I expected Iz to be clingy. I expected her to fuss. I expected her to want to be held and cuddled. And she has delivered on all of those. She wants to be held all the time, she gets upset when I need to set her down, she nurses like a newborn. She doesn't sleep well and wants to be touching me at all times (even better if I hold her). She gets upset when I leave her sight for things like the bathroom or the shower.
What we didn't expect? Panic attacks. We never know when they will come or what will bring them on. One day, I can put her on her playmat and go into the kitchen where she can see me and cook dinner. The next, the moment I get a foot or two away, she panics. One day, I can set her in her bouncy seat next to my chair and sit there, an hour later setting her in the chair causes panic. I can put her in the crib to sleep and the next time she wakes to nurse, laying her back down causes panic. We never know when. It begins with this low keening wail that breaks my heart, as though all the bad of the world is upon her. If I can't get to her immediately, she starts gasping, unable to catch her breath, struggling to get air in. She begins to shake, all over, and tries to cry between gasps for air. The few times we have, for some reason, not been able to get to her before this point, her cries go silent because she does not have the air to make noise, but we can see her face and body contorted with her attempts to cry. The longer it takes to get to her, the longer it takes to calm her down. She shakes and trembles in my arms, trying to breath, trying to burrow into me.
They are getting better. There are fewer of them, although I still stay very close to her. When she panics, no one, not even Daddy, can make it better. Only me. I spend a lot of time holding her but more and more when I set her down for something, she just crabs at me instead of panicking. I can handle the crabbiness--I talk to her, make sure she can see me, get her a toy to play with, get things done. But I am always close, ready to scoop her up and reassure her that I am here.
Thank God she is young enough that someday she will remember none of this.