Is it shamefull I miss my freedom? I think it is. Here, I have this wonderful, perfect little person, and I find myself thinking about my days in Montreal when I could just step out the door with no preparation other than checking that I had my keys and wallet. Not that I was particularly happy then. Oh, quite the contrary. I practically sought out reasons to be miserable, and I had a few legitimate ones too. Of course, I've never laughed and cried more in the last four months than I have in my entire life, I think.
Freedom is one of those gestaltist things that you can only see and remember by comparison. My freedom now is less than what it was. Probably for the better. I didn't use it well. I didn't respect it. Now, my little guy as my gatekeeper, I am forced to treasure every moment of quiet, every second of sleep, every sunset and sunrise. I notice every puff of dust, to sheild his face, every sudden noise, to cover his ears. Every time it is too cold or hot, I touch his skin to check his temperature.
Today were Ender's fourth round of shots. He is a brave little guy for the prick of the needle, letting out a single shout of surprise and usually fine by the time we get back in the waiting room to book the next appointment. It gets bad afterwards, once the vaccine takes hold and his little body begins to fight the (weakened) viruses that have (purposefully) invaded. He'll take longer naps today, waking with a wail and then falling back asleep again. His cheeks will flame bright red with a mild fever. He and I are now old pros at all of this. The trepidation of 'what if' doesn't come into the equation anymore. I am armed with infant tylenol and a mommy-smelly blanket and other wonders of modern parenthood, but also with cuddles, breastmilk and love. He reciprocates with the occasional drowsy smile to let me know I'm doing all the right things.
Sleep has not improved, but I've settled into a routine of no longer caring that I only got so many hours in a night. It helps to not count. I used to count because the health nurse told me that if I was getting under 6 a night, it put me at risk of depression and reduced amounts of breastmilk. Now I've stopped counting the hours, which I found needlessly stressed me. I get enough that a cup of coffee wakes me in the morning and a foot or backrub from my husband in the evening keeps me going so that I can tidy up toys, onesies and tiny socks into neat piles and empty and refill the dishwasher. My supply for nursing is well established...I won't have to worry about it declining until I go back to work or school. That is, if I do.
I guess the loss of my freedom is something I should mourn as well as celebrate. I have so much more to fill my mind and heart nowadays. And that is more important than being able to leave the house for a pint. Though a beer would be pretty great right about now!