Alright. I guess I can manage this mom thing.
I don't know what Kate's deal was last night but she didn't sleep for more than a few hours at a time. I was more disgruntled than usual because I worked today and desperately needed a large chunk of continuous sleep. But something happened before I left for work that left me ready and willing to give up entire weeks of sleep if I have to. (Not that I wasn't willing to before, now I'm more happy to.)
I brought her into our bed at 3:30 (she woke up at 11 pm and 2 am) knowing that I wouldn't fall back asleep before the alarm went off at 4:30 am. The alarm went off and Superman got in the shower. I knew I should get up and start making lunches but Kate and I stayed behind to nurse. We were lying side by side; my eyes were closed as I tried to soak up every last piece of energy I could collect for use throughout my long day ahead. Kate drank hungrily for several minutes and then broke the latch and lay still. I opened my eyes and looked down expecting to see her cute sleeping face, but instead was met with two large, round, wide-awake eyes staring directly into mine.
Upon seeing my eyes open her face burst into an enormous, happy grin and she said, "heeeeeeeh" in a conversational tone. I smiled back and she continued to talk to me in a soft, quiet voice. "Heh. Heeeeh! Hehhh," she beamed at me. "Hi baby," I whispered as I kissed her cheek and ear, "good morning, little girl." Her content, sleepy little voice combined with the warmth of her still, resting body next to mine... it was just perfect. My heart exploded. Thanks Mom, she seemed to say, I love being next to you. I'm so happy right here snuggled next to you. I really need you.
My sleepless night was totally worth it. What a gift! That I am the mother of this sweet baby. That she would look at me with such innocent, happy, awe-filled eyes. That her smile could reach into my heart and lodge itself there so deeply and completely. For an instant I pictured her growing up - learning and changing quickly and suddenly. Developing and maturing into a laughing young lady. No! I'm not ready! Keep her here next to me a little longer in the warmth of our bed. The soft smell of her skin, her husky little morning voice, her chubby little legs, her gentle hands patting my face, her baby body so perfectly snugglable... my firstborn. My daughter.
And then I had to drag myself out of bed and plod off to work a ten-hour day.