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The ambiguity of motherhood

It was one of those nights. He was up every 30 minutes, crying, clearly uncomfortable. He nursed, finally fell asleep. And instead of sleeping, my brain could not shut down - what did we do today? Did he spend enough energy? Did he eat enough? Did I switch anything in his routine? Developmental leap? Teething? Am I stressed and he is feeling it? Is he getting sick? His dad is back at work, maybe he misses him. We used the phone too much talking to my parents on Facetime, maybe that’s what it is. Should I research some more? No, he’s finally asleep, the light will bother him. And that’s when I remember, he didn’t poop today. His belly is probably the problem.

I look at the clock - 5 am. Sleeping for 40 minutes. I breathe and ask myself if transferring him to the bed would be too risky. Slowly, I start making the “ninja movements” that a mom needs to do smoothly to get the baby in bed. As soon as I put his bottom on the mattress, my husband snores. I freeze. Say 358 bad words in my mind and swear to kill him if the little one wakes up. For his luck, no movement - baby is sound asleep.

I take another breath. My bladder is exploding, but I gotta concentrate - this is the moment he usually wakes up. I very slowly put his head in the mattress, and even slower, take my arms off from around him and take a deep breath. I did it! He’s asleep in the bed!

A small ray of light comes in through the curtains, shining in his little face. As I get up to go to the bathroom, I look back at him and realize how much he has grown the last couple weeks. He is learning more words, is becoming more independent. He climbs everywhere without my help. He tells me all the things he likes and wants to do.

I immediately remember when he was only a newborn, not too long ago, and my heart shrinks. It goes by so fast. So I immediately go back to bed, pick him up, and wait anxiously until he opens his little eyes and says with the sweetest voice: “good morning, mamãe”!

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