Saturday, January 21, 2012

dose of reality #1


it's 4am
i am up
i cannot sleep.
i am worried
about vee.
so i figured
this would
be a good time
to catch up
the last
2 weeks
of vee
in mexico.

vee has been
sick for over
a week now.
we have had
the parenthood fun
of already visiting
a doctor in
another foreign
i won't go
too much detail
but suffice
as to say
she caught a virus
and has had
an upset stomach.
in almost
every way
she seems fine...
she is good spirits
and seems
hydrated enough
her diaper
a different
if you know
what i mean.

is a lot
about worrying
i have discovered.
i was
a master
in the worrying
so you can
it has now kicked
into overdrive.
you find yourself
you do is
going to have
an adverse effect
on your baby.
you make
a mistake
and feel like
you are failing
your child.
you feel like
a bad mother.
i feel that
every day.

i am constantly
amazed how much
unsolicited advice
we get
about parenting.
people are constantly
telling us
what we should be doing.
what we are doing wrong.
i feel this
the most
here in mexico.

we shouldn't put
a fan on vee
to keep her cool.

we should feed her
coconut water
to keep her hydrated.

we shouldn't
take her out
during the day
it's too hot.

and on
and on...

my friend deb
made a good point.
what parents need most
is reassurance,
not your advice.
they need to be told
that they
are doing a good job.
that they are
good parents
because most parents
are trying
their damnedest
to take the best
care of their children.
they make mistakes
but somehow
their children survive.
i know that
i need
that reassurance
from time to time.


has been
really, really
hard here.
vee is sick
so she needs
to keep hydrated
which means
i need to give her
more milk.
add onto that
i am dealing with
a hot climate,
and trying
to work
while i am here.
it's hard to pump
when you have
only a few
precious hours
to work
before it gets
too hot.
it's embarrassing
(i know that
it shouldn't be
but it is)
to tell
a bunch of mexican guys
you have to go off
for half an hour
while they are working
to pump milk.
they already
treat me differently
i am a white woman
my spanish
is currently
almost nonexistent
so i cannot
really talk to
most of them
to give them
some sense
of who i am.

i have pumped
sitting on a bucket
in the middle
of a mosquito
infested fields
i have pumped
in the truck
on the side
of mexican highways.
i have
not been able
to pump because
i forgot
extra batteries
or some piece of equipment
because i was
so tired at 5am
i didn't pack everything.
i have wanted
to burst
into tears
in the truck
in the middle of nowhere
because i failed
my daughter
who needs
that extra milk
so desperately.
i have not been
able to go to work
vee drank
all my extra milk
in the middle of the night.

i am not
all this
i want a pity party.
i just
want to be
how tough
it can be
so other mothers
don't somehow
get the picture
i am magically
all of this
with some sort
of grace and ease.
i am not.
i am struggling.
i am determined.

all that said
i still don't
this trip
to mexico
with vee.
i hope that
we can look
back at photos
with her
and tell her
amusing stories.
it's been amazing
so far.
the good
and the bad.

i am
still up
when i should
be sleeping
by worry
and anxiety
about mistakes
i am making
in parenting her.

i suppose
when you
love someone
with every
ounce of
your being,
it's inevitable
that you feel this way.


this is
me at 4am.
it deserves
a place
on this blog
with all
the glamorous
wee grub
sunset on the beach
at least
i think it does.
if you
have gotten
this far,
thank you
reading it.




  1. for what its worth, I think your little family is one of the boldest and bravest I glimpse on this here web. i'm sorry to hear V has been unwell. sending the european cool air and blessings to you...

  2. I had so many worries with my little girl at first. I think its harder when they are babies because they seems so fragile and small. It does get better as they get older, I promise. Somehow a wild little toddler seems so much easier to handle in so many ways, because they are bigger.

    Hang in there, mama, and remember you and only YOU are that girl`s mama, nobody else! Shake off those comments from strangers.

  3. Dear Bugheart
    My heart goes out to you sweetie. Your sweet little girl will get better. It takes time. I remember anxiety filled nights praying that I didn't make a mistake in taking my wee son to India (during the 1993 plague of all times)! He caught a virus and we travelled from Pushkar to Jaipur to be closer to a hospital. In the end we met a lovely Indian couple who took us to their Ayurvedic (spelling?) doctor and he recommended tiny balls of cammomile and magic water. It worked! Although one panic filled night I realized that we were giving him unsanctioned (water filter treated) magic water! You are a beautiful and loving parent of a darling girl coping the best you can with life's difficulties. Parenthood is a deep well of profound empathy inducing learning experiences... It can also be heartbreakingly beautiful... What a good job you are doing! And what a beautiful and darling baby you have. She's so lucky to have such a strong and inspired and wonderful mama... You are perfect.

  4. yes yes yes, and yes.

    i know that i have been in this place - not the mexico with a virus place, but the 4am place. the closed my infant's toes in the locked car door place. the my body doesn't make enough milk so i have to pump every two hours around the clock to convince my body to make more place. the am i screwing this up royally place. even still, now with a 12 year old and a 9 year old it's easy for me to go there, especially at 4am. especially when i'm sleep deprived. and i'm guessing we're very much not alone in that place, you and i.

    i am sending you strength. and reassurance. and clarity, with which to follow your own instincts as vee's mother. because that's really all she needs. and i'm sending you comfort, at 4 am and in that mosquito infested field and as you navigate these waters. you are not alone.

    xoxo. xo.

  5. hang in there.
    you are doing a GREAT job.
    you are the best possible mom for vee

    it would not be the end of the world for her to drink some formula
    or pedialyte or water
    if she is acting fine and happy don't worry so much about the poo
    we went thru amazingly icky and sicky type diapers w. out a virus.

  6. you are awesome. the 4am times are things that I think every parent goes through. It is so hard in the beginning. so hard, and much harder without any family help in a foreign land. I can't imagine being in your shoes, but I can imagine feeling like you couldn't provide with the pumping thing - it's hard friend and you are doing an amazing job. Vee has two special parents that love her and in the end that is all that matters. xoxo

  7. I can't imagine two more loving and devoted parents for little Vee, through the lovely sunsets and the 4am times. You can do it! You will laugh about it years from now and Vee will be proud that she had parents who would take her with them on adventures from day one. :)
    hugs, eliza

  8. oh, how i love you and that gorgeous little baby! y'all rock my world.

  9. Amen Sister! Thank you so much for sharing this. It was good for me to read. You are a few weeks ahead of me in the mom arena.

    You are wonderful in so many ways. Vee is lucky to have you as her mom. The things that little girl is being exposed too! She is so lucky!!!


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