Monday, June 28, 2010

Maternity Leave

I've had two weeks now to get used to our little pumpkin's arrival. Tomorrow is her official due date. Ha! She showed me. But maybe that little marker will make the whole thing seem official.

Today does feel like the official start of my maternity leave as my mom has headed back home and Mr. Right is back at work. It's just me and the pumpkin here at the house on a day that is supposed to reach 94 degrees. She is happily sleeping on my chest in one of these amazing baby slings (thanks Kris!), and for the hands free and happy baby mode, I'm very glad to have this little warm bundle against me on this hot day.

I am a little daunted by this maternity leave thing. I'm a little perplexed about what it is you do with yourself on leave ... and then I start to make a list of things I need to do that goes on for a whole page and then she wakes up from her nap and makes some diaper noises that impress Mr. Right to no end, and then it's time to feed her again, and are there really no clean blankets left? and then I remember, oh yeah, I've got plenty to do here. So, we're fine.

Most of all I try to remember the number one item on my list: take the time to stare at her precious face as these moments will go by fast. She is already 2.5 weeks old! I read some other new mom blogs and some of them talk about wanting to stop time to be able to really appreciate this moment ... I understand this feeling now, after years of trying to appreciate the moment through meditation or yoga, all you need is a newborn. After a lifetime of "what's the next thing?" it's lovely to look down at my daughter's face and think, "What could be more perfect than this moment?"

I was at a family get-together yesterday for most of the day, and I'm learning how you turn into a quasi-celebrity if you have an infant in your arms. Or at least you learn what it feels like to be the bodyguard of the celebrity. I looked up at one point to find about eight little girls clustered around me, peering at me and the baby. I didn't know what to do or say. Finally I got her into her seat and they clustered around the seat and I felt much better. A little later, I had a little magical moment as a little seven year old asked to hold her, and it was such an incredible moment to see her joyful smile looking down at the baby. I remember my own fascination with babies starting very young, a decade of daycare work and babysitting, and all those years wondering what my own child would be like. And here she is.

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