There isn’t any religious theme or Christianity embedded within this post, despite the suggestion of the above title, however the element of re-birth is very strong, and quite appropriate given the subject matter.
Spring is coming. But no, that’s not all this post is about. I only realised it earlier tonight when Hubbie told me tomorrow was the first day of it, and I don’t know how I hadn’t realised it earlier; as much as August is such a festive and happy month, and it’s all anticipatory with excited thoughts of the warmer months ahead and all the opportunities for getting out and about and being out in the sun, I’m always so happy, enraptured in fact, when Winter finishes. I’ve been preoccupied with thoughts of returning to work and dealing with massive separation anxiety from precious baby girl, to even understand that today being August 31st meant the end of the cold season, ’til it was told to me.
We’ve had a pretty spectacular preview of it too. The last week has shown many beautiful, bright, still and sunny days, and it still amazes me just how much weather plays an integral role on my mood, even though every Winter I go “blah,” and then every Summer I go “yippee!”
But it’s more than that. This time last year I had a 2 week old baby. I was severely sleep-deprived, insecure, and in shock, the days stretching out before me like they were weeks, the nights dreaded and never-ending. Slowly, over those first few weeks, whenever I had a breakthrough “I get this!” moment or a parenthood ‘understanding,’ I grasped that glimmer of help, of hope, of happiness that suggested to me that things were going to get better, like everyone who had kids before me was assuring me, which I just couldn’t fathom in my zombie state. As down as I was at times, confused and indecisive about EVERYTHING, I was still that glass half-full gal, and I held onto all those moments where things were on the improve.
Little things. That’s all they were, but by God, they were the big things. Baby girl sleeping an extra hour. Not crying as long. Falling asleep without me trying. Finally breastfeeding! – now that was a task and a half. Bit by bit, things were on the rise, and the weather was getting better too.
The weather, as always, was something I was desperately holding onto. Even during difficult days, if the sun was shining outside it lifted my spirits, and a quick 15 minute walk around the block pushing baby girl in pram, significantly helped my mood. The weather is always – though I hate the dependence – something I rely on so much of the time, even when I’m not thinking about it, and in those early weeks and then months, it was getting warmer and getting easier, at the same time.
1 year later, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I am blessed beyond words, with the most clever, cheeky, curious and very cute baby girl. I look back at those dark days, now just a blurry distant nightmare, asking myself ‘was it that hard?’ I know that, yes, yes it was very hard. No one says parenthood is easy. But that’s what makes it so rewarding. I don’t understand how you can be in such a confused and frustrated state, so devoid of any happy emotion, and then you get that sleepy smile that newborns do, and it’s all ***heart melting*** And that’s it, you’re gone, you’ve succumbed to the power of this little human, and for the rest of your life when they smile, every inch of your heart and soul will smile with them.
The weather saved me, back in those days, many a time. You have a baby, and your whole life is turned upside down. It’s a completely different way of life, and though you are living through the warm months, enjoying them, your way of life is far removed from what it used to be, which at the time you are completely oblivious to. All I was thinking of was the little things and the little milestones that I was slowly accumulating as baby girl got older.
The good weather, reinforcing, telling me to keep going. ‘Things are gonna get better. See that milestone? Things are easier, they’re better.’
And it was only this last week or two, when we had an influx of happy Winter sun, that it hit me: I remembered. I remembered warm weather, and how it used to be.
It’s not like I forgot the warmth. It’s more that I forgot the things we used to do and the life we used to lead while it was warm. I was so focused on getting through, counting the good moments, counting the days, then the weeks: “she’s 14 weeks… 15 weeks… 16 weeks – 4 months!” that I let go of all memories of how our life was, before baby girl. I had to. Thinking too much of the past, looking back, was ineffective. Our lives had changed forever, and for the better. I couldn’t wait to be going out and doing things with baby girl. I counted down the days.
However there was that little part in me that remained, that every now and then reminded me of how things were the year before, thoughts that I pushed away because they wouldn’t do anyone any good. We didn’t regret, we were happy with our little family unit, but as is natural, you can’t help, as is the human nature of things, to ‘want it all.’
I’d forgotten, and ignored, for so long. And finally, just days ago, driving to baby girl’s 1 year maternal child health nurse appointment, looking at the fun hipster-shirt Hubbie had on as the afternoon sun shined down brightly on him, I remembered. And I went “wow.”
Now, as I preview, and look back at the huge, amazing, monumental year we’ve had, with so many changes, and happily now more ups than downs, I can say that I feel re-born. We’ve dealt with death, we’ve dealt with birth, and we’ve dealt with a whole range of emotions in between, every single one on the scale.
And now, things are getting easier. Breastfeeding will be a thing of the past in a few weeks. Baby girl is eating food, so, so well. She’s becoming more independent.
And the sun is out. It’s shining, it’s warm, and I’m thinking of all the things we used to do… and I can’t wait to introduce them to baby girl 🙂
I felt like I was in this little world of our own for so, so long. And now, we’re coming back. I’m back.
Watch out world.