A little head resting on my shoulder. Tiny hand in the hollow at my throat. Soft hair and delicious baby smell. Little body tight against me in the sling. Freeze time, so I can feel like this forever. My last baby is still a baby, and I want to enjoy all the bliss that brings. Slow down, time.
I’m here most days on my own with my children till late. My husband is studying and this is his final year. Our third baby was born in October. A crazy time to have a baby, I know people think it. They’re right, I suppose. Life can be frantic, the sole responsibility overwhelming at times, the noise debilitating and peace hard to come by.
‘Once we get to the summer’…’it’s only another four months’. I tell myself that in the tough moments, when the house is falling down around my ears, I’m breaking up yet another fight or someone’s using the baby’s head as a long-jump marker. I know life will be easier in the future.
Yet my baby has given me a great gift. I’m not counting down the days to summer, when this difficult time will be behind us. I won’t wish it all away. I’ve squeezed as much oxytocin as possible from the last few months, I’ve been intoxicated on her newness. She’s been even more an extension of me than the others but she’s already becoming more independent and that’s bittersweet. By summer, this last baby will no longer be fully nourished by my body, she’ll be eating, crawling, less a part of me. I’ll still carry her in the sling but her head won’t be small enough to rest perfectly in that sweet spot just below my shoulder and she’ll look at the world from my back more often than she’ll rest her cheek on my heart.
In a busy house, it’s hard to find time to focus on a baby. So I carry her in a sling, sleep with her, try to give her attention while we nurse. I can’t give her the time I gave my first baby, but I can give her my best in mindful moments. Moments are all we ever have, anyway.
So slow down time. Let me feel the weight, warmth and smell of this little person. May I mindfully embrace the next few months and whatever they bring. Paying attention to both the quiet and the crazy moments, breathing them in, slowing down time.