Yesterday YogaBaby had her four-month doctor visit and some vaccinations, which didn’t agree with her, so she was up every two hours fussing during the night. I’ve adjusted to a lot of the changes of motherhood, but not the lack of sleep, especially when I feed her at 5 am, drift off again at 5:15, and wake up with the alarm at 6. I spent a good amount of breakfast time whining to my husband, who had given up on sleep after that 5 am feeding and gotten up, and who had to be at least as tired as I was. The baby, of course, was peacefully sleeping.
After breakfast I went into the bathroom. The sun was just coming up, so I left the lights off, and looked out the window at the brightening sky behind my neighbors’ houses, and the bare tree branches silhouetted against the dark gray sky overhead. It reminded me of how I used to exercise in the early morning: yoga on our enclosed porch, watching that sky brighten through the big windows as I saluted the sun, or jogging in the cold crisp air, getting acquainted with the colors of the trees and the rabbits, squirrels, and sometimes deer in my neighborhood. Feeling my feet connecting, first thing in the morning, with my mat or the sidewalk or the beaten trail through the park. How solitary I had felt, how good and strong.
If this were fiction, this is the part where I’d realize that giving that up for now is all worth it in my new life as a mother, and I’d leave the bathroom window refreshed by my memories and with a renewed sense of purpose. But this is real life, and I am tired. I miss being outside in the cool air; I miss feeling flexible and strong and powerful, in touch with my own breath and my inner spirit. I miss being by myself. I took a long shower and washed my hair. Then I went in to feed the baby, and she looked up at me with her big grey-brown eyes, full of trust, and she gave me her big good morning smile. And I smiled back.
[Note for my future reference, and for those following the ongoing sleep saga: this post was hand-written last Thursday morning, after a doctor visit on Wednesday evening, and it took a while to type up. Since then the sleep has gotten worse, and even worse, and then last night slightly better.]