Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Three Weeks Out

This Saturday marks 4 weeks since my daughter was born.  At this point, life is settling into a sort of rhythm for us.  Not one that's sustainable for the long term, since sleep patterns aren't really being established all that well for anyone except my husband, who gets to have night after night of uninterrupted sleep since he's back at work and I'm at home with the seahorse all day.  Once I go back to work, I'm not sure how all of this is going to work out, since she's not a huge fan of sleeping at night, or sleeping easily at night if she does decide to sleep.  We also go through evening bouts of unexplained screaming where she fusses for hours and hours prior to bedtime, but things are slowly starting to get easier.

Does that mean it's all sunshine and roses?  No.  I get resentful when all I want to do is sleep and she's got other ideas.  I get frustrated when she cries for apparently no reason at all.  We've found a rhythm to our days, but sometimes I find myself wishing for one night a week of completely uninterrupted sleep.  It's not as miserable and difficult as everyone I know has made it sound, but there are moments when I am tired and frustrated and I just want her to be quiet, or to go to sleep and let me sleep too.  I am not always super mom.  I am not always happy and content, and I don't romanticize those moments late at night as being sweet and peaceful.  The bottom line is, I'm still me, and I've never been ok with anything waking me up in the middle of the night.  This isn't any different.  I just have to deal with it, which I'm doing.

At the same time, there are things that are kind of nice.  When she falls asleep on me and she's warm cuddly.  When she has reflex smiles that aren't really smiles, but it's a preview to what she will look like when she does smile at us and recognize us.  When she looks over because she hears my voice.  Realizing that she can suddenly see the little mobile pieces that hang over her bouncer seat or her swing that she couldn't see a week ago.  Her tiny hand wrapped around my finger as I realize I'm actually the one that's wrapped around her tiny little finger.  Her big eyes looking around as she starts to take inventory of all of the new things in her range of vision.  These things are nice.  They're moments I won't get back, and they are fleeting.  Late at night, when I'm feeding her and trying to get her back to sleep, I stare into that little face and realize that it's not as little as it was 3 weeks ago.  She's already grown so much, and changed so much in such a short time, and while I'm not one for getting tearful over reaching new milestones or watching your baby grow up, I did think I'd have more time with her as a tiny newborn.  I didn't expect her to change so fast.  On one hand, I'm ready for it.  I'm ready for her to sleep through the night and learn new things, but there is a piece of me that loves her as a tiny little baby and isn't necessarily ready to see that go away so quickly.  I'm not an overly sentimental person, but I have my moments of wondering how long I have with her wanting to be held, or snuggled close to us, and sometimes I'm afraid that my exhaustion and frustration are making me miss out on the small amount of time I have with her like this.

I also sometimes worry that, while I love her, I don't love her enough.  I know that sounds weird, but in the moments when I'm frustrated or annoyed by the middle of the night feedings or the unexplained crying, when I think that if I loved her the way I am supposed to, I wouldn't be feeling this way.  I watch my husband with her, and realize he has literally hundreds of photos of her already, and who immediately takes her from me when he gets home and holds her for hours at a time, staring at her, stroking her feather soft cheeks with his fingers, and I wonder if he loves her more than I do or at least the way he's supposed to love her.  I love her tiny face, I love when she is awake and stares at me.  I hold her when she cries and I try to hold and play with her for a little bit each day, but my days with her are a lot more task oriented and practical.  She spends a lot of her day in a bouncer seat, or a swing, or on her lounge pillow while I do things around the house.  She gets packed in the car seat and dragged around while I run errands.  I feed her, I change her, I get her dressed and bathe her.  I take care of her daily needs but I don't spend a lot of time holding her in adoration, marveling at her existence and feeling like she is magical.  I love her, but I love her as an addition to my life that I work into my day, not the reason for my existence that I work the rest of my life around.  But, sometimes I feel like as a mom, I'm supposed to want to sit and stare at her for hours, hold her constantly, and never want her out of my site.  I feel like I'm supposed to just be enamored with everything, and the fact that I'm not makes me somehow lacking in the love department.  I do love her.  I think she's beautiful, and sometimes I'm a little blown away that I had any part in her creation at all, but I don't know if that's enough.  

Sometimes I just wonder if anything I'm doing is enough.  


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