i can hardly believe it's been 5 weeks since she was born. it seems like yesterday--and like much longer. it's a weird timelessness, this new motherhood. days cease to mean anything, especially if i don't write down what needs to be accomplished on a specific date, and instead i live by hours. hours between feedings. hours that she's been awake. hours that dinner needs to be made or hours wherein i can maybe sleep.
i am so tired.
is there a 5 week wall, mothers out there? i don't want to see it's "the" wall, because i feel certain that with every new experience will come some sort of wall, but is there a wall when things seem to be hitting a rhythm and you think things should be going along more quickly than they are? or when the bloom of newness has worn off, the visitors have gone home, the help has stopped pouring in, and you are left to your own devices? when reality seems to set in--this is your kid, you are responsible--but you don't feel necessarily prepared for the challenges that come every day? or, perhaps what's more true, no day seems to have a rhythm because all normality is currently under construction?
i feel like i'm staring at that wall.
baby girl seems to be in the midst of setting her own schedule. i am TOTALLY supportive of this, and a bit in awe of it, actually--she really likes getting up at around 6:45, and has for the past few days no matter what her feeding schedule is, little morning girl, and has been SO much better about her naps lately that it's INSANE--but in the midst of my own feelings of wanting to get back on a schedule and to return to some sense of myself, i believe i have gotten a bit frustrated. i don't always know what she wants, still.
or, perhaps what is more true, i don't always trust the instinct i have about what she wants. case in point: this morning, she woke up and seemed to be hungry. i was sure that she was not, since i thought that she had just eaten like an hour and a half before (and she NEVER goes less than two hours between feedings unless she's in a growth spurt, and even that is VERY rare--she's a 2.5 to 3 hour girl, sometimes longer at night). i was frustrated and didn't understand what she wanted. at first, i thought she was gassy (she sometimes gets that way in the mornings lately, and when i pick her up, she burps and goes straight back to sleep), but she was having none of it. i finally realized that the kid was starving and fed her (it really didn't take me that long--maybe 2 or 3 minutes of trying to suss it out), but i was frustrated the whole time. why is she hungry? i thought. how could she be hungry already? we fed her her full feeding. she ate the whole thing and seemed relatively satisfied (although i am thinking we need to bump her up a half ounce or an ounce). what the heck.
then i realized, when i got back in bed, that she had actually gone 2.75 hours, and i was the one who hadn't gone to bed until 4:45 after her 3:30 feeding because i had to get her down and then go pump.
i'm really tired. i literally have to write every feeding down and every poop/wet diaper down to have any sense of what's going on in our house.
so frustration seems to be plaguing me lately, and as a result, i don't like how i feel. my husband, oh how i love him, tries to get me out of this complainy doldrumness by telling me that we love our awesome life and making me repeat it. it's true--i do. but just saying it doesn't always make it come to pass, especially when i'm feeling inept again at deciphering what baby girl wants and needs.
in the midst of things, i sometimes lose perspective. in the midst of staring at the wall, for example, i may not see that there's a ladder to climb over it sitting directly to my right.
so, in the shower this morning, i started listing all of the things that i might be annoyed by and determining why i am grateful for them. it was astonishing how much it lightened my mood immediately.
so, since this really serves as a kind of journal for me, here we go:
i am grateful for sore, overstimulated nipples (sorry if it's TMI)...because it means that we're still producing milk for my baby. it means we're still trying hard. it means we haven't given up, no matter how difficult it has been.
i am grateful for a baby who wakes up every 2.5 to 3 hours during the night to eat...because it means that she's growing and has a healthy appetite.
i am grateful for having to wash bottles every day, twice a day...because it means we've found a bottle that baby girl does well with, it means she's eating good, and it means that every day i have something that i feel like i have accomplished. i am astonished at how a small and simple thing like washing and sterilizing bottles can feel so good.
i am grateful for the clutter in my home...because it means that we're too busy spending time together as a family, loving and taking care of our baby girl, to worry about folding the laundry and doing the dishes.
i am grateful that the clutter and mess annoys me...because it tells me that i like a house of order and it forces me, periodically, to get something done which then, in turn, makes me feel productive and back to my old self in small ways.
i am grateful for fussy baby time...because it teaches me patience and it also teaches me to listen to her to see what she needs. i am always grateful for that.
i am grateful for a gassy, farty baby...because it's helping her practice her adorable smile (i swear she's smiled at me--twice now, in the mornings, and once yesterday afternoon. but it's fleeting, so i'm not sure if i'm ready to call it true.) and it provides hilariousness amid the mundane. also, it shows she can expel it on her own--that's a good thing.
i am grateful for the weight that won't come off...because it's what nourished this baby and helped her come to earth so healthy. it also provides me with a challenge, when i'm up for it, that will teach me once more how strong i am.
i am grateful for fatigue...because it teaches me that motherhood is about losing your life for others.
i am grateful for bills that keep pouring in from the delivery and the pediatrician and every other person who remotely was connected to the birth of our baby...because it is an opportunity to exercise faith in the principle of tithing and the reality of a God who will always take care of our needs.
i am grateful for the dishes...because it means we are well fed.
i am grateful for my own weaknesses and frailties, and being keenly aware of them...because it means i am being refined.
i am grateful. i am tired, but i am grateful. i just need to remember the latter when i'm overwhelmed by the former. that's the ultimate challenge, isn't it?