This is twelve days late, angel. Which means you turned one a month and 12 days ago. But I swear I just brought you home from the hospital, your little body curled into itself as though you were still in my belly.
I am still pinching myself. Every day, I put you down for a nap, and I am the only one who can do this. Once again, I have fallen into the habit of putting you to sleep at the breast. I did it with both your brothers and each time I swore I would not do it again. Not because I don’t love it – to the contrary, I do – but because having your sleep be dependent solely on me makes my life a little harder. If Brendon could put you down for naps, resettle you at night, I would find that the invisible line by which we are tethered might be lengthened just enough to give me a little more freedom and perhaps a little more sleep. I could definitely use more sleep.
But instead, I am repeating the habits of the past and of course I am because putting you to sleep on the boob is the fastest way. And certainly the easiest. I am too impatient to pat and shush and I can’t leave you to cry. I tried most of that with your eldest brother and some of it worked. None of it worked with Ziggy and then when you arrived, finding the quickest point between awake baby and asleep baby became necessary from a time management point of view.
And now, thirteen months down the track, I am too exhausted to think of trying to establish a new sleep routine. I should probably try but I know that you have had more than a year to become very comfortable with the status quo so that messing with it will surely displease you.
And then, little girl, there is that moment when I carry you to the rocking chair, and we sit together and you know that it’s time and you give a little laugh of exhausted relief. You curl your little body around mine and we rock back and forth like this until you give in to sleep. And in those moments, I forget that I am tethered, I forget that before long I will need to find another way. I forget that I desperately need more sleep and that my back is so sore from falling asleep in the rocking chair where I feed you (multiple times!) overnight.
And when you wake from sleep, when I enter your room to see you peering up at me from the side of your cot, the sight of your sweet face, the weight of your little body as I lift you into my arms, never fails to undo me just a little. And I whisper to you, “You’re exactly what I was waiting for.”
Your presence on this earth has completed my picture, finished my circle. The very existence of you has made sense of everything else. You have changed everything. And the truth is things were bloody beautiful BEFORE you. You are icing. A cherry on top of my wildest dreams.
I feel as though I have written this post before. And, my darling girl, I will almost certainly write it again. You are just that incredible.