Thursday, May 14, 2009

Belated Happy Mother's Day

I got a present from J and Evie on Mother's Day...but I got my real Mother's Day gift this evening.

For the first time in over 3 months, Evie really snuggled with her mama.

Pretty early on, I'd say about six weeks or so, Evie decided that unless she was dozing or sleeping she didn't want to snuggle. As her body got stronger over the weeks and months, she became expert at dodging our hugs, pushing off from our bodies and diving under our arms. I don't know if most babies are like this or if it's just an independent streak in Evie, but by the time she was 4 or 5 months old she wouldn't cuddle AT ALL unless she was sleeping. Recently she's even started resisting the cradle hold during feedings, preferring to sit up straight and have us feed her like a baby animal.

We haven't been worried about it (it=autism) because she gives us plenty of eye contact, smiles, giggles, kisses and coos. Just not hugs. J and I agree that the chance to cuddle with a groggy Evie makes the 3 AM feedings so much sweeter, since we don't get many opportunities.

Tonight that changed. For all I know it will be the one and only time for another few months, so I savored every moment. After I fed Evie, I put her up on my shoulder to burp. After the burp, instead of pushing away and lunging for the book basket, she laid her cheek on my shoulder and started rubbing the hem of my shirt as a substitute lovey. I thought she was falling asleep, so it didn't seem unusual at first. I cuddled her and rubbed her back gently. Then I stopped rubbing her back and started to get up to put her in her crib. As soon as I stopped, her head popped up and she flashed me a sweet smile, as if to say "Mama, don't stop!" I started rubbing her back again and she laid her head back on my shoulder. I peeked over her forehead and saw that her eyes were open. Once I realized that she wasn't using me as a pillow but was actually cuddling, with her mama, tears welled up in my eyes and I buried my nose in her hair, kissed her ears and whispered loving words in to the back of her neck. I soaked up every morsel of those minutes, until she popped her head up, flashed me a grin and lunged for the book basket.

From there we proceeded as normal with prayers, books and bedtime.

Thank you, Evie. You'll never know how much that meant to me.

This past Sunday was bittersweet for me. It was a relief to have my first Mother's Day in years that wasn't full of pain and longing for my own dream of a baby. It was a joy to wake up to Evie pinching my lip! (We were co-sleeping after a 7AM feeding.) It was lovely to spend the morning with J's family before we drove back home. It was fun to Skype with my mom that evening. I even received cards from a couple of close friends; they brought tears to my eyes. But it was hard to shake the memory of my pain on Mother's Days gone by. It was disheartening to think that for every woman I know who was celebrating her first Mother's Day with a baby or child after infertility, I know two more women who are still waiting or trying. My heart ached for the women I know in person and online who have been dreading that particular Sunday in May and whose pain is often overlooked or minimized by church, family and friends. I'm not sure whether Mother's Day will ever be the same for me as it is for women who have not experienced infertility, and I'm OK with that. Bittersweet is a lot better than pure bitter.


  1. Beautiful.

    I'm so happy you got your Evie cuddles. And I'm with you on the Mother's Day. I felt the same.

  2. Such a sweet "cuddle story." I hope you continue to get lots more Evie cuddles:)

  3. One thing my church did that I thought was wonderful- they gave roses to single moms and to adoptive moms only. Very special.

  4. Aww...I love cuddles! :) How sweet!

    Mother's day for me never ceases to be bitter sweet. It's an important day.

  5. I'm so, so glad to read about this.


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