good stuff sprinkled in.

Besides telling me that it gets better, the thing that I keep hearing is that I need to cherish this time. It has been hard to imagine why anyone would say that, really. Not sleeping for more than three hours at a time? Being spit up on? The fear of smelling like sour milk? What am I going to cherish about any of that? My hunch is that people say to cherish this time because they know they didn’t. Because it’s like your wedding, maybe, when you have to fight to be present in the moment because it is going by so fast. But not like your wedding, either, or at least not like mine, because there are things like high blood pressure and spit-up and the aforementioned sleeplessness. You body has been through the trauma of getting another person here safely. The little person is traumatized, too, having moved from a safe and warm spot to this cold, quiet world. And you have no idea what to do with each other. So you both cry a lot.

Probably what people want you to remember is the first time you went into his room to see what was wrong and he quieted down because he heard your voice. That’s a saving grace, right there, when you aren’t sure if the baby has any idea who you are other than the milk factory person. People are remembering being snuggled together for naps rather than how tired they were, and the way that babies push their heads into you and fall asleep after they eat. The way that, about two weeks in, you realize that he’s grown so much already and he isn’t your little newborn. The first time he focuses on your face, and how much more interesting and alert he becomes every day. And the smiling. Last week, my boy started smiling. Things are looking up.

atticus: 6 weeks

But I refuse to feel guilty about being in survival mode for about five weeks. Instead, I have this piece of advice to offer to new moms: Do the best you can. And try to notice the good stuff that is sprinkled in. So that when you aren’t so tired and sore and leaking fluids you didn’t even know existed, you can remember it in your own way.

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