I’m doing it. Not well. But I’m doing it.
Taking a true rest during this postpartum period. It’s probably my last time of postpartum. It’s probably the longest I’ve felt isolated, confused, annoyed, frustrated, held back, held down, and just plain not myself.
The funny thing is, I felt this way with my older two. It’s been forgotten. This magical time period of life: pregnancy, labor/delivery, postpartum, breastfeeding, raising the rest of the tribe, I had forgotten it all.
I forgot how much I hate being pregnant. But so grateful because it’s always been a fight to create my family.
I forgot how much I LOVE labor and delivery. It’s a rush. It’s a miracle. It’s a labor of pain and love and worth every moment. I’d have tons of babies if I could go through labor and delivery without having to be a high-risk maternity case.
I forgot how much I love the newborn but also hate the stage. They are irresistible. They smell intoxicating. They also cry a lot. They also don’t sleep much. I’m rendered sitting on the couch nursing most of my days.
I forgot the pride I felt while breastfeeding, but also the annoyance that comes with it. Watching that baby latch for the first time and then seeing the physical weight gain all because my body created the specific nourishment for my baby… amazing! The cluster feeds, the crying, the late nights, the long nights, the pacifying… not so amazing.
I forgot how much I sleep I apparently don’t need. Normally I sleep (please don’t judge) 8-12 hours a night. Usually an average of 9-10 hours. I’m remembering quickly I can survive off of 5 hours total, not consecutive, or less and remember just how I got addicted to coffee.
I forgot how long the body takes to heal. I mentally felt better quickly. I’d say within a week or so postpartum this time. But my body wasn’t ready for what my brain thought I was. It seems to take longer to heal the more babies I’ve had.
I forgot how fast the time goes. My baby is already 5 weeks old. How did that happen? The time flies when you’re tired, bonding, and trudging through life with a newborn.
While I’m at home, not participating in anything social except a few select things, I am dealing with this period of rest. It’s been a fight. It’s been hard for this independent woman. It’s been hard because I cannot do it all.
Maybe it stems from my ability and desire to do it all, all the time. But with a newborn literally attached or latched, I’m stuck. I haven’t helped put my other two kids to bed but a handful of times this past month. That’s hard.
Hard is what being a mother is and I keep forgetting this thing called grace. Over the next months, I’ll be providing a blogging series on the postpartum period I’ve experienced this time. Documenting with authenticity just what being a new mother is like. Even if this is my third baby.