Friday, December 28, 2007

A New Kind of Intimacy

The relationship between a mother and child is one of intense physical intimacy. In a way, that intimacy is a mirror image and counterpart to the intimacy of lovers that (well, aside from the doctors and the needles and the tubes and gizmos, I mean, in an idealized, blurry-edged fantasy world where fertile people live) brings the child into being.

Where lovers start as strangers and gradually discover each other, at times merging into a single being, the child and mother start as a single entity and slowly become physically and emotionally separate. And in both relationships, there is an unbridled delight in one's own and the other's physical being. Nowhere else in life can you revel in and explore another's body with such abandon, tracing each curve of the earlobe, nibbling on fingers and knees, caressing tummies and napes of necks.

Breastfeeding has been an absolute revelation for me. It's incredible that it happens at all, more so when you think about all the complex processes that surround that one simple act. Somehow, my body knows exactly what type of milk to produce, how much of it, and when. Gabby's sucking not only satisfies her hunger, it releases hormones that shrink my uterus back to its normal size (and make us both happy and sleepy). According to some promising new research, breastmilk may even have curative effects for people suffering from HIV and cancer.

And even crazier is how much I love feeding her this way. I love getting all snuggled up with her, skin to skin, having that connection and sharing the flood of hormones and responses. It's our own special little world, where we still share physical space and an intimate bond.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Miracles Happen

Gabriella Elizabeth Hislast, born December 23, 2007. 6 lbs, 11 oz, 19 inches long. I never knew I could feel this way about anyone. She's a dream come true.

Friday, December 21, 2007


It's today. Today is Pebbles' due date. Not that she seems much interested in that fact. She's doing pretty much the same thing she's been doing for weeks and weeks -- splashing around in her amniotic spa, practicing breathing (seriously -- I had no idea that they do that until I saw it on the ultrasound), and kicking around.

Overall, it's been a wonderful pregnancy. I feel so honored to have been able to carry this little baby so close, so safe and tucked up inside me. I'm excited to see her, to look at her beautiful little face and hear her yowl and taste her tiny little toes, but there's a part of me that doesn't want to be separated from her just yet.

I think I'm also still terrified of the impending c-section. We found out a few weeks ago that our little girl is breech, and in typical Binky fashion I attacked the problem on all fronts. Two acupuncturists, a chiropractor, a hypnotherapist and three physicians all performed their version of the Magic Ugga Bugga Dance, and all were equally unsuccessful in persuading my little princess to flip over.

We did our homework as well: Acupuncture - The Home Game involved burning pea-sized blobs of moxa on my little toes. And then there was the Waterboarding. That entailed getting me upside down on an ironing board propped against the couch, with a bag of frozen peas right on top of Pebbles' head and a heating pad, soft music, and the soothing voice of her daddy down where we wanted her head to be.*

All for naught. The little peanut's butt remains firmly wedged in my pelvis. Hence, the c-section. We're giving her until the 26th to start the process on her own. If she's not out by then, we're going in after her.

*The Attorney General has refused to opine whether this practice constitutes a violation of the Geneva Conventions. However, he stated that if it is, in fact, occurring, then it is definitionally Not Torture. So you can all rest easy.