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A Dark Night Of The Soul

This is how I imagined it, me sitting at my desk typing diligently on my laptop, Michael downstairs working on some aspect of the business or another, and Emily playing happily under her gym.

As usual, she has the hick-ups, and is alternating   between cooing sweetly and whinging quietly. Her little legs are pumping, and her arms are hurling themselves seemingly of their own accord.

Periodically I need to step away from my feeble attempt at work, and give her some attention, settle her to sleep, or help her pop her dummy back in her mouth, as holding it to her chin is her new trick.

However, what I did not count on was the physical fatigue and befuddlement of my mind I would feel.

My God! I am getting nowhere with the plans or execution of my business.

Why Didn’t I appreciate or utilise the time I had before she was born better?

What am I so afraid of that holds me back?

How can I explain exactly what it is I need in order to accomplish my goals and ambitions?

Moreover, where do I find the resources on a budget of zero?

I am not willing to work full time, because I do not want to miss Little.

I had no idea I would feel this way about her.

I thought it would be easy, easy to continue playing the rat race game. However, how wrong I was.

It is not so much the wrongness I mind, because I have been wrong about so many things, the universe always outsmarts me, and I end up infinitely grateful for its wisdom and ingenuity.

I mean after all, I was not going to give Michael a second chance, and look how well that has worked out.

But today? Today I am in the thick fog of motherhood.

I am starting to want for an entire night of unbroken sleep in order to recharge more fully.

3 or 4 hours is no longer enough.

Michael takes Emily out for a walk most days, but I am having trouble unwinding and making the most of said time and space.

The last 24 hours has been a struggle.

Last night I gave Emily baby Panadol.

I think she is teething.

My little turtle mouth is becoming a dribble bucket, and her right cheek has become harder to the touch. Not to mention she has become a chomper.

Yesterday afternoon she bit mummy, and I snapped at her. I did not mean to, but it was such a shock, and it hurt. I am sure she did not mean it either, but Oh my God! In addition, she would not stop crying. Not her usual I am so tired cry; that I can handle. However, an ouch this hurts cry, of which I clearly cannot handle.

She seemed in such distress, and nothing worked. For hours, she thrust her limbs, hollered loudly, and scrunched up her face.

She refused her dummy, she would not let me near her neck to treat her, she was not hungry, she did not want to lie down, sit up, play with her toys, or pace the floor. None of my other baby whispering tricks seemed to yield any type of result.

Even a nice juicy dirty nappy for daddy did not calm her, and that is our fail safe.

Oh, but wait for it, it gets worse:

As I was trying to put her in her cradle, I did not see my water bottle, and it fell on her head.

Naturally, I was mortified at my shortcoming because I know if I had been able to see, this would not have happened.

However, what makes it more mortifying is the fact; this will be the first of many blind mama accidents.

I could not believe my stupidity.

How could I have hurt my baby?

It left a tiny scratch.

Michael’s Oh get over it remark did not help to soothe either of us.

Well, it helped Emily. Because once she was in his arms, she quietened down quickly.

I simply began to cry.

So maybe I gave her the pain relief to settle me instead.

Obviously, hindsight suggests maybe I should have taken something, and continued to find alternative methods of appeasement I completely forgot to go to the chemist and aquired some Infants Friend as I had intended. In addition, to be honest, I just wanted her to not be in pain.

Normally I breeze through whatever she can throw at me, but last night. Last night I was up against the hard internal wall of what it means to be a mum.

I have always observed other mothers in the thick of it, and admired their endurance, selflessness, patience, and ability to… whatever that inarticulate thing is that they do.

I have watched them turn into temporary led pencil outlines of themselves, as their children’s needs over shadow their own.

I have marvelled at their ability to persevere, all the while convincing myself that there is no chance, I could ever display such resourcefulness, or whatever that inarticulate thing is that they do.

It simply looked too big, too hard, too relentless, too sticky, too all consuming, and too scary.

However, here we are, and if I think about it in it’s’ entirety, I am overwhelmed.

We were both fighting for something, but what?

Was it the realisation, the last ten weeks of not being able to feed were oh so much more than I ever thought I could have coped with before having her?

Because I swear, if anyone had said I would continue to feed her through the pain no matter what, I would have scoffed, and replied with a resounding no way!

I know it is my attitude, which needs the adjustment, not her actions.

Normally I am excited by the prospect of her having 30 minutes sleep. As it equals a shower whereby I can wash my hair, I can dress fully, hunt for my hairbrush, maybe an unload of the dishwasher, and a quick email check.

However, this morning I am secretly upset, because it is not enough. I want a break from her.

It is so rare I want time out, that when it does happen, it is rather a rude awakening.

I try to tell myself it will not be like this forever, and normally that works to bring me back to the beautiful present. But not today.

Not even my friend Amajjika’s words of nobody ever died from sleep deprivation can bring a sly smile to my lips.

All miss Little gets to see is mummy’s angry unplucked eyebrows, and strained trying to be soft and cheerful voice.

Then there are the tiny niggly things, which really are not important, but are driving me insane.

For example, I am in desperate need of a haircut, my legs need waxing, my nails need tending, I could use a facial, none of my clothes fit, but going to the shops seems impossible.

Not that it matters, because I spend many a day in my pyjamas.

I cannot see what I used to be able to see.

It is either too bright and glary, or it is too dark. Even the colours that used to give me migraines are not as deadly.

I know I say I know when Emily smiles, but I wonder how many of them I am missing. Because daddy seems to get so many, and all I feel like I am receiving is a hungry little hippo.

However, on the upside, at least she can eat now. So what am I complaining about?

I mean, if I look back 3 days ago, we were in a far more dyer place.

I certainly would not trade where we are now for that again.

What I did not realise, was how little she had been living on.

Let me put it this way; the girl can eat.

I am surprised to feel myself physically drained by the experience, and oh, my God I am so hungry. So ridiculously hungry.

So this is what other women have been talking about?

She is asleep now.

Funny, because now I am at the end of my post, I feel nothing but love and gratitude for my little girl.

After all there was a time not so long ago, when I did not have her pretty face to feel, her voice to listen to, or her tiny hand to hold.

This is how I imagined it, me sitting at my desk typing diligently on my laptop, Michael downstairs working on some aspect of the business or another, and Emily playing happily under her gym.

Published inBaby TalkMotherhood

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