Such A Sweet Time

I'm really enjoying Max's early days far more than I did with William. This isn't surprising given that at this point in W's life I still hadn't even had the chance to hold him yet. But I'm thinking about even after we brought W home.

I was reflecting this afternoon on why I feel so different this time around. I think one reason is because I didn't have a naturally maternal personality before W-- part of the emotional defense mechanism from being unable to have kids for so long, I suspect. So it took me a while to warm up to actual motherhood. Plus the rough start didn't help. But over the past two years W has awakened my maternal inclinations, so they are now in full force.

Then there is the learning curve-- learning to nurse, to change diapers, to figure out what a baby needs when it is crying, all that is pretty difficult I think the first time around. And W had that dairy allergy that went undiagnosed for several weeks, during which he was miserable and cried day and night. Max is very easy compared to W, plus I've got more parenting skills than I started with, so even if M is difficult it would still be easier than the first time around when I was clueless.

I think another reason is that I now have more context in which to place this experience. Meaning that I now know how quickly this helpless baby stage passes in the big scheme of things, as well as how slowly the actual hours and days spent caring for a newborn seem to pass. It's something of a conundrum, and was unsettling the first time around. But this time I accept the psychological dissonance of the situation.

This time, I'm very content to spend long hours just gazing into Max's eyes. Because now I know just how short is the window to do this-- it won't be long before he can see beyond me, and his gaze will be drawn to any bright shiny thing in the room; I'll no longer be guaranteed his full attention like I am now. It makes me sad just thinking about it (but I'm particularly weepy these days, I suspect the hormones are largely to blame).

I haven't even ventured downstairs since Saturday morning, but I have been perfectly content here sequestered with my newborn. I sleep, eat, nurse, stretch. Not a whole lot more than Max is doing, except that I can read things to amuse myself as I lie in bed, and all he can do is look around. It's a good life.