27 January 2008

Balance restored

I did an hour and a half of yoga class today, with my mum and a whole load of women of all ages and figures who had one thing in common: they had all done months of classes leading up to that one!

I felt really rubbish to start with, the only one who couldn't hold downward facing dog for more than four breaths, the only one who couldn't even get from plank (like a press up) to crocodile (lying face down with hands close to chest and elbows up) properly (ie without flopping down onto the floor). After a while I could see that not everyone could do everything and that although I lack strength in my wrists and arms, I can do other balances and poses that many of the experienced and beautiful were finding a lot more challenging.

After yoga (and retrieving Morgan from Martin whom she had been persecuting in the cafe for a while) we went swimming. Morgan did so well! We did some baby swimming when she was small, and practiced breath-holding in the bath, but this time she was fighting to get out of my arms and making swimming motions with an expression like, "why won't you let me have a go?" So I warned her that she was going to dive (our cue word for water on her face) and let go, and she swam underwater to Martin. After that we let her hold on and let go more or less as she wanted to, and she spent a while toddling around in the shallows too. She would fall over, and right herself to stand up without a fuss or a splutter - under the water the whole time.

Trusting her was the most nervewracking thing I have ever experienced, seeing her submerged (face concentrating hard on rolling herself back over and keeping her mouth shut at the same time!)... I had seen videos of babies in the water before and not really believed it. Chalk up another thing to her determination and faith in her own ability; I can't imagine ever having let Jenna try it but Morgan knew and she told me.

I am every day impressed with how she communicates. I can't always say how I know what she wants but her expression tells me or something in the way she is looking uncomfortable. It's so good.

I'm also feeling happy because I'm still getting some sleep, I think Morgan is probably waking once at the moment so I'm getting a few hours and then another few hours. It makes a big difference. Jenna is throwing some really wierd tantrums again and I can't figure out if there's something behind them apart from the immediate want and my (sometimes less than tactful) refusal. But I'm dealing with the outcome better and not yelling back.

We're having more calm days than shouty days, and I can see the difference in how she responds to me. She's more likely to stop when I ask her to and she's more likely to come to me for a cuddle than she was. I don't think she's ever going to go back to how cuddly she was when nursing though. She doesn't seek a lot of physical affection from me and she hasn't since Morgan was born, the baby gets all of the loves from her.

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