Silver Linings

Internet, I’m under a lot of stress. It’s hidden itself amid cat naps, baby snuggles, and no commitments for the last week or so, but it snuck up on me last night.

Natalie was very awake yesterday. We’d been wanting this, for her to be more alert during the day so she would hopefully sleep at night, but being awake most of yesterday meant that she was cluster feeding most of the day. I had hoped that I’d be able to take some newborn photos of her during her deep sleep period mid day, but when the time came she was only cat napping and every movement shot her steel blue eyes wide open again.

I also chose yesterday to work on my business plan for 2012. Add math and pressure to little sleep and a needy baby and you get a ticking time bomb. It ticked away until last night. Sean was home, and Natalie was fussing after JUST eating for the umpteenth time, and I decided to try changing her. I’d swapped out the dirty diaper for a brand new one, turned away for a second, and turned back to a puddle of pee that had run down her leg and settled on the sheepskin, completely bypassing the absorbent diaper I had placed so carefully.

I cried.

It seems stupid, it was a nothing accident, but the fuse had expired on the stress bomb that had been lurking. Sean looked at me like I had two heads and asked if something else had happened that day, because I was definitely overreacting. I couldn’t move, I just sat and cried, my face in my hands. Sean got paper towels and took Natalie while I soaked up the puddle.

11pm came and we went to bed, or rather, Sean went to bed while I sat up and prepared to nurse Natalie until 1 in the morning. But to my surprise, she ate heartily and drifted off to sleep. I had her swaddled and in the bassinet by midnight. She woke once to feed from 3:45 to 4:30am, and again, she ate efficiently and drifted back off to sleep. As I set her in the bassinet she smiled sweetly in her sleep. 

My heart melted. In that little smile I read “Thank you, Mommy, I love you.” The rest of the day’s struggles disappeared and I was smiling as I switched off the bedside lamp. I said a quick prayer, thanking God for the reminder of why patience was a virtue, and resolved to always tell this little miracle how much I love her, no matter what else is going on in my life.

PS: The next time she stirred it was 7am. I rolled over and found Sean still sleeping – he must have turned off his 6:30am alarm and fallen back to sleep. So he can thank Natalie for getting to work on time this morning.


5 responses

  1. We had kind of same struggles last night. Amazing how they always let you fall back into love, even when you had exhausting days and nights. This is one of God’s miracles.
    Sending big hugs and don’t be too hard on yourself. Next time, just snuggle up with her and let business wait for another day.

  2. Newborns combine with post-postpartum can be a hectic, emotion & exhausting time. It is not in your “head”. Everything is so worth every little moment.

    The ol’ saying is so true and has stood the test of time. “Sleep when the baby sleeps!!!”


  3. Never think that your responses to stress and new motherhood are “stupid” or “overreactions”. That path leads to guilt on top of stress.

    You can’t control how you feel, and you can’t always control your reactions to things. But you can control how you treat yourself.

    Don’t try to be Super-Brie. Try to be the Best Brie you can, and if you fall short, that’s okay too. Schedule some time to yourself every day. Not for business planning, or blogging, or anything that you feel you *have* to do. Schedule some time for reading, or prayer, or meditation, or cuddling with the cats, or just RESTING.

    It’s good to sleep when the baby sleeps, but maybe take the first ten minutes or so of her naps to just have a quiet moment to yourself. 🙂

  4. Hey you, quit beating yourself up! You’re doing grand, hang in there girly 😀
    Natalie has never had parents before, and you’ve never been parents before, but you know what?…You only need do right by yourselves!
    Play by and break your own rules, it’s fine! We have all made up our own rules as we went along, every child, every parent and every family has their own unique way of doing things and in the long run, it all works out just fine.
    Your friends above are right, sleep when she sleeps, Natalie won’t know nor care if your business plan is done today, tomorrow or next month! It’s such early days for you yet and your body is recovering from a major upheaval, so take it easy, let your body rest and heal and you’ll feel so much happier in the long run. ❤

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