It’s not you.
I promise, it’s me. Please don’t hold my baby. Please don’t hold her for more than five minutes. I’m telling you that my hormones can’t take it.
Sometimes even five minutes is too long. And strangely, Chase doesn’t count. For some reason, he’s exempt from my massive maternal hormonal imbalance.
It’s a feeling I can’t explain. When Scarlett was only two weeks old, we went to an afternoon party, where of course, everyone wanted to look at and hold her; she was so new and small. Not wanting to rain on everyone’s parade, I tentatively gave her up to partygoers, hoping they would ooh, ahh and then hand her back, especially because she was so new.
But they didn’t.
Two hours went by and I hadn’t been so much as a couch cushion close to her (I actually timed it…). It was going against my instinct to let her be passed from family member to friend and back again. “We’ll give you a break,” they said smiling. But Nope. I didn’t want a break. I crazily wanted my baby back. I was antsy, sweaty and cranky. I praised the teenage Jesus and all the Greek gods when it was time for her to eat, when (I felt as if ) I snatched her back and retreated away. It was the longest since she’d been born that I had not laid hands on her. And it was too much.
Now that Scarlett is two months old, it’s a little easier to hand her off to new admirers, but I still find myself hovering over them (not that they are doing anything wrong), waiting for my turn to get her back. Of course, I trust my husband to care for her if I ran to pick up Red from school, had an event to attend or was dying for a nap. But the instant she cries, or shows discomfort, I want to rescue her. I want to make her feel better (Daddy can, too, but it’s a weird Mama thing). Chase even noticed, after he offered a mother’s helper so I could take a nap or get my nails done, that even if I could have someone help with Scarlett, I wouldn’t want it. At least not yet.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen that Scarlett has a very upset period of the day around 7pm. She’s tired, hungry, and sometimes downright inconsolable. And while I do my very best to quell her cries and make her comfortable, I don’t want anyone but Chase to rescue me from that hour. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, I’m still fairly sleep deprived (which, bless my husband, causes me to be very cranky in the mornings), and this too shall pass, but don’t take my infant away from me.
My crazy-pants brain wants to say, don’t snatch her carrier away thinking you’re giving me a break. Don’t roll the bassinet out of my room and into your own. Don’t try to sit with my baby for an hour even though I’ve only met you a few times. I’m not even eager to go out to dinner away from her, even though it means I get to spend MUCH NEEDED time with my glorious husband. The last time I went out without her was just to the grocery store for a few items and then to pick up Red. I found myself having serious anxiety in a grocery store I’d been to a hundred times because I couldn’t find the cornbread and all I could think about was my babies.
My own mother told me that when I was an infant, she couldn’t bear to let anyone else push the pram or stroller. She didn’t want anyone else to do anything for me, so I guess you could say my condition is genetic. 🙂 But I do know better. You will be fine holding her. Nothing will happen. I will not disintegrate. As far as I can figure, it’s a breastfeeding thing. Extra hormones because we’re still nursing, maybe? I don’t have a good explanation except that to tell you this is how I feel, and I need you to wait a while. I’m sure it will get better, and I’ll loosen up my grip, but for now I’m in a holding pattern.
How did you feel with your babies? Did you ever feel this way, or were you more open to letting others care for your baby at a young age?