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Still Breathing

stillbreathing.jpgI was a little terrified when I headed home from the hospital with my first baby. I think it’s natural for most first-time moms to be scared out of their minds after their first babies are born, especially in cases like mine when I had never really been exposed to newborn babies. Why was she crying? Was she nursing enough? Did she innately know that her mommy didn’t have a clue?

What I remember most about bringing her home was how I would sit there while she slept, timing her every breath and making sure that she was still breathing. I was honestly scared that if I didn’t monitor this that she would simply stop breathing while napping or sleeping in the middle of the night. Yes, I know that’s irrational, but when you combine sleep deprivation with the strongest and truest love I have ever experienced, I guess I couldn’t be surprised that my mind was working in weird ways. As a result, I wound up spending a lot of time sitting there and listening to my daughter breathe.

You may find yourself in a similar situation. Maybe you’re like me and you spend an inordinate amount of time listening to your baby breathe, or maybe you have something else you feel compelled to do before you can rest well. You probably tell yourself that you’ll lighten up as your baby gets a little older, but let me tell you something: My first-born just turned four last week, and guess what? I still can’t get to sleep at night unless I stand outside her room and listen to her breathe in her sleep for a while. My guess is that I’ll probably follow this ritual until the day she heads off to college.

The fact of the matter is this: No matter how old your kids get, you still feel compelled to protect them. Although you may be able to loosen the proverbial apron springs as your babies age, you’ll always think of your daughters and sons as the little babies you brought home from the hospital. Seriously…I plan on sending homemade cookies to my daughter long after she has been sworn into the Oval Office.

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