At two weeks old, Emma had already changed. Cuddy knew some people would disagree with her but she was sure of it. They were small changes, admittedly, too subtle for anyone who wasn't paying attention to notice. She saw them, though. Emma had gained weight, for one thing. Again, it was a small amount of weight but when you only weighed seven pounds to begin with, even a small weight gain was noticeable. She'd lost a little of her hair, especially on the back of her head where it rubbed against the sheets in her crib. She was also, in Cuddy's mind, beginning to be more interactive with her environment. No, she couldn't play with her toys or move her own limbs with any coordination but she seemed more aware of the world around her.
The only thing that hadn't changed was Emma's insistence on nursing every three hours around the clock. It was as if she had an internal timer and when it went off, there was no pleasing her until she got what she wanted. Cuddy knew three hours wasn't unusual for a breastfed baby. Neither was it unusual that Emma hadn't sorted out the whole day/night thing. Emma was actually quite normal for a newborn. And Cuddy was beginning to think Emma was going to be the death of her.
It was early in the morning. How early, Cuddy didn't know. She didn't know much anymore. She could barely sort out the day/night thing herself. She definitely had lost track of what day it was...or month. She was so utterly exhausted, she couldn't think straight. Because of Emma's nursing schedule, Cuddy never got more than a couple hours of sleep at a time but she'd thought she was managing. She was tired, yes, but she was functioning. And then this morning, she suddenly felt like she was unraveling.
She sat in the rocking chair nursing Emma, tears streaming down her face. Emma was completely oblivious to her mother's distress...which was good. Cuddy didn't want her, or anyone else, to see how poorly she was coping with the strain. Millions of women throughout time had managed to take care of their babies. She should be able to do the same. Instead, all she could think about was how her back hurt from sitting in this chair nursing what seemed like 24/7 and how she felt like she just couldn't manage another five minutes without completely losing her grip.
A couple of tears fell on Emma's arm and Cuddy quickly wiped them away with the cloth diaper she used as a spit-up rag. Then she rubbed her hand over her face, telling herself to get a fucking grip, Lisa.... It didn't do any good. She knew she shouldn't be crying--she had nothing to cry about--but she couldn't make it stop. And the fact she couldn't make the tears stop only made her feel even worse.
- Sunday morning, May 27