The Tale of the Sleepless Mother


This morning I awoke after a mostly sleepless night due to the babe’s inability or unwillingness (who knows) to sleep.  I went to bed around midnight (relishing in some quiet, alone time before bed as I do on occasion) and awoke around one to a thrashing child.  I attempted all my tactics to get her so sleep for about an hour and a half when I finally threw in the towel and toted the both of us downstairs and turned my computer on.  I could have gotten all my editing done, but instead I got caught up ordering some needed items for Maisy and got around to a dollop of editing just before the clock struck “you’ve been awake in the middle of the night for 3 hours and you’re baby is suddenly not happy about it.”  First I had some poo poo stench to get rid of and then we were off to what appeared to be a fluffy haven promising sweet dreams.  Promptly upon laying down with Maisy by my side she resumed her thrashing and complaining and I went back to the drawing board to get her to sleep.  Lo and behold we eventually got back to sleep after 3.5 total hours of random wakefulness smack dab in the middle of the night.

In the morning I promptly picked up my phone and read, “Good morning love!  How are you?”  Instead of responding in kind, as I did not have it in me to put forth the pretense of cheerfulness, I texted my husband (who is grandma sitting at my in-laws for the weekend), “As soon as you are finished up at church this morning can you come get the girl?  I’m tapped out.”

“Also, do not utter a word to me today that is not uplifting unless you would like me to bite your face off.”

Long hours later he arrives and leaves toting our 14-month-old night terrorist away from my premises and I move zombie-like forward through some redecorating efforts.  I caught myself just sitting on random pieces of furniture one too many times and decided I would be a much better home-maker after catching up on some sleep.

I immediately came down from the bookshelf I was sitting on and traipsed upstairs, vehemently looking forward to the drug-like stupor I knew I would partake of shortly.  I lay in my empty bed, in my empty house and proceeded to conjure baby’s cries out of thin air.  I lingered in my sleep deprived body’s intoxicatingly half-asleep pleasantries while suffering my mommy body’s waves of tingling chemical readiness to bolt upright without a moment’s notice for my nonexistent baby.  But sleep won out in fairly short order and I blinked out of my rock hard sleep an hour later ready to conquer the world.  I settled for photographing a wedding.

A Short Poem Written in the Middle of the Night… and Then Some

They tell me the time will fly and to cherish every moment.  They tell me she’ll grow up fast.

But on this night all I know is I’m tired and I’m convinced this phase will last.

Maisy and I have been apart from Josh for two weeks today.  There comes a point in the separation when certain things start happening, it’s at about the 10 day marker.

  1. I start envisioning him everywhere.  Yesterday I saw a man that vaguely resembled Josh from behind.  I stared after him for a while thinking two things at the same time:  wow that’s Josh, when did he get to town; no that can’t be Josh and why would I see him wandering around town before seeing him at home?  Yes, this means I do start to go a version of crazy… seeing Josh everywhere.
  2. Night time with Maisy becomes an event.  Two nights ago, she awoke at midnight.  I hear her over the monitor and proceed to sleep walk my way to her room to bring her into my bed, as per usual, for the rest of the night.  That’s where the normalities ceased.  In my not even half awake brain I was fully committed to not breastfeeding her to sleep at the time.  I admit, I had a rare moment of being touched out and I was committed to giving my private space some privacy for a change. Well she had something to scream about at that.  But since I was still unconscious I deliriously assumed she was crying her head off in frustration about not knowing what door knobs to pick out for the house, not breastfeeding whoas.  After mildly coming out of my dreams I started mumbling “shhh” and “no milk right now” and “it’s time to go to sleep” in her direction.  She proceeded to wind down on the crying and started to fumble about in the dark for a comfortable position to snuggle.  We tried it all and tried and tried again.  After an hour of this I was awake enough to have to obey my growling belly.  So we went downstairs and I swallowed a bowl cereal while Maisy sat by my feet (my now mini zombie).  Back upstairs we went for another hour of her peaceably attempting to snuggle in.  And then I gave up completely and we wobbled down the stairs to get some wedding photography edited.  Another hour later and Maisy was melting into a puddle of tears and we headed back upstairs. I snuggled in to spoon her and we were out like a couple lights.  This morning I awake feeling cruel about the whole experience and so stupid for not even thinking to rock her to sleep.  Duh.  Apparently so many unaided sleepless nights in a row makes for a brain dead midnight mommy.

