13 days old.

No time to waste. The babe is asleep on the pillow wrapped twice around me. He fell asleep on my boob and then I accidentally coughed him off of it. He likes to sleep with the source just an inch from his face. The last few days he has decided that he doesn’t want to be put down ever. Also, that he would like to be fed often. Very often. The result is that I have had him pressed into my body or close to my body for days on end on now. I am becoming ever more tightly bound to him; like my body is hardwired into his. I wake up at literally the smallest of noises from him. I know his smells. Can sniff out changes to his physical self long before I see or touch them. Yesterday while I was nursing in the park, I tried to use my teeth to pull my coat better over him and B. laughed, “That was very lioness of you.”

For most hours of the day there is this magnetic pull. To be close to him. To be the one on watch. Last night, B. was going to stay on the couch with him for the first sleep shift and I went down to the bed. At first the cool, empty sheets were a sweet, exhaled release and then, very fast, I was tense and finally had to accept that the only way for me to sleep was to take the couch. To be closer to the babe.

But then, of course, this pull is exhausting. My muscles always engaged, the drag of the tide, I am not simply me in my body. It’s hard to find full ease because I am hooked in perpetually to the babe’s needs and moods. I keep on catching myself clenching my jaw. I don’t want a day with the babe to be an endurance test, but I’m not sure how to get away from this being a measure of stamina…the countdown to the moment when all of a sudden I need a moment alone. The baby book’s advice is essentially to surrender fully to this time. That it passes. To treasure the long nursing sessions. In essence, to accept that my role is to nurture and feed and comfort this new person. The frequently repeated advice is that there is nothing I need to do right now; care for the babe and sleep when he sleeps. But what about what I want to do? I traded a precious hour of sleep last night for an hour on the couch with B. and two episodes of Louis. I think this counts as a need.

I was nursing lying down the other night, and asked B. to touch me. Not to turn me on, but to run his hands through my hair, down my back. With the first pass across my head, I shuddered with the release and tears came to my eyes.

In the park yesterday, I lay on the grass and sent B. to do a loop with the babe. The setting sun was on my face and my spine sank into the grass.

And yet, after too many minutes, I was lying with my face turned to watch for B’s return.  When he did, I heard the babe crying, and then all I wanted, needed, was for him to be unstrapped and delivered to me.

I’ve been peed on twice this morning. Worth noting that not until the second pee did I feel the need to pull off my dress.

I stand in the shower for a long time easing muscles open. And generally, it is the one place I can’t hear him when he begins to cry.

My body is not my own. Is my body not my own? And then of course, there is the simple fact of loving this being so much it leaves me completely speechless and awestruck. I cry daily.

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