My routines are different now, 9 months into being a mother. Where I used to wake up on my own or to an alarm, I now hear A babbling or crying. Sometimes I wait, eyes closed, to see if she’ll fall back asleep. Most times, I roll over to check the time. If it’s before 5:30am, I keep laying there, hoping maybe she’ll doze back off. I turn the monitor on, the digital screen blinding in the morning darkness, and check on her. Is she rolling around complaining or sitting up and chirping or trying to pull up to a stand while babbling? All of those combinations matter, but the result is usually the same: me, stumbling to the bathroom and then into her room to scoop her out of her crib and up into my arms.
Mornings are when I still get to nurse her. This thing called breast-feeding that I believed we’d take to so easily instead became another connection to fight like hell for. It’s almost over. Mornings are when she’s patient, missing me and just hungry enough to nurse.
We sit in the rocking chair in her room, her big-little body draped across mine. We don’t need a nursing pillow or extra help anymore. She latches right on and gets to eating while I cradle her head in the crook of my arm and rock us both back and forth. Sometimes she throws her arm over her eyes to block the light or reaches up to play with her hair. Sometimes she grabs her own foot and waves it around. Sometimes she lays her hand on my breast, her eyes closed, and it’s as if this connection is the only thing she could ever need.
Afterwards, she may lay her head on my chest, cuddling against me. I’ll kiss the top of her head, breathe in her hair, let the weight of her rest on me. And we sit there, rocking, gazing out the window together, for a few more magical moments.
For the month of August, I am posting each day using a prompt from The August Break challenge by Susannah Conway. The prompts encourage a “month of paying attention” which goes hand-in-hand with my new moon intention to focus on my creativity. I’m sharing all my photos on Instagram with #jtaugustbreak