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Nobody but the baby


(Mostly written last night.)

I'm sitting on Mary Anne & Kevin's couch, reading and rejecting and editing stories while Kavya sleeps nearby.

Every few minutes, I pause to check on her. It's ridiculous: she's perfectly fine, and in the past she has spent hours at a time sleeping unsupervised in her crib (with baby monitor running, of course). But I can't hear her breathing when she's sleeping quietly, so I get a little paranoid and tense. I figure it can't actually hurt to check on her (without disturbing her) every few minutes, and it helps keep me relaxed.

Over the past couple days, I've spent some time carrying her in the BabyBjörn. It's really neat--it holds her snug against my chest, keeps her from moving around too much, and most importantly gives her neck support, which is the thing I'm always most worried about with infants (that I'll somehow hold or carry them wrong in a way that won't provide enough neck support). But the BabyBjörn has two drawbacks from my point of view: first, I can't see her face, so I can't tell whether she's awake or asleep if she's being quiet; and second, when it's fully closed it holds her face up against my chest, which I keep worrying will smother her. Mary Anne has now reassured me twice that babies are good at making sure they can breathe (and making a fuss if they can't), and intellectually I believe her, but the part of me that's ridiculously overprotective toward kids makes me lean forward so as not to smother the baby.

I imagine I'll get over all of that as I get more experience with babies. I don't think I've spent any significant time with anyone this young before; by the time I start interacting with my friends' kids for more than a minute or so at a time, they've usually been a couple more months old. The kids, not the friends.

Anyway. The room is dark, so as not to wake the baby, and very warm (due to Chicago weather), and my MacBook generates significant amounts of heat, so I've been a little drowsy for a while. I figure I should head back to my hotel before I actually fall asleep.

Gonna take a cab, even though it's only a mile, because my foot and leg hurt. It started sometime Sunday evening: my left heel started hurting when I put weight on it. Monday morning, I thought about taking a cab from the hotel to M&K's, but I decided it was only a mile and not worth the hassle of looking for a cab. So I walked. Which was fine, but the heel hurt too much so I mostly put my weight on the front parts of my left foot. Which led, after more walking later in the day, to a small blister on my foot.

So Tuesday I tried not to put much weight on that foot at all, which led to my limping, and thereby to my left leg getting sore.

So I'm gonna try to walk as little as possible for a while. But I'll make an exception for walking the dog.

. . . Got too sleepy to finish this entry after writing most of the above last night. Got all ready to head back to my hotel, when Kavya started fussing in her sleep; eventually, I fed her (even though she was about 3/4 asleep) and put her in her crib (where the baby monitor is), and caught a cab to the hotel.

Unrelatedly: Thanks to those who've dropped me notes about Grandma. I'm actually doing okay; I'm sad, but she's been ready to go for a while now, and she's had an awfully good run--99 and a half, and until a couple weeks ago she was still strong mentally and still able to walk.

Uncle Dobe sent a note last night saying that Grandma hasn't had any food, and very little water, for a while now; she's been in bed, and asleep almost all the time, for most of that time. It sounds like the end could come at any time.

We'll be having a 100th birthday party for her next January, even though presumably she won't be there for it.


I am sorry about your grandmother, too; I haven't been online as of late due to some intense busy-ness. But I have to confess that even so (and your leg and all), I read the baby portion of this with a huge smile on my face. It made me very happy, thinking of you fussing over and carrying that baby.

It's not as funny written out, but this so reminded me of my very favorite comic strip Baby Blues. You have to be a parent to appreciate some of their humor, but I'm sure you'll understand.

Darryl and Wanda are desperately trying to get their fussy newborn Zoe to sleep. She's in the crib lying on her side screaming "aWah! aWah! aWah!" They have deep circles under their eyes as they pat her back, "Come on, Zoe. Go to sleep, Zoe. Please! Go to sleep!"

Then the "awah"s trail off and she's asleep. Sound asleep. Not a sound, not a whisper of breath. They watch her for a entire, blank, silent panel.

Then one of them asks, "Is she breathing," while the other starts poking her and says, "Zoe? ZOE? Wake up!"

Sorry on the grandmother... Very sweet to read about your interactions with Kavya. I've had that moment so many times with a sleeping babe- needing to make sure that they're okay, and then just watching their sweet sleepy faces. Makes me miss nannying even. All the babies in my everyday life are over a year old now. Wishing that I could spend a little time with Kavya, to get my infant fix;-) Maybe soon? *hugs*

Oh, it made me so happy to read this entry. I actually never had the "is the baby awake" gene, but most of the time they were sleeping on me anyway.

Baby noses are actually proportionally wide at the nostril (and maybe stiffer? can't recall) to make it a lot easier for them to breathe while face-planted -- or while breast-feeding, say... Fear not! She will not smoether while being snuggled up to you. Drool, spit up, etc.--those, on the other hand, are quite common. (But doesn't she smell good anyway? *chuckle*)

*chuckle* I had a similar reaction watching you and Kavya when we were all in the restaurant. I couldn't see her face to reassure myself, so I kept wanting to lean over and check her breathing. I relaxed a little when you told Maryanne that you'd been trying to lean forward to make sure that she got air, but that she only responded by leaning closer to you herself. I relaxed even more when I realised that her body's so tiny that I could see it tremble a little with every heartbeat.

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