My baby girl is one month old today.
I’m not gonna lie. It’s been rough. Yes, there have been moments of joy and unbelievable wonder. But it’s also been really, really hard.
Breastfeeding has been challenging and incredibly painful (perhaps unnecessarily so, if her tongue tie had been caught and corrected earlier). Sleep deprivation and living in survival mode have meant I’ve gone days without showering or even brushing my teeth. I’ve cried more times than I can count.
But some of those tears have been out of sheer happiness and amazement that this tiny creature has given me what I’ve always dreamed of. She made me a mother.
Even as I type those words, it doesn’t quite seem real.
She has made me laugh, too. Like when she smiles in her sleep. Or, the past few days, earning the nickname “George Costanza” because her feathery, newborn hair has started falling out.
She has proven to be as stubborn as she was in the womb, crossing her legs when we wanted to find out whether we were having a boy or a girl. Waiting a full week past her due date to make her sudden arrival. Now, it’s fighting sleep like it’s her job, even as her eyelids droop. She strains to hold them wide open in defiance, not wanting to miss a thing.
Hubby and I are more in love with her than we could have imagined. And, even though we’re both exhausted, and I’ve been more than a little irritable, we’re more in love with each other, too. Seeing each other in our new roles has been a powerful and tender shift. Hubby now makes it his responsibility to make sure I get sleep and food. He takes care of me so I can take care of our daughter. And he does his share of diaper changes, too.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had plenty of arguments. About big and little stuff. And there have been moments when I’ve been glad to hand her off to him because I’d reached my limit. But our time with her is already going too fast. I want to cherish as much of it as I can. So I hold her close when she refuses to sleep. I stroke and smell her balding head. I marvel at the features I recognize as miniatures of my own. Or Hubby’s. And at those that are uniquely hers.
She is still so new and fragile. She is precious. And, at last, she’s ours.