I have a sleeping baby and a free minute with an itch to write.
To process a little. Forgive me if this post is a little scattered :)
Luke is just over three weeks old and today is the first day that I am home alone with the little guy. In a way, it feels like I am just beginning motherhood.
I am not sure that I even feel like a momma yet--it's a strange feeling. It's such a new piece of my person that I feel unsure of what to think of it or even how to fully embrace it.
I have so many words and feelings to share that I'm not even sure where to begin. How do I describe it?
Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed and confident in the same minute. Other times, I look back at our life just weeks ago and feel bittersweet about seeing it go. I love our son and love being a mom; yet, there was normalcy, independence, and less fuss before he arrived. I know that with time there will be a new normal, but right now, I'm still trying to figure out what that looks like.
Bonding with Luke was not an instantaneous moment for me. For some moms it is; for me, it wasn't. Yet, each day I feel closer and more connected with him; I feel my heart filling more and more with love for him.
Daily, I'm surprised by the unexpected parts of motherhood. Before having Luke, I knew that breastfeeding would be challenging. I didn't realize how demanding it really can be. I know that with time it will get easier, but right now, I feel a bit like a mama cow with a hungry boy. Even though it's hard, I want to do it. Even when I wake up to his hungry cries feeling groggy and grumpy in the middle of the night, I also feel so motivated to meet his needs--because I love him.
Right now, I'm learning how to dance between selflessly meeting his needs and not losing myself among the diapers, feedings, and ornery spells. How do I be both a mother and Nicole? I suppose at some point they'll mesh and balance, but because this is all so new to me, I wonder how and when that will happen.
More than anything, I want to embrace this tiny person and see him as the gift he really is. Even in the hard moments, I want to capture this time. I want to remember his gassy smiles in the middle of night, or the look he gets when I burp him, or the bright eyes that work hard to focus on me. I want to capture the moments when I snuggle him in close and his body goes limp with sleep. I want to remember his little tantrums that really are few and far between because even those are kinda cute--the way he waves his arms and scrunches up his face with so many expressions. I want to remember his milky breath and fluffy hair. I want to remember what it felt like to have his little body warming mine and curling up to me.
I think it would be (and sometimes is) easy to wish these days forward--to surge quickly through to the next stage of smiles and more interaction. I am realizing that stage of new motherhood is much the same as this wee little one sleeping next to me. It is new, learning, growing, stretching, and demanding.
Just like I want to memorize many of my newborn memories with Luke, I want to remember what being a new mom felt like.
Overwhelming. Joyful. Sweet. Demanding. Hard. Unique. Strange. Unknown. Scary. Peaceful.
If you are a momma, do you remember those first weeks/months of being a new mom?