I’m going back to work in 6 days, and the thought of being apart from my baby is making me feel things. And when I feel things, I write. And if it comes out halfway decent, I try to put the writing somewhere people will see it. I’m thrilled this little piece found a home on the smart and empowering blog Liberating Working Moms.
Here’s a permanent link to my article.
And here’s a clickbait pic of my baby. This is what it looks like from my perspective when he reaches for me to gnaw on my nose.
In editing this essay, a few paragraphs got cut out, as they often do. Though what appears on Liberating Working Moms is the essay’s best, most concise form, I thought I’d share the outtakes here. These three paragraphs weren’t consecutive in the earlier draft, so that’s why they don’t flow together here at all.
He’s rolled over three times, and each time, he rolled toward me. My hands are one of his favorite toys, second only to his own toes, and apparently almost as tasty. When I change his diaper, he grabs at my elbow and hugs it to him. It’s so adorable I don’t even mind the extra minutes at the changing table.
A baby’s laugh is quite possibly the best sound in the world. Parents will do some pretty dumb stuff to hear it. I’ve never seen my husband clown so much as when he’s trying to get a giggle out of our son. He exhausts himself jumping out at him, playing peekaboo, and tickling him. I think it might be the most fun he’s ever had.
He has even learned to show his enthusiasm and appreciation for his milk. When I set him on the nursing pillow, he knows what’s coming. He moves his body rapidly in excitement, making a big open-mouthed smile and curling himself around me, clutching at my shirt, feet at my shoulder. Sometimes he’ll interrupt himself, look up at me and make some sounds, then get back to it, like he’s chiming in on our dinner conversation. When we’re done, he’ll look up at me with a lazy grin. Nursing hasn’t been easy for me. They told me it would take two weeks, maybe four, to get used to it, but my body needed two months before my oversupply regulated itself and I didn’t get painfully engorged so often, and the baby’s mouth had to grow a little for his latch to improve too. There were also days when he resisted nursing, crying at the breast to protest my fast letdown, as if I could stop it. Seeing how much my baby loves to nurse now, I’m glad I had the stubbornness to stick with it–and that’s really all it was, stubbornness–although I’m sure he’d have been fine if I’d had to give him formula.