I was sweaty, exhausted, and overwhelmed with emotion - but I still had enough energy to whisper "Happy anniversary" and lean my cheek forward for a kiss from HomieLuva. It was our 6th wedding anniversary and our second baby was about 6 hours old, so a hospital celebration wasn't what I had planned but there was nowhere else I wanted to be.
Plans are funny things. I've always had a hard time with change and retaining control in my life, but becoming a mom of two has forced me to face - often uncomfortably - the fact that life gon' life, and sometimes all you can do is go along for the ride.
Look at my Boss Baby, my moonlight bringer - she came two weeks early. She came pretty quickly, about 3 hours after my water broke. She came without the aid of pain meds, since the epidural that was administered didn't work. AT ALL. Almost every step of the way, I'd have a somewhat out-of-body experience where I looked at myself saying, "Is this shit really about to happen?" and there was nothing I could do but admit that yes, yes it was.
If I was having out-of-body experiences during labour and delivery, BB's gift to me was putting me back in my body. That's the only way I can describe it. Little Magician took me into more spiritual realms with her arrival, and BB has grounded me, earthed me, settled me into my body in a new way.
It started with the experience of giving birth without pain meds and feeling my body do a new thing, even though it was the second time. It continued with the more successful breastfeeding journey we've been having (I got teary-eyed when we saw that BB gained weight at her first doctor's appointment). And it's kept going with how much I enjoy my post-baby body (I'd like to snatch this waist back and get rid of this back pain, but the extra juiciness can stick around). I just have more moments of being present - taking time to be aware of my breathing, to take note of my posture, to stretch and feel my body pull. LM awakened me to parts of me that I didn't previously explore. BB reintroduced me to parts of me that I previously took for granted. Balance is a tricky thing, but these two have given me a certain kind of equilibrium.
It's been two months in, and finding equilibrium in broader terms has been challenging. I'm trying to keep up with LM's energy and her need to be engaged. I'm trying to nurture BB and keep the breastmilk flowing so she can keep growing. I'm trying to learn how to relax, but the fear of seeing opportunities slip away and losing relevance in my work makes relaxation elusive (that last point is a topic for another post altogether). I'm trying not to be wholly overwhelmed and anxious by the state of the world. I'm trying to be OK with change and understand that right now, loss of control looks like me floating around, grasping at old and new pieces of my identity, and trying to put it all together again in a way that makes me feel good. I'm trying to be OK with the fact that this will all take some time.
But oh, when I look at BB - I'm fine with the discomfort. My beautiful brown baby with the biggest, brightest eyes; the way she looks just like her sister at one glance, then entirely different the next; the calmness that I feel emanating from her; the way her daddy feels so fulfilled with his two girls and the way LM feels so proud to be a big sister - when my heart wants to break because of frustration, overwhelm, and self-inflicted pressure, these things keep it stitched together.
I'm a mom of two, reliving the sleepless, stressful, yet blissful days of newborn life. My BB is perfect, and she's the perfect addition to my perfectly imperfect family. We're all taking it one day at a time, and I know we'll all be fine.