Limbo

Wake, feed, sleep.

Wake, feed, sleep.

Wake, feed, sleep.

This is what living with a breastfed newborn is like, if you’re the one in charge of the breastfeeding.

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Wake, feed, sleep.

It reminds me exactly of what it was like to play a game of jump-rope on the playground at recess as a kid. Two friends would stand opposite each other, swinging the rope in a perfect rhythm, while I stood to the side, arms raised, hands timing the beat of the rope against the ground, taking a moment to understand the pace of the game before I jumped in, took my spot, broke through the window.

That’s what this is like, these early weeks. Wake, feed, sleep.  I can hear the rhythm in my head as I stumble through the day, though that could just be the sound of my own pulse in my ears because I am so tired.

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Wake, feed, sleep.

Everything must occur in windows. Feed the baby, jump in the shower, feed the baby, get the girls a snack, feed the baby, brush my teeth. And in between, watch to see if he wants to be awake, or wants to sleep, or needs a pacifier or a diaper or a burp, or just plain old needs me, because other than the feed, the only guarantee is the cycle.

Wake, feed, sleep.

Leaving the house is an odd experience in these early days. It must be like what it was for him, emerging from the womb so suddenly into the bright lights of the world. I have to remember that the rest of society is moving around, going about their days. Those people aren’t concerned with nursing pads and engorgement and finding clothes that fit comfortably over a swollen incision. They don’t care about breast pumps and scraping poop off a dresser lamp and the difference between a gas cry and a wet diaper cry. They’re at Panera Bread on a lunch break and going to the movies and swinging by the mall on their way home. Boring, everyday stuff. Normal stuff.

Wake, feed, sleep.

These first weeks are tough for someone who needs a sense of control in her life. I’m surrounded by those soft smells of baby, feel the grasp of those tiny fingers, look in the eyes of someone who will grow up faster than I am ready, and know this time is precious. But it’s also strange.

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Wake, feed, sleep.

Right now it’s all I know.

One thought on “Limbo

  1. Congratulations, Leah! I am so happy for you. I also so know how incredibly tough those early weeks are. You just want to be so full of love and be entrenched in the sweetness of everything – and you ARE – but so many challenges and difficult, sleep-deprived moments come with it, and I think not enough women acknowledge that. So precious, your pictures – it makes me crave my own little one, even when he’s right here! God bless you and your growing family!

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