Of course I knew that having a baby would change my life. I knew I’d get less sleep and that it would become more difficult to go anywhere or do anything. I knew that there would be a physical recovery and I knew that my emotions would be all over the place.
Still – knowing all that I knew (little that it was, admittedly), this being a mother thing is so much harder than I thought it would be. Not the loving her part. That has come so easily. But the day to day BEING A MOTHER part is hard. It almost seems unfair that it is so much at once. First, you’re tired because you’re nine months pregnant and that’s exhausting in and of itself. Then you have the labor phase, which is – as the name implies – work. Immediately after that is the beginning of the physical recovery – probably my least favorite thing ever and seemingly never ending And simultaneously, you’re learning about this little human for whom you are responsible. Feeding, bathing, soothing, deciphering every little whimper and wail. It was a lightbulb moment when it occurred to me that a baby needs care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I couldn’t just put in a solid 8-10 hour day and call it good. Leave the work to pick up again after a good nights sleep and some Amy time.
I am completely and utterly aware of how blessed I am. I have a wonderful, supportive husband. An amazing group of family and friends. A safe and warm place to live. I have good health insurance and the financial resources to keep stress at bay as the hospital bills started rolling in. My baby is healthy and very easy. I am so, so blessed.
But even with all of that, in an effort to keep it real – the past two months have been the hardest of my life. Postpartum blues sent my emotions into complete chaos – I haven’t kept a tally, but I think I’ve cried at least once on more days than I haven’t cried, often for reasons that I can’t even put into words. The tears come because I’m overwhelmed or tired or hurting or scared or happy or amazed or sad or because my heart is so full that I think it will burst or because there’s a Subaru commercial on TV.
I have never blogged because I like writing. I don’t mind writing, but it is not a passion that I love to coddle and cultivate. I enjoy reading back on past blog posts and I know that I’ll treasure the ones that talk about Ava, so it makes me a little sad that I didn’t prioritize writing more consistently during her first eight weeks. But there were days when I was just focused on survival, yo.
And surviving I am. I love spending my days with Ava and think that she is the coolest little girl. I am trying hard to not be too Type A about the tidiness of my house or the number of items I check off my mental to-do list each day. These newborn weeks are precious, I know, and I want to savor them. Even if the feelings are sometimes overly robust, I’m thankful for them because they remind me how full of love I am for my two favorites – my daughter and her father.
Have you ever been surprised by how you were affected by a life-changing event?