First things first – to those who personally reached out to me after reading my first blog entry; thank you. Your words of encouragement and endearment have given me the drive to keep sharing my untold thoughts. And to those who let me in and shared their most deepest experiences – I sincerely and wholeheartedly appreciate it. I feel trusted and humbled and send positivity your way, always. Truthfully speaking, I held no expectations when I started my blog. I was overwhelmed with the feedback I received. I wrote from the heart. I felt vulnerable. But I felt good. I felt proud of myself for finally opening up.
As it stands, I’m not sure what the blogging etiquette is just yet. Time is key. And so is sleep. My thoughts tend to keep me from getting sleep, so I write at night. But this habit is catching up to me. And, inevitably the days are getting busier with our little warrior. At roughly 16 weeks post-partum, I can confidently say I’m getting a hold on Ma-hood. My c-section wound is almost healed and faded. I’m able to care for Amia on my own. Things around here are slowly starting to feel “normal”.
On a personal note, I’m in a much better place as well. But from time to time, I still struggle with my inner battles: emotions, pain, and my patience. My last visit with the doctor was in late December. She was happy with my progress. Despite my positive healing, I was given strict orders to still avoid heavy lifting for at least two more weeks. Patience, Ma. As much as I felt ready to pack-up Amia and head to mommy playgroups or go to the mall or just step out for a coffee – I couldn’t, not just yet. By this time, Pa was back at work. It was just Amia and I at home for 8 full hours. For those that don’t know me, I am not a home body (my parents can attest to this). So, staying cooped up for an entire day at home was, for lack of a better word, torture. Don’t get me wrong, spending the days with Amia are the best. But the days felt monotonous; get-up, play, feed, nap, and repeat. Literally, I would be checking the time on my phone like a hawk thinking to myself, “Ok, it’s noon, I have 4 more hours until Matt gets home!” For whatever reason, this comforted me.
Amia was handed off to Matt the second he got home. Poor guy probably didn’t even get a chance to wash his hands. But Matt didn’t mind. He would take Amia and start talking to me about his day at work. And then I would get mad. Not at him specifically, just at the situation and circumstances. Matt had the ability to take a warm shower, leave the house, converse with adults, drink a hot coffee, eat a hot meal, and come home to just tell me all about it. My day was the complete opposite. I couldn’t shower. I couldn’t have a hot cup of tea. I couldn’t eat when I wanted to. I had a baby glued to my breast, for what felt like all the time. I was struggling. And because I was struggling, we were struggling. Our evenings together felt cold and bitter. I would get angry. Amia would be fussy. I would let out my frustration on Matt. He wouldn’t listen. It was rough. If there was one piece of advice we received pre-marriage, it was to never go to bed angry at one another. Well, let’s just say given our situation, that piece of advice was not being adhered to very well. I was tired from my day with Amia. He was tired from his day at work. We were both tired. Add in my animosity. It was a disastrous recipe.
I know I’m getting pretty detailed with the struggles between Matt and I. But I feel it’s important to talk about this aspect of parenthood. Parenthood seems to be advertised as solely just about raising kids. False. Parenthood is also about the parents and the major adjustments happening on the whim (literally). No book, prenatal class, or person (not even your own parents) can prepare you for parenthood. You just have to live it to experience it. Having a baby is a beautiful moment and journey. We were always told this. What no one warned us about were the challenges. I’m not sure why it’s not talked about as much as it should be – it’s real and can take a huge toll on a relationship. Having a baby is not all “rainbows and butterflies”. This tiny human relies on us to be fed, to be changed, to be clothed, to be transported safely to where ever we venture out to. That’s a lot to ask for from two people who have no clue what they’re doing. We’ve had our meltdown moments. We’ve also had our moments where we’re not on the same page. So in parenthood, along with the precious moments, the dreadful crappy moments exist too. Irrespective of our disagreements, Amia needs us. Matt and I have learned to talk things out. We’ve learned to both be open minded and understanding. We’re learning – parenthood is just one huge learning curve that never really ends.
As the days go on, things are slowly getting manageable. I’m trying to change my attitude and view on how things are. As much as the days might feel daunting and repetitive, I keep telling myself that these are precious days. In fact, I don’t have to tell myself, I see it firsthand just how special my days are with Amia. Despite the lack of hours of sleep, it’s the most heart melting feeling waking up to Amia’s babbling first thing in the morning. So, when Matt comes home now and tells me about his day, I share mine too. I tell him about the new things Amia started doing. So, instead of being frustrated or bitter with each other, we share what’s on our mind. We’re not just bettering ourselves for each other, but for Amia too – we want her to know that throughout the chaos of raising her, Ma and Pa had fun with it too.
Positive side note – since starting this post (yes, it takes a while to get one posted) I have ventured out with Amia on my own. Such a good feeling. It’s an accomplishment to have my independence back. I’ve met friends for lunch, went to the mall (finally!), and for the first time went to a mom’s meet-up group. The mom meet-up group very much opened up my eyes – I am not alone. Hearing about other birth experiences and learning about post-partum services – things I wish I had known before delivering or even before getting pregnant. But now I know where to turn to should Matt and I have another child. Regardless, today, I’m feeling better and very optimistic about the months to come with Amia.
So all in all, like I said in my previous post, my patience was truly tested throughout my post pregnancy recovery experience. But I’ve realized my patience is being tested every single day. With Amia. With Matt. With myself. Bettering my patience is a work in progress. Parenthood is a work in progress. Life is a work in progress. What works one day, never seems to work the next. But with lots of patience, perseverance, dedication, and lots and lots and LOTS of love, we will be just fine. I am thankful for Matt and his unconditional love and commitment. No doubt, he is my rock. I am trying to be a better person for him. He does a lot for us, and sometimes I forget. So this time, I leave you with yet another task; this time it’s for the wives: give your significant other an extra snuggle today; sometimes we forget (at least I hope it’s not just me) that they’re human too. Love you, Pa.