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This postpartum season

Everyone I see asks me how I am. How it is. How we are.

And I’m not sure what to say.

I was talking about this with my friend Jenilee yesterday as we pushed our 3-year-olds on the swings. Her second child will be one soon. I watched her welcome him into their family. I watched up close and asked questions and took notes and brought her lots and lots of food because that’s all I knew to do. I swept her floor and cried with her after she got home from the hospital. And she has done the same for me. She has held my hand through these last few weeks of bringing home our second child.

We talked about all of this while we corralled our kids at the park. “It’s such a weird time because I felt really happy, but it was still hard.”

It was like a lightbulb went off for me. She was so right.

I feel happy. But I feel every single day requires every ounce of the best of me. Every ounce of energy. Every ounce of creativity. Every ounce of problem-solving that I have.

This happiness juxtaposed by the sheer sacrifice is unique to this postpartum season. I can’t name another event or thing like this, that has this much happiness and this much sacrifice combined.

Every moment of time is sucked up by caring for children and the sparse few moments that aren’t, there are a million other things that need to be tended to.

Because Vea is still really small, I don’t get the hugs and kisses and laughs and smiles that I crave from her. It’s not that I don’t love this stage of newborn-ness. I love the hours of holding and cuddling and the small milestones like the first bath. I love her cute newborn sounds and expressions, but I want more.

The truth is that these postpartum weeks are hard.

Even if you don’t feel depressed. Even if you have lots of help and resources. Even if you get some sleep. And I feel guilty for saying this because I feel happy and incredibly blessed and fortunate. I have friends who call me every single day to check on me. They have brought me dinner and picked up my child from school. And I have lots of family that has stepped in to help as well.

Still it’s a delicate time in a mother’s life. It’s enough that your body has just gone through this massive shift, but your life has also changed so much that it is unrecognizable. The old routine is gone. The simple act of waking up and making coffee is suddenly an obstacle.

“Good for you for getting out!”

That’s what everyone has said to me at the playground, the library, the grocery store. I don’t know what else to do except to carry on and make sense of everything as I go. There’s a great deal of trust that has to be employed in these delicate weeks–trust that everything will get sorted out and figured out. Trust that your body will acclimate. Trust that everything will fall into the flow.

So when they ask me that question, “How are you?” I shrug my shoulders and say, “We are good. We are happy.” We are falling into the flow.

 

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4 Comments

  • Reply Lisa Dennis

    Yes!! Just yes!!! I think I forward the link to every one of your posts to Jason and say something like “This is exactly how I felt, I just couldn’t put it into words!! Deidre explains it all so flawlessly!” Honestly, you have such a gift with your writing & you are just so relatable. I love reading all your stuff….and just adore you! Congratulations on baby #2 and finding your flow.

    April 8, 2016 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply Jenilee

    Love you friend. I love walking through life together 🙂

    April 8, 2016 at 7:12 pm
  • Reply Lianne

    It will get better. It will. I have three children and as I recall, adjusting to the second child was much harder in my opinion, than going from no children to having my first and trying to adjust. I’ve heard many say the same. I can remember thinking that it would never get better, having a second colicky baby, (side note- all 3 of my babies had colic), no sleep, a 26 month old daughter, and trying to hold down a second grade teaching job. Oh how difficult it was and how the days and nights were at times grueling and long, but eventually, one day, it got better. I also remember the first month or two, feeling exhausted, and after giving and giving and I longed for a smile or an act of baby love communication in return from baby #2, and not getting it. I even mentioned this to my dad one day. Eventually, it came of course, just as the feeling of normalcy eventually came. Women are tough. Our God has designed our bodies, our strength, and our amazing nurturing characteristics, to take on such a huge, chaotic, yet beautiful role in child bearing and rearing. It takes strength and determination, and even almost breaking, then one day, it gets better. It will get better. God bless..

    April 10, 2016 at 1:39 pm
  • Reply Lindsay Larson

    I just stumbled upon your blog and love it so much!!! Please keep writing 😊

    June 2, 2016 at 8:14 pm
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