Sarah Bergman Lewis, MD and her daughter Anya
Thirty-one years ago, my mom started Seattle's Child. Now that I am raising my own Seattle's child, I understand, on a level I could not before, the importance of an issue like A New Arrival. It's not only for gathering information; it's also for connecting with a new community. Take a moment and read on.
While a bit delusional from a cumulative lack of sleep, I actually volunteered to write this editor's note. I wanted to write down some of the small, amazing things going on in our funny new life. Anya Madrona arrived 2 ½ months ago, and boy, has it been a journey already. You would have thought that as a resident in pediatrics at a Seattle clinic and as the oldest of a large family, I would be prepared for my own baby. Sure, I had the advantage of not worrying that I would snap off a limb when changing outfits, but the daily dilemmas are the challenge ones. Attachment parenting versus developmentally appropriate parenting versus how-to-not-raise-a-monster parenting? It's confusing.
Just before sitting down to write, I achieved a huge success: Anya is asleep in her own crib for a nap (she far prefers our bed, arms or the swing.) Like a superstitious baseball player, I tossed in her crib the shirt I wore to bed last night. Now I am pondering whether I should wind up the mobile again and risk waking her or hope the silence pierced with occasional dog barking is the magic combination. Ten minutes ago the dilemma was: Having reached the shower and glanced at the baby monitor confirming freedom, should I stretch my luck and apply conditioner? These decisions require judgment and multi-tasking that make a day at work look easy. Having a brain cluttered with these small, but important-feeling decisions can also make you feel like you are losing it.
One thing that I have learned is that we new parents need to stick together. The learning curve for this parenting thing is steep, and the target, our child, is always changing. When we cheer each other on, laugh, and roll our eyes at all the contradicting advice out there, it helps us refocus on what is important. Only those who are there, or who have been there, understand the way I am bursting with love for this demanding little person.
Uh-oh, she heard me. Should have wound the mobile. So quick, read some of the great stories we have for you and know that you are in fine company!
Sarah Bergman Lewis is a pedicatric resident at Seattle Children's Hospital. Her daughter, Anya, is 3 months old.