One thing that we seem to unknowingly neglect when our much-awaited River came into our lives was… to enjoy him.
How ironic it is to not enjoy time with our most anticipated addition to the family, and instead be too preoccupied with the busyness of taking care of him, and be too overwhelmed with tiredness and adjusting to this new life we have, where a straight eight hour sleep is now just a dream for me, and taking a shower unhurriedly is a luxury.
Feeding, burping, changing diapers, calming the baby down consume most of my time, especially the feeding part as I have to pump at least 8 times a day to increase my milk supply.
Any down time I have, meaning when he’s not fussy or when he’s asleep, I attend to my personal needs, which includes basic hygiene routine and catching a nap. And of course, to pump milk, which is partly my need, and mostly falls under River’s needs.
We rarely spend time together as a family too. Yes, we are often together, but often preoccupied and distracted too. Then there came a wake up call. We had a precious family moment, just us three, at the most unlikely place – at the doctor’s clinic while waiting for our turn. It wasn’t the time to browse through our phones while waiting because we could be called anytime soon. Nothing to do then but to dote on River. And so we did, for at least 10 full minutes, talking to him and taking some photos. It was timely that River was wide awake too. No distractions.
And so I need to remind myself to enjoy gazing at him during burping and feeding time, talking to him about anything, and praying for him and others. There are times for unwinding too, watching Netflix or Filipino TV shows through my phone, browsing through social media, blogging to keep me awake while burping or feeding him, but I shouldn’t forget – to enjoy River.
I recently stopped recording his milk intake and tracking how many ounces I pump in a day. Now that he has healthily gained weight, I just make sure he is fed, as much as possible, with breast milk, whether by direct latch whenever I can or by the bottle, or with formula milk. Less stress and pressure. I feel more relaxed and happier in feeding River.
Whenever I silently gaze at River as he sleeps, or feeds, or both, or as he stares back at me with those big lovely eyes, I am just overwhelmed with God’s goodness, love and grace towards our family. I thank God for those moments.
River’s growing up so fast! It cannot be denied that busyness and exhaustion come with this little package called River. These all pale in comparison to the snippets of happy, meaningful moments with our bundle of joy too.
To more happy moments ahead!