This morning I’m amazed. Amazed at the heartache and fears of these past years and past months of pregnancy. Amazed that…finally…I’m a mom. Amazed as I read Psalms 27 again this morning (a chapter that I read nearly every day for about five months of pregnancy) that “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (vs. 13). Somehow, I feel that I have less reason to ever complain no matter how hard parenting appears, since motherhood has clearly been the burning desire of my heart for so long prior to Abby’s birth.
Still, I know that I’ve not “recovered” yet. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t call it postpartum depression…but rather a quagmire of post-infertility emotions.
I still have nightmares of miscarriages. Pain like that is still emblazoned deep within me.
I still have moments of staring at Abby’s sweet faces and doubting I could survive if anything ever happened to her.
I hold her close and wonder if I could – like Abraham of old – ever offer her up if commanded to do so.
Even when she is screaming with two-month-old colic, I can barely stand to release her to anyone else’s arms. Those are the screams of a baby that I prayed for, longed for, doubted would ever be mine.
I am fully aware that my story could have gone either way. I could still be in the throes of hormone injections and follicle ultrasounds. Abby could have NOT made it through all of the complications of her pregnancy. So many miraculous open doors along this journey could have remained shut. Without the free services of an infertility doctor, we could have never afforded IVF. Without the airfare that my grandfather paid for as well as the infertility drugs that he helped procure and buy, I couldn’t have flown back and forth between Denver and Houston throughout the teaching year for treatments that lasted several years.
Throughout pregnancy I felt guilty for complaining about anything, because, well, I was finally pregnant.
Throughout these first few weeks of parenthood I have felt ungrateful for wanting a baby that could nurse easily, or fall asleep without great assistance, or stay asleep without constant soothing, because, well, I have the beautiful, amazing gift of a baby. (And, she is absolutely perfect by the way – sleep or no sleep.)
This post was not meant to complain…actually, quite the opposite. Reading Psalms 27 this morning reminded me of all the incredible answered prayers of this year. However, I guess I start typing and all sorts of emotions flow from my soul. I shouldn’t be surprised. Writing for me is like a good detox. Journaling has always elicited the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.
In this moment, with milk running down Abby’s face, I’m more grateful than guilty. This story could have gone either way and it isn’t over, but for now I’m content in the soggy, tired, caffeinated state that I find myself in.
Just being perfectly honest.
I have such anxiety when someone I don’t know very well asks to hold him… I wonder if that anxiety ever goes away.
Just so you know, it is OK when you just wish she would stop crying and when you feel more exhausted than grateful. I have struggled with this for more than a year, but I really think it is OK. Being a mom is still hard, no matter how you get there.
Thank you friend. I think this will be a long emotional struggle for me, but it is nice to know that I am not alone. Hugs to you and your sweet Abby 🙂
Once again, another open, honest and beautiful post.
I can tell you Lauren to not feel bad for those tired and overwhelming emotions. Being a mama is hard work. And even though it is beyond the greatest work and fulfilling job ever desired, It is still…. tiring. I love my daughter with that motherly love and appreciate every little moment and gift, but I can still find myself frazzled and frustrated when I have to nurse for the 5th time in the last hour because she woke up again. Lol… but, then I realize just how blessed I am. & that these moments will be gone all to quickly. Energized or not, I am a mommy and I need to cherish this time. Motherhood is a constant learning curve and praise the Lord that we have Him to lean our tired head upon.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for your words of encouragement, support and empathy! We are blessed even as we struggle and stumble.