When I stepped into the shower with 4-day old unwashed hair, unshaven legs and a general aroma of sour breastmilk, I felt unpretty. I contemplated what your presence in our life would mean for my relationship with your Daddy. Would he still find me attractive? Would he still find me kind? As the hot water ran over my squishy, new mom body, I watched each worry run one-by-one down the shower drain and I felt refreshed.
At 6:00 am this morning, when you woke up yet again and your blood curdling cries stirred me from my sweet slumber, I thought about sleep deprivation. Would I ever get used to never feeling well-rested? You were fed, diapered and swaddled, but you continued crying. I groaned in frustration and shoved your pacifier in your mouth more forcefully than I should have until eventually you let sleep overcome you. I stumbled back into bed, grieving the loss of my childless life and all the sleep that accompanied it, while your Daddy, unbeknownst to me, coddled you for the next 5 hours and when I awoke at 11:30 am, I felt refreshed.
Yesterday, you didn't nap as well as you usually do. You were cranky and I didn't get nearly anything accomplished. Dishes sat dirty. Laundry undone. And my belly left empty. In all my efforts to make you comfortable and lull you to sleep, I made no time to eat. We rolled up to Nonnie and Papaw's house for family dinner. You were exhausted and unhappy. I was exhausted and hungry. Eventually, you settled down for a long nap and I proceeded to load up my plate with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans. I ravenously shoved my fork into my mouth, and bite-by-bite, I felt refreshed.
Seemingly, you have been the cause of so much of my need for refreshment. Life with you is exhausting, frustrating and definitely lacking in sleep. But then I think about how I felt while you were still in my tummy. My anxieties about being a terrible, unloving Mom made me perpetually sick. The room you took up in my belly made it difficult to breathe and caused a constant ache in my back. And then you were born and I was bewitched. I fell in love hard. There was no effort made to love you. You simply overcame me and I was helpless to fight it.