Monday, August 9, 2010

Lucy's Adjustment

Tonight I took Lucy for my first solo post c-section dog walk. I wasn't sure when the right time to do so would be--Is thirteen days post-surgery too soon? What if we ran into a skateboarder and she freaked out and pulled at the leash too much? I decided to just keep it a short one on roads with minimal traffic. Both roads we walked on have hills, but we managed OK. It felt great to be walking her, but it's odd how naked I feel without the baby.

Life seems full of various firsts lately--lots of firsts for Emmett (such as first stroller walk or first pediatrician visit), but also lots of firsts for me (first time being unable to tell whether the fluis leaking on my chest is breastmilk or urine, first post-partum meal eaten somewhere other than at the couch). So, to me the first dog walk is a big deal.

People who know how spoiled Lucy is have asked me about her adjustment to having a baby in the house. Things seem to be going pretty well. While I was still in the hospital with Emmett, we had my parents bring home towels with Emmett's scent on them for Lucy to sniff. (I got this idea from a pricey baby boutique in Charlotte, NC, where one could buy a special towel for this purpose--it occurred to me "um, I could just use one of the towels around the house"). You can see how that went in this picture; she not only sniffed it but even snuggled it:
Lucy was definitely snoopy dancing when I we first got home, but then she was a little distant as she saw us interacting with the baby. I decided to interpret this as maintaining a "respectful distance" and figured that she'd interact in a more gradual manner. In the meantime, I would just pet her as much as I could (often while also breastfeeding Emmett).

I think Lucy and I had a bit of a breakthrough one night when we had a very loud thunderstorm. She gets really upset when there's thunder and lightning and sometimes needs comforting. For a change, I was getting out of bed to comfort her (instead of Emmett) and I realized that I missed full-on snuggling with her. Since that night, I've tried to make an effort to carve out one-on-one snuggle time with her (usually while Emmett naps). And she seems more comfortable and accepting of Emmett ever since.

My parents left town today after a two-week visit and they spent a lot of time walking Lucy while I was unable to do so. They definitely bonded, as evidenced in this photo of my dad:
I'm sure she'll miss them, but while I'm on leave she'll get a lot more time with me than usual.

One of the funniest moments was this morning, where I found Lucy trying to read the Dr. Sears Baby Book:
So, overall, no big issues and some good signs of acceptance! Here I demonstrate my ability to snuggle both critters at the same time:

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