I love our boy. He is beautiful, and completely amazing. But as I sit here at the computer at 3:17 am, the world is looking like a much darker place, and I'm thinking of the things that have changed since he arrived. Translation: the things I miss.
Number one is, of course, sleep. We've been doing the Baby Whisperer thing, and for quite awhile, Mr P was sleeping through the night, almost every night. That felt good. For the past few weeks, he's been waking up through the night, sometimes wanting a full feed, sometimes just wide awake and wanting to play, sometimes needing a fresh diaper. He's also discovering his voice and screeches in this terrible high-pitched, full-body yell when he cries before falling asleep, which makes me want to cry, too. He's been chewing like mad, and practicing rolling over at every opportunity, so perhaps all of these new things are affecting his sleep. I used to be one of those people who would be in bed by 10:30 at the latest and absolutely needed a full night's sleep to function. Naps were always welcome, too. I am exhausted.
I miss being able to complete a thought or task. Even if the interruption isn't to attend to an immediate need, a part of my brain is always on Phillip and wanting to know that everything is fine with him. Naptimes are pretty good now, and I can expect to have nice little chunks of time to get things done, or take a nap if I'm about to collapse. But the necessary housework usually takes precedence over the things I just enjoy doing, so some days I feel ripped off.
I miss being able to decide to go somewhere and be out the door and on my way in a matter of minutes. It's hard to imagine that getting such a tiny person dressed and in a fresh diapers and out the door could possibly take so long, "especially for someone as efficient as me," I think. But it does. Everything has to be planned taking nap times and feeding into consideration (although breastfeeding certainly makes that easier) and then when you finally get to your destination, you still have to keep the little one and everyone else happy. While your arms are tired from toting him around all day and you're happy to let someone else hold him for awhile, there's a fine balance of letting people know that you don't mind them holding him, while knowing that most people are uncomfortable holding someone else's crying baby.
After listing those things, though, while Phillip's been murmuring to himself in his crib, I'm forced to think of the things that I have learned, and what we have gained by having him. It sounds cliche, and I would have thought it was condescending if someone had told me this pre-Phillip, but a person really has no idea what this crazy, overwhelming sense of love and protection for this tiny being is until you have a child. It takes a little while, in between the frustration of trying to interpret cries and meet the wee one's needs and getting over the initial shock of the birth business. But then, all of a sudden, you realize that this baby is yours, for keeps. And rather than being overwhelmed and wishing you could send him back, you feel as though you are the luckiest person in the course of history, and there is no possible way that any other person has ever felt so fortunate. Maybe that feeling will return in the morning.