August woke to the sound her four month old daughter screaming on the baby monitor. She groaned and dragged her tired body out of bed. The nursery was dark with only the soft glow of a night light creating a path to the crib. As August leaned over, she she saw her daughter Olivia yawn and fall back asleep.
"My little monster," August whispered softly as she moved her fingers gently across her baby's forehead. A soft smile played on Olivia's lips.
August moved silently out of the nursery and back into her welcoming bed. The moment her head hit the pillow her alarm clock blared. August hit the sides of her pillow in frustration before getting up and starting the coffee machine.
"How did you sleep?" her husband asked as August poured them each a cup. He was freshly showered and dressed for work. August simply gulped down her coffee in response and laid her head down on the countertop.
"You got this," he chuckled softly patting her out he head, "Everyone at work says it will get easier."
"I really hope so," August lifted her head sighing, "I feel like I am losing my mind. I have not showered in two days, she refuses to sleep, and I cannot make her stop crying," August put her head back down on the countertop, "I am so tired."
"Try to nap today while she sleeps," he sipped at his coffee checking his watch, "I wish I could help but with this project at work, I have been swamped." He bent down lifting August's face towards him. He gently kissed her lips, "I will be late again tonight so do not wait up. I love you." He then walked out the door.
August stuck her tongue out after him. She envied him being able to escape fatherhood and go to work each day. She wished she could to go work but they had agreed that August should stay at home with Olivia for the first year of her life. Everyday, August prayed that the next day would be easier.
She finished her coffee and started to put away the dishes when she heard Olivia crying again. August took a deep breath before beginning her day. She changed, fed, and dressed Olivia. August then went through her errands for the day. They went to the store and bought groceries, returned her husbands shoes that he ordered and did not like, and went to post office to send out Christmas cards. By this time it was lunch and Olivia was screaming to be fed. August pulled the car over on the side of the highway and climbed into the back seat. She fed Olivia as cars passed by honking and yelling. About forty-five minutes later, August climbed back into the drivers seat and headed to the doctors office for the four month shots. Afterwards, August drove a screaming baby home. She picked up the mail, unloaded all of the groceries, and managed to put Olivia down for a nap. August began prepping for dinner, cleaned the kitchen and living room before taking a break to pee for the first time all day. August then was able to shove half a sandwich in her mouth before Olivia woke crying again. August fed her and changed her diaper only to realize that she had pooped through her diaper and all the way up her back. August ran a bath for Olivia and washed her hair and body. By the time they were done, it was time to feed Olivia again.
August managed to put Olivia down for a nap before going to finish dinner and start a load of laundry. August drank some water and laid down on the couch. She managed to close her eyes for a couple of minutes before Olivia started crying again. August changed and fed her. August spent the remainder of the afternoon playing with Olivia, reading to her, and helping her exercise her muscle movement.
It was nine o'clock at night before Olivia finally fell asleep. August managed to put Olivia in her crib without her waking up on her third attempt. August considered this a success because it usually took at least six attempts before Olivia would stay asleep. August dragged her body into a shower. She let the hot water massage her back and shoulders. She began washing her hair when Olivia started crying on the baby monitor. August felt tears escape her eyes as she quickly rinsed the shampoo out of her hair, wrapped her body in a towel, and ran to the nursery leaving wet foot prints across the wooden floor. She reached the crib and soothed her crying baby. Olivia fell asleep again about an hour later. August slumped down onto the nursery floor. She listened to her daughters breathing and felt her eyes get heavy.
That is how her husband found her when he walked through the front door later that night. The house was quiet and their bedroom empty. He went into the nursery and there was his naked wife sprawled out on the floor with a towel barely covering her while his daughter was laying peacefully asleep in her crib. He chuckled softly at the two most important people in his life. He lifted August gently in his ams and carried her into their bed. He took the baby monitor, lowered the volume and put it on his side of the bed. He would take the night shift tonight. He knew his wife needed sleep tonight. He kissed her forehead and closed his eyes to sleep.
August woke to Olivia crying on the baby monitor next to her husband. She sighed as he continued snoring unaware that his daughter was hungry. She walked over to his side of the bed and took the monitor back. She smiled shaking her head softly. She loved him for trying to give her a break but also knew that he could sleep through anything so it was pointless. She then left to go and care for their daughter. As she entered the nursery, she said a silent prayer that tomorrow be easier.