Mat, the pets, and I (and our fetus, too) made it to Mukilteo, Washington well before the last sailing, and after a brief ferry ride and another 20 minutes' driving, we were home. Home, in the summer of 2004, was a double wide at my mother's little farm, and a tremendous break for a pair of cash-strapped newlyweds. With accommodations for Tanner the Paypal Horse, the reality of whom we had yet to encounter, and an extra bedroom for my four-year-old daughter to come home to, it was perfect.
I'll always think of that time as The Year that We Spent Sitting on the Dryer.
Baby D, beautiful and healthy, was born kicking and screaming into our Whidbey home in October of 2004, and she didn't stop screaming until about a year ago (she still kicks).That, at least, is how I remember things, but exhaustion and postpartum hormones can fog the mind. It may be that it was not that bad. We do, after all, have video recordings of her adorable and happy babbling. It must have happened.
D deserves an entire encyclopedia all about her, and she will get her due, but I will just say now that she is a girl of Power. Her strength of will falls just above the carbon nanotube on the Worlds Most Tremendous Things list. D is not a person to cross.
D was a colicky baby (though she told me, at age four, "I wasn't colicky, Mama. I had a head-ick all the time.") and needed some drastic soothing measures. Our incredible doula, Shellie, issued us instructions on the soothing of a fussy infant, and we spent many a restless hour implementing her tips and Dr. Karp's five S's. With soothing static on the stereo system, we swung our safely swaddled, side-lying sweetie until our swinging muscles were sore. I breastfed almost constantly, offered endless suckling opportunities, wore my baby in and out and around the house, tried various elimination diets, aromatherapy, herbal teas, and country drives. What worked, we found, was to sit on the (running) dryer, with swaddled D on her tummy in our arms, and hold a white-noise machine near her head while doing the baby-jiggle-mambo. Mat and I took shifts, and for that first year we spent many a sleepy hour wasting precious natural resources on that empty dryer. D, finally, slept.
. . . to be continued . . . .