Friday, January 18, 2008

letting go?

for some reason, i was having near-panic attacks last night. for the first time since rhys was born, he slept the entire night in his crib. until last night, he has been sleeping right next to me in a mini-size pack and play, and i have been in absolutely no hurry to move him. first of all, i think his breathing is weird. intellectually, i know that all babies' breathing is weird. a friend pointed out that since he had RSV, maybe part of my anxiety about his breathing is attributable to that.

second, i am lazy. it's much easier to get up in the middle of the night and take two steps to put a pacifier back in or nurse than to walk all the way across the house. now here is the distance between our bedroom and the nursery nook (we call it that because the crib area is in our office, to one side, and i love how cozy it is in there):

i am taking this picture from our bedroom, and the crib is just beyond those french doors. so as you can see, we do not live in a big house.

i also think i was having a hard time with this because (for those of you who knew me when i found out i was pregnant) although i did not particularly want to add any more children to our family, now that we have rhys, i find myself realizing "this will be the last time i ever do this" for every milestone we pass. it's what motivates me to nurse longer than i did with the other two; it's what makes me think about a baby book (even if i don't write in it!); it's what motivates me to stop working and hang out on the floor with rhys even though i have mountains of editing to do.

i wonder why i didn't feel this way with the first two children: i really couldn't wait to get past all the "baby" stuff and on to the "easier" stages (now i am wiser and realize the baby stuff is WAY easier!). i remember people telling me that i should cherish those first months because they pass so quickly, blah blah blah. i would just smile and nod, and inside i was rolling my eyes, going "oh please--i want some sleep! i want to stop nursing and go on a diet! i want to be able to go to the store without spit-up all over me!" i think also it has something to do with gillian and aedan being so close in age. it is really tough to juggle two babies at the same time--i don't know how people with twins do it.

and i remember also standing at the crib before rhys was born, looking at it and worrying that once he arrived i wouldn't be excited. it's true--i was so not looking forward to the whole thing. again, my selfishness. this time it was because i didn't want to go through childbirth (i wonder why!), didn't want to lose the baby weight AGAIN, didn't want to have to change diapers and constantly care for someone. i mean, we had just reached the stage where we could sleep in (sort of) on saturdays while the kids watched Dora and ate cereal on their own. it was a sweet deal!

then he arrived, and everything changed (of course). so i haven't wanted to let go of any of these stages, knowing that we definitely won't have this experience again (we have taken permanent measures to that effect, if you know what i mean!) and knowing that i let some of these moments just slip away with the first two without caring much about them.

yesterday, though, after he began rolling around on the floor, i starting thinking that maybe he shouldn't be in a bassinet anymore. already i had been noticing that when he raises his legs up they extend far above the top of the bassinet. that can't be good--i know this. so last night i put him to bed at 6:30, which is way earlier than he usually goes to sleep. he passed out, and didn't wake up until 2 a.m. to nurse. then he went right back to sleep and didn't get up until 7 a.m.! and i wish i had a picture to post here of him splayed out, with all that room in his new bed. and i knew it was where he belonged, whether i liked it or not. as i have expressed in a previous post, it's just one of those moments when you know, like it or not, they are going to keep getting bigger and bigger, and there's nothing we can do about it except relish the moments we have with them.

now i have to remember this when everyone gets home from school this afternoon and chaos ensues--relish this fighting! relish the mess that can be created in a matter of seconds! relish this tattling on each other! relish the constant need for attention (and food, and drawing paper, and new clothes because the other ones got dirty, and the answer to 10 random questions a minute...). relish it all--in the midst of it is the beauty of motherhood.

1 comment:

asti said...

That is all so familiar...I keep telling myself I must appreciate every second of this,even the bad bits because one day they will not need me as they do now. My eldest is 10 and becoming very independant and my little one is 2. All the little phases come and go so quick and before you know it they are quite grown up. I'm still nursing and I know the day is soon coming that I'll never breast feed ever again..... (I'm depressing myself totally at this point so I'll shut up !).
Anyhow I guess I'm just trying to say I know how you feel.....:)