They say it gets easier. That before I know it, she’ll be sleeping more. And we’ll be sleeping more. That we’ll be able to eat a meal at the same time without taking turns. That my heart won’t ache every time I hear her cry. That breastfeeding gets easier and I will feel like myself again.
I know that they can’t be lying to me, but when you’re in the thick of it, it feels endless.
The truth is, I will never feel like myself again – not the self I was. This little 8-pound lady has shaken up our world. She has taught me the true meaning of surrender. While she minds her own business and does what babies do, she has taught me that the only way to find my way to a place of sanity is to let go. I have no schedule or agenda except to give her what she needs – any time, night or day. And because I love her beyond measure, I do it. I now know what it means to be a mother.
So we’re on her rhythm now. We are riding the baby train. We follow her signs, her cries, her coos. We celebrate the tiny victories – like a visit from a friend, an outing to a coffee shop, a load of laundry completed. At the end of the day we look at each other, weary from lack of sleep and the gravity of it all, and congratulate each other on another day down. We did it. Go team.
And in between the feedings and the diaper changes and the tears (hers, mine, and ours), we take a deep breath. We look in her eyes and see ourselves. We hold her close as she starts to realize that we are her mommy and daddy. We are her world and she is ours.
This is living.