I always strive to be honest on this site. I don’t sugarcoat my life. I don’t believe that will ever get me anywhere worthwhile, so let me paint a picture for you.
Face-down into my pillow, not moving–not because I’m asleep or resting, but because all of it seems like too much.
My mom is gone. My mother-in-law left. My husband is at work. My baby is fussing next to me.
I breathe deeply, collecting whatever air I can through the pillow. Tears threaten my eyes. I feel extremely alone.
This was a daily issue for three weeks following my mother-in-law’s departure. She had been the last visitor. Within 24 hours of her leaving, I became a wreck. Truly, I felt very alone. I felt like I just wasn’t the mother that I so desperately wanted to be.
Breastfeeding had been fairly awful up to that point. Recovery was rough. I was sleep deprived.
And all at the same time, I realized what a blessing it was to be a mom.
I felt guilty for feeling sad when I should be “savoring every moment because it goes so fast.”
Just when I felt that I was ready to lock myself in the bathroom for 24 hours and hand the baby to my husband, so I could regain some semblance of sanity, my aunt asked if she could come visit. It was an answer to my hormonal and emotional tornado.
For the two weeks after she left, I felt I had to fight everyday to be happy–to find the joy. I still felt like part of me was missing. I had let myself fall into an absolute mess. My hair was the dirtiest I had ever seen it, and it was shoved into a messy, frizzy bun. I was wearing sweatpants and leggings on the daily because the thought of putting on real clothes that likely would not fit was still upsetting.
I have had to crawl my way back to finding me. Concessions have had to be made. Honestly, still, many times the only reason why my house gets cleaned is because someone is coming over.
Then something that should have otherwise been viewed as bad, ended up being wonderful. My husband’s employer implemented mass lay-offs. After a twenty-minute freak out (I mean COME ON we have a five-week-old baby and hospital bills at this point), I regained composure just in time for Adam to walk through the door.
Having him home has helped me find me again. He takes a feeding once a night. My baby now sleeps for five hours during the first stretch of night (no, he still does not nap much). Adam encourages me to nap. He makes bottles. He rocks the baby when I need just a few minutes to get ready for the day, something that has made all of the difference.
I started reaching out to other moms. Apparently, my experience isn’t novel. I am not alone.
I am back to being me, but also a better version of me. I am more selfless, loving, and in tune with the world around me. I am changed because I am a mom. My bones have literally moved. I probably won’t ever be the same size in jeans, and that is okay because my heart is full.
I see things as they are now. Some days are harder than others. Still, I am grateful for my forever family. I am grateful for the fact that I was able to make it through pregnancy and have a beautiful, healthy baby. I am grateful for waking up from naps to find my husband sweetly cradling our baby–seeing him be a dad has increased my love for him immeasurably. I am grateful for the 4 AM smiles and sleepy, happy stares that Oliver gives me.
I know I am loved.
And my heart? It’s filled with more love than I ever thought I could feel.
I know that we go through trials for a reason. Postpartum was just one of those trials.
I’m glad I’m on the other side.