I've had a few people ask how the transition has been? How are we holding up? You know, going from just Jason and I to the 3 of us. I usually say, "oh good, we're getting used to it" or something along those lines. It's an easy answer and seems to satisfy most everyone. :)
I thought though that maybe I would take the time to be a little more "real". So to be honest...it hasn't been all fluffy, happy, ooey gooey warm and fuzzy. We are in LOVE with our sweet little boy but there were some other emotions and feelings that reared their ugly head during the 1st week or so.
The first week post birth was...well, hard. I cried about 2x's a day while in the hospital. I was tired, hormonal, and I was tired of being bugged and having them bug Jack. I didn't like to hear him cry and it just made me cry also. Then we got home and unfortunately it didn't get better. Because of the damage sustained during delivery I was pretty much stuck. I couldn't go anywhere and finding a comfortable position was impossible. I felt sad, incredibly weepy and just...not myself. I remember just crying to Jason saying, "I feel like I don't know who I am anymore!?!" I mean...I'm a MOM! I've never filled this role before. I was afraid of it. I didn't know if I could handle a human being fully and completely dependent on me for life...especially when it felt like I could barely take care of myself. The schedule of feeding, changing diapers, rocking to sleep, and repeat was wearing on me. I was EXHAUSTED and sleep deprived and this all contributed to my being so emotionally fragile.
I tried not to but I couldn't help but think back to my pre-baby days and realize that those days of freedom were gone. Honestly, it made me sad. What made me even MORE sad was realizing that it's not just Jason and me anymore. He's my best friend and my favorite person ever. I began having fears of "What if we grow distant? What if I begin to prioritize Jack over him?" Honestly, because I was feeling so down I wanted to just be with Jason, to snuggle up next to him in bed but because of Jack's sleep schedule...ie. being a newborn :) I couldn't do that. Which made me feel sad all the more.
I must say though that despite all these feelings there was never a sense of disdain or lack of want toward Jack. Jack was always wanted...and is wanted. I would look down at his sweet little face and be in awe of what God had made...and given to us. There was certainly guilt for feeling all the feelings above. I felt like I didn't deserve such a gift. That there are people out there who would love to have a sweet baby boy and here I am feeling sorry for myself.
I think in the end it's a matter of identity. I never realized how much I let my surroundings and routine shape who I view myself as. "I'm a hard worker. I'm a coffee drinker. I'm a person who enjoys getting out and about...running errands. I love exercise. I love going out to eat and enjoying my husband." These are things that make me feel like me. And then there's the routine. Routines are crazy things. I never realized how dependent I was on my routine...and how that routine makes me feel whole. All of these things were thrown out the window when Jack came. My routine was replaced with a completely different routine (who are we kidding, there's no routine with a newborn, haha) The things I like to do and the labels I inadvertently placed on myself were stripped away and a new label was given, "MOM". A new, very permanent label. The permanency of this label scared me a bit at first. It made me feel foreign to myself. It made me want to have my family and people who know me around because even though I've changed...they haven't. They are still constant and maybe it will feel like I really exist still...instead of feeling like I'm in this weird out of body state of mind.
But, fortunately, God does not abandon us. I'll be honest, I'm still adjusting to my new role. I knew that I wanted to be a mom but I never pined for it like some that I know. I never felt like I would be made "complete" by becoming a mom. I've never been baby crazy. I know some women who have felt like, "Ah yes, this is what God created me to be" upon having children. I never expected to be that person...to have that feeling. What I didn't expect though was how deep the love is that we have for baby Jack. He is half Jason, half me. The truest expression of our love and God's grace. And this is beautiful. I feel a sweet connection with him...like he just "belongs" with us. And there will be days where I will still look back on the "good ole days" but there will be so many more good days in the future.
Two weeks into this adventure I'm starting to come around to my new "identity" of mom. I'm taking on a new, but loose, routine...and it involves baby Jack. And I wouldn't have it any other way. It's crazy, tiring, and unlike anything I've ever experienced...but it's turning out to be one of the best things I've ever experienced. I thank God for Jack...and for Jason...our new little family.
Coconut Red Lentil Soup
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