The exhaustion? Yes, I expected it. The physical discomforts associated with recovering from childbirth? Yes, to some extent, I knew what I was in for. The emotions? Well, I expected tears when the baby was born and maybe a few stress-induced breakdowns later on. But oh my goodness, I was not at all prepared for this emotional roller coaster I've been on for a month now. Will I ever stop weeping?
The tears began during my last week of pregnancy. Change was imminent. I wept during Mason's birth and I haven't stopped joyfully crying since then. I was a hot mess the day we came home from the hospital. The nurse who wheeled Mason and me to the car patted my shoulder and gently said, "It's okay, honey. We've all been there."
A nurse from my fertility doctor called me 10 days after Mason arrived. I hadn't communicated with them since they released me to my OB in early February, and she was calling to follow up. When she identified herself on the phone, I could barely choke out the words, "We have a son!"
Children's movies have always made me cry, and now I'm finding that children's books do, too. What new mother can keep her eyes dry when reading a book that begins like this:
"A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held him, she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."
Losing it while reading Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is understandable. But why do I weep when reading Big Red Barn?
Mason looks so different now than he did a month ago. His cheeks are fuller and his hair is thicker. He's bigger and more alert. He's a great eater and a pretty good sleeper. He likes a schedule. These are all good things. So why does his growing up twist my heart so painfully? I finally gave in last week and moved him from newborn to size 1 diapers, something I probably should have done the week before. Of course, afterward, I was thankful for fewer leaks, but guess what? I wept.
I knew it would, but it's all going by so fast. Too fast.
Do I have a case of the baby blues? I don't feel blue, though. I feel so happy and thankful and grateful. And, at times, so fragile, and like I still can't quite believe that this all worked out and Mason is really here.
Experienced mamas, do tell . . . is this just a stage? Or should I expect to weep for the rest of my life?