Welcoming a new baby into the world is a miracle. Almost as beautiful as the miracle of an epidural.
But after the dust settles (literally, all over the living room), the family members leave and everyone else on the planet resumes their normal life – mothers are left with a very tiny, very demanding, very ungrateful little life-form whose sole purpose is to prevent others from sleeping at all costs. It doesn’t always feel very much like a miracle.
When Mia was born, shit got real really fast.
My mom left on the same day that Dan went back to work and I was a paranoid, overwhelmed, hormonal, sleep-deprived mess who knew nothing about babies and had absolutely no motherly instincts. I also had stitches in my vagina.
I cried. A lot.
This time around things have been much smoother. Everyone left the day after Lucy was born, and Dan went back to work two days later. Sounds brutal but it actually felt easier – kind of like ripping off a bandaid instead of slowly and painfully peeling it back.
Lucy slept 23 hours a day, Mia embraced big-sisterhood. I knew (relatively) what I was doing and the adrenaline was flowing. Hormones were making me feel the love, even at 3am.
Now here we are 4 weeks later and shit is starting to get real again.
Lucy shit her pants (literally, blew out her diaper and soaked her pants) at the same time that Mia tried to drive her ride-on car up the stairs, resulting in exactly the outcome a reasonable adult with a fully developed frontal lobe would expect. Dan is upset that I don’t cuddle with him anymore and wonders out loud why the dishes are still in the sink while I stumble around on 3 scattered hours of sleep, a sinus infection and a fucking hemorrhoid.
Yea, I went there.
And if you’ve ever been there, you know. Hell hath no wrath like a woman with a post-partum hemorrhoid.
This morning I cried. Lucy finally went back to sleep at 5:50am (for the first time since midnight), and Mia woke up at 5:51. It’s pouring rain, the adrenaline has worn off and I am really, really tired. The sinus infection doesn’t help.
But the difference between this time and last time, is this time I know it’s going to be ok. It’s not necessarily going to get better, but its going to be ok.
Bruises will heal,
poop stains will fade, onesies will be thrown away. Dan and I will find each other again, someday.
So for now, I’m just going to lean in. Elbow deep in a diaper pail, with a toddler wrapped around my leg and a baby strapped to my chest. I’m going to lean into it. Because that’s life. That’s my life. And there’s something beautiful about it anyway.