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I'm tired. Plain and simple, I'm tired, perhaps even bordering on exhausted. As I write this, I'm sitting at my daughter's dining room table while the lull of the ceiling fan drones in my ear. My grandpup, Iago, is among the lucky – he's catching a nap on the back of the sofa.
There hasn't been much sleep here for the past eight days. Piper Rae made an unplanned appearance June 27 – two weeks ahead of schedule and via an emergency C-section.
Because the timing was off, I wasn't with my only daughter, my oldest child. But as soon as I closed out last week's paper, with a little help from Chris Festo, I was on my way (I'd been packed for two weeks).
I arrived at the hospital shortly after midnight, a scant 11 hours after she made her grand entrance into the world. And she was there, wide-eyed, waiting to meet her Gram.
What can I say? I held perfection in my hands, all 7 pounds of her.
Allison was fine. Her husband, Jeremy, proud and Piper, well, she was already curious and not even a day old!
We visited a while and when I suggested going to a hotel, both parents insisted I room in with my girl. St. Mary's, where she had the baby, has the best family-oriented birthing center I've ever been in.
Families are not only encouraged to visit with moms and babies, they're warmly invited to stick around, dine in and spend the night. A sofa converts to a full bed; the recliner lays back into a comfy sleeping chair.
Jeremy offered me the sofa bed and I accepted. By then I'd been up 21 hours and on the road eight of those.
But we all know that no one can rest in a hospital. Between feedings and checking vitals, it was a sleepless night for us all.
And so it continued during the duration of her stay. I came to their house one night and crashed but she needed me at the hospital and so I made the trip – 45 minutes one way – to assist and answer questions.
By the time they came home, I was bordering on being one of the walking dead. Tonight, I am one. Perhaps Rick, Daryl, Maggie and Carol will make room for me in their camp.
My job here – and I made it quite clear – is to take care of my daughter, while she takes care of hers.
But as a first time mother, she is filled with nervousness, and questions, including the one most of us ask repeatedly, "Am I doing this right? Am I a terrible mother?"
Yesterday, she brought me to tears.
"This is the hardest thing I've ever done," she said, through her own exhaustion. "Let me apologize for all I ever put you through when I was a baby."
Tonight it was Jeremy who had me sobbing. Piper has been fussy
most of the afternoon and so he took her on the front porch to rock her.
And then I heard it.
Singing. Loud. Clear. Strong.
"I'm high on lovin' you," he crooned to his baby.
I can barely keep my eyes open, but I will and I will take the 2 a.m. feeding so they can sleep.
I will catch 10 minute naps between loads of laundry or while the bread bakes. I can sleep sitting up or leaning on a door jamb.
It's a talent moms have and I'm putting mine to good use this week.
Yes, I'm tired. Perhaps exhausted. But tonight here in Royston, Ga, at my daughter's table, it's the best feeling in the world.
And I couldn't be happier.