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Monday, October 6, 2014

Back in Town

Hey everybody!

I'm sorry I went MIA for a bit, I went out of town for a few days on a retreat with my family. Sadly because I was holding the baby most of the time I didn't get to snap many photos and most of the photos I did get are not on my phone or camera but are on my mother-in-law's and friend's cameras so I have none to share with you right now. So I'll just show you cute, current pictures of Dreamer.

She likes to blow bubbles now
I wanted to tell you guys I was going and maybe set up a post to auto-publish while I was gone, but the two days before we left I didn't get a chance to get on the computer at all, between packing and Dreamer getting her first ever cold. Yeah, that's right, poor dear.

She started breathing funny and I could feel it reverberating through her chest and I was afraid it was in her lungs the night before we left. We took her to the doctor, not sure if we would go on the trip, but after listening he told us it was in her throat, not her lungs, and gave us cold medicine and said we'd be fine taking the trip. We literally took her to the doctor within 4-5 hours of the symptoms showing up, and seemed to have nipped it in the bud, it never got any worse and it's getting better. She is still not 100% breathing normally, you can feel the congestion, but she's not complaining about it much.

We (Ryan and I) got a lot out of the trip, but Dreamer was a bit overwhelmed. She's already stranger shy, which is a normal thing in this baby age, and she didn't feel totally herself because of the cold, albeit mild. My in-laws also came and as soon as we arrived her grandmother whisked her off to greet people, and I don't think that was an auspicious beginning because she was disoriented by a new location, all these faces coming up and greeting her, while being held by someone who was not Mom or Dad. (We did make her wait ten minutes to give Dreamer some orientation, but not sure if it was long enough.) Also, apparently in India people tend to pass babies around. There was another baby there, three weeks older than her, who was all the time in a new person's arms. I got at least 12 people a day- we knew them all- I think coming up and asking me if they could hold the baby for me while I did things. We probably said no to half these the first day, but did let some people hold her... and she had four meltdowns day one, sobbing. The last one, when she was due for her medicine again, she was being held by Grandma and Grandpa and was sobbing so hard she was throwing up. The minute she was back in my arms, she quieted down, meaning she only wanted Mommy. So as we went to bed day one, Ryan and I decided we wouldn't let anyone hold her the next day unless she was super, super happy already.

Wearing Mommy's glasses for a minute
Day two we only passed her around once... and she cried. As soon as I took her back she was okay then. And that night I was trying to eat dinner and she was hungry and cried so after probably three bites I asked Ryan, over her cries and the noise of the restaurant, to bring my plate to my room when he was done and ask friends to carry the bag and swing, which I pointed to... I took her back to the room and within two minutes she was happy again, eating, and then I was getting hungrier and hungrier. When Ryan finally came in, he was alone, which alarmed me and I said "Where's my food?"

"You didn't tell me to bring it."

"YES I DID." Pause to calm down. "Go back and get it?" (He'd rushed into the bathroom at this point.) I thought a minute and looked at Dreamer, who was happily playing on the bed. "Okay, how about I leave her with you and I just go get food?"

We decided on that and I rushed to dinner, where I slowed down and relaxed a bit, having my first break from the baby without stress during the trip. Knowing about her stranger shyness, letting anyone but Ryan have her was always accompanied by tension in me, waiting with bated breath to see if she would be okay.

It was three or four weeks ago now she started this, getting overstimulated and stranger shy easily.
She's coming out of the overstimulated thing. For a solid week and a half there every time I took her out of the house she'd have a meltdown. But it'd been petering out so that she was good over half the time in the week before this trip, so I had been hopeful and I do think after the first day she'd become accustomed to the new surroundings. But the stranger shyness is not yet receding.

I took my time over dinner. Well, that is to say I didn't stuff food into my mouth as fast as I was able and rush, rush, rush like I had the last couple meals with Dreamer giving me signs of about to lose her patience and me trying to get nourishment in before she did. She has a tendency to take Mommy eating as the signal that she should eat too, after all. Sigh. And India is not culturally friendly to public breastfeeding. They do support breastfeeding, but the culture is too modest to consider it appropriate to do it in the company of men you're not related to, even with a cover. With women only, with a cover is okay, I've found.

So after I had my not exactly leisurely, but not rushed, dinner I got up to come back to the room feeling somewhat refreshed at not having to be constantly, constantly checking the baby.... and I get a phone call from my mother-in-law, because Dreamer was crying and they can't calm her down. So I jog back to my room, feeling Mommy guilt that I hadn't rushed.

I come into the room and hold my arms out and Ryan slips her in and immediately she calms down. My mother-in-law's eyes bulged and she breathed, "My gosh!"

Apparently Dreamer had started screaming about five minutes after I'd left and had been going for twenty minutes and nothing Ryan, or after hearing the screams coming to help, my MIL had done had calmed her.

Because obviously, in baby-ese Dreamer had been screaming "MOMMY! MOMMY!"

She wasn't even hungry, though I offered to feed her she refused. My mother-in-law shook her head, and since I feel a bit bad for her that her granddaughter doesn't find her comforting I said, "Sometimes I think she just wants my breasts nearby so even if she's not hungry, she knows she can eat if she gets hungry."
this is my actual "we just got home from the trip" photo

"Wow, you really can't leave her at all!" was her response. Hmm. Yeah. True. Blessedly she's small enough now Ryan and I feel we can do things together, like have in-house date nights, with her around. But it does get a bit exhausting.

The next day we didn't let anyone else hold her. They came up and pinched her cheeks and talked to her while she was cradled in the baby carrier, but we only held her. And she was happy. She didn't cry as we did our half day or as we left.

Overall, I think she actually did really well. I'm not sure if she enjoyed the trip, but after the first day I think she was fine with it. She adjusted to the new environment. It was out in the country and I visibly could tell she preferred when we were outside to the conference room most of it took place in.

Personally I got to see some pretty things. There were these elegant Indian cranes and on the last morning I saw a troop of monkeys running across the roof. And there was a bathtub in the hotel room. Cue angels singing. I haven't gotten an opportunity to have a bath (versus shower) since moving to India, so that was wonderful.

The retreat itself was in essence a marriage conference and I think Ryan and I got a lot out of the presentations and we want to move forward with them. Our marriage has been so hectic and under so much stress with the inter-cultural issues, in-law issues (we began our marriage living with his parents), and having a baby so early (we conceived six months after getting married) and all of that. We haven't really gotten a time to just get used to being married without dealing with a storm of life changing events on top of it. So we needed this and I think it will help. We'd actually been fighting a lot lately. It was good fighting, that is, we were working on real issues that needed to be addressed, but it was too often. I think we both felt we got tools and advice to cut through the issues with less conflict and hopefully come out in a more peaceful, stronger place soon.

gone to sleep last night

We both had moments of feeling the Holy Spirit at work and I do think we had prayers answered. Things should get better now. Overall I'm glad we went. I think it was not only good for Ryan and I, but now Dreamer has gotten to leave Gurgaon for the first time since being born!

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