Tired Mama and Baby (c) Open Hearted
The little booger turned one month old on Saturday. It’s been two steps forward and one step back since day one. We’re locked in a constant back and forth that I sometimes find comfort in, and sometimes find maddening. Take two nights ago. She slept for five solid hours. That is the longest chunk of uninterrupted sleep I’ve had since she was born (by two hours!). Then last night she woke up at 2 am tummy hurting and slept on and off until 10 am. Either me or H was awake the whole time comforting her as she whimpered in between sleep and wakefulness.
I know that it will get better and it will get worse. I try to accept it and stick with each moment. Though I dare you not to hope that when your infant sleeps five hours one night she’ll do it again the next.
But then I’ll notice something that’s changed one morning. Her hands are bigger, her cheeks are rounder, she smiles at the sound of my voice or laughs in her sleep for the first time. Two rough hands grab me around the shoulders and shake me awake, opening my eyes to what’s in front of me. I find the gratitude and I’m so grateful for this blessing – a sweet, healthy, little girl. By 5 pm after a day with 20 minute naps I’ll forget again, but the cycle continues.
When she finally sleeps snuggled against me, I smell her head and remember, whispering thank you, thank you, thank you out into the universe.
Favorite Moment of the Day:
I took her out of the moby wrap while she was still sleeping. She stayed scrunched up in the fetal position when I laid her down on the couch on her back. She let out a sigh and pulled her knees up to her chest and stretched her little arms high over her head, yawning.
Something to Remember – March:
The awe I felt meeting our girl the moment she was born. Seeing a life where previously there wasn’t one you can’t help but believe in some greater life force – God, the universe, whatever floats your boat. It’s a miracle no matter how you look at it. From a few tiny cells a whole life comes to be.
Today’s our first day at home without H. The little one and I dropped him off at the shuttle stop early this morning in the rain. I slept horribly last night. She was awake every hour and in between feedings she was grumbling. My maternal instincts are in over drive. I’m alert and wide awake at the slightest arm twitch or raspy breath. Then this morning she refused to nap. In the past few days I’ve gotten a good two hour chunk of time first thing in the morning. Today was only 45 minutes and after the grueling night we had I felt jipped, cheated. I know she has no control over her sleeping and eating schedules right now, but I’m strapped in to that ride no matter how hard or crazy-making it gets. Today has been tough. At the third feeding, with no sleepy droopy baby eyes in sight I started crying when she cried again. My whole day hinges around this tiny little being who is only beginning to learn how to be in this world.
I can fix all of her problems right now. This is the only time in her life when I’ll be able to soothe her, comfort her, no matter what troubles her. Her problems are simple, wet diaper, hunger, need for comfort. As she gets older and her feelings get hurt by a friend, she feels disappointed in not achieving something she’d hoped for, her heart gets broken, all I can do is offer to stand next to her. I won’t be able to take her troubles or tears away.
I love that I can cuddle her and she still fits in the space between my chest and hips. She’s grown so much and I know this phase won’t last very long. I love the smell of her head. The unearthly softness of her hair and cheeks. The sweet smiles she makes as she falls asleep. And oh my good the sweetness of her milk breath. I could watch her for hours on end, just sleep and breathe and coo and take in the world around her. She changes every day and I try to appreciate each moment as much as I can. I know they won’t last long. She officially grew out of the newborn size diapers and her first onesies. It’s hard to know we can never go back, only forward.
I’m also grateful for an incredibly supportive partner. H has taken on so many more chores around the house. I love to watch him love that little girl. He dotes on her and can’t stop kissing the top of her head. He also loves that she prefers getting burped by him. He changes diapers all the time. And most importantly he listens to me and comforts me when the hormones and the hardness of this period of time get the best of me. He’s my better half, the last piece that completes the puzzle and I couldn’t do this without him.