It's not that she didn't enjoy being attended to. Oh, my Mia demanded plenty of attention, but not in that singularly gooey, cozy, soft-focus way I yearned for, especially when I was delirious and desperately wanted to lie down with her for a spell. Sure, she'd snooze happily during the hours I wore her in a carrier. And later, after she could steady her head and neck, she was thrilled to perch on my hip and look around. (We called her the "nosiest baby on the block.") And yet, I found myself longing for more, craving a real-life version of that gauzy image I carried in my head, the heart-to-heart snuggling that seemed such an integral part of motherhood.
Before I became a mom, I'd hold babies tentatively. Somehow I knew, though, that once I had my own child, I'd feel at ease and relish my all-access pass to the exclusive world of mother-and-child intimacy. But when Mia struggled with colic as an infant, I despaired that I couldn't bring her relief. Being held by me, in any position, didn't do much to calm her down. In my self-pitying moments, I even worried that Mia and I weren't as bonded as the moms and babes I knew who seemed attached at the torso.