You are a cocoon,
An extension of my skin-
As if you were still growing inside me.
Head upon chest,
Your tummy on mine.
Each tiny breath gently caressing
the space between us.
No one has ever needed me like you do.
I am overwhelmed at times,
But I am also humbled.
Though I now realize,
I have needed you too-
I just didn’t know it.
I could lay you down to sleep.
But I choose to stay and be in this moment,
Just a while longer.
There is no time.
There is nothing else.
Just you and me.
Like we were always like this.
A few Thursdays ago, I was just about to walk out the door to go to yoga (let me state, it was the second attempt to go since the birth of my daughter, so I wanted…no I needed to go *insert whining new mum sound here*). It was like you subconsciously knew I was about to leave and said ‘wishful thinking mum,’ because you stirred and woke up and didn’t want to go back to sleep. When I put on my gym clothes half an hour earlier than I needed to, I did have a moment of trepidation. But carelessly I threw that to the wind, as I am a crazy, sleep-deprived mother after all and we tend to do silly things- like imagine we can go out without our babies.
As I heard the increasing sound of shhh shhh shhh coming from Bonnie’s room, there was a moment of ‘she’ll be fine, later dudes.’ My body was literally gravitating towards the door; I could feel the downward dogs burning to be practiced. But, I just couldn’t do it. As much as my lovely husband begged me to go and said he was ok, and I knew he would be, I felt bad. There has been more than one occasion where I have stopped him going out because of a similar situation, so I didn’t think me going to yoga really cut the mustard in terms of things I just had to do.
*Let me say, it’s not about getting away from my baby, as I love her to bits. But, I think I can speak on behalf of all mothers, that sometimes –you just really need a moment to yourself and doing things like yoga is really important for our wellbeing and sanity*
My former independence was something I can now look back on as a distant memory and a new goal to achieve at a date tbc. I mean of course I knew all of this would happen when I had a baby; well I convinced myself I did. It’s funny as I feel like the first three months is a whirlwind of ups and downs and tiredness and happiness (and I’d be silly to think that time was the hardest part). I like to call it the adjustment period. You are doing something for the first time in your life where another person’s life literally depends on you. Call me crazy, but that’s damn scary and takes some getting used to. You start discovering things about yourself that you probably didn’t know. Like how to act under pressure. This could be when you are stuck in peak hour and you are continually reaching behind you to stop your screaming baby’s dummy from falling out. It could also be when you discover you baby has done an explosion poo and you forgot a spare change of clothes.
I think yoda was speaking to all new parents when saying ‘patience you must have.’ See as much as I had a moment of disappointment at not being able to go out, I have ‘adjusted myself’ and learnt to have much more patience. I now embrace the fact that this tiny girl who is mine and who is beautiful, needed me to stay and that makes any change of plans worth it. It’s been a really new thing for me, to feel this completely and utterly needed by someone else. Yes I’m sure my family and friends do need (or maybe like) having me in their lives, but it is a whole other thing when a person’s life depends on you. As she’s getting older, it absolutely melts me, when she is feeding –she sometimes stops and smiles at me…. almost to say ‘hey thanks for feeding me mum.’ Or at least that is what my sagging boobs are hoping she is saying for payment of their demise.
So back to that Thursday –we tried the shh shh shh until we could shh shh shh no more. The gentle tap tapping next her just wasn’t cutting it either as she got more and more unsettled. So after my hubby and I tag teamed, I picked her up and just snuggled her in the rocking chair until she slowly drifted off to sleep. Instead of putting her straight down, I chose to stay with her for a while, enjoying the peacefulness of her on me, gently breathing in and out. There is this beautiful innocence and serenity when a baby sleeps on you. Although it can be overwhelming at times, in that moment, I felt a complete gratitude that she does need me so much.
I can be scatter brained at times, but having Bonnie has given me an amazing gift. When I am playing with her, I am completely present, living in that moment. I don’t think of how I have been hurt in the past, angry at times, I don’t worry about what I look like or things I haven’t done- I am right there, living for now. That is the most powerful feeling that I don’t want to ever take for granted and that makes missing out on some things completely worth it. We have been able to leave the house (with many lovely and willing baby sitters) without her and it does get easier. Most of the time, it’s more me not wanting to be without her as I miss her too much. Catch 22 really.
It’s like she has always been a piece of me that has only just come into fruition. She is such a happy, calm baby and I often think that hopefully all the parts of Lewy and I that are good will grow in her too. With her, as much as you need order and routines a lot of the time, I also never know what I am going to get with each day and that is also the most refreshing way to live. I love that I am looking at the world with new eyes. I love that her giggle makes everything better. I love how much I love her. I love how much more I appreciate the small stuff. Cause that is often the most important stuff too.