Baby boy, time is flying. And right now, I don’t mind…
You see, I'm pretty sure I’ve been struggling with what people call postpartum depression. It’s when you’re so overwhelmed with love and wonder for your new baby, you forget to keep track of your own heart (and mind) some days.
Sometimes, when I’m holding you, I feel like my heart might explode with love.
Sometimes, when I’m holding you, I feel nothing.
It doesn’t mean I don’t love or want you, dear one.
I’m just learning what it means to share my soul with yet another human being, this one being a tiny, helpless creature who depends solely on me.
I’m a thinker. Heck, I’ll admit it. I’m a planner, a worrier, an analyzer. I thought I’d gone over every scenario and prepared myself well for motherhood.
And I did, to an extent. You make parenthood so easy. So far, you haven’t shocked me with any crying fits or nursing strikes. You sleep for 4-5 hours at a time and smile at me every chance you get. You can hold your head up and love taking in the world with your big blue-gray eyes.
Sure, it can be sort of dreary to think about the lack of "me" time, now that you're here.
There's no sleeping in on my days off, no spending the day thrift-shopping by myself.
Even running mundane errands requires planning.
And of course, alone time with your papa can be sort of tricky.
But I was ready for all of that. We've all gotten into a rhythm, and it feels so natural.
I didn’t prepare myself for one bittersweet truth…
Motherhood clashes with my heart for the nations.
I passed up an opportunity to spend a few days in Haiti next week. The poorest country in the world just suffered a terrible earthquake, and they are in need of nurses. This is why I went to nursing school, boy. You won't believe how incredibly painful it was for me to say no, that I had a breastfed newborn at home who needed me. I can't help it, Ames. It's who I am.
I am a daughter of the God who gives and takes away. He gave me a heart for ministry long ago...and He gave me a marriage, 2 stepsons, a career, and a new baby all in the last year. He gave me everything I've ever wanted in life, and I am beyond thankful.
But in the midst of all of these blessings, I've experienced a "taking away" of sorts. Freedom of schedule and availability is now severely limited, whether it be for an uplifting coffee date with girlfriends or a trip to Haiti to start IV's and sew people up. My world revolves around you, and I love it and hate it at the same time. It's so freeing to be honest.
Baby, you're teaching me to live in the moment. This is something I've struggled with my whole life. In a way, I feel like a sullen teenager. I resent you for this valuable life lesson, even though I know I need it. Does that make sense?
You will not be a baby forever. In mere months, you will start a beautiful & painful journey into independence and away from me, starting with baby food & baby steps.
I know time will fly.
I cherish the late-night nursing sessions when it's just you and I against the dark. I love coming home from work and watching your face light up when you recognize me.
I think part of the pain comes from already knowing what I need to hear. I'm beating myself up with logic, making myself feel guilty with reason.
There are thousands of nurses in Haiti right now and thousands more at home, waiting to be deployed. Haiti can spare me, and it will always be in need.
My girlfriends understand my new life and schedule... The coffee dates are a little less frequent, but I'm squeezing in the quality time when I can.
Your dad and I are intentional about taking hold of quiet moments with each other throughout the day. Our love life is definitely different, but no less satisfying.
I just want to be honest with you, boo.
It's a lot harder than I thought.
I love you, son.
Rachael Kincaid, "Letters to Ames" @ www.rachaelkincaid.blogspot.