I wrote this a month or so ago and decided to save it for Mother's Day. Thankfully, I'm not up in the wee hours much anymore, but I tried to cherish that time of just me and Kate with all the world asleep.
Kathryn Fae on her blessing day/Mother's Day/today
Kate is five weeks old today. Her birth marked a baptism by immersion, a complete consecration of all I have and am. No one told me it would be like this. Nothing prepared me for the hugeness that is motherhood: that, for now, I am only one percent Lindsay, one percent Jay’s wife, and 98 percent Kate’s mom. That even though the cord binding us together was cut at birth, we are still very much connected. My body continues to sustain her in an intimate way, but our bond is much more than just that. I sleep when she sleeps and wake when she wakes. W hen I rock her, I am soothed. When she yawns, I yawn. When she is hungry, my breasts are full for her. More often than I care to admit, when I pat her tiny back to try and coax out a bubble of air, I’m the one that burps. When she smiles in her sleep, I smile back. And sometimes, when she cries, I cry, too. I am completely attuned to her and utterly transfixed by her.
When I look into her eyes, wide, deep, and wise, I see my own. And I have realized sometime during the nighttime feedings, the endless diaper changes, the mountains of laundry, the moments I am consumed by insecurities and by love, that motherhood is quickly becoming my favorite layer of myself. Because of my daughter, this part of me that had lain sleepy and dormant now completely engulfs me. She is the best of me.
I am typing this with one hand as I slowly rock my baby in the wee hours of morning. Kate is nursing with abandon, her arm flung over her face, her sweet body clothed in the smallest floral-print long johns, her breathing deep and even. She sighs and closes her eyes, and even though my body begs for sleep, I take a moment to stare at her, to stroke her wispy hair, to try and memorize the feeling of her tiny form pressed into me. She grips my finger with a strong hand and opens a sleepy eye when I move her.
These past five weeks have been more difficult, more draining, more all-encompassing than I ever could have imagined. But the seeming chaos has been tempered by an ever-increasing capacity to love and a quiet peace that passes all my understanding. I have realized, in moments of chaos and in moments of peace, that Jay and I cannot raise this child on our own. But I am learning, with reverence and gratitude, that motherhood is a partnership with God, and so I place my sweet Kate and my trust in His hands. With a certainty only faith can bring, I know I need not fear.