Life with three has been comical. I have the urge to cue the circus music sometimes! Most of the time it really is smooth and they are all great, but then there are other times. When all three of them need me at once and I’m like a clown running around in the middle of three small fires and only one bucket of water. Which one do I put out first? Then I extinguish one problem, turn around to fix another and then I realize the one I put out is pulling the trick birthday candle stunt and is back in flames! I can’t do much but laugh. I have been meaning to write a postpartum update to fill you in on some of what’s been going on these last few months. It’s held a lot of ups and downs. I feel like, from the outside, I have a tendency to selectively show what’s going on in the best light. I really think that’s fine for social media, but this blog is where I can be more free to be real about it all.
Oh. My heart.
That’s the thing about all of this postpartum stuff. It all processes through my heart. There is no separation of emotional and physical when it comes to this tender window of time after giving birth. I can’t get too low without my heart reminding me of how thankful I am to have my littles. However, my heart could only soar so high, before the fatigue, pain and the sight of blood sobers my reality. I’m still going to try to process it in categories of physical, mental, and spiritual, but know that there are no boundaries between the three. Both. and. all of it.
I “just had a baby”. How long can I say that? It feels so fresh, yet I can’t remember what my world was like without my little Joey. It feels like an eternity ago that happened yesterday. Precise and abstract, pain and beauty, and all of every contradiction in that vein. Jordan’s birth was earth shattering and flashbacks have kept me up at night.
On one hand, I feel like it’s been so long since I was pregnant. My body took a huge hit at the end and the comfort in my skin I feel now makes that feel like forever ago. My doctor has given me the green light to exercise and run even though all of my physical symptoms aren’t totally gone. I’m so thankful for that. It is a gracious answer to prayer to be able to run. It just helps me fight the blues and feel strong and free. Joey sleeps really well compared to what I’m used to, so I’ve been able to get some good chunks of rest that I so desperately needed on this healing journey. On the other hand, (I’m gonna over share here) the bleeding was a real problem this time around. Not like that is a huge surprise for me. My past births and my miscarriage all resulted in months of bleeding, but this time was even more intense. I needed a round of meds and, even then, it took weeks more to get it to slow down. I also started a new birth control that is causing more bleeding. I know. It is way TMI, but it is impossible to describe this journey without communicating the fact that every time I use the bathroom, I’m brought right back to that day. My body hasn’t forgotten what it’s gone through and so neither has my mind.
The dichotomy exists here too. I’m sharp and present. I competed in National Novel Writing month and wrote a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I’ve been reading a ton and running has helped me clear my mind and process the changes that I’ve gone through in the past few months. However, our family is in transition right now as Jordan embarks on a crazy new adventure (I’ll share more about this in January!) and so it’s all-hands-on-deck for our family right now as we work together as a team. That means handling the home front while he is away on business or out late busting his butt at the office. I’ve battled some loneliness and apathy and mental fatigue.
Do you ever daydream something and then imagine something bad that could happen and actually physically feel your stomach drop? That same feeling you get as you click slowly up over the top of a rollercoaster and forget you’re wearing a harness for a second and feel like you’re really plummeting from that height all the way back down to earth? I find myself looking into Joey’s warm brown eyes. Memorizing his cheeks and the way he coos when he smiles, and then, with my mental guard down, the “what if” thoughts come crashing in. I shiver and snap myself out of it and let out a sigh of relief when I cling back to reality. It is this up-and-down that is completely normal and also can be draining. I have to say that I don’t know how I’d find my footing without my amazing friends and family and how they have been so loving to me. Which brings me to
My small group and my girlfriends have been amazing. These women have given me meals, encouraging visits and chats, and have been battling for me in prayer. (One of them is even watching my kids for me right now so that I can write!) It seems odd to have someone like me, who is always surrounded by no less than three other people (sometimes in the same bathroom!) to say I feel lonely, but I think you know what I mean. Having these women to listen and care and reach out to me makes me feel seen and alive and gives me hope. My family has been there for me to help me with the big kids and give me a mental break. In addition to that, Jordan has been able to schedule his time around me sneaking away to lead worship again at church. It’s hard to explain other than to say that English is my second language and worship is my native tongue. I’m never more alive and more connected to the heart of God than when I’m surrounded by song. It’s been water to my soul.
This boy though. This boy is a gift. I am absolutely smitten-head-over-heels-bursting-heart in love with him. I want to bottle his scent. I want to set his face in stone in my mind. I want to hear the sound of his sweet little voice on a loop for all time. I’ve got it bad for this baby. I’d throw myself in front of the steam engine train of labor and delivery all over again just for him. God is so sweet to me to give me such a beautiful and precious boy. So, yes, a lot of this is really hard, but the payoff is infinitely more valuable than anything I went through.