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the mommyhood memos: worth staying up for

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

worth staying up for

There was a night recently while Levi was sick that he woke a dozen times (or so it seemed) between 7:00pm and midnight. He couldn’t sleep for more than 20 minute stretches without gagging and choking (on his excess phlegm, I think) and waking himself up. He’d wake up crying – in pain and also perhaps a little frightened from the choking – and would need lots of help to get back to sleep.

Ryan and I took turns soothing him and rocking him back to sleep. As the clock shifted from PM to AM I took over and let my working husband get some sleep before morning.

In the quiet of the night I sat up with Levi. I rocked him, whispered to him, sang softly to him, held him tight in the darkness, and wished there was something more I could do to relieve him of his misery.

I wondered if I’d need to stay up with him in the chair through the night so that he could sleep upright and breathe more freely. I gladly would have (and so much more).

I was tired—dog tired—and yet something kicked in during those late night hours – that ability as a mom to put yourself aside and give yourself freely to your child.

I could have held him there all night. And really, I secretly wanted to hold him there all night.

A mother’s love… It runs deep doesn’t it?

Doesn’t it hurt to see your child in pain? 

I’m well aware that this is only the beginning of my journey into motherhood. *ouch*

That night I nursed him and rocked him and gently wiped his constantly dripping nose… As I did so I thought about the fact that each time we nursed, it was one time closer to when he would no longer want to hold still long enough to receive from me.

And I’m torn.

I have days where I wish that my body belonged to me again. And yet, I know it will never belong to me like it once did… And that too, I’m grateful for.

But I'm torn because right now I want him to keep receiving; I have so much still to give.

Yes, a mother’s love runs deep.

I know that it won’t be long until my baby will ask for his milk “to go” so he can be on his way to the next little adventure.

Time. Goes. So. Fast.

I love watching my sweet boy grow and develop and change.

But it’s bittersweet isn’t it?

How do you continue to let go of the precious little soul entrusted to you when everything in you wants to hold them close? How do you burn those late night moments into your memory to be recalled in years to come? How do you make the most of the time you have? How do you continue to find ways to give expression to the love that overflows?

I love my baby.

He’ll forever be my first-born love.

He’ll forever be worth staying up for.

Dear friends, how are you coping with all the love stored up in your heart and the emotional rollercoaster of parenthood?


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adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
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At November 3, 2010 at 12:34 AM , Blogger Carol said...

Wow. You managed to capture that overflowing love with words. I think the best way to hang on to it, is to savor it and remember it. Childhood is so fleeting. There are moments I rock my 2nd born and have to think hard to recall what it was like rocking my 1st. Time moves so fast and the love runs so deep. I think this is why some women have a hard time stopping having babies...

Well written, my friend.

At November 3, 2010 at 12:39 AM , Blogger Ana said...

Beautifully written, Adriel. So very true too! This thing called childhood goes by too fast.

Before both boys were born, I went to the book store and found a journal. In that journal, I write memories, tidbits, frustrations, and wonders just about them. I don't write often...which I wish I could, I just forget at times, but I write enough to document it. If they want these books when they get older, I'll let them photocopy them. It's a Mommy Memory Keeper for me to always cherish.

At November 3, 2010 at 2:14 AM , Blogger cooperl788 said...

What a lovely post - you had me tearing up! I don't know how I cope with how much I love her, sometimes it seems overwhelming. But I take photos of her all the time, and I blog about her little sayings and I hope that it will give her a snapshot of the person she was "way back when". I also try to treasure those fleeting moments when she wants to snuggle with me, or brings me a book to read to her. When I'm tired and she wants to play outside, I go get my shoes. Because in just a few short years, she's probably going to pitch a fit if I want to watch her play in the grass, or try to hold her hand when she goes down the slide.

At November 3, 2010 at 2:14 AM , Blogger Casey Martinez said...

This was me just one night ago. My gal is very sick right now..first time being this sick and she was also up every 15 to 20 minutes so I kept h er on my chest sleeping upright so she could breath all night on the couch. It was rough and exhausting but, I would do it a million times because I love her so much. Yes, a mother's love runs VERY deep! So beautiful to hear the way I feel come out of another mom's mouth so well. Hope he is all better and you have caught up on sleep! I'm still recovering from our session

At November 3, 2010 at 3:56 AM , Blogger Chelsea Pearl said...

It's so hard. Honestly I have no idea how I get through the moments that bring me to tears...the moments when I'm yet again folding up clothes that don't fit to bring out bigger ones. I guess just knowing that the next day is going to bring with it more joy than the one before keeps me from strapping something heavy to that little baby in hopes he stops growing! lol (just kidding of course!!)
Motherhood is so bitter sweet. The only thing we can count on for sure is that the sweet will always outweigh the bitter :)

At November 3, 2010 at 4:44 AM , Blogger The Planet Pink said...

