Here is something that I wrote last year in the hope that I could make writing a regular thing….an outlet. It’s taken over a year to find a platform to share this with but I’m glad that I’ve started it. I hope that it encapsulates the feelings of angst that having a new baby brings. Four months still wasn’t enough time to get used to having her around.
It’s her four month birthday today. Four months ago to this moment I was sat nursing a baby a couple of hours old, high on adrenaline and so very exhausted.
It has been a long time since I have slept properly. I remember an eight hour stint back in January and my tired memory has fogged the rest but I think it’s been around four or five weeks since I slept more than four hours in a row. After a while you get used to it but the first few weeks of this sleep pattern feels like hell. I have punched myself in the head and slapped my own face trying to deal with the emotions that come with having a baby and being at home very bored and not having the downtime to sort it all. Every feeling is left raw on the surface. So much so that my husband can read my mind just from looking at my face. I thought I was more of a fortress than that but having no sleep can change everything – even how I look.
Usually a good night’s sleep is all I need to make sense of things but I am on a long delay as I sleep in bursts and it’s only now that I feel I am becoming used to this new way of life. Waking every two hours, nurse baby, dummy in and back to sleep. If I am lucky I can re-join a dream I have just left, if not then I lay awake and think about things I have no control over. Wasting precious minutes when I could be sleeping.
Last night was one of those nights and for once it felt positive. Maybe it was spending the afternoon with good people but I feel as if I have finally released myself from a self-sabotage trap. Maybe I haven’t been giving myself enough of a break. Every doubt I have I think of as a weakness, whether it be why a friend doesn’t call or why the baby is pooping more. Maybe, just maybe, these things are not about me and my ability (see martyr to the end!) and actually something outside of my control.
Since I have left work I have lost a big part of my former identity. That’s really OK. I was looking to extract myself from it and enjoy motherhood. I wanted to be separated from conversations about conversions and targets. I wanted to remember what life was all about. The beauty of sitting. The joy of being still. Hours whiled away sat in the sunny living room (which I never see as am at work before the light makes it in) nursing an incredible human being. That is my identity now.
I suspect that the thrill of organising and working will start it’s pull on me soon and that’s why I’m glad I moved my return to work date to the end of the summer. Feels so much more natural. I need to do all I can to find a way to work from home as much as possible. Spend as much time with this tiny human as I can get away with. We spend a whole lot of time looking at each other. I hope we never stop doing this. Her smile can light the grid. She makes me well up just looking at her. She is so, incredibly perfect.
Before she gets too big, too demanding, I want to re-forge my identity. Working mother yes, but only as a means to an end. I must write, divulge my feelings, be honest and examine my life. Only by doing this can I work out what do next, build upon my experiences, fulfil life. I hope to then inspire rather than instruct. This journey has already started and it’s fast, days whizzing by and she’s already touching hands? She’ll be professing mama! before I know it and I need, need so desperately to make sure that I hold on and observe as much as I possibly can.
As she awakes, I awake. I feel as If I have been in hibernation (having a winter baby does that for you) and as the sun shines, we move into life together. This is only the fourth month and I gush like a fangirl. Imagine the bigger milestones…?