I wiped the sleep from my eyes as I saw the monitor lights grow brighter with the sound of my baby's cries.
He's awake. I rolled out of bed for the second time that night to nurse my ever-growing baby boy. I changed him, swaddled him, laid him in his crib, and fell back into my comfy bed.
This has been my life for the past 5 months. Since the arrival of Rhett, the nights are long and so are the days.
And it is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
This may seem insane. But having a little person who needs me constantly has caused, no forced, me to be selfless in ways I never dreamed. And it's becoming more and more like second nature now.
I thought I was a selfless person before I had a baby. I cooked and cleaned for my husband, ironed his clothes. I was active in church and tried to be there for my family and friends. I volunteered at my local crisis pregnancy center. I gave of myself a lot.
Pssssh. Boy was that a lie.
I still got to come home and just be still. I didn't have to think about anything. I could prop up my feet and eat whatever I wanted to and take my time eating it.
That may not seem like a big deal, but I can't number the meals I've had to inhale because I hadn't eaten in 6 hours and just as I was bringing the spoon to my mouth the baby decides NOW is the time cry.
My bitterness at not being able to eat aside, my point is: I still could do whatever the heck I wanted to when I was done "serving."
Now enter an adorably demanding baby and BAM. That's all gone.
My life literally revolves around my son. If we are going out, I have to make sure he's eaten and calculate how long our trip is going to take and decide if I will have to feed him again while we are out.
I also have to guess at how many diapers he will go through, and pack an extra pair of clothes in case he blows through one of those diapers. Don't even get me started on packing toys, strollers or carriers for him.
And this is all to go to the store.
At home, my days consist of feedings, diaper changes, lots of soothing, cuddles and singing silly songs. And then more feedings.
And on a good day there is some productivity in between those things. Like moving over laundry or brushing my teeth.
When he cries, I go to him. When he's hungry I feed him. When he wants to be held, I pick him up.
Life as I knew it has been drastically changed.
Now none of this is to make you feel sorry for me or to pat myself on the back, but merely to show you that my days are no longer my own.
And this is good.
Why? Because having to constantly die to myself has made me more like Christ.
"It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:26-28
When the Lord blessed me with a precious little life to care for it required me to cry out to Him daily for the ability to give of myself. It is no longer a choice for me whether or not I will serve today. The choice has been made for me.
There are no more days off to rest or take a breather and start over tomorrow. No. Every day I have to serve and give of myself, even when I didn't sleep the night before.
In these past five months I have seen myself grow tremendously. It was such a shock to my system when he was first born. I would just cry and think "What happened to my life!?!"
And now it is becoming easier to me.
I don't groan every single time I have to wake up at night. I have gotten used to feeding him and making sure he's happy and then eating my lunch. It no longer feels like a constant sacrifice to care for him 24/7.
Yes there are still hard days. Like really hard days. But it's usually my fault. Those are the days I take my eyes off of Jesus and focus on what I don't like about my life--the uncomfortable things--and I become very discontent and grumpy.
But praise the Lord, He is making those days fewer and fewer! He is working in me! He has caused this marvelous thing called motherhood to grow me in ways I never dreamed.
"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
And I am so thankful.
Having a baby has been one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.
It has made me more like Jesus.