It’s 4:25 in the morning and I’m wide awake sitting in the dark on my living room floor, ferociously devouring a bowl of Lucky Charms while catching up on current events. I forgot to eat dinner last night and I can’t remember when I showered last.
So this is motherhood.
You would think that I’m awake at this ungodly hour because I’m tending to the needs of my newborn son but in fact, he’s passed out and snoring quite loudly in the bedroom. I really should be sleeping too. You know, the whole “sleep when baby sleeps” thing. But I’ve been awake since Holden’s 2:30 feeding, reflecting on the past seven weeks.
I’m a parent. I’m a mom. Nearly two months ago we brought home a tiny little baby and while we read countless books, attended baby classes, and heeded the advice of our friends with kids, we still had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
I’m physically exhausted. For a newborn that’s supposed to sleep upwards of twenty hours a day, you would think that Chris and I would have more down time. I honestly don’t know where our day goes. From the early morning feedings, to the hours spent soothing and cuddling our little one, it feels like our entire day is spent tending to Holden’s needs. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the days of being able to sleep as long as I wanted (and when I wanted).
Everyone tells you that you won’t sleep once you bring your newborn home. I foolishly believed that it was something that I would be able to handle. After all, I was only getting an hour or two of sleep during my last month of pregnancy. The difference is that I was able to nap multiple times throughout the day. That’s no longer the case.
I lose sleep because I’m too busy staring at his adorable face while he naps. I lose sleep because I lie awake in bed, listening to the sound of his breathing (read: snoring), jumping up to check on him if he goes silent. I lose sleep because I’m trying to figure out how to make the world a better place so that he doesn’t have to face the same challenges, struggles, and hate that we are surrounded by today.
And my body, while healed from the trauma of labor, still hurts. It now partially belongs to a tiny human who depends on it for nourishment and comfort. My heart hurts. It hurts with how much I have fallen in love with my little guy. There are days when I am practically crying for the chance to take a twenty minute nap, but as soon as Holden falls asleep, I miss him and spend the time I could be sleeping staring at his perfect chubby face.
I have never been more exhausted in my entire life.
I have also never been so elated.
Everyone says that the first few weeks are the hardest and that it gets better. I believe them. And while this is one of the more challenging times in my life, I know I’m going to miss the newborn stage once its gone. So bring on the sleepless nights and baby cuddles. They’re only going to be around for so long.