Last night Bennett, Nick, and I attended our first wedding as a family of three. We danced with Bennett on the dance floor. And ate tacos and had some beer. It was fun to get out and celebrate new love. Last night, Nick said he would take the middle of the night feed, which usually comes around 3 am. My body and mind have been restless during this hour, and on most nights I cannot go back to sleep. It is a little torturous cycle. Sleeping for four hours, then not being able to go back to sleep in the middle of the night. There is a medical title for it – postnatal insomnia. After a few nights of it, I feel a little delusional, forgetful, and mostly anxious.
After we all climbed into bed last night, our bellies and hearts full, my mind unconsciously woke at the 3 o’clock witching hour, even though Nick had agreed to do it. But there was no fussing, no restless movements coming from Bennett’s bed. So I put my head back on the pillow and drifted back to sleep.
Bennett did not stir until ten hours after he went to sleep, at around 8 am. It was a gift, for all of us. The sleep.
Then as the morning unfolded, I made breakfast and watched a live stream of the Rock church while Nick and Bennett slept some more. I brought it to Nick in bed because dads deserve breakfast in bed just as much as moms do. Nick was happy, and sipped his coffee and happily ate the plate full of waffles, strawberries, and sausage patties.
After breakfast, the three of us laid in bed. Bennett did tummy time. We made him giggle. The sun crept in, passed the blinds.
Nick had to go study in our second bedroom and I took Bennett out to the family room. He played, while I finished my coffee. Once he started to get tired, I brought him over to me. I held him close to my chest while he breastfed. He was so comforted by it, I was happy. Breastfeeding has been a real test, a journey for all of us. I never had enough milk and probably do not make more than 6-7 ounces a day. But it is 6-7 ounces I want Bennett to have. Whatever natural antibodies I have, I want to hand over to him, a little gift. So even when he is fed up with me and my tiny offering, pushing away from me, waiting for his 4 ounce bottle, I tell myself today is not the day to give up. One bad moment doesn’t mean I quit. (I try to tell myself this for other things in life too – one bad day is not a reason to throw in the towel.)
As I sat with him, though, under the Sunday morning sunlight, beaming through the window, Bennett found comfort in breastfeeding. He placed his hand on my breast, and he fell asleep. His body sunk into mine. I smiled at the gift. The gift of him. The gift of motherhood. The gift of family. The gift of this moment.
Even if I do nothing else significant in my life, I have done love.
I peeked outside and dazed off into the lime green trees, a sign of spring, and watched a single engine plane soar in the pasty blue sky. Then I turned my attention back to the miracle in my lap.
There is something surprising, whenever I experience it, and that is the feeling of wonder. Wonder is often abstract – hard to describe, sometimes even hard to experience. But right there, in my lap, was someone truly wonderful. A gift from God.
I often hear people say they don’t want kids or don’t have them yet because they aren’t ready, they don’t have money, time, and et cetera. I had those thoughts too, but man, am I glad I didn’t listen to them. I’m ready because I choose to be ready. I have faith in God to give me the tools and the gifts necessary to complete such a feat that is motherhood.
We chase and yearn for these little moments of wonder – we travel around the world seeking it. We buy things to capture it (like check out this, you can actually buy “breastmilk jewelry” here).
But sometimes, when we least expect it, wonder is here. In our laps. On a perfect Sunday morning.