On Having A Newborn

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Well, I’m exhausted.

A little over two weeks ago, I gave birth to my second child, Mabel. It feels so weird to say that. I am a mother, of not just one, but two little children. I have been given stewardship over their lives, their hearts, their souls. I’m in charge of their days, their nights, every little need they have. They are mine, and I am theirs.

One child is exhausting. A two year old, in particular, is exhausting. I swear this little guy never runs out of energy. It was really tough, especially toward the end of my pregnancy, to keep up with him. I was tired, and huge, and pretty uncomfortable most of the time. I took lots of naps.

And you know what else is exhausting? A newborn. You sort of remember, but don’t quite fully remember, what it’s like being up every three hours for an hour at a time when you’re supposed to be getting your full eight hours of restful, restorative nighttime sleep. It’s not until you’re back in it that you truly remember how draining it is, how delirium is close at hand not only in the middle of the night, but often in the middle of the day too. Sometimes I feel great, there have been mornings when I’ve thought to myself, “I feel better than I did while I was pregnant! This is awesome!” But there are also times when I feel like I might pass out, except I can’t, because life is happening around me, and usually there is a toddler close at hand.

My back is killing me, I’m still recovering from the birth, nursing is still somewhat awkward and uncomfortable, I sweat constantly, and gosh am I irritable. Between hormones and sleep deprivation there’s just no hope for good spirits to prevail. Why don’t people tell you all of these things when they are ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the future birth of your blessed, sweet child? Somehow they manage to slip under the radar.

My poor husband has been on toddler duty for the past two weeks, and we’ve had so much help from family and friends, so this is the first week I’m taking care of the two of them by myself for the majority of the time. Part of me feels like “I can do this!” And part of me, usually the part that has only slept for a couple hours at a time for the past two weeks, wonders how I’ll ever survive.

And yet, I’m smitten, and in so much awe of this new little life that God has given me. And still just as in love with my two-year-old son, who is whinier than he has ever been in his life, but who is also saying new words and learning new skills at an alarming rate that is so fun to watch. It’s amazing, isn’t it? There’s always grace.

If I’m honest, I’m not feeling very eloquent right now. The words just aren’t coming easily. But I’m not going to let that keep me from writing. I want to keep writing, and I need to keep writing. My next few posts may not be anything groundbreaking, but I’m going to write them anyway.

In the words of Dory, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

W


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