Parenthood, Three Months In

Carolina Man and I had our little girl in October. Can I just say she's just about the yummiest, cutest little thing that there ever was?

It's easy to say that now that we're several months in and the early days of sleep deprivation and postpartum discomfort feel farther and farther away with each passing day. I swear, there must be a biological form of amnesia that kicks in to make you forget how difficult caring for a newborn baby really is. Otherwise as a species we would probably be extinct by now.

What continues to amaze me is how incredibly connected I am to my daughter. Connected is not even close to conveying the gravitational pull I feel toward her. It's not intentional or even conscious. It just is. It's my new reality.

At night I sleep with heavy duty earplugs while Carolina Man listens for the baby on the monitor. I cannot tell you how many times I have woken up out of a dead sleep when she just begins to stir, when she hasn't even begun to cry for me to feed her. It's the wildest thing to be that tuned into another human being.

And yet, I struggle with it, too. At times I think how much I want a break from this connection--to be able to sleep without worrying about this little creature, to be able to go out with friends and not think about her needs for an hour or so. But I know that even if I had the opportunity, I wouldn't take it. The connection is part of who I am.

I think I'm beginning to understand the struggle of parents, especially mothers, to let their children go. How do you let go of part of who you are?