Some thoughts from a friend who recently had her first baby…
So my baby finally fell asleep after an hour of full-blown, red-faced, tonsil-exposed screaming. Hubby is still away on a business trip and I find myself wide awake at 3:45 in the wee hours of the morning staring at this feisty little bugger we call our daughter. I figure I might as well make myself productive and jot down some thoughts I may one day share with my offspring if only to prove to her she didn’t miss out on her fair share of making a living zombie out of her mother.
As I gaze at her peacefully sleeping face, I cannot help but be humbled by this little creature I carried inside of me for nine uncomfortable months. Her tear streaked face is the only evidence of the terror he wrought in me barely thirty minutes ago. In the peaceful dreaminess of his slumber, I see my sweetheart’s eyes and a button of a nose that strangely looks like mine. Her little lips continue to suckle as if in his dreams he continues to nurse at my breasts. And as I watch her heart shaped mouth move with this steady comforting rhythm, I feel this unfamiliar warmth and tingle in my chest. Somehow I know that my body is physiologically responding to his need for the milk I am blessed to be able to provide. But in my sleep deprived reality I also know that this tingling I feel is the physical manifestation of a love so pure and so unconditional it frightens the living daylight out of me.
It’s barely been a week (or a little over a week???, or has it been a month???, I’m not quite sure) since this little being who looks so much like my husband came screaming his lungs out into this world. I am in awe of her power over me. The lightest movement and the quietest sound from him has me in a wave of panic and fear I cannot control and yet, at the same time that I feel this gripping fear, I feel an overwhelming “something” that weakens me to my core.
This melting sensation that engulfs my being in the most powerful of ways, this unrelenting desire to overcome discomfort and fear and pain and panic and unfamiliarity because the rewards of seeing him sleeping or smiling or drooling or cooing leaves me melting in ways I have never felt before. This must be love. When one who so eloquently writes for others is left speechless, with nary an adjective to describe exactly how she feels. All I know is this, that I am awake and that I feel. That it has only been a week and yet it feels like it has always been like this and at the same time going through the questioning and the fear and the exhaustion. One thing I know for sure, as I embrace this fear of raising this life, this being I brought forth into this world, I know for certain what it means to love.
You may also enjoy reading about figuring out breast feeding.