Unintentional Hiatus

So, I just realized that I haven’t posted since mid-December. Haha, oops. Every night when I lie down in bed, I go over in my mind all the things I want to write about and I keep telling myself I will start again tomorrow.

My absence has not been for lack of material, I assure you of that. New motherhood leaves no shortage of good blog material! I’m just so TIRED all the time, despite the fact that Baby E sleeps for 12 hours every night. The 24/7 responsibility for another person is just exhausting no matter how much rest you’re getting.

I’ve also been dealing with some PPD/PPA issues since October, and I fully intend to write about them once I get my thoughts in order. While I was ashamed at first, I know now that I have nothing to feel bad about. I believe that it’s important for me to share my experience so that other moms may read about it and realize they’re not alone or crazy or bad mothers. I am happy to report that I’m doing much better now thanks to medication and opening up to my friends and family.

Otherwise, my days are full of snuggles and smiles and dirty diapers. Baby E has started solids and is working on crawling. She has also mastered the fine art of screeching like a howler monkey, and she enjoys sharing this talent with the world at the most inopportune times, such as during Mass. She has moved into her crib and we have a convertible car seat sitting in the office just waiting to be installed. She loves to roll around and put everything in her mouth. She also drools like a faucet, so I spend a large chunk of time washing the 30+ bibs we have every couple of days.

She is growing up much too quickly, as babies tend to do. I’m doing my best to enjoy every second with her and to savor all of the sloppy kisses and nighttime hand-holding because I know that it will all be over before I know it.

On Being a Motherless Mother

10154429_10100308106189928_8168197604952203850_n

Today marks five years since my mom passed away. Like every single day, I miss her terribly and wish she were here. This year is especially difficult because I am a mother now as well and feel like I am missing out because she isn’t here to experience it with me.

The night before my mom died, I remember thinking a few different things. The first thing that crossed my mind was, How are we ever going to celebrate the holidays again? Thanksgiving is next week. The next thing I thought was, I am never going to have children if it means that she won’t be able to meet them. I swore to myself that there was no way I would ever want to have a baby because my child would never know their nana, and she would never meet her grandchild. I felt this way for a long time, but then my best friend, Christina, gave me some amazing advice that made me change my outlook on the situation.

During my pregnancy, I mostly ignored the fact that my mom wasn’t around. This was especially hard because pretty much every baby book and website tells you to turn to your mom, sister, or aunt when the baby arrives. Also, doctors constantly ask about your mother’s pregnancy and labor, so I was continually having to tell people that she had died several years prior. This always led to looks of sympathy and apologies on their part and lots of awkwardness on my part. I turned to my dad for answers to my questions about my mom’s pregnancy – Did she have a lot of morning sickness? How long did she work? Were there any complications? How long was her labor? Did she have an epidural? What was her recovery like?

Then Baby E was born and the second I looked into her eyes my heart swelled with more love than I have ever known in my whole life. And I finally understood my mother. I realized in that moment that all the times she asked about my day she wasn’t trying to be nosy, she asked because she cared. When she wanted a hug she wasn’t being weird and pushy, she just loved me so much. When she sacrificed things so that I could have something, she did it willingly and without regret.

I miss her now more than ever because I finally understand her. When I sit in the dark with Baby E, rocking her to sleep and holding her little hand, I sometimes cry because I can’t tell my mom how much I appreciate her and everything she did for me. We sit in the chair in the nursery underneath a photo of my great nana, my nana, my mom, and me. I love that photo more than anything because it inspires me to always be as strong and kind and loving as the women who came before me.