I think you just have to realize that as much as you want to hold on to and remember those moments, there are so many more moments waiting to be lived. And each one will be special in it's own way.

At November 3, 2010 at 5:14 AM , Blogger ElissaM said...

It is so funny that you posted on this, because it is something that I have come to realize and hold it very dearly to my heart. I have to enjoy the love and joy of our boys alone right now and it is hard not being able to share it with someone right at that moment. But would they quite get it the same way of how I feel? And when the kiddos are sick your love pours out even more just to try and make them feel better. Hope your little one feels better and you can savor those sweet moments:-)

At November 3, 2010 at 6:11 AM , Anonymous Anne said...

*sigh* true... I'm so happy my 1 year old is getting more independent, but miss her littleness of a newborn. Anyway, tagged you on latest post!

At November 3, 2010 at 7:17 AM , Blogger Liz said...

adriel, there are so many times when I'm caring for my kids in times like you mentioned and I am reminded by how much God loves us. Being a parent is a daily reminder to me of God's love for His kids and I am so thankful for that Love.

sounds like you're doing a wonderful job with your little Levi.

At November 3, 2010 at 9:05 AM , Blogger Emma said...

Ohhhh it gets so much worse! My girl is 8 next weekend and pretends that she doesn't need me at all!! I cherish all the moments when she forgets that it isn't cool to hold my hand and when she gives me a kiss when she thinks her friends aren't watching!! My heart bursts with pride watching her become an amazing child but aches at the fact that she's growing up and leaving me behind! xx

At November 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM , Blogger Kerry McCullough said...

I feel the same way! So many exciting things are happening as Niall is coming to the end of his first year, and I'm really loving the new milestones that each day promises... but I look at pictures of him from when he was 2,3, 4 months old and I almost want to cry. It's so hard to believe that he's a completely different person than what he was all those months ago. I want him to change and grow and turn into a "real" little person, but at the same time I don't want to let go :(

At November 3, 2010 at 12:20 PM , Blogger bigguysmama said...

Your post made me think of a book by Karen Kingsbury called "Let Me Hold You Longer". We celebrate all of our kids 1st, but forget about their lasts. Ugh, made me cry. Yes, they DO grow up too fast! It's so crazy!

~Mimi from the Lamby Tribe

At November 3, 2010 at 3:40 PM , Blogger vanita said...

It truly is hard letting go. I look at the teens and tear up for the days when they were babies and toddlers and kindergartners. I look at Damian who is two and miss the nights of rocking him to sleep or the afternoons of watching tv while he laid across my lap, tiny enough to fit perfectly. One day soon, I'll cry for all the things I miss about Natasha as a baby, but for now I can still hold on to her. It's not easy, not easy at all, but it's life.

At November 3, 2010 at 4:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cry every year on Emma's birthday. The passage of time marks another year gone. It's hard to let go of babyhood. It is such a precious time. I can tell you that there are so many wonderful surprises in store for you. When I look back on those times and think of Emma now, I am amazed that this complex and stunning person was hiding inside that baby body.

Sometimes the intensity of my love for my children overwhelms me and I almost feel like I'm being choked by it. Having children makes you the most vulnerable person on earth. If something ever happened to either one of my girls my world would shatter. It's a terrifying thought.

Great post Adriel! You really took me back to that first year love. It's like no other feeling in the world. :)

At November 4, 2010 at 6:03 AM , Blogger HeartBabyHome said...

I don't mourn the growing up.
They just get cuter and cuter each day. ...and when they're sick or have a boo-boo, they always come running back to Mommy for hugs and comfort.
I still call my mom when I'm sick...and listen to all the advice that I already know...cuz I just feel better after talking to her.

At November 5, 2010 at 9:02 AM , Blogger Becca said...

I loved this, and teared up. This incredible mommy love scares me and excites me at the same time. I can't wait to meet our little one.

At November 5, 2010 at 10:47 AM , Anonymous Melissa {adventuroo} said...

Such a wonderful post! I think the best way is to shut off thinking of to-do lists, laundry, etc and just be in the moment. I need to remind myself of it often, especially with the baby when he's fussy. Instead of getting annoyed, I close my eyes, hug him tight and breathe in that sweet baby smell. Seems to work this far. :-)

At November 6, 2010 at 7:47 PM , Anonymous Anne said...

While reading it made me cry and I feel how you felt. Every mom is having this kind of experience. I am glad you post this.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms

At November 6, 2010 at 7:49 PM , Anonymous Anne said...

While reading it made me cry and I feel how you felt. Every mom is having this kind of experience. I am glad you post this.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms

At November 8, 2010 at 1:54 AM , Blogger The mad woman behind the blog said...

Thank you for posting this. Its been a while since I stayed up most of the night with a sick infant (though this one was up at 330 this morning!). I too struggle with wanting my body back, missing the old me. But it is in these rare early morning hours when I do feel like a mom, and am happy about it. I'm sure the sleep deprivation has something to do with it.


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