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A Womb of One's Own

A Womb of One’s Own:

He makes me cry.  I call him “Turd Ferguson”.  He’s simultaneously the best and worst thing I could have done, and I love him so terribly, terribly much.

I know that I’ve spent a lot of time saying awful things about my son.  But for all the things I complain about, there are a hundred I love even more.  It’s just that when I’m running on three hours of sleep and ten sessions of breastfeeding in a 14-hour period, the good seems to overshadow the bad.  But the good is there, in small and large ways, every day, in (almost) every hour.

He woke me up at 2:30am today to nurse.  While I hate waking up, I love the dark quiet times we have, when it’s just us awake together.  I love that he falls asleep on the boob while he holds my finger in one hand.  I may not love the part when he woke me up at 4am to nurse again, but I do love that when I changed his pants at 4:30am, he saw me and smiled.

My son’s smiles are, to be ridiculous, the most awesome thing in the world.  First, he has no teeth, which ups the humor quotient.  Second, he doesn’t just smile with his face, he smiles with his whole body, squirming and kicking and laughing his goofy gasping laugh.  When he’s particularly pleased with the world, he tops it all off by blowing raspberries, complete with spit bubbles.

I love the tiny changes–the slow daily journey from red-faced lump of grumpy newborn to a baby, a tiny person whose personality is slowly emerging from the ball of raw needs that he once was.  I love looking at his face and seeing flashes of the toddler he’s going to become (PS: that toddler is going to be adorable).

I’m endlessly amazed by how much he’s learned in such a short time–from not holding his head up to enthusiastically rolling over at the drop of a hat.  Where he once couldn’t see a toy jangled in front of him, he now can grasp it and (most of the time) successfully maneuver it into his mouth.  When he’s given a bottle, he reaches up and gently rests his fingers on it, attempting to hold it to his mouth.  Last weekend, he reached for my beer bottle as I drank from it, and he now reaches for everything I drink.

One of my favorite parts of the week is a weekend morning, when I pull him into bed between my husband and I, and we relax and doze and play.  As much as he loves his assorted toys, his favorites are still our fingers, our hands, our faces.  A finger is a pacifier, a chew toy, the key to falling asleep at night.  A face is an endless supply of entertaining expressions and noises.  When he falls asleep between us, it’s an exuberant spread-eagle pose, arms flung wide and legs sprawled, all 26″ of him taking as much room as he can in our queen-sized bed.

I’m hopelessly enamored with his chunky legs and neck (and pretty much every part of his small body).  I love the velvet-soft hair at the nape of his neck, dusting the fat rolls at the back of his head, where we joke it looks like a pack of hot dogs.  I love his dimples, on his face and elbows and small baby butt.  I can’t stop tickling and squeezing his leg rolls, laughing at the losing battle his socks face to stay on his legs.

I am amazed that this small (well, not so small) grump-a-lump baby has so drastically remodeled both my body (ask me about my tearing!) and my heart in such a short amount of time.  He regularly drives me to tears (I’m looking at you, four-months’ sleep regression), but for every tear shed, for every 11pm “I can’t do this anymore”, there are two of his mama-only smiles, two afternoons spent smiling and laughing at each other, two evenings of watching him adore his daddy, a dozen days watching him learn the world.

By Jessica Werner

Free-range librarian in Seattle. A sucker for happy endings, teen angst, and books that make me want to sell my possessions and travel the world. Incurable homebody and type A. Send love letters and readers advisory requests to jessica.werner@gmail.com

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