Life is kind of like one of those heartbeat monitor things. It has ups...and it has downs. The ups and downs represent the heartbeat of a life being lived. We have moments and we have days that are as near perfect as we can get this side of heaven. I guess those would be our ups. Then again, we have moments and days and sometimes even longer expanses of time where all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Those would be the downs. And as difficult and lonely as those downs sometimes feel, we need to remember that there will be an up again.
When I first came home after experiencing the joys and pains (oh my, the pains!) of having my baby girl, I expected to be elated. I expected that I would be overjoyed at this new life sleeping in my arms. I didn't expect the combination of labor recovery, lack of sleep, and so many new things to learn to overshadow the gift and miracle that I now got to touch and see and hear. But it did. It was a downward spike on my heart monitor. I was panicked that I would never feel like myself again. I was ashamed. How could I not be overcome with joy at the beautiful baby God had blessed me with? Feelings of incompetence and unworthiness overwhelmed me. I was locked in fear that, because of my sadness and perceived lack of gratefulness, God would take this baby away from me.
I lived in fear and shame and overwhelming sadness in a time that (I thought) should be filled with joy and laughter and energy. I was surrounded by people and yet felt so alone. I didn't know how to love my baby well, and felt like I would never know how to be a good mama. And then, slowly, the heart monitor began to go up again. I grew more confident in my feeding and diapering skills, and I learned how to comfort a crying baby. I still had days when both my little one and I spent the majority of our time crying together...but they grew less frequent. I began to open up again, and see joy in this little miracle.
Today I am linking up with Hope For the Weary Mom.