The Life of Liz

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Agony and the Ecstasy

People ask me how it feels to be a mom and I don't know what to say. Most of the time I wonder who accidentally left a baby in my room.

I sure love the little guy though. Kissing his round little cheeks is pretty much my favorite thing ever. I love his unexpected smiles and his tiny feet and the funny dinosaur face he makes when he's stretching.

But love is not a feeling. What I feel is pain. Every single day for the last five and a half weeks I have been in various degrees of agony. It's so, so, unbelievably hard. I was prepared for labor and delivery. I was prepared for a few weeks of soreness and recovery. In no way had I prepared myself mentally for infections, prolonged hospital stays, lacerations that refuse to close and heal or problems breastfeeding.

Random strangers in the grocery store tell me to treasure every single moment; they go by so fast. I smile and nod but really I'm thinking, sweet Jesus I hope so! Treasure every moment? What moments would those be? The moment where they're putting in my 5th IV in 2 days? How about the moment where I am completely incapable of taking care of my child because I can't even move? Or maybe I'm supposed to treasure the time I had to drive home without actually sitting on anything after receiving my third round of stitches? I'd rather edit those out of the ol' memory book, thanks.

I wish my body would just heal already so I could be more of a real mom. I have so little time for maternity leave where I can dedicate my whole day to playing and bonding with my little Troy; I wish it wasn't being wasted feeling terrible. I wish I could be the one to rock my son and fill up my mommy heart with sweet baby snuggles.

I feel like I'm missing all the moments I'm supposed to be treasuring.

Then again, maybe I just really need to climb out of my pool of pity and count my blessings. So I will do so now. First of all, my baby is super healthy (he takes after his daddy, obviously) and seriously the most beautiful thing in the world. Secondly, I am surrounded by so many people who help me do all the things I can't at the moment. Living with my parents has been incredible, especially when I need an extra pair of hands to change a diaper or run an errand. And a huge thank you to everyone who brought us a meal so we had one less thing to try to get organized.

Also, I am very thankful that Troy and I have figured out breastfeeding so I no longer dread mealtimes. I find it rather odd that something so important for sustaining life is not instinctual. No one had to teach me how to blink, or poop, or shiver - I just do them and continue living. Breastfeeding is more like fixing your transmission or finding a square root; it's a skill that must be learned from an outside source.Except that with those things, if you don't know how to do them (which I don't), nobody starves. This smacks strongly of design flaw as far as I'm concerned. Fortunately, the nice lactation consultant taught us the correct technique and I have quit wondering if my baby's mouth is secretly filled with razor blades!

I guess what I'm trying to say is: one painful day at a time, we're getting there. We are learning and (theoretically) healing slowly. And after all, it's been five and a half weeks and no matter how awful it's been for my body and my psyche, the tiny helpless human I'm in charge of is still alive.

So I'm going to go ahead and count it as a win. 


Maeve's Momma August 31, 2013 at 6:19:00 AM MDT  

I'm so sorry it's been so rough for you, but I'm so glad Troy is thriving. Having gone at it from the other way around, it was super stressful for there to be *something* wrong with Maeve and not know what it was.

I'm proud of what a strong mother you are, keep on keeping on, and trust me, there will be plenty of beautiful moments to treasure when you're healed.

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A brand new mom trying to navigate the crazy world of mixed families, babies, and working full time. Phew! Just writing that makes me want to lie down.


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