Every parent dreams of having that ‘ideal’ bond with their child. Indeed, every parent expects that bond to come naturally. It’s something, as parents, we almost take for granted. It’s instinctive, intuitive even. So, when my daughter arrived prematurely, I had no idea how to cope with the instant loss of that special bond I’d been expecting.
Siena was hospitalised for 5 weeks and, although only a short stay for a premature baby, it was long enough for her to decide she liked her independence. Her time in hospital was cluttered with wires and tubes, my ability to hold and cuddle her was restricted. ‘It’ll be fine when we get home’ I said. ‘We’ll have plenty time to bond’ I assured myself.
The reality was far from this.
Upon Siena’s arrival home, it became quickly apparent that we weren’t going to share a tactile relationship without working at it. She despised being touched unless to be nursed. She shared no interest in allowing me to rock her, cuddle her or play with her. I found it hard to stimulate her physically and mentally. I felt saddened that I’d finally got my baby home but it seemed as though she didn’t need or want me.
Over Brunch one day, I listened as my cousin talked about a new class she’d been attending with her son. I was intrigued. My curiosity widened as I researched the class and discovered that it had direct benefits for premature babies.
Our 1st lesson wasn’t easy, I’d worried all night about how she’d react to being handled. My fears were confirmed as Siena squealed hysterically from the start. Embarrassed to reveal that lack of bond in front of other Mothers, I fled the class half way through…but I didn’t give up.
At home that week, I practiced and practiced. I sang the songs until they became familiar to my daughter. I repeated the same actions until she no longer cried out.
The following week was amazing. My daughter allowed me to touch her for the entire session. She didn’t cry, she didn’t scream. It was the longest she’d ever let me handle her in any one period. The week later, she smiled as we did the actions, her eyes lit up as she listened to the familiar songs. Before long, Kalma Baby Yoga became a stable part of our week, it was something we’d both look forward to. Siena would beam as she registered her surroundings, she’d throw gorgeous grins in the direction of our instructor. The benefits soon translated to everyday life. Siena loosened, she literally uncoiled. Physically, she was easier to handle. She’d stretch and bend with ease and enjoyment!
We also saw progress in the way Siena responded to new situations and people. Socially, she became alive. She’d smile at the people around her (she even landed herself a bit of a crush on the little boy who’d lie beside her). She also became vocal and would express her pleasure in coos and giggles.
Before Baby Yoga, I felt scared that I’d never share a bond with my daughter. I’ve so much to be thankful for. Kalma Baby Yoga taught me how to help my daughter grow and showed me ways to interact with her in order to develop her key motor skills. Ultimately, it allowed me to form a bond I never thought we’d have.
So, the song goes ‘Mr Sun, Sun, Mr Golden Sun please shine down on me’. He listened to our prayers, he shone down on Siena and allowed her to blossom. He shone down on us and showed us how to smile.
Thank You Kalma – Thank You Faye xx