I hope it doesn’t hurt your feelings when I tell you I was dreading the newborn phase. I heard so many just-you-waits and horror stories of colic and sleepless nights. I was kind of terrified.
I never did well without sleep. Frankly I became quite the bitch without a full 8+ hours. Plus the dirty diapers and the cracked and bleeding nipples and the hormones… I always thought of newborns as cute, I just liked being able to hand them back off to their parents after a few minutes. Being responsible for one 24/7? Yikes.
I always joked that I just wanted to adopt a kindergartener, because that’s when kids really become interesting.
Then there was you.
Your birth was beautiful. It was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be. I didn’t love pregnancy but I would give birth a hundred times if every one was like yours. When they put you on my stomach I couldn’t believe you were real. You were perfect.
You took to nursing like it was the most natural thing in the whole world. I couldn’t believe how much I loved breastfeeding. It didn’t hurt like I expected. It was complete bliss right from the beginning. You wanted to nurse almost round the clock.
You also want to be held round the clock. Every once in awhile you’ll be happy to be set down for 20 or 30 minutes and even that is a fairly new development. If I want to be sure you’ll stay asleep and content I have to hold you.
At first this was overwhelming and frustrating to me. People say to sleep when the baby sleeps. Well it’s difficult to do that when the baby doesn’t want to be put down. Ever. Also, I watch the mess pile up around me. I call the futon my nest. I have pillows and snacks and a phone charger surrounding me on it. Most days I don’t leave my nest except to go to the bathroom, change your diaper and grab more food and water.
I found myself wishing you’d let me put you down.
And then I realized, this isn’t forever. Already there was that one time you slept in the mamaRoo for an hour. You won’t always need to be pressed up against me to stay asleep.
Right now you need me. Completely. That is wonderful and terrible at the same time. I am your only source of food and often your only source of comfort. I have had moments of wishing that away.
But no more. You need me all you want, little man. There is nothing in the world that is more important than me being there for you right now.
I look at your sweet face and it’s already changed so much in the six weeks you’ve been alive. You already are awake and alert more and more every day. Before I know it you’ll be too busy exploring your world to be bothered with cuddles. Before I know it your head will have more than just wispy fuzz. Before I know it you’ll lose that sweet milky breath. Before I know it you’ll chunk out and become more than just an armful of sweet squish.
Before I know it you’ll be that kindergartener I was wishing for.
Only the thing is, when I was dreading having a newborn, when I was bracing myself to just get through these days until I got to the “better” years, when I was thinking how I “can’t wait” for ____ milestone I didn’t realize I’d end up with a sweet newborn like you.
Wesley, you are better than I ever dreamed you’d be. I was foolish to want to skip any of this. You take your time growing up. I know there will be times when things are hard, there already have been. But these moments of neediness? These all day cuddles? These I won’t wish away. They can find me buried under a pile of granola bar wrappers for all I care.
Because everything else besides you can wait. Thank you for making me a mommy.