.  I’m not used to that weight on my heart yet, and don’t imagine I ever will be.

It is also heartbreaking how fast it all goes.  When friends who have children see my son, they remark how tiny he is and how it seems like just yesterday that their son/daughter was that little, while I am thinking holy crap!  He is two months old already and is HUGE compared to when he was born and has changed so much in so many big and little ways.  My days are full of nothing but feeding him, feeding myself, and getting a shower and maybe a walk in there, but they seem to be rocketing toward unpacking his college dorm room with lightning speed.  Every morning when we get up, it seems he has grown taller, has a new facial expression, makes a new cooing sound, has more hair on his head, has a different color eyes.  It just happens so fast and you want to have the presence of mind to savor every single minute.

Uncle Rufus also loves the baby, and as I expected, has not demonstrated an ounce of jealousy over being unseated as the #1 baby of the house.  He whines painfully whenever McLean cries, he gives him a good sniffing-over every time I set him down between boobs during feedings, he parks himself in McLean’s room for most of the day and considers himself to be a vital part of the McLean Care Team.  It’s really cute.

The pug, on the other hand, just can’t be bothered.  But she’s old, and is far more concerned with the timely delivery of her chicken leg in the morning.

I would have to say that all around, we are one happy little family, and I thank God profusely every day for all that I have.  I have finally found an occupation that I really and truly love.  Mommy.  It suits me.