6 Months into Motherhood
Meet sweet and squishy Graham Daniel. As I type this it’s 9:50 pm and Graham went down at 7 pm and just let out a blood curdling scream. So there’s that. He kind of cries a lot so I think it’s just a reflex or something. Here I’m sharing five reflections on Graham and the first months of motherhood.
I can’t believe how much I love this little guy now - but it was not love at first sight. This is surprising- even to me looking back on it, but while pregnant I actually wondered, will I love this baby as much as every parent seems to love their child? I couldn’t imagine loving someone as much as I loved my husband, Chachi, and the wee little babe growing inside me was a stranger. Honestly, the first couple of weeks of having Graham I was still a little uncertain. I didn’t have that immediate bond with him when he came into the world. I felt ashamed, and didn’t think it was normal. It wasn’t until I went to a mom and baby group and a friend told me she felt the same way when her daughter was born that I breathed a sigh of relief. Through that mom and baby group I learned what every human everywhere wants to know - I was not alone.
Lo and behold a few weeks into motherhood I finally understood what the big deal was. Watching Graham wiggle and grow filled my heart until I thought it was going to explode. I’m obsessed. My husband and I can’t stop talking about every little thing he does with awe. The beauty in this is I now also have more of a glimpse of God’s love for us. It’s insane- and like Graham we’ve done nothing to deserve it. We just are and even if we scream and resist like Graham does - His heart still explodes with love for us.
Life is never going to be the same. There were many tearful and sleepless nights the first few days and weeks home. There were tears for so many things, my body healing, my hormones going crazy, Graham crying, trying to figure out nursing, but also unexpectedly there were tears that mourned the loss of “just us”. It was no longer just Chachi and I and as I was still trying to figure out and get to know Graham I felt like I was losing more than I was gaining. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As Chachi kept assuring me, learning to parent Graham alongside him has been the best part of my life so far.
Graham is a gift to more than just us. I love watching the joy Graham brings to aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. When you get a smile from a baby, even if your a stranger at the market, you feel like the most special person in the world and I love that.
Counting the hours of sleep and worrying about “doing it right” is pointless. I was (and still kind of am) sleep obsessed. The first few months I counted hours of night time sleep religiously (thankfully Graham was a great sleeper months 0-3). I was so concerned about getting him to sleep through the night as quick as I can. When you have a new baby everyone asks you about sleep, and I wanted to proudly say, he is sleeping through the night easy peasy. I thought it would be a testament to my fabulous parenting skills.
As he got bigger though, I started to understand that while we should make efforts to set up our wee ones for nighttime success, slowly and tenderly loving their little souls should be at the top of our mind rather than an hours of sleep calculation. Yes, I do want him to sleep through the night, but a moment at 3 or 4 or 5 am when I hear a cry and some baby babble isn’t the worst. He won’t need that little cuddle or snack for long, so I am trying my best to love it.
Little miracles and melting moments. Literally everything Graham does makes me melt. The only person that will probably happily read on without rolling their eyes at this point is my husband, but this is an honest reflection and I cannot leave these sweet little details out. So here are a few little miracles and moments that make me melt:
A big smile and kicking feet when I walk into the room. Rolling all over the place. Learning to wave, which is really just grabbing at the air, but so cute. A smile every single time he hears “momma or memere”- either he loves “m" sounds or we are his two favorite people. The bright red face and dramatic cry, only a mom would say this for sure. When he wakes up in the morning or from a nap and just wiggles and hangs out in his crib, patiently waiting for us to pick him up.
And honestly- it feels like a little miracle that I made it through the day when we put him down at 7 pm for the night. I breathe a sigh of relief and relax. Graham is a bit of a “high needs” baby as someone kindly put it when I mentioned he was a little fuss ball. I try to remember the world is a big and new place to his little eyes and there is a lot to learn. This thought helps me with patience. Also me taking a nap, having a tea at a cafe alone and babysitters (usually my mom) for a dinner with Chachi also help me with patience.
I am looking forward to see what’s in store for the next 6 months and am praying they move at the pace of a sloth.