Breastfeeding this morning, while crying.
From some angles, your cheeks are still as chubby as the day you were born.
You're exactly one month and twenty minutes old. We're sitting on the couch, breastfeeding, just a few feet away from where you were born. The light coming through the window is exactly like it was the moment we saw each other for the first time. You've been awake and yelling at me and your papa for two hours, but now you finally settled down. Now you're looking up at me, gazing into my eyes and drifting off to sleep.
It's only been a month, but I already wish we could have the time back. Just thinking about it makes me cry. I can't figure out where the time went. I feel like I get so caught up with changing diapers, trying to get some sleep, sitting on the couch breastfeeding you, that I haven't had enough time to just cherish you. A whole month already? It's so hard to believe. I wish I could stop time and just hold you. I wish you could stay a newborn forever. I want you to stay tiny always, curled up like a peanut, like when you were inside me. This is such a precious time, I don't want it to end, I don't want you to change. I want you to stay exactly like you were the last moment you were inside me, the first moment I saw you and held you. You were part of my body for nine months, now it hurts me when I have to put you down. It hurts even more knowing you're growing up, and soon you won't want me to always hold you.
Your elbows still feel exactly like they did when you rolled them across my stomach from the inside, sharp and pointy. That's how I knew for certain that you were the baby I grew inside me, by your elbows. I recognized them. I know they'll be pudgy soon, and it makes me want to cry. How can I keep them like this forever?
I'm already forgetting how you smelled when you were born. You smelled indescribable...primal, earthy, delicious. I didn't want to bathe you when you were born, I wanted to keep you smelling like that forever. Grammi told me that you stank, and that in the wild it would be dangerous, because all the beasts would smell you and want to eat you. I told her that I was the beast who wanted to eat you. We called you Beastie Treat for weeks. Elizabeth told me that she saved the hat that Judah wore when he was born in a ziplock baggie, so she could keep his smell. Why didn't I think of that? Now you smell sweet, like a Bakery Treat, and of course I love it too and breathe it for hours, but I miss my Beastie Treat.
I love how small you are, how I can hold you in one arm when I breastfeed you. I love how you relax and smoosh into me when you're eating. I love how alert you are when you're awake, how you look around at the world like it's so fascinating. I love how you wake up in the mornings, look over at me, and grin. I love your silky baby hair, how it stands straight up and reminds everyone of your papa's fauxhawk. I love the crazy faces you make when you fall asleep at my breast. I love singing you lullabies when you're eating in the middle of the night, and the waves of love that wash over me when I sing them. I love your hands, your delicate fingers, and watching them flutter and dance. I wonder sometimes if you'll be a dancer. I love your baby squeaks and all the sounds you make. I love your breast-milky smell. It smells like warm cookies. I love that I smell like that, too. I love finally understanding how much my Mom loves me.
It breaks my heart that you're a month old already. I'm proud we made it this far, but it's just so bittersweet.
I love you so much,