So it wasn’t the yeast. I tried a new recipe today and it worked like a charm. I have no idea what went wrong yesterday, but something did. I’m much happier with today’s results as are the rest of the house’s occupants. The only problem with making fresh bread is that it lasts all of two seconds. Chris informed me that this was exactly the point of fresh bread – that you get to eat it while it’s warm.
Early this morning Yonese, a lady that works for us, called Chris to find out if he could help with a ride. It was early, Chris was groggy and he didn’t quite understand what was going on. He thought Yonese had fallen and hurt herself. She said she would try to find another ride and call back if she couldn’t. We didn’t hear from her again until around 7 am. At that point things cleared up. Turns out it was Yonese’s daughter that needed the ride to the hospital, because she was in labor. They had gone to the Pierre Payen hospital and were told that Beatrice would need a cesarian, which they wanted to avoid if possible as it’s her first baby. So, about three hours later they still hadn’t gotten a ride. Chris made arrangements for one of our trucks to go and take them to St. Marc. Jean phoned about an hour later and said that the VW stopped just before they got to the hospital. The ladies climbed out and walked the rest of the way to the hospital because they were that close. Just to recap, we have a very pregnant woman, who’s been in labor for who knows how many hours, first baby, rides 30 minutes plus in the back of the truck (this is how they do it here – I’ve seen many women stretched out in the back of a tap tap en route to the hospital), then hops out and walks the rest of the way. Compare that to our hospitals and birthing rooms and calm labor experiences. I’m not saying our system is better, it’s just so very, very different. It reminded me of the resilience of people here. The last update we got from Yonese is that after an afternoon of observation they’re doing a cesarian anyway. In fact, it’s probably all over as I type.
In light of all this and some other things I’ve been thinking about mothering and parenting a lot today. I think raising kids is the hardest job anyone will ever have to do. As someone stated in an online article that I read today, it’s the one thing in life you’re expected to know how to do without ever being taught. I can’t count how many times Chris and I have had the “are we doing the right thing?” conversations. So many. We had another one this morning because Little Miss O is back to her night time antics again. We know she can sleep through the night because she’s done it for a week at a time. Unfortunately she seems to do it better when she’s sleeping in her own room. We’ve been trying to let her work it out in the night and cry if she needs to, but I don’t think it’s working. The whole time she was up with us last month I think she slept through all of 3-4 times over a three and a half week period. I realized that I can’t do night after night of listening to her go on and on for an indefinite period of time. I just can’t. I don’t do well with that little sleep and in turn I get more emotional and less rational. By the time Otto left I was just about at the end of my rope and had been counting days just to get myself through. I get more sleep when I get up with her and feed her because we get into a system where we both know what’s going on and we go back to sleep afterwards. As it is now, even when she does finally nod off I still lay there awake wondering if she really is finished. I came to the conclusion that if our whole purpose of trying to work her into sleeping through was so that we could get more sleep, but that we were in fact getting less, then it seems like a fruitless exercise. The definition of insanity maybe?
I’m coming to learn that babies go through periods. (Many heads are nodding right now) We know Liv can sleep through, she does it when she’s on her own. I think that it’s just a disruption for her to be upstairs and that for whatever reasons she’s waking up. Do I fight it and try to “win” and yet feel like I’m losing the whole time? Or do we go with it and hopefully we all end up happier under the circumstances, knowing that when she moves back downstairs she’ll probably just ease back into sleeping through. It’s so hard to be here alone at times with no one to bounce this stuff off of like I might if I had a Mom’s group to go to, or family closer. Today I was super grateful for the internet because I was able to do some reading about babies and sleep and realized that Olivia is completely normal. We’re completely normal. Our little struggles with trying to figure out how to do this parenting thing are completely normal.
After realizing all of this and talking about it with Chris this morning I’ve been trying to be more hands on with Liv today. She’s a pretty easy baby for the most part and does fine with playing on the floor by herself or sitting in her bouncy chair for hours at a time, but in light of the inconsistencies we’ve been experiencing after being in a pretty good groove, I’m wondering if she just needs me to be more available to her right now. To interact with her more, hold her more, just be there in her little world for a bit more time each day, maybe just to let her know that we’re still here and things will change around us, but she’s fine and loved and cared for. My natural tendency when I’m feeling overtired and spent is to pull away from everyone and take some time for myself. It’s hard to put that on the back burner and give more than you feel you have, to the very person responsible for your tiredness. Every time I do it though I feel a deeper connection with my daughter and I’m learning that this is the very definition of being a parent and of unconditional love, something that I think I only partly understood before.
These are just some of the thoughts rolling around in my head. I think it’s time for a wee bread break ;)