Saturday, July 26, 2014


Awake and can't sleep. Missing my girl. She's 3 months now...I sometimes wonder if everything had been ok, would I still be getting up in the middle of the night for feedings or helping rock her to sleep...never thought I'd say it, but I miss those long nights as a new mama up every few hours. If you're a new mama, the nights are long, but so worth it. Soak them up and don't complain about lack of sleep...God made coffee for that. Hold your baby on your shoulder and just love on them in the wee hours of the night.

That's a pose I greatly miss. It's my favorite new baby hold. In those quiet moments when your baby is gingerly sleeping, without thinking, you gently scoop up your new child, sliding ever so gently your hands under their arms, your fingers supporting their back and head, your thumbs wrapped under their arms and around their chest. You lift your child gently to your shoulder, sliding one of your hands to support their tiny little bum, then place them on your shoulder, letting them nuzzle and drool into your neck. You don't mind the spit up, or the smell of it, or the drool that quietly soaks through the fabric that separates your skin from theirs. You just rest, quietly. The grooves of your hand cup their tiny, uncontrolled head for support. I love this hold because it's about the closest you can be to your child. You can feel their chest rise and fall, their petite breath on your shoulder. Their tiny coos escaping their lips.

I miss this hold something fierce. I think that's been one of my hardest challenges as of lately...seeing new moms holding their tiny ones like this. It's such a natural hold. Effortless. I see it as I sit in church. I see it when I'm at the pool, next to a mama who's others are old enough to swim on their own, so they sit, cuddling their infant under the canopy. I see it in stores, where the mama pushes the cart with one hand, and leaves the carseat empty in the cart so that her other hand can hold her child as she strolls through the aisles...sometimes I stand still and stare at them, wondering when I'll get my turn at that hold again. And my heart weeps also in those moments for the wife who longs for a child of her own but is barren...

I know that I'll have to learn to adapt to new holds. My tiny daughter has a trach. That makes this newborn hold virtually impossible. I'll miss it greatly. I know I'll figure out a way around the trach that I will love to cuddle with her by, but in a weird way, I just long to hold my daughter like any new mama holds theirs...

Our hold. We'll figure it out, her and I. We'll get there. And it'll be sweet. I guess our hold will just be a bit more complex. I'll pop the trach off fast to drain any excess water so she doesn't get a drink. Pop it back on and nudge it into place. Perhaps do a quick pass with the suction catheter. With one hand under her head, I'll use my other to nudge under her tiny diaper, and lift her into my arms. I'll decide which arm to support her with, and which to hold the vent tubes. I'll consider ahead of time if I'll need any surgical tape already cut and tacked to the side of her crib. I might need to secure the vent tubing with it, laying the tubes against my chest, reaching for the tape while I hold her with one hand and then securing the tubing and tape with the other. I'll be careful not to bump her g tube site that will come soon. If she has a sats probe, I'll make sure it's secure before I move her. I'll listen intently with a hightened sense for the vent monitor alarms and beeps to know if my moving her is appropriate. I won't be able to place her on my shoulder, but perhaps we'll figure out what suits us best, where she's close to my chest, and I to her forehead, so I can gently kiss it as I hold her and feel her skin next to mine. She'll probably have to be propped more on her side. I won't be able to walk around with this hold and pace the room, the carpet worn from previous late night pacing with her older siblings. So I'll stand there, in awe of her, of this gift. I'll breathe in the scent of antibacterial hand sanitizer instead of spit up. But it'll be ok. But the hardest will be not hearing her coos. Not hearing her baby cries. Not hearing her voice. Because of the trach...the silence is the hardest. I long for the day when I'll be having to schedule speech therapy for her and her voice will finally be heard again. But that's another post, for another time.

Tonight, I'll just dream about snuggling her. Close. Even if tonight she's far away.

I love you to the moon and through the stars, my sweet girl.


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