By A. Hosack, P. Berman, & K. Hecht
Claire wakes up from her four-hour nap and feels less tired. Mrs. Carson is rocking Davy to sleep. It will be her turn in a minute. Claire has been dreaming about the three steps Mrs. Carson practiced with her. She had this idea that the family goldfish always looked so calm. She was standing in the living room, staring at the fish.
It looks so calm. Maybe, I can do the “remind yourself to stay calm” if I try to imagine I am this fish?
Mrs. Carson walks up to her and asks what she is doing. Claire tells her she is practicing the “remind yourself to be calm step.” Mrs. Carson smiles at her and gives her a kiss on the cheek. Claire blushes and looks up at her for a moment before looking down. Mrs. Carson goes to her bedroom to sleep.
Claire walks into Davy’s room and decides she will practice deep breathing while he sleeps. She thinks she is learning a lot of good stuff from www. zerotothree.org that makes her feel better; Davy isn’t bad, he is just a typical crabby premature baby. He is crying a lot because the outside world is just so much harder to deal with than the world he started with in her body. She sighed for a moment. Her body was good for something; it was not a waste of space. Her body had provided just the right temperature for Davy to feel comfortable while he was developing inside her. Now, in the world Davy was having trouble keeping warm because he could not generate much of his own heat. Could Davy be crying sometimes just because he gets cold each time she takes him from under his blanket or away from her body to change his wet diaper?
Claire had asked Mrs. Carson’s advice about how to handle this situation. Mrs. Carson had taken Claire and Davy back to the maternity ward at the hospital to visit the Nurse Karin that Claire was always talking about. Claire tells Nurse Karin what she has learned about premature babies having trouble keeping warm. Nurse Karin showed Claire and Mrs. Carson how to provide Kangaroo Mother Care. This kind of care involves keeping Davy pressed directly against her skin, usually on her chest, for as long as she is able, day and night; she would actually be sharing her body heat with Davy so he wouldn’t feel cold. Claire and Mrs. Carson both practice this, while getting advice from Nurse Karin.
On the trip home in the car, Claire was so happy and excited. She forgot herself and said out loud,
Maybe Davy doesn’t hate me. He just cries a lot because he is cold.
Mrs. Carson was shocked by Claire’s comment. “Of course, Davy doesn’t hate you Claire. You are his mother. He loves you!” Claire looked at her in surprise. “Are you sure Mrs. Carson?” “Yes dear, Davy loves you just like my kids loved me.”
Claire went into the most pleasant daydream. In it Davy could talk and told her she was his special mommy and he loved her. Nurse Karin was also telling her again how when Davy had been developing inside her, he slowly began to be able to hear her the sounds inside her body; her heartbeat had had become familiar to him before he was even born; now, hearing it could help calm him down.
Her body was not a waste of space. Just the sound of her heart could help calm Davy down!
Claire looked down at Davy, asleep in her arms. Her parents had called her stupid. But, both the Carsons and Nurse Karin thought she was learning great things from the Zero to Three website. Maybe her parents were wrong, and they were right? Maybe she wasn’t stupid!
Is Claire fooling herself?
Could a website really help someone be a good mom?
To learn more about the practice and benefits of Kangaroo Mother Care for yourself, check out http://www.kangaroomothercare.com