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2006-03-09 - 11:24 a.m.

Having a baby in the house, even after 6 weeks, is still somewhat odd- and foreign-feeling at times. I love Grommetís little chipmunk squeaks that she uses to communicate with us, but they donít exactly smack of being human. The other day I was in the kitchen and registered a noise, and actually caught myself thinking idly that it sounded like we had a kitten in the house and what could that be, when KABOOM, it hit me that we had a baby and she was making the noise!

At other times itís brought home to me quite forcefully that I have a sub-10-pound human in my care. One that frowns when sheís perplexed, and yawns and stretches when sheís tired.

When sheís hungry, she trains her laser-beam gaze on me, her little lips strain in the direction of whatever has most recently brushed her cheek (a move which looks hilariously cute, by the way, and was dubbed by a friendís husband a ďJean ChretienĒ), and she makes little munchy, lip-smacking sounds. SO cute, and so transparent as to what she wants.

It is when sheís sad though, that she seems the most like the mini-person she is. Invariably, first thing in the morning she suffers from gas pains. (I donít really know why but maybe itís because sheís just spent so much time immobile so it doesnít get worked through her system at night?) She starts grunting and tensing and straining and, if she canít poop or toot, as the room gets brighter and she gets more alert she progresses to tears. This is often accompanied by the saddest, most reproachful look beamed at me; a look that seems to say, ďWhy arenít you stopping this? Canít you see it hurts? Why arenít you helping me and making it all better? Isnít that what youíre supposed to do?Ē

It breaks my heart, but to help her all I can do is bicycle her little legs, rub her little tummy in a clockwise motion and shift her position frequently, and to comfort her all I can do is murmur encouragement and sympathy and rub her back and head. I canít take her pain away, and itís hard to accept but itís something that Iím sure every parent learns relatively quickly.

Incidentally, Iíve read a rather smug breastfeeding book that proclaims that breastfed babies rarely get constipated. While itís true that her poop doesnít get hard, what else would you call it when she has to poop and canít? Sure, itís because of gas build-up in her little belly (as far as we know), but she still suffers all the same and she still isnít immune from problems associated with constipation (like the small fissure discovered by my doctor that I mentioned in my last entry). Hmph. Oh well, this is the same book that told me that under no circumstances should I compress or ďdeformĒ any part of my breast when putting the baby to it (which made it impossible to get her to take enough into her mouth and get a good latch Ė leading to unnecessary nipple pain on my part), and that the baby would let go on her own when she was full (yet Grommet will stay on and nibble endlessly sometimes for comfort, long past the time sheís finished actually eating). Lesson learned.

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