Saturday, October 18, 2014

With All My Heart

When my daughter was three hours old and Mr. W and I had been wheeled into our recovery room at the hospital, she started making some noises from her bassinet. She wasn't hungry or wet, and she wasn't crying, but something was clearly "off" in her little world. I wasn't sure what to do, but my husband instinctively picked her up and placed her across my body with her head resting on my heart. She sighed, looked at me for a few minutes, fluttered her little eyes and went right to sleep.

"She just needed her mama," Mr. W said. "She's used to hearing your heart beating, so she's comforted now."

I melted. I've never been needed like that in my entire life. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about having something so tiny and so dependent on me when I'm used to being able to detach from any situation easily (the astrologically minded would call it an Aquarius thing). But feeling her snuggle against me was the most natural thing in the world.

No matter how prepared you try to be, the first few weeks with a newborn are hard. They're REALLY hard. I had no idea how demanding, time consuming or emotionally difficult breastfeeding would be. We've dealt with a light case of jaundice and postpartum hormones and other curveballs life decided to throw at us. It's been as rough as it has been exciting and I've cried more than the baby has, I think.

But as I've been told by every mom I know, this phase is temporary. Eventually we'll adjust and get into a routine and it won't be long before she doesn't need me so much anymore. So despite all the difficulties, despite the fact that I'm confined to my apartment while my friends are out living life, I'm cherishing these moments because I know they're fleeting. It won't be long before my little girl is crawling, taking her first steps and talking. In a very short time she won't fit on my chest for her naps anymore.

Every single day for the last three weeks that sweet baby girl has fallen asleep with her head resting against my heart at some point. And every time she does I force myself to slow down, check my fears and anxiety and just enjoy the moment. Because I can't control the future, but I can appreciate the here and now....and even with the stress, hormones and sleep deprivation, the here and now is incredible.



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