Parenthood and motherhood have already been quite the journey. At not even four weeks, I feel like I have been challenged and tested as a mother more than I expected. I heard about sleep deprived nights and fussy babies, but I never truly experienced them (babysitting doesn't even do it a tiny bit of justice).
In my efforts to be a perfect mom and to master the art of breastfeeding, I have been Googling and Redditing and foruming, and from all of my research, I have decided that the best thing I can do as Henry's mother is to trust both him and myself.
Henry and I know each other more intimately than anyone else. We spent 9 months together, learning about each other, being completely in sync, and being wholly one. We slept together, ate together, moved together, went everywhere together. Wherever I was, he was. Whatever I did, he did. Then, in one swift instant, we were separated and expected to function as two individual units. How could we do that when we were so used to being one?
That is both the problem and the solution. We are still connected. While physically we may be apart, we are still forever intertwined. We know each other and we need each other. We have the answers. I just have to trust us.
Henry may need to feed every hour and a half and feed for an hour at a time (going only 30 minutes in between). He may need to sleep with me every night. I may need to constantly hold him, let him use a pacifier, and give him kisses every couple minutes. What we need may be different than what we are told, but I am learning to trust my baby and me.
Even small things are evidence that we are in tune with each other on a spiritual level. The night before his arrival, I felt on edge. I posted about it on instagram and remember feeling a sensation I can only describe as "restless." Intellectually I had no idea that my water was about to break and Henry was about to enter the world, but I know now, looking back at the way I felt that night (which was different than any time before), I knew on some level. Recently, Henry and I have been spending part of our night sleeping on the couch. Both of us seem to get our best sleep out there. It's as if he knows that the couch is where I slept with him during the last few uncomfortable weeks of pregnancy and where I was when my water broke and his journey into the world began.
I know those examples may sound silly, but the connection I feel with my baby makes me realize that I know Henry and he knows me. Together, we know what we need. We know what is right for us. He knows how to be my son, and I know how to be his mother. We can put aside all the "shoulds" and trust that, together, we have all we need.