This post was originally written in October 2011.
Tomorrow marks four months since my baby was born.
There were days when I thought I would never make it to tomorrow. I was surprised to find that we were both alive and well at the four week mark. I was sure that at any moment I might keel over and never wake up. I was so sleep-deprived I would scratch at my eyes just to make sure my senses were still intact.
The best way I can describe those first couple months of motherhood is that it was a complete shock – a shock to the body, a shock to my identity, and ultimately to my life. I felt more like a slave than a mother. I thought living in a three-hour world would drive me mad for sure. My life became a series of feeding, burping, holding, rocking, and diaper-changing sessions, and somewhere in between I was supposed to find time to eat and sleep. When I looked in the mirror I wondered, “Who is that crazy homeless lady staring back at me?” Predictability and schedules were thrown out the window. I felt like I had lost control, lost my mind, and that my life was over.
This was not quite the picture of motherhood I had imagined before Aliya entered my life and rocked my world to the very core.
While I knew intellectually that motherhood would be an adjustment – and a difficult one at that – perhaps in some corner of my mind I thought that motherhood would be a perpetual state of bliss because I wanted a baby so badly. Instead, what I found was that it was more like a day that never ends, where I wanted someone to punch me in the face just so I could feel something. It wasn’t long before I felt guilty, worthless, and like a complete and utter failure. If all of the girls on Teen Mom could do it, why couldn’t I?
Moms repeatedly told me - “It WILL get better.” I thought they were all psycho sadistic liars who were cruel enough to not warn me how miserable this all was. Or they were all extremely well-adjusted with babies who never cried and always slept.
But slowly, things did get better.
She got bigger. She started to smile. And miracle of miracles – she learned how to SLEEP. And so did I.
These days I can hardly get enough of her.
What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
Brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don’t care
I’m yours and suddenly you’re mine
Suddenly you’re mine
And it’s brighter than sunshine
Aqualung, “Brighter than Sunshine”