I'm finding that as a new mom (to a pretty quiet, relatively low maintenance baby, I should add) there is plenty of time to think what with being up at all hours of the night. Being an anxious person, my brain often translates this into "plenty of time to worry." In my hands has been entrusted an enormous responsibility. And the future is so big and scary and unknown!
I have been finding that the best way to cope is to keep my mind on the immediate, practical things of which there seems to be no shortage. Hour by hour I keep my focus on the next diaper change, the next feeding. Day by day I mark time by how many diapers I have left, how much formula has been consumed, and whether there is enough clean laundry. Longer periods of time are tracked in terms of well-baby doctor appointments.
This mental system is working well. I might be tired, but I'm waking up with a smile most mornings and doting on my daughter around the clock. The big, scary unknowns are mostly kept at bay with the exception of one area into which my mind has taken to wandering.
Ugh! So heavy! Even for this angsty blog!
But I find that my well-being has taken on all these new implications. It's not just me anymore. Every decision has new meaning. Every dollar I spend has taken on new importance: is this really the best use of the money? Will there still be plenty for diapers and formula? (And now we've come full circle!)
I continue writing to my daughter in her "Dear Frijole" blog. I lovingly fill out and paste pictures into her baby book. Most of me wants to capture her childhood as thoroughly as possible, but the darker parts of me whisper, "Just in case...just in case...so she'll know..." I want to beg members of my family that if something happens to me, please let her know! Tell her how much I loved her and who I was and how much I wanted her! But I say nothing because that sounds crazy. Or fatalistic. Or [gulp] like foreshadowing?
Enough of that.
She won't remember the moments, of course, but I try to pour immeasurable tenderness into all of my attentions to Sophia. I stroke her arms and legs and silky hair. I rub her back. I kiss her kicking little feet and dimpled hands and chubby cheeks. Every morning around 5am you can find us snuggled on the couch under a big cozy blanket and these are some of my favorite moments of the whole day. Everyone is asleep, the house is silent, and we are safe, warm, and together. I block out the big, scary unknowns with that fact and for an hour or two, at least, that is all there is and that is enough.