Bruised Motherhood

4 May

Three weeks ago, today, I gave birth to my son.  He’s asleep now in my room.  After a night of non-stop nursing and crying, we’re all exhausted.  I took a shower this morning and had Peter bring me Noah.  He immediately calmed down and fell fast asleep in my arms. Skin to skin, cradled against my chest, warm water washing over his tiny body.  A quiet moment of relief for all of us.  I wondered if it reminded him of the womb.  It’s the still moments like these that bring relief to the blistery raw moments of the day where his crying is unquenchable.

Noah has what I believe is acid reflux, or gerd.  Zoe had it too, but unlike Zoe’s, which showed up the day she was born, Noah’s took two weeks to arrive.  For two weeks I had a quiet, content and happy baby. I danced around my house thanking God for letting me experience what other moms get to have.  A baby that’s not in pain. A happy newborn.  And for two weeks it was wonderful, and it gave me the exact time I needed to prepare for my LCCE exam.  And then, it came…the deluge of screams that last for hours, crippling my heart and making me question my self as a comforting mother figure.  It was once called colic but now we know better, it’s reflux.  I’ve managed to keep my self steady.  I know this time how to fix it, somewhat.  Cut out dairy (among other things), have Noah adjusted by a chiropractor, get him on reflux meds.  We’ve started the meds yesterday, and I’m noticing small improvements already.

I’m counting my blessings and choosing to keep my emotions above water (easier said than done, especially at 4am).  Zoe went undiagnosed for 8 weeks, and in the midst of that I was suffering with Postpartum depression, those were days of desperate surrender to the sacrifice of motherhood.  This time we’re finding it sooner…and that’s good.  This time I’m proactive about fighting PPD.  I know he’ll be better soon, and that’s comforting.  But in the meantime, my heart is walking a fine line of feeling sorry for myself and kicking myself  for having any feelings of self-pity.  I remind myself that he’s healthy, he’s mine, he’ll be okay.

Look at my sweet girl.  I can barely remember the weeks that we struggled with this, especially  now, she’s so entirely happy and peaceful.  I remind myself of what’s ahead and to take time to savor these sweet newborn days, despite the screaming. I’m choosing gratitiude, counting my blessings and walking with acceptance of what is given to me.  Noah’s name means peaceful, and he may not be peaceful now, but he will be.  In my arms, surrounded in love and gratitude I bless God for my son, for his healing, for his recovery, for his life, and for more sleep.  Amen.

4 Responses to “Bruised Motherhood”

  1. Stefani May 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    This is so beautiful and raw and honest, Joy. I didn’t really get to know you in Austin, but I love reading your blog and gaining insight into what lies in the (distant, hopefully!) future for me. Thanks for your willingness to share.

  2. Nikki May 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Joy, I’m so sorry to hear Noah has reflux. I have it again this pregnancy and I am concerned about going through it again with Adele as I did Genevieve. Thank you for your post and thoughts on how to treat/handle it. I will be checking in to learn more. In addition it is sometimes refreshing to hear the hardships of motherhood so we do not feel so alone as we work through it. Hope to see you soon!

  3. Michelle May 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Oh Joy. I can’t even imagine.

    But whenever I am tired, or cranky because of Laurel I remember something I read on Navelgazing Midwife’s website. It was something to the effect that these weeks and months and years of our children’s lives fly by way too fast and they spend most of their lives as grown ups. Yes, the weeks are hard. Yes, the months are exhausting. But when you are 50 and looking at your young adult children, you will yearn for those moments when you could just hold them and breathe them in.

    I know it’s hard to envision that now, in the midst of it. But I hope it gives you some glimmer of hope and reassurance. Breathe it in, slowly and remember to exhale.


  4. Des May 5, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    More sleep. Amen. You’ll get through this as I know you already know. I mean, what’s sleep anyway? Who needs it? Oh ya, WE DO!!!!!

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