Reality has been hitting me in spurts lately. The reality that “mother” has become part of my identity…it is who I am when I wake up at 2AM, shaking and fuzzy from exhaustion to roll my little girl from her co sleeper into my arms when she has woken. She sighs as soon as I pop the bottle in her mouth…a contented sigh that indicates she is comfie again. She knows my arms. The routine of feeding her until she drifts slowly away. Bouncing her with her head on my chest. Patting her to the rhythm of a heart beat. What is she dreaming when she smiles in her sleep, I wonder.
It’s the reality of coming home after a long day at work and seeing her eyes light up when she looks at me, recognizing me as someone who is important in her life–who gives her something more than just food, but she can’t quite pinpoint what yet. I press her bright red rosy cheeks to me and she smiles and buries her face in my chest, shy and elated that I am back again from the moon and other place I go when I’m not with her.
I find that I like to drink in her smell. When she exhales, I try and take in her breath.
Her belches and farts are the cutest things ever.
There are days I feel soggy. Wasted. Utterly mowed over. A sagging lump of flesh that is there to serve her. I can barely give to her, and I certainly fail as a wife. My flesh isn’t just his anymore, and it makes us both sad and lonely sometimes. I keep meaning to do more…and then she cries and she needs me, and I get lost again. I turn the shower up as hot as it goes and try to remember life “before”. But I can’t. It is only this feed. This nap. This hello. This goodbye. This smile. This pouting lip. This feather-like eyebrow. This fat roll on her thigh. This impossibly tiny fingernail. This laugh with her and Hubs as she “talks” and squawks on her changing table.
I’m 14 weeks into this, and this is my reality. It’s a terrifying and amazing place to be.