During my labour with Clara I was surprised by how far through the process slow intentional breaths took me, oxygen filling my lungs, calming me down and helping me to manage the pain.
This is something that I have continued to practice as a parent. When she was a tiny new-born the sound of my breathing would soothe and help her sleep. Even in the worst most fractious wakeful nights, intentional deep breaths would reset us both, they felt unnatural to begin with as I exaggerated the sound so she could hear it above her cries, but more often than not as the rhythm was established we would both fall asleep, all angst forgotten.
I haven’t needed to calm her like this in a while but last month in the middle of teeth mania I was reluctant to breastfeed her because she took to biting her pain and frustration out (ouch).
So here we were again.
Sad baby, exhausted mama, deep breaths.
This teething is the first real pain she has experienced and it is my job to somehow teach her that it is a normal part of life and to help her learn to navigate through it.
So far, this is all I’ve got – calpol and deep breaths.
You’re upset and hurting
Share my calm for a while
You need to know I’m close
Sleep in our bed for a while
Your breathing ragged and uncertain
Breathe my breath for a while
We shared it all nine months and longer
Still I don’t mind giving more
So take my breath my space my life
Take it all
For a while.