Bend It Like Baby

As previously written, like any good university-town dweller, I dutifully attended prenatal yoga classes for seven months. I really enjoyed the instructor, so while still pregnant, signed up for her Mommy and Baby yoga classes during my maternity leave.

Before C was born, I imagined us basking in the yoga glow, bonding with other mamas and babies, and showing off my pre-baby belly  (I have since noticed that my memory of body before baby automatically reduces everything by, like, 25 pounds, kind of like how when you were in high school you thought you were sooooooo big and then you look back at pictures of yourself and want to stab that flab-free thigh with rusty tines).

Chalk this pre-baby movie dream to along the lines of my Vaseline-lens vision of nursing with C.

Each week, I dutifully prepared us for our sojourn. Getting a newborn baby out of the house is a workout in itself.

Packed into the car, with extras bottles, clothes, diapers and burp cloths in tow, we then unpacked ourselves in the room, smiling at other moms and their babes. We did warm-ups, some gentle breathing and calmly looked our squirmy wormies in the eye and smiled. Approximately three minutes into this shared experience, C let out a piercing cry.

No worries, I thought. She was generally a good-natured baby. I picked her up and started walking around the room. Sure enough she’ll calm down soon and I can get back to saluting the sun.

Nope. Wails.

OK. A bottle.

Nope.

Diaper?

Nope.

Walking?

Nope.

Shooshing?

Nope.

Swaddling?

Nope.

I left the room knowing that I was starting to bother the other moms who, with their babies, were in their own swan songs of connecting and core strengthening. Us? We were in the hall for what amounted to be an $8 walk.

No worries, says the instructor. She’s still so tiny. It could be her witching hour.

The next week, the same song and dance to get us out the door. And the same cries. This time, she also graced me with projectile vomit that brought tears to my eyes at the shear amount. I drove us home, her in a new outfit that I packed and me covered in sour-smelling regurgitated food.

The next week? Louder screams.

And the next? I nudged in four minutes of warm-ups before the crying started. And so we went, me walking her around for 44 minutes, only quieting down for final relaxation and the drive home.

For six weeks I attempted to get her to have fun with me on the mat, groove on the vibes and simply let me get some exercise. And for six weeks she taught me that as big or little plans are, even for the grace of movement, some things are more important.

There we were, mama and baby, yin and yin, learning how the other one moved in a dance of anxiety that grew into this waltz of love.

– MD

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