Getting back to the root of blogging with uninterrupted, narcissistic rambling.
It’s 9:19pm and I’ve had one of the worst parenting days I’ve had in a long time. A 5am wake up followed by a morning of crying, an afternoon of whining, and an evening of unexplainable tantrums. My eyes are heavy and my chest feels tight, like I’ve been holding my breath all day long. I know it’s normal, but that doesn’t make it easier. This is hard. I know we’ve said it a hundred times, whispered again and again into each others ears, but there’s nothing else to say in these moments. This is hard.
I was talking to my friend Carrie a few minutes ago, the one very pregnant with a first baby, and she was saying she’s so ready to meet this child. “I know,” I said, “I know, I know, I know. It’s almost here.” And then I showed her a picture of Waylon and I when he was just born. It’s a picture I’ve never shown anyone else because I look so puffy and tired and raw. I thought she would laugh, but instead she was amazed how big he was. Is that in my belly? she asked. That can’t be inside of me.
I was amazed how small he was. And then I had this strange flashback to that first night in the birthing center. I hadn’t slept for 48 hours and I felt my body shutting down after a long 23 hour labor. When we finally got Waylon to sleep, we turned out the lights and for the first time in a long time, I shut my eyes.
Two minutes later, a nurse came in to draw my blood. She was quiet and sweet, but when I asked her to come back later, she said she needed this now and if I could just stay awake a little longer. I tried to stay calm, but my bed shook with sobs. I wanted to say, “I can’t. I can’t do this. I need to sleep. Please let me sleep.” But I was too tired to speak. Instead, I closed my eyes and let the tears burn. If this was parenthood, I might not be able to do it.
When I think about that moment, that first test, I know I can do this. I know that on my worst day, I am still here. I am still facing it. Even if I’m crying and resisting and wishing I was in a hotel with free cable and feather pillows, I show up.
It is those moments, so puffy and tired and raw, that define us. We are here. We are doing it.