Letters: Day 19

My little Sparrow,

It’s been 19 days since you hatched.  It’s hard to imagine carrying you around in me for those nine months now when I feed you, or watch you sleep.  Within your first two weeks you’ve already changed so much and I find myself already marvelling at how quickly you’re developing.

I was in the middle of writing you a letter at 39 weeks when you decided it was time.  As the growth scan showed at 37 weeks, you were born with a head full of beautiful dark hair and your nails were already quite long – I find myself constantly trimming them to stop you from scratching yourself.

Today has been a trying day; you’re clearly having a growth spurt and I have nursed you constantly since the small hours of the morning.  I’m typing this whilst you’re having your first proper sleep of the day.  When you’re in these phases you refuse to sleep in your cot; only my shoulder will do and whilst I cherish the cuddles and the time I get to spend holding you now watching you sleep on me, my body is not without its aches and pains.

I know that it will not be long before you are no longer so dependent on me and I will look back on these moments and regret that I didn’t take the time to truly enjoy them.  If anything, since your arrival I am increasingly convinced that one of my greatest challenges on the next phase in this journey of ours will be to learn to let go and to move forward with you.  I already find myself astounded and if not somewhat overwhelmed with the speed of your progress – you are already starting to hold your head up for periods of time; your cries now take on different tones depending on what you want to communicate; you’ve discovered you can pull my hair; and the intelligence in those eyes of yours seems to be more pronounced each time you look me in the eye and gurgle at me.

Although you still try to latch onto my nose to feed, given the chance.

A word on your Papa, for clarity:  he knows you are here, and has photos of you.  We were unable to have a constructive conversation about naming you, and he eventually stopped replying.  If you dislike your name when you’re older, mea culpa.  He has not yet been to visit, nor does he appear to want much contact at present.  Perhaps this will change with time – I certainly hope so.  In all honesty, I think he is overwhelmed with the situation and has not yet come to terms with fatherhood.  I cannot tell you how sad this makes me, but we shall make the best of this, you and I.  He is welcome as and when he feels ready, as long as the conditions are right.  Your well-being is my priority.

But know that I could not be prouder of you, mein kleines Wunder.

On days such as these I find myself having moments of weakness and self-doubt: are you crying because of something I’ve done, or simply because you’re hungry or because of colic?  Am I reading your facial expressions and cues correctly, or have I missed something?  Why won’t you settle in your cot?  Am I producing enough milk for you, or have I eaten something that disagrees with you?  It’s in these darker moments I find myself overwhelmed with the road ahead of us and the tears start to fall.  A few minutes of wallowing in self-pity and doubt eventually give way to a feeling of confidence that we can do this; it’s a case of one step at a time.

We can do this.  But first, I’m going to have a nap.

Love,

Mama x

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