on our own
She sleeps, finally, in the bedroom. At every sound I rush to see if she is awake, if she is okay – and every time I find her sleeping, find her beautiful blue eyes closed and her angelic face coloured by sleep. I look at her and I feel proud, I feel love, and I feel nauseous about having to wake her up in no time to breastfeed her again. We are doing scheduled breastfeeding. Every three hours. They told us to do so at the hospital because she didn’t really have an appetite in the beginning. She does now but they have told us to keep doing the scheduled breast feedings and who are we to do anything else but what they tell us. It pains me though. She has yet to wake up herself and actually want to eat, and I have yet to not set the alarm for late and early feeding hours at night.
J is back at work. A wonderful fortnight ended yesterday when he returned to leaving the house before 8am. Yesterday was a crap day. G wouldn’t sleep and I didn’t sleep and when J finally came home, she just cried and cried and cried and despite the tiredness being written in her face, she just couldn’t doze off. It was tough.
A friend of mine, and mother of two – the youngest being just 8 weeks old, phoned me today. At first I thought about not picking it up. G had just eaten and I was desperately trying to get her to sleep (we have sleep issues), but I picked it up thinking that if I could afford to show anyone how tired, desperate and lonely the last couple of days have left me it was her. “I don’t remember much of the first month with A [her first], but it gets better. You are allowed to wear your feelings on your sleeve and you’re allowed to just want to be left alone,” she told me. As we talked I felt a little better. G fell asleep and I realised that I have exactly 16 days of motherhood on my resume and every day I do my very best and no one can ask more of me.
One day I will tell my little girl about the Friday her Mum spent on the sofa in her pyjamas, not brushing her teeth until after noon because she was just so exhausted. I will tell her about nipples so sore they make you want to cry. I will tell her about desperation at 4am when she wouldn’t eat. I will tell her about the anxiety I felt when her father went back to work. I will tell her about long nights of stomach aches – mostly hers, but mine due to her crying. The stories will be numerous, but every time I look at her sleeping face, every time I wake her up and her blue eyes meet mine, every time she practices the reflex that will one day be her smile, I am melting, I am overwhelmed with how much you can love such a little person making such a mess of the life you used to live.