Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dear Zianne {one month}

Dear Zianne,

We made it. We have one whole month of this mother/daughter thing under our belts. I know that seems like a minuscule amount of time compared to the future months, years and decades we will have together, Lord willing, but right now a month feels like a really long time.

And it feels a bit victorious to be at this point, because we both know this first month is a tough one. You are not difficult. No, my dear, you are easy. You've made the transition to motherhood easier than I ever imagined it could be. But this gig is hard nonetheless...

I never imagined it would be so hard physically. The delivery part was actually fairly simple compared to the blatant physicality and fatigue of the past few weeks. I never anticipated my back would hurt so badly after breastfeeding or how much of a struggle it would be to stay awake during 5am feedings. But I'm sure it's difficult for you too, sweet girl, as you learn to breathe and eat and hold your head up high. This physical stuff is hard work for both of us.

And mentally... I am exhausted. As I was giving you a bath today I decided I should sing an upbeat song to soothe you. However, I couldn't remember the words to any song other than "Jesus Loves Me." It took me a full minute to rack my brain to remember the lyrics to anything else. Finally a few of the most random songs came to mind. My rendition of "My Girl" turned into "Baby Baby" with a brief interlude of "Rock Around the Clock" was horribly pathetic, but you seemed to enjoy your bath a little more anyway. But I think you get it. Your brain is probably tired too as you take in this big world we've brought you into. You're working so hard to learn about lights and ceiling fans and the difference between daytime sleep and nighttime sleep and the features of daddy's smiling face. But the fact that you learned the sound of my voice first will always be one of my favorite memories...

And I never really thought about what my postpartum emotions would be like. I never imagined how many times I would sob those first few days home from the hospital or how the smallest inconveniences or comments would set me on edge. I did try to imagine the joy I would feel when finally meeting you face to face. But you know what? It was less dramatic than I thought it would be... because as soon as you were placed in my arms, and every day since then, it's felt so natural to be your mama. I have joy, yes, but it's a calm and subtle joy that rests in knowing that I was made to be your mom and you were made to be our firstborn child. But as my emotions have been calming down these past few weeks, I've gotten to watch your emotions unfold. I've learned your cries (there is usually only one.. the "I'm hungry whimper") and have also gotten to see so many of your smiles, which are always most frequent in the morning and halfway through a feeding. You are a sweet one, baby girl, and it's a delight to watch you grow.

And I didn't know motherhood would wreck me spiritually. I didn't know how many of my ugly idols would be revealed to me in the first few weeks at home. Your schedule doesn't give me time to serve my tiny gods of having "me time" or cleaning my house... and I've had to spend some time repenting of how much I worship those meaningless things by laying them down before the Lord and serving you and your needs before my own desires. And I never predicted the exhaustion and emotional swings in this first month would leave feeling so dry and thirsty before the Lord. And that's not a bad thing. I am needy and desperate for my Savior, and you've helped me stop believing I can do things by my own strength. As for you, daughter, I don't know what the future holds for you spiritually, but I can only imagine your life will be full with the riches found in Christ, because so many people are praying big prayers for you. We are praying you will love the Lord and obey His commands. We are praying you will be filled with the love of Christ and find your identity in Him always. We are praying you will do great things to serve others for the glory of God. And I am confident that God will answer these prayers, because He is a good and loving Father.

And if our future together is anything like the past month, it will be filled with joy and trial and conviction and grace. We will continue to thank the Father for all His good and perfect gifts, and we will run to Him for help when the cares of this world press down upon us. I'm excited for what's ahead baby girl, and I'm thankful you are along for the ride.



Emily said...

What a wonderful, loving letter to your precious daughter, Jen. And also what courage you have to write so publicly of the struggles of motherhood. Few mothers I've researched in my own work--and honestly few mothers I know and love in my life personally--have ever talked to me about the great many struggles they experienced postpartum--whether they be physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual struggles--you name it, struggles of every kind. But I'm terribly curious about everything in this world--you probably know that by now. ;) So when I've asked, some of the mothers in my life have talked to me about the very struggles you mention in your post. I suppose that I just want to say, you're doing a great job, Mama! Both in being Zianne's mama, and in lending support to other mothers and mothers-to-be (and even those women who choose not to become mothers) out there. You go, girl.

lucy at dear beautiful said...

What a beautiful letter to your little lady. Letters to my children are the back bone of my blog (and the reason I started in the first place) and I still love writing and reading them. I hope my children will love them in the future.
I had the same thing with song lyrics, I could only ever remember Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which is now my little boy's favourite song to sing, so it clearly had an affect on him. I think that's why mamas sing such nonsense songs to their babies... they can't remember the words, so they make them up.
So glad to hear it's all going well. The first months of motherhood are amazing, and I promise it just keeps getting better. x

Nicole M. Hutchison said...

Jen, this is beautiful. Simple as that.

Liz said...

Oh this is a beautiful letter to sweet baby Z! E & I just love looking at her squishy cheeks!!

Beffy 55 said...

Love your letter to you daughter, Jen. You have turned into an amazing woman and I love watching you in the role of mama. God sure knows what he is doing in the way he matches up parents and babies. Reading you blog post brings back memories of my own time with my babies! Love you kid! You an Micah are awesome parents!

Heather @ Finding Beauty in the Ordinary said...

Favorite post ever. Tears....:

Shannon Parkinson said...

You described the first month of motherhood perfectly! I am not a crier and I cried at the drop of a hat (especially about things involving babies) the first couple of months. It will pass though and you will learn how to balance everything (or just forget about some things). My house is not nearly as organized as it used to be, but playing with Clara is so much more rewarding than cleaning and organizing. I'm so glad we got to meet sweet Baby Z!

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