I thought about getting up, fixing the TV so I could watch the early morning news, making coffee, using the bathroom. Instead, I lay there, relishing the 8.5 pound bundle sleeping on my chest. I leaned in for the thousandth time just to smell the top of his head. I closed my eyes and rested my hands on him, one on his back, the other cradling his bottom, and I just felt him breathe. That natural rhythm of breath that comes so simply to babies, to children, before they are burdened.. before they forget to breathe.
I lay on the couch with him on my chest and stared at the ceiling, feeling the parts of me that ached with exhaustion and the relentless reframing that happens from constantly accommodating the needs of an infant and a toddler. There’s the nursing, the burping, the constant carrying (of both kids), playing on the floor, playing outside, pushing a stroller, getting up and down and up and down again and again, during the day, during playtime, bath time, dinner, at night. My body aches. Hips, knees, ankles, the back of my skull, my jaw; aches that only the passing of time and hours of yoga will heal.
Meanwhile, my husband gets less of me for now. A smile as he walks out of his office during the day, tales of our adventures during dinner, the offer of a cup of coffee in the morning and the last bit of my energy to engage in conversation at night before I cannot keep my eyes open any longer, a passing touch, just the fluttering of my fingers against his arm or his chest as I drift off to sleep. Then of course the muttering at night or in the early hours of morning as I pace the floor and manage the needs of a cranky toddler before I have my first cup of coffee. One day he will get me back, one day soon we will laugh about these days and miss them and get to watch our shows at night again.
But for now, I’m going to continue to try to appreciate every moment of this sleep deprived time, remind myself that it won’t last forever and will be over too soon. Try to breathe more simply, more deeply, in an attempt to call upon that hidden reserve of patience I know must exist within me somewhere. And mornings like this, I will lay here and study the ceiling and linger as long as I can in chest time with this new baby boy; smell his head and feel his heart beat, match his breath and pat his back and ignore all else until day breaks and I am required to drag my weary body once more into the light.