Hello, little princess! It is late Monday night, and you are tucked in your co-sleeper, dreaming away. You are such a good sleeper...You might wake once or twice to nurse briefly each night- but if you do, you go right back to sleep. More often you sleep until Daddy's alarm goes off. You seem to have an internal alarm that goes off right before his does. You wake me with your little fussing noises, and as we nurse I hear Daddy's noisy phone alarm.
You know what is so sweet about our night time nursing trysts, Lily? I don't even mind waking up for them. When you were a newborn, and sooo sleepy, I used to have to wake you up to nurse. We were so concerned about getting you to gain weight. I couldn't believe I finally had a baby who would sleep through the night from birth- and I had to wake her up! But I wanted you to do this on your own- to wake up and have that desire to nurse and not have to be coerced into it...so now, 8 months later, I am overjoyed at how far you've come.
Night time feedings are the times I feel closest to you. I love feeling your tiny form snuggled up against me..you burrow into me and stretch one arm up to squeeze my hair or touch my lips. You sigh and nestle into my side as close as you can..I stroke your downy soft hair and whisper how much I love you, baby girl, and sometimes I breathe a prayer of thankfulness that you were able to learn to nurse.
I use that little triumph of ours as a reference point now. When I wonder about hurdles we will need to overcome in the future, I remind myself that with time and perseverance we hurdled the feeding issues of your early days. We pushed it through, you and I- we worked together at our little duet and it was worth all the late nights I spent crying and praying over you. Daddy used to encourage me, faithfully, "She'll get it, babe- just give her time." He had confidence in his little girl...he knew you were a fighter.
It hardly seems possible that you've only been in our lives for 8 months. My days are so consumed with loving you and soaking up your deliciousness every moment, that it's hard to believe you haven't always been here.
Thinking about how much I love you has reminded me of something...
One of Mama's favorite books in the world is Jane Eyre. And one of my favorite parts in that classic love story is when Mr. Rochester tenderly describes his feelings for the novel's heroine, Jane. Up until this point in the book, the young nanny, Jane, has wondered if her feelings for her master are mutual..but she fears he is going to marry a wealthy older socialite, and she is heartbroken.
I'm going to read this book to you some day, Lily. But for now, I will tell you of that passage that is so moving and meaningful to me...
It takes place in a garden on a midsummer evening..Jane has just voiced her fears to Mr.Rochester. She is afraid that she will have to leave her position as nanny for Mr.Rochester's young ward, Adele, should he marry the conniving Blanche Ingram. Mr.Rochester takes Jane's hand in his and looking down upon it says,
I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you--especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.
And that, my dear Lily, is exactly how I feel about you. We're connected, intricately and completely, and my heart is so filled with love for you that I don't know what I'd do without you. Sometimes that can even make me a little scared. I worry sometimes about your health and your future- I read too much about things associated with your diagnosis, things I have to just stop thinking about it, or I will never be able to enjoy right now. So many of your little friends whom we have met through the fabulous world of blogging, have intense health issues that they have gone through or are going through. Heart surgeries and thyroid issues...respiratory problems and hearing problems...blood disorders..leukemia...It's too much for one little Mommy to take, Lily. I can only handle today's worries- I have to leave the future to God.
I am putting our lives in His hands, just like I did when a year ago the doctors told me you might have a heart defect..and kidney problems..and Down syndrome. I can't control the future through worrying anyway- it's better left in God's hands than mine.
I remember when you were just a week old, and I was really grieving the loss of my dream for you, and who you would be. One of the silly little things I grieved about was the thought that you might never read Mama's favorite novels- like Jane Eyre. And now 8 months later, I cannot imagine being more in love with a baby than I am with you. And even if you can't read those novels some day- though I hope you will- we will read them together, you and Mama. And I will take your tiny hand in mine, your sweet, soft little hand with the adorable crooked little pinky...and tell you how inextricably bound to you I am, my princess, my angel, my sweet and perfect Lily.
Sweet Dreams, baby girl.