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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bonded

Ellie is sleeping at the moment. She probably will be for another couple of hours until she wakes up hungry. Since she got off her antibiotics our hiatus of undisturbed nights has ended. I think too she is growing again which means she wakes up with a hearty appetite she could have only gotten from her father.

I just gave her one of her nightly meds. Very gently and quietly I worked as not to disturb her. All the same, despite my best, practiced-in-the-art-of-not-waking-baby mommy efforts, she knew I was there. She instinctively moved toward me - in her sleep.

It's like that when she sleeps. She knows I am there. I hope I am a good presence. I hope a kind one. It's weird though. At night when I have to give her meds I feel the connection. It's like a rope connecting us. It's tangible. I can feel her presence at the door of the room. It was like that when we would go to the NICU. Dave and I would comment on it. If we left for short periods of time to go get food, we could feel it at the security desk - her presence. Sometimes it was peaceful and often it was not when she was struggling in the early days fighting to stay here in this world. The bond between us is real and alive like a nerve ending exposed. It's sensitive to air and movement and thought. Like I said it's a weird bond and something that deeply connects Ellie to me and to Dave.

In this sense I experience her as hyper-conscious. It's like part of her is awake even when she is sleeping. It's like she has mama radar and can sense me when I am a room's width away. Very hard to explain. Are all little children like this or did she inherit my light sleeping tendencies? Because I remember being like that as a child - asleep but supremely aware of my room and the goings on in the house. In my case I experienced allot of fear. I hope that is not the case for Ellie.

Did this happen because we practiced the attachment parenting method? Does this bond account for the fact that I know what she wants most of the time though the ongoing conversation she and I have is never spoken using words?

What's undeniable is that her need for my love is real. At night when I have given her some food or just held her to settle her back to sleep, she will roll my way and reach her hand up to my neck or face and keep it there until she falls deep asleep. If I try to move away she will wake. I guess that is what it means to bond with and trust one's parent. Ellie is one kid who knows that her parents will be there. We have always been there from the first moment of her conception. And we are still there now, connected by invisible bonds that are stronger than steel and more sensitive than a neuron. Some days I mourn what happened to us all. But when I feel that bond I know that there is something much greater happening than what my mind thought was supposed to be. That bond is the main thing that makes the world around me real.

9 comments:

Brooklyn said...

Your words in this post touched me so much, thank you for sharing them.
Kelly

Kathryn said...

Kelly - thanks!

23wktwins'mommy said...

That was very beautiful.
It's clear that Ellie feels your undying love for her, and that she reciprocates that love.

MetaMommy said...

Wonderful post, Kathryn!

The way I figure it, some kids are light sleepers and some aren't...it's a crap shoot. Our little guy has always been a super light sleeper. He has hardly ever fallen asleep in the car. If we walk into his room while he's sleeping, he will wake up. By contrast, his cousins (ages 16 months and 5) both sleep with their lights on, and they sleep soundly through any amount of noise and mayhem. It's truly amazing.

I was always a deep sleeper, so I know he didn't get it from me. But he does get his resistance go sleeping from me because I always want to know what's going on. I figure it's a curious nature ;-)

We've also practiced attachment parenting, and we've found that he's reacted with confidence to his surroundings. Personally, I think we've benefited, too. It makes that bond we feel that much more grounded and succinct.

BusyLizzyMom said...

You are right there is a bond between you and Ellie that is indescribable. The nights I lie awake stressing about tomorrow, her next appointment, who I need to call in the morning or Elizabeth's future she wakes up and calls for me. She must feel some energy that is between us.

Danielle said...

This was a beautiful post. I think you did a fantastic job describing exactly what you wanted to get across.

Lori said...

Oh... this was beautiful... and true. The mother-child bond is magical, but I have no trouble imagining that yours is truly extra special.

terriblepalsy said...

Kathryn,

This post was beautifully written.

I've been wanting to answer your question on whether the "bond" is there for all parents (but keep getting disturbed by 3 little boys). I don't feel any closer to Moo then my other kids. If anything, the prolonged hospitalisation and the lack of control, took away for an attachment to him initially. Master C and I also had a few problems attaching due to my being in hospital for a lot of the pregnancy with Moo (he was only 17 months old when Moo was born). My eldest and I were really close when he was young, not so sure what goes through his head now but still incredibly proud of him. And Sumo - well the baby is so cute but I'm not closer to him then any of the other kids.

So I guess my way-too-long answer is, your bond with Ellie is incredibly special and beautiful.

L,
Jacqui

Kathryn said...

Thanks everyone.