Friday, May 21, 2010

The Love Infusion

I know I’ve been out of touch for awhile. Mostly it’s just because I’ve been crazy-busy, what with caring for two helpless little people. But it’s also because I’ve been less needy, and more satisfied, than I have been in years.

Don’t get me wrong. Taking care of two babies, even fairly good-natured babies with a LOT of help from my husband, is hard fucking work. And it can be fairly tedious as well—I’m starting to understand the age-old, and fairly sexist, saying “a woman’s work is never done.” Because I’m never on top of what needs to be done. There’s always laundry to fold and bottles to wash and feeding, diapering, and holding/cuddling/entertaining to be done. And that whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” thing is a total crock. Because the housework really does have to get done, and I can’t sleep on command, and the most I can get—after feeding/diapering/soothing/swaddling both—is maybe an hour of real sleep, which messes me up more than it helps.

But what I want to tell you