Friday, June 4, 2010

12 days old stud

Here's what I'm looking at right now.

a Fletcher Burrito

I remember what life was like before Fletcher, but it's with a distance of more than just "days." This is my new life. He is at the heart of every moment of it.

The way he eats every two hours for about 25 minutes might seem like the reason he's the sun in my solar system, but that's just semantics... just our new, exhausting schedule. Just physical ties.

I am emotionally tied to him in ways I didn't know possible. Also interesting, I feel new, more powerful ties to Andy. I am rooted here to these two people, and I'm truly beginning to know the meaning of family. Of motherhood. Of love.

These 12 days have been the most draining of my entire life. Even if the hours that I sleep add up to six or seven, it feels more like three. I have a headache that has no beginning or end. My back hurts, arms hurt, stitches hurt, breasts hurt. Every time I start breastfeeding, my eyes roll painfully into the back of my head out of pure exhaustion.

Scary questions keep cropping up in my head. Who is going to watch Fletcher when I'm at work? How am I going to handle this when Andy is at work? Will I be able to pump enough breast milk to satisfy Fletch when I'm not there to take care of him? How will I stand to be separated from him for nine plus hours at a time every day?

I can barely handle it when we're in separate rooms.

I hope everyone can be patient with me. I'm not so chipper and easy going as I might have once been. A combination of many things has made me quieter, a little more serious, a little less interested in chatting about myself. Emotionally, I'm in a good place as long as I'm with my son. When we're apart, I'm not in a very good place. But that's life and I have to suck it up. Just don't expect me to be perky.I can't be with Fletcher enough, can't hold him enough, and our moments apart just remind me of that. I don't own him. I can't be with him all day every day. I can only hope that it gets easier.

Even now, when I've been home for two weeks and have another two weeks left, it feels like I haven't had a chance to relax. I don't get to sit and hold Fletcher all day. During any moment that he isn't eating, there are things I need to be doing -- trying to sleep, trying to pump, showering, eating, laundry, shopping, driving to grandparents', visiting with visitors. It's why I haven't made a blog post for 12 days. It feels like there is no down time, even though it's all down time. Even now, I should be trying to nap instead of typing all this out.

But I suck at napping. So instead I'm listening to Fletcher's deep breaths, watching all the expressions he makes in sleep, trying to file him away in my memory because every day he changes and my minutes with him always feel numbered.

He laughs and smiles now, though it's just muscle practice. He still has a habit of opening his eyes when he sleeps, which looks like something out of The Exorcist. He was amazingly strong right after being born and continues to get stronger, moving his head around, and kicking and punching. His nails have a tendency to scratch on sensitive skin, but neither of us wants to cut them. It doesn't look like he's lost any of his thick, dark hair. His circumcision has healed beautifully and his belly button is almost normal.

Everyone agrees he's a stud.

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