I’ve been breastfeeding now for 7 months and I’ve never use a nursing bra. You know, that specialized bra that opens exactly to the nipples so that you can breastfeed in public without bothering people with your bare breasts. That. I despise that!
You are a few days shy of seven months. Time flies. I couldn’t remember anymore how you smelled when you were very tiny. Or how fragile you were. Nowadays you couldn’t keep still. You even refuse the daily naps required for babies. You’re either standing and practicing your strides, chewing everything from tissue paper to your own diaper, shouting at everybody or pissing Mama off.
You are are trooper. We could take you to restaurants, chic or otherwise, to national parks, museums, running routes and even to church and you wouldn’t cry. You’d only fuss when you are hungry. We take the public transport to Mama’s office and you are a breeze to carry. You’ll just sleep or charm other passengers with your smile and curious stare. Your parents would always get compliments about how you’re a sweetheart and although we are beaming every time that happens, we try to avoid showering you with too much compliments. You are beautiful but just as beautiful as the next baby.
Your motor skills are advanced for your age. Maybe because I didn’t box you, literally. I refused to imprison you in the crib and let you crawl all over our not so tidy house or Mama’s not so clean office. I believe you are strengthening your immunity better this way. You haven’t been sick. And I am thankful for that everyday.
Until the 5th month I thought you were a great sleeper. Turns out you were not. You’ve been terrorizing our evenings since Lola went home. I think she spoiled you too much by dancing you to sleep all the time. Mama and Papa couldn’t do that. You must learn to sleep on your own. We hope to raise you as an independent, strong girl. And we started by giving you your own room.
This week marks my 4th month of breastfeeding. Second to broken sleep, it is the most challenging part of this motherhood thing. The first week was a total nightmare. From being body parts that initiate desire, they became objects with a manual. They are the first things your baby looks for when she comes out of your womb. There are specific liquids that must be released at specific times.
Mine seemed to be broken. So like objects of use, my kraamverzorgster (postnatal nurse) tried to fix them. With her huge Polish hands, she massaged them like pairs of legs that just finished a marathon. Tubes were attached to them while a machine the size of a portable tv sucked the life out of them. They refused to work and let it known by becoming painful. Milk wouldn’t come out. So my baby drank cow’s milk. I was ready to give up on the very first week.
February 2, 2017
Thirty six weeks and six days. My dearest T, tomorrow you will be a full term baby. From tomorrow on, you can come out to this world anytime you want.
Unfortunately my love, this is not the kind of world that Mama has envisioned for you. Yes, you will be born in the Netherlands, your Papa’s motherland, a country of privilege, both in money and human rights. Here you will be protected, not only by your immediate family but by the Dutch government as well. Your well-being will be taken care of until the day you’d be required to pay taxes.
But Mama worries about your future. The world is getting uglier. In the Philippines, where Mama was born, almost 8000 people had been killed by a populist leader’s thirst for blood and power. In the USA, hatred for immigrants, bigotry, misogyny and greed are tearing their nation apart, fueled by a fascist child they elected for president. In Syria, people and children, even babies, are being bombed and murdered everyday. And while trying to escape the hell they’re trapped in, they’re drowning in the Mediterranean Sea while our politicians here in Europe remain reluctant about their fate.
What a cruel world, dear child! This is not the kind of world that Mama wants you to grow up in. But there is no perfect place. I just hope that I’ll be able to raise you well enough that these cruelty will not make you disillusioned. Instead I hope this makes you a good person. Someone who won’t be apathetic, someone who’ll act against injustice, even in the smallest ways.
Whenever I echo my fears to him, your Papa always tells me that you will save the world. Your Papa is a man of science and a very good person. Mama is fiery and can sometimes be too emotional. But Mama is also brave when it comes to things she believes in. I hope you’ll take the best from us. We hope to nurture you with our better traits but we know that you will create your own self, outside of who we are. And we want you to.
You will save the world my dear child. You, together with all the children of your generation, will make this world a much better place if Mama and her generation wouldn’t completely destroy it first.
I am waiting for your arrival with a full heart.
I'm Dheza, raised in a barrio in the Philippines, immigrated to the Dutch polder and travelling through running. This blog documents my life, to which I would like to look back to with tears and smiles when I am old and unable. Drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow me @thisgirlfromthebarrio
A working mom who run marathons, cooks, blogs and travels on weekends. Sharing #reallife stories.
Bassano del Grappa Belgium Birthday Detox diary girlfromthebarrio Kustmarathon Zeeland 2018 learning Russian Letters to my daughter Life update Luxembourg Mama Marathon Training Minimalism Morocco Musings Netherlands Norway No Spending Challenge Osaka Yodogawa Marathon 2016 Paris Personal challenge Race report Recipes Restaurants robin kuijs photography Rome Rotterdam Rotterdam Marathon 2015 Rotterdam Netherlands Rotterdam restaurants Russia safari Safari in Tanzania shopping St Petersburg sustainableliving Tanzania theweekendtraveller the weekend traveller Torshavn Marathon 2016 travel travelstories weekendjeweg winter in Russia Working mom