New motherhood
9:11 AM | 2 comments

There are a lot of things “they” don’t tell you about motherhood, and for the last 2 months, those things have taken me for quite a ride. Now that I feel like I’m on the upward swing of the other side, I can definitely see that I had me a bout of post-partum depression. There are still days where my mantra is FML, and all I want to do is hand off the baby to her Daddy so I can rest. But those days are thankfully fewer and further between.
I won’t go into what those things are that nobody tells you. Some of you may one day want to become mothers and I don’t want to dissuade you with the less-than mythical, un-romanticized version. If you ask, I’ll tell. I’ll just say that no one tells you that you might not immediately have goo-goo eyes for your baby, that it’s a complex mother-daughter relationship that might take its time building up to something incredible rather than just automatically being an alive, bloomed relationship. I can tell you that it for sure gets there, it may just take some time. I love my daughter with all my heart and would do anything, ANYTHING for her. But coming out of the hospital was terrifying and, in moments of exhaustion and desperation, I would totally have felt OK about leaving her behind. That’s how I felt, and I know that a cocktail of post partum hormones was playing around in my head and heart.
You know what has made it all so much easier? No, not looking into my baby’s eyes and seeing the beauty of a creature part me and part husband. Not the occasional coo amidst hours of crying. It was other moms. Other warriors who could commiserate, and tell me tat what I was feeling was OK, they’d been there. That raising a newborn is taxing and hard, and the epitome of selflessness, because that little being doesn’t know how to show thanks or return the love yet. Other moms who knew I didn’t want parenting advice, I was already feeling shaky on my own. They knew all I needed was a listening ear and the reassurance that I was a good mom doing fantastically well using the tools of intuition, survival, and the support of my husband (when he was not being a crime-stopping superhero of Ross River)
Thanks to all the moms, my own included, who helped me get through new motherhood, and who keep being helpful resources of encouragement and support. Thanks to those moms honest enough to acknowledge the difficulties, even when the hard stuff is difficult to talk about, or scary to deal with.
This morning, I am watching Abigail flail away on her play mat, listening to her Beatles lullaby CD, smiling at the dangling toys and screeching in delight. She pauses now and then to arch her head and look up at me, eliciting a huge grin just for me. I’m her mommy, and now I feel it.

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