The Forever Endeavor

1 + 1 = 4

Reflections of The Way Life Used to Be… March 25, 2009

Filed under: Month 3 — katecosby @ 12:08 pm

A couple months ago I was reading my friend Desaray’s blog which is all about her upcoming marriage to her lovely fiancee Lauren. After reading several witty and endearing posts about hair and churches and invitations, I commented to Natalie that I hadn’t read much on her blog about her expectations of what it would be like to be married.

Being 4 years on the other side of a wedding ceremony myself, I personally feel like the weddings get all the attention that should be paid to marriage.   In our culture we LOVE weddings for all their symbolism and formality. We can all remember really great weddings we’ve been to- the food, the music, the gowns.  But the same attention is rarely paid to really good marriages.  And IMHO- when all is said and done…the marriage is waaay better than the wedding.

I was explaining all of this to Natalie when she gently pointed out to me that I hadn’t written much on my pregnancy blog about parenting.  Touche. Natalie. Touche. We all have our blindspots, I guess.

I am writing this blog post at 1am in Little Rock, Arkansas where we are visiting family. Howie has a cold and is konked out on Theraflu. In between us in our king-sized bed is our daughter Eliza who is lying on her back in bunny-footed pj’s snoring softly along with her dad.

Three months ago my whole focus was on the birth. How would I get through it? Who would be there? How long would it be? How would Howie and I communicate? Would it be in a tub? Yadda, yadda, yadda. And I don’t mean to demean my former self by saying this now…but seriously it’s not about the birth. While the birth is important, it’s really and truly about the process of having a child and becoming a parent. And you realize- when you become parent- that other parents knew this all along.

When Howie and I took the car to the hotel after our wedding…and later when we climbed into bed that night…. it occurred to me that we would be married until we died.  And for me, that thought has occurred pretty much every day since.  That “til death do us part” is not a way to characterize the length of matrimony (ie. that it lasts a long time)…but the unfortunate way that it will end.  We will all die. Marriage is about mortality. It’s about the security of knowing you will have someone to live your life with…and the vulnerability of knowing you will some day lose them.

And this is how parenthood is occuring to me tonight, as I write this blog post.  Since Eliza has been born there is no un-Eliza. Now that she is here the meaning in our lives and our own identities have changed so much that it’s nearly impossible to imagine a time when she did not exist.  There’s no turning back. And looking forward I feel the same mixture of security and vulnerability that came with marriage. Because although we expect to be with Eliza for a long long time- the preciousness of parenthood is also all about mortality.

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You Say It’s Your Birthday… March 9, 2009

Filed under: Month 3 — katecosby @ 12:23 pm

It’s Mamie’s Birthday too, Yeah!!!

 

Moooommie… March 7, 2009

Filed under: Month 3 — katecosby @ 11:18 am

Being the sole provider of sustenance for a baby is a full time job- even if you have a full time job. In order to breast feed Eliza AND go back to work, I will need to insert my nipples into a mideival torture device called the Medela Pump In-Style, at least 3 times a day. The machine, which is designed to be portable, weighs as much as a small child.  It has about 14 parts that need to be washed and sterilized- most after each use. And mine is not in production anymore so new parts are not so easy to come by. A new machine costs around $250.

Pumping is also probably the least attractive thing I have ever done. I have to bare my whole chest to pump and in the morning my boobs are usually so full of milk that the front of my shirt is totally saturated before I can strap on the pump. When the thing is on it sucks my nipples in so far that they resemble what I think the inside of chinese finger cuffs would look like. But with the coaxing of the machine, my chest is a veritable fountain. I can produce up to 9 oz of breast milk in one sitting.

I started pumping about two weeks ago. With the hope that I could get a couple hours of “me” time- out of the house without my darling daughter.  The pump has provided Eliza with her first opportunities with the bottle…which she took to easily.  But we realized, only after I had pumped approximately 40 oz of breast milk, that Eliza did not like boobie juice which had spent any time in our refrigerator or freezer.

A quick google search of “baby doesn’t like refrigerated breast milk” revealed the culprit: Lipase. This is an enzyme which can make some breast milk taste soapy or sour after it is chilled and rewarmed.  So now we go through the added step of “scalding” the milk before we freeze it.

Now that we have figured out the whole breast pump, freeze milk, reheat and give to baby thing…Mommy can leave the house and have more than one glass of wine and we can hire a nanny to take care of our wee little munchkin while we work.

And look how happy it’s made Eliza’s daddy.

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A Walk in the Park March 5, 2009

Filed under: Month 3 — howiecockrill @ 8:22 am

Saturday Kate, Eliza & I headed over to the Albany Bulb – a little jut of land into the bay that used to be a landfill.

Now its basically still a dump, except in a cool, post-apocalyptic art colony kind of way.

Windblown grasses and shrubs, twisted metal, giant slabs of broken concrete, tons of graffiti, and the most surreal sculptures and structures around.

Its one of those places you cross an invisible line & a voice in your head says, “You are now entering….the Berkeley zone.”  (even though technically you’re in Albany).

A great & leisurely choose-your-own adventure walk with my wife and child.

 

The Wheels on the Bus March 1, 2009

Filed under: Month 2 — howiecockrill @ 12:56 am

Sometimes its hard to tell how you feel.