Marina Grace at Seven Months

DenaDecember 7, 2015

I slept on the couch, with Roman in my arms, for his first three months of life. I always felt a pang of embarrassment when I explained that to people. Sharing it made me insecure. I failed at getting him to sleep on his own, so I had to sleep on the couch… with him in my arms… for three. whole. months. I always said it like it was this great big crazy deal. I figured people wouldn’t be as shocked if I made it clear upfront that I knew it was crazy.

Now, I look back and laugh. Marina is eight-a-half-months-old. Last night, and every night since her birth, I slept on the couch, with her in my arms. Eight months and counting, folks.

The difference is that now I don’t talk about it with shame or shock. It is what it is. Marina is what she is and I’m a different woman now than I was before she was born. Roman was my sweet, easy, mellow entry into motherhood. Marina was my rough & tumble, wild, challenging second lap around the course.

For seven months, she cried for eight hours a day or more. Every single day. I’m not sure what else to say about it. Honestly, I think that I have slight PTSD from the experience. That’s not a joke.

But it’s over now. I mean, she’s still one of the most high needs eight-month-olds you’ll ever meet, but the daily doses of eight+ hours of screaming are behind us. The days of barely holding onto my sanity, the days of crying myself to sleep, the days of desperately praying to God to make it stop. They’re all behind us. I’m so grateful.

She’s turned into such a funny little doll these days. Yes, still high-needs, but worlds away from her infant days. It’s amazing. I’m so damned in love with my baby girl. I’m a little sad that her infanthood had to be such a shit show, but that’s life and it truly makes the sweetness of the present all the sweeter.

We took these photographs awhile back now. I’m crazy behind on life and it will be that way for a long time, I imagine. In fact, that may just be my new normal. The days of neat, organized monthly updates (like I did through Roman’s first year) are long gone. Today life is crazy and it’s a lot more about surviving than it is about “neat, organized” anything.

But… I love it. I really do. The thing is that I know how quickly it goes now. Roman turned into a little boy right before my eyes. Sometimes I look at his baby pictures and I’m just like, “Shit. Wait. Wasn’t that, like, yesterday?”

I know just how quickly he went from the sweet baby in my arms to the big boy that I can barely hold. I also know that he will just as quickly go from preschool to high school to college.

I guess what I’m getting to is that nights on the couch with Marina are hard. But I’m not rushing them. Roman used to love to sleep with me and today, I couldn’t get him to sleep with me if I tried. (Who am I kidding? I have tried!) So it’s alright, Marina Grace. It’s alright if you’ll only sleep on the couch, in my arms, for awhile longer. And it’s alright if you still scream like heck most of the time because you want my constant attention, too.

I know that these days are numbered. I know that they’re some of the most trying of my life, but I love them all the same. You’re the baby girl that I spent a lifetime dreaming of. Stay little. Stay needy. I’m not wishing these days away, my sweet love.

Thank you to my friend, Erin, for snapping these photographs of me & my girl. xo

Comments (3)

  • Erin

    December 9, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Anytime, my dear! It was a pleasure + I identify 100% with you here. I was sifting through G’s baby book for her Baptismal certificate. I used to write in it. T’s, yes. H’s? Nothing. NOTHING. He’ll be 4 in March. I have calendars with special days saved for when I have some ‘free time.” I often beat myself up over not being up and up on the little things like I used to, but then I look around and realize I AM doing the best I can! Thanks for the reminder to take each day & cherish it all.

  • Misty

    December 15, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Internal celebration and happy dances are happening now, for ya! Woohoo, heck yeah! Damn, this took long enough little wild child, Marina. Also on the couch each night, for the last few months, but because Margo’s crib is in my room and I get shit for sleep if I stay in there with her. And I totally get what you mean with appreciating the second one more, because both reasons of knowing how fast they grow and because we can fully appreciate their new and lovely selves after being s hot mess. When Margo cries out for me, I carry her all over the place because I know how soon I won’t be able to do that anymore. I also love that she doesn’t sass or talk back to me like the first born does! At this point, baby is actually easier than the toddler! I’m way more patient and mellow with Margo than I was with Mia when she’s needy…because I know how much I’ll miss this when it’s gone! Btw, you look stunning in every photo. No offense, Marina…but Mama stole the show in this session!

  • Katherine

    December 21, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    You two are SO beautiful!!! 🙂

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