I am lying awake in bed. It’s the middle of the night. You have just eaten and gone back to sleep. Exactly 10 weeks ago I was awake too. Around this time you started signaling that you were ready to be born. At first I tried to ignore it. After all you were planned one day later. However, in the wee hours of the 24th November it was clear that you did not want to wait any longer. You had already started your journey towards birth and there was no going back. At 8:29 am you came into this world.
Tuesdays have been my special day ever since. Every Tuesday I count to know how old you are and I remember what these first moments with you were like, how all of sudden your dad and I were no longer alone. How I became a mum.
Over the last few weeks you have started to have a great routine. On most nights now I only get up once to feed you. You have developed the skill to fall asleep by yourself at night after our evening ritual. During the day you are awake a little more. You are aware of your surroundings; you look at me with your big eyes, you look for me when I am not in your field of view, you smile in the most beautiful way, you wriggle and fidget. You have already grown so much.
I remember the first days at hospital when you would sleep a lot during the day and keep me awake most of the night, crying with your little newborn voice. If at all you would only calm down lying on my chest. You were so fragile and frail. The midwife on shift would ask me if she should take you away for a few hours so that I could get some rest. But I said no every time they asked. I was not going to leave you alone for even a second.
When we first brought you home, all was new and unfamiliar. I was very emotional and still tired from your birth. Yet I wanted to be on top of things and do everything right. I am not going to lie or sweet-talk. The first weeks were not an easy journey.
Even though my love for you remained unshaken, I often doubted my abilities to take care of a baby and myself. Why were you crying so much, why was I unable to calm you down? Was something wrong with you? Were you traumatized by your birth? Was I doing something wrong? Was I even able to look after you? Why weren’t you one of these babies that sleep all the time and never cry except when they are hungry? I spent many nights carrying you around the flat, lying or sitting with you on my chest, trying to find a way to make you feel comfortable. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. I often cried with you. Then again I tried to be rational about it, to find solutions that made sense and that simply had to work. And of course did not…
The night with the darkness and quiet brought the negative thoughts, the doubts and the overwhelm. With the light of the day emerged the brighter side of life, a new beginning, the joy and the pride of having you, the reminder that I could handle anything that was presented to me.
Even though you are only 10 weeks old, you are my greatest teacher. You are teaching me many things… To be patient and stay calm no matter what, to listen and be attentive, to be present when all I want to do is plan and project into the future, to be flexible and ready to do the exact opposite of what I expected to do.
And also: when I face my fears and let go, things fall into place in the most beautiful and unexpected way. Nothing is impossible. We are perfect as we are. You are unique and so am I, so no need to compare with others. We are here to learn and there is no wrong answer.
And most importantly: love is all that matters.
And yes, I sometimes wish things were easier. That you didn’t have your “cry time” in the evening where all I can do is listen to you and hear you. That you slept according to “my” schedule. That I could get more done. That you didn’t cry in public or during baby massage when all the other babies are totally zen or in the exact moment I want to make that phone call.
But who am I to force my way onto you? After all what I love most about you is that you have your own little personality and that you are strong-headed. You know what you want and what you don’t want. And you make it very clear.
This is such a precious time. Many moments that will not happen twice or occur in the same way ever again. So I remind myself to be present and to enjoy what we have: a unique journey filled with joy and love. I cannot imagine life without you. I am deeply grateful that you have chosen me to be your mum.
Thank you for being the person that you are. I love you in the most divine way.
Happy 10 weeks, my love.