Saturday, November 22, 2008
I never thought it was possible. To love something so completely, so deep and so immediately...I've always thought that I've had a big heart and a big laugh. And both come easily to me and I feel they are great strengths. But I was completely unprepared and knocked up by the total and immediate immensity and intensity of my heart's opening to Ayla. To say that she already has her Daddy wrapped round her little (perfect) fingers is a grand understatement!
She is the definition of precious and perfect. And so absolutely present and in the moment. I mean she could be wailing and really pushing those new lungs to their limits (because of hunger or cold diaper wipes or lately a yeast infection) and then the next moment that "suffering" is gone, immediately replaced by contentment, awe, confusion or just being.
The way she will stare so intently at something or someone. I mean really gaze wholeheartedly at the world around her is so amazing. Such a powerful reminder of how to really "BE" in the moment. Where your senses are everything and you are so intent on something - vision, hearing, taste, etc - that nothing else enters the mind. It's transfixing and pure mediation to watch the Baby TV...
And that's another thing that is so incredible about being with Ayla right now - there is no mind or ego! A little Buddha she is now (until we inadvertently but almost unavoidably teach her out of her innate Buddha-hood). She has not formed a sense of "I" or seperatness from her world. She doesn't "know" that she is Ayla. (Mabye on some level she is beginning to recognize the syllables "Ay" and "La". But honestly, I think she's going to think her name is Precious or Beautiful the way Leigh and I call her that all day everyday.
Just today she did two really incredible, simple yet powerful developmental acts. The first was when I was holding her and I made the "A" sound, she immediately responded with the same sound! She is a great mimicker and has been following our facial expressions with the greatest interest. So lately I've been practicing the vowel sounds with her. A...E...I...O...U...with A and O being the easiest to at least facially mimick if not verbally mimick. But today she totally repeated "A"! It was awesome.
Then Leigh was telling me later she was laying on the bed with her and the baby wipes were sitting there very close to her face. Leigh could tell that Ayla could see the box, was focused on the box. But then she actually reached out and touched the box! After a second of looking a bit confused, or at least puzzled/curious, she did it again! Her fine motor movements are still quite a ways off from being totally dialed in but to reach out and interact with her enviornment like this...well, I know it sould totally small and minor, but it's huge to us, the proud parents!
Ayla is beginning to look around a lot more and actually focus on objects, actually "see" them. I am constantly wondering what she "thinks" or how she processes her input. Especially when she is sleeping and these instantly there, instantly gone facial expressions flit across her face. What is she dreaming about? What do babies dream? Previous lives? Colors? Light and dark? Her mental vastness and lack of egotisical borders is truly inspiring and Leigh and I are both full of rapture and awe.
Ayla is doing really well, physically too. She is growing so fast! She weighs over 9 1/2 pounds (that's 2 pounds in 2 weeks). We just went over to visit a newborn baby to some friends of ours from birth class. Their little boy was born 6 days ago and weighed 7 pounds and change. Ayla is only 2 weeks older than him and totally seems to dwarf him already! She is a chunck! Guess Leigh's pumping out the goods and when its an all you can eat buffet ON DEMAND...As one of our midwives said on seeing Ayla for her 2 week check up, "That is one HEALTHY baby!".
She is still mostly sleeping, eating and shitting. But she's really, really good at all three of them! When she sleeps, we swear she's made of rubber. Just draped over an arm or a belly or hanging off an abdomen and snoring away. And it doesn't matter where she is or what's going on around her. It could be loud or quiet or light or dark, sleeping the hours away...Reminds me of my college days. Ayla is at her loudest when she eats. Its hilarious. All kinds of snuffling, snarking, squeeking, cooing, sucking, slurping, burping sounds. And with both hands on the boob, I swear she's already saying "I can do it!". And I know it may sound cruel, but when she gets her "Poop Dance" going - arms flaying, red faced concentration, brows furrowed, legs pumping and occassionaly going straight out and then coming back in, with all kinds of grunts and pushes - Leigh and I just crack up and encourage her on with "You can do it honey!" and "Push it out baby!" and "Squeeze and squirt little Ayla!".
She has totally changed our lives. We both feel like our entire lives have really just to prepare us for now - being parents to her. Everyday is another miracle and another moment of pure joy/love/awe... Of course there's little sleep and sometimes moments of total frustration because we don't knwo why she's upset and fussing. But like Ayla, we have learned to let those moments go. They are part of it as we figure this out. Besides the incredible thrill and inescapable bliss that enters your soul when staring at her far outweighs any temporary inconvenience.
We are savoring and honoring this sacred time. We are blessed. We are in love. Ayla is our new life and we welcome the rebirth!