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Friday, March 15, 2013

(re)living & learning

My sister had her first baby and my first nephew on February 28.
He was perfect and precious and I couldn't wait to hold him.
While we were visiting and I got to spend time with my sister and newborn baby John, I was reliving my first days with Grady. I recounted with my sister, in the trenches of the first week of motherhood, how there was so much guesswork in the beginning.
Is he still hungry? Did he get enough to eat? Should I feed him longer on this side? Is he sleeping too long? Should I wake him up and feed him?
And we lamented about how people shouldn't put so much hype on the labor part (especially if you get the epidural) but the recovery part. Woof. And that breastfeeding is more of a learned skill than a natural instinct as some might tell you.
This led me to recall how I had felt in a strange haze and totally not like myself those first few days. Like I was floating through this new life of mine where all I did was breastfeed, change diapers, and get to know this new baby who had taken over my life. I remember having a pit in my stomach because I didn't really like this new life.I didn't feel an instant crazy, passionate, irrational love for Grady. I loved him for being mine, for being here, and for being the baby I prayed so very hard for. I wanted him, of course, but I didn't know him.
It was strange to remember all this as I watched that same baby crawling around on the floor at my feet.
This child, who I feel overwhelmed to the point of tears with love for now. But my love for him started as just a little spark on that very first day. And has since been ignited by thousands of kisses and giggles and tears and days. Days of learning my sweet boy. Learning he would never take a pacifier, and that he would prefer his two middle fingers. And that he would be an amazing sleeper starting at just 6 weeks. That sometimes he would just need to fuss. How he would make a knocking motion with his wrist when he would stretch. The way he would touch my lips while he nursed. That he would love to be swaddled. That it wouldn't make any difference to him when we stopped swaddling. That he would be sweet and so very smiley. And have special smiles that were only for me. That he would adore his dad and light up when he came home. That he would be strong, while bringing up the rear in the 5th percentile. That he would be fearless learning to crawl and climb - bumping his head with no tears involved. That he would teach me more about myself than I ever thought possible.

And now my love is an all-consuming fire. I love him with a fierceness and tenacity I never thought possible. To know him is to love him and I know my boy like the back of hand.
He is my very best.




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