….but then…

Today was hard….BUT THEN….

Today was hard…she’s not sleeping well. She has never slept through the night, but had been doing so well and only waking up once. But the last few nights, she’s a newborn all over again. Fussing every few hours, round the clock feedings, and unknown distresses in her small body. I wake, in a sleepy stupor, and somehow find her and give her what she needs or wants and find my way back to the warm bed, only to wake up an hour later to start the day again.

…but then I write this blog post at Woman’s Hospital about how she loves to be on her tummy, even when she’s sleeping, and I’m reminded how much I love watching her sleep. And I’m reminded that even the four to five hours she sleeps is wonderful, and when she starts to sleep longer, I will probably miss our quiet time in the night.

Today was hard…it’s Christmas time and I’m running around like a headless chicken. And all I want to do is sit in my new house, with my Christmas tree lit up as the only lights in the house and lay with Audrey and Jason and admire the twinkling, read Audrey her very first Christmas story and watch the fire logs burn down until there’s nothing but ash. But rather, I’m shopping every night after work, feeding Audrey in the car on the run and rubbing blisters on my feet. I love the hustle and bustle of the season, but with a three-month old in tow, it takes on a whole new meaning. And even as I look for presents to buy for her (those she will never know she received), I question my own sanity.

…but then I spend my weekend with family and take her to see Santa, and sit by the big tree staring at the lights, and sing Christmas carols in my home church and sway with her singing Silent Night, and I feel whole again. And we open those presents that others having lovingly gifted to her and she starts grabbing at the paper, showing us how much she is growing and I feel Christmas in my heart again.

Today was hard…being a working mom is hard. I’m exhausted. The full days, the long nights. The pumping. The every three hours is wearing me down, making me want to wean her off breastfeeding and throw my hands in the air in surrender. I can’t do this. I can’t do it all. I need someone else to be doing what I do every three hours. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed every time I wash the breast pump bottles in my office sink, with my colleagues coming in and out, peeking but not saying out of respect, which I appreciate. Life on a three hour rotation is hard. And washing bottles every night just sucks.

…but then I talk with my other new mama girlfriends and spill my guts, we have a pity party, and then we all pick ourselves up again and start a new day. And I remember how little time in the grand scheme of her life breastfeeding will take up, and I’m energized to keep going (and the easy calorie burning isn’t so bad either!).

Today was hard…I ate fried chicken last night, definitely not on the approved postpartum diet. And the night before I ate fajitas. And the night before I ate spaghetti. And the night before I ate Taco Bell. And the night before that Wendy’s. It’s only from running out of time. I can’t get to the grocery store, I can’t/don’t have time to cook. I haven’t packed Jason a lunch since I went back to work, meaning he eats all the same junk as me. It’s not far, it’s not fun and it’s not healthy. But after all that goes on in one day, how am I supposed to get dinner on the table too? Seriously!?

…but then I talk to my Mama and she reassures me that IT IS OK and that I need not worry about these things and focus on my little one and on Jason. And I somehow scrape together a delicious chili for a supper club with friends, and we sit and talk and enjoy the warm food just like we’ve done for the past 10 years, now we just have little ones running around. And I remember how grateful and blessed I am to even have this problem of too much food, and I renew my promise to meal plan and shop so I won’t have these panicked no-dinner nights again.

Today was hard…it’s only 9:15 am and I’ve already been to the bathroom to cry it out once. I know it gets easier, I know it gets better. But right now, it feels endless, and it feels raw and I feel guilty. Because it’s not sweet Audrey’s fault. Without me and Jason, she wouldn’t survive. How can I feel stressed while taking care of something we were so very blessed with and love with our every ounce of our bodies? She is smiling and squealing and makes all the stress amazingly worth it. But in the middle of it right now, it feels dark and I feel not enough.

but then I receive e-mails and comments and phone calls from my little tribe of friends and family assuring me that I am enough, that I am OK, and that it will get easier. And I remember that I love Audrey so, and she deserves every ounce of everything I have, no matter the cost. And I talk to my sister who again talks me back from the ledge and tells me to go take a nap because that’s probably my biggest problem (and she was right!). And I have a sister in law who babysits while we go to a Christmas party, and me and Jason really look at each other for the first time this week, take a deep breath  reconnect again with laughter and smiles and come home to our sleeping baby, with all the lights off except for the Christmas tree and I thank God for meltdowns, because they give us opportunities to look up, get up and go again.

Today was just hard.

…but then it got better…