The days stretch furiously long. The lack of a wall clock or digital clock in our condo has rendered us impervious to time. I find myself sometimes a bit delirious from lack of sleep and exhaustion — walking around in my half-buttoned loungewear anticipating the next feed, diaper change, or pumping session. There is lingering dread and paranoia as you fight the urge to take a nap while the baby naps. There is a surge of postpartum hormones that heighten all the existing complex emotions that seem to resurface during my most vulnerable state. Tears are shed aplenty. A few silent breakdowns shockingly happened for several nights (or afternoons or mornings). How could I feel this much sadness, exhaustion, and overwhelming emotion in the midst of this miraculous time? They are, after all, only newborns once.
How do other moms and dads do it? Some without help, resources, or a partner. I am extremely curious! So curious that I am tempted to message all my mommy friends. To all my friends who have reached out without me telling them how it has been, thank you.
It’s tough. All the preparation prior and support from other people cannot prepare you for the immensity of your new reality — being accountable for a human life you have unconditional love for. As soon as we brought our daughter home, life took a dramatic pause. To be at the beck and call of a newborn is our new reality. Although this phase is fleeting, it will still take a lot out of you. I now understand why moms get the baby blues or worse, postpartum depression. It has not been the case for me yet. But I can now recognize the dark road that may lead to it.
The arrival of our newborn opened up our home to a lot of light and love. She radiates so much joy and wonder from our hearts and eyes as we try to wrap our head on how we were able to create such a strong and beautiful baby. We watch in awe and put into memory her little breakthroughs. I bury my nose and inhale her sweet newborn scent every freakin perfect moment she latches for her food and survival. It is humbling and absolutely perfect and nervewracking at the same time.
As parents, we strive to learn something each day, accept that we need help, and try our very best to not let our erratic moods hurt our already exhausted state. We are still adjusting to our new family. It won’t happen overnight or even for several months (as they say).
For now, I am stealing this moment for myself as I watch both my daughter and husband take a nap. I am reminded by how the past three weeks have completely turned our lives around and, most definitely, for the better.