I watch the sunrise creep over the Denver skyline from our bedroom window every single morning now. Harlow is asleep on my legs, snoring heavily like the old man I am refusing to believe he is becoming. And Birdie is in my arms having her second feeding of the early morning hours. I am so so tired, but something inside of me just knows these moments, as exhausting as they are, are something I’ll look back on far too soon with an ache in my heart to relive just a little longer. And so I stay present as much as possible knowing that someday I’ll thank myself for it. Future-Me will ask, did you really soak it up as best you could? And right now I can say yes. I hold Birdie as long as she wants to be held. When she interrupts her eating at 4:00 a.m. because she just wants to giggle and smile at me, I enjoy the giggles and smiles even through sleepy heavy eyes.
I enjoy it when she nestles up on my shoulder like a little animal. Her grunts, her snorts, all of the weird noises a new baby makes that I didn’t know about, I sit with all of it as long as I can. Because I know she won’t be this small tomorrow. And the “last time” of these moments will sneak up on me when I’m least expecting it and I won’t even know it was the last time until it’s too late.
When she’s finished her 5:30 a.m. bottle and starts to fall back asleep I tell myself to get up. Get stuff done while you can… And I think about it, I really do, I think about getting up every single morning when she falls back asleep, and every single morning I too fall right back asleep.
And then an hour or two later, the day begins. And so does the chaos.
With Har by my side we rush to Birdie’s room to change her, then down the stairs to let him outside. I know I have about 10-20 minutes while Birdie sits happily in her Mamaroo (a hand-me-down from my sister that has been Birdie’s absolute favorite) to get Har’s breakfast ready, get the coffee going, clean bottles, clean my pump, and possibly pump once more depending on the last time I pumped. So the 10-20 minutes goes by fast, much too fast, before it’s time to feed her again and settle into our “morning routine.”
Our morning routine consists of feeding, cooing, and saying, “oh hi,” over and over and over. If Birdie is alert and engaged, so am I. Perhaps it’s because my entire career is spent on my phone/social media, but I’m very conscious of keeping my phone away when she’s awake and ready to interact. I don’t want to look back ten years from now and worry I wasted her baby days with my face in my phone. I know staying home with an infant isn’t for everyone, but I feel very privileged this is an option for me and that I get to keep working (kind of) and be with her all day.
That said, do I still get overwhelmed trying to stay present with Birdie while also keeping my business going? ABSOLUTELY. And thus I take it day by day, hour by hour. I remind myself this is just a season of life, a season I know may seem long at times, but in reality is one of the shortest of all.
Once Birdie goes down for a morning cat nap (it can last for 10-60 minutes, I have no idea which it will be) I scramble like a mad woman to get things done. I brush my teeth and wash my face if I haven’t already. Should I put on makeup? Or fold laundry? Or emails? Or post a vid? OR WHAT? WHAT SHALL I DO? (Remember what I said about being overwhelmed? This is part 1 of 100 when it first sets in.)
Emails typically win. Then if I’m feeling fancy I’ll put on makeup. If time allows I’ll jump on Instagram to post a video or two. And then she’s up. So we feed again, say hi once more, I hold her and tell her how smart and kind she is. And there’s usually a diaper and outfit change in there as well. If the weather allows I try to get her and Harlow outside for a walk. Whether it’s me or his dog walker, Har still gets his walk every single day and I intend to keep it that way.
The afternoon is reserved for tummy time, flash cards, books, and all of the things I had no idea I’d actually enjoy doing but I do. I see Birdie’s smile 100 times a day and yet each time it happens I feel/act like it’s the very first time. Yes, I am that mom. Who knew a baby smile could be so wonderful? WHO KNEW? Not me, I’ll tell you that much.
I just have no idea if I’ll get to do this again so I’m really trying my best to enjoy it as much as possible; the good, the bad, and the blowouts.
And in between the flash cards and wooden gym workouts there’s usually another nap in there when I run to get work done. Usually…
I won’t deny I’m very (read: VERY) excited when Chris is done working and is able to step in and help, as well. When 6 o’clock rolls around I am as tired as I’ve ever been and want to sit on the couch with a glass of wine and bowl of chips oh so bad. Sometimes it happens, but most times it does not. Remember that laundry? It’s not going to fold itself. And for a tiny thirteen pound human, Birdie puts out a ton of laundry.
And so evenings consist of more feeding, cooing, working, Chris and I telling each other how exhausted we are, and a whole lot of just staring at Birdie’s face remarking how perfect she is.
And then there’s always bath time, arguably our favorite time of night.
I have to wrap this up because Birdie’s arms in the air tell me that her nap is ending. (This post only took me four weeks to complete… forgive me if there’s errors, I don’t have a lot of time to edit these days.)
Coming next week: I’m going to time travel back to those first postpartum weeks because holy hell they were scary and they need to be recorded.
A few of Birdie’s faves (affiliate links used.)