When She’s Not So Little Anymore

If you ask me how Maisy is I without fail will tell you something like, “She’s so much fun!  And she’s so sweet and smart.”  If you ask me how we’re doing I’ll likely tell you, “Sleep is challenging but she’s so stinking sweet and fun.”

I just finished nursing that girl to sleep.  As I watched her fade at the breast I got tears in my eyes.  She is so incredible.  So lovable, and loving, and kind, and sharing, and giving, and snuggly, and sweet.  Sweet is the best way to overall describe this little girl.

(Besides, someone who goes as nutty for candy, ice cream, and anything sugary as this girl does have to be inherently sweet herself right?)

When she plays with me, other kids, and our dogs she’s always handing others her toys until next thing I know she has nothing left to play with herself.  If another kid physically wounds her she simply stares perplexedly back at them, not lashing back, and then may turn to me to cry a little if it was a significant blow. But if another kid says something hurtful to her you can bet she’ll turn to me and cry a little.

At church I love watching other kids follow her around to and fro.  How a baby could be entertaining to older kids I have no idea but they eat her up anyways!

Most of our days are spent finding the next way to snuggle.  We snuggle at my desk while I’m working.  She snuggles my leg while I cook or I hold her while I attempt some one-handed cooking.  While I’m gardening she’s clinging to my back or my bent knees.  At sleep times we snuggle as we read, nurse, and rock.  She’s really perfectly content provided she has someone who loves her to touch at all times.

I distinctly remember one doctor’s visit when Maisy was still enwombed (made up word, I like it) when my doctor said something like, “are you ready to meet your new best friend.”  Honestly, at the time, I distinctly thought, “yeah right.”  You’d think a girl who’s best friends with her mom would likely expect the same right?  Not this one.  I’m logical and it seemed to me the odds were stacked against me.  I felt like I heard kids complain and gripe about their parents much more frequently than they praised them and indicated that they even liked them.  So I was preparing myself for children that would likely hate me.  But my doctor was right.  At least right now, Maisy and I are best buds.  I mean, we do everything together!  We go to church together, we go for walks together, we go shopping together, we eat all our meals together, we sleep together, we play together, we work together, and we laugh a lot together.

My baby isn’t much of a baby anymore.  She’s not helpless.  She’s not oblivious.  My little girl can go up and down stairs by herself.  She can obey.  She can say some words.  She can sign.  I am completely in love with her and can’t imagine loving her more.  And yet, every day I do.  I love her more.

Meet Maisy Joy Calhoun!

I know now-a-days  it is customary to immediately post pictures of big life events on Facebook.  I just couldn’t do that.  Firstly, I’m a photographer and I wasn’t about introduce my baby girl to the world any other way than with my fancy pants camera.  Gotta do the little lady justice!  Secondly, I know that eventually I would post pictures of her on the web but I stubbornly wanted to keep her from that… even if just for a little while.

Yesterday I did it.  I took some pictures of my precious Maisy.  It was actually hard for me to make myself take pictures of her when all I really want to do is stare at her with my own two eyes and hold her all the time.  I could only manage a few photos because we also just moved. We closed on a house the day after Maisy was born.  So, my house is slowly but surely being put together and boxes are getting unpacked but I certainly am limited in how creative I can get with pictures for now.  I figured that’s alright though because, in reality, y’all just want to meet her and I don’t need gobs of photos to do that!  Besides, I have a lifetime to take pictures of my little beauty!

Anyway, with no further adieu, meet my daughter, Maisy Joy Calhoun!

Other posts that might interest you:  Our Annual Photo Spree + Our 3 MO BellyOur 9MO Maternity Photos or any post tagged “Bemusings of a Baby Life.”

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Our 9 Month Maternity Photos

This year is the year of two photo sessions!  Josh and I usually do an anniversary photo shoot once a year around our wedding anniversary.  But, this year, we are expecting our first babe and thought a 9 month maternity shoot was in order!  Mandy Henry has photographed so much of the important moments in our life, we were so excited to share this one with her as well!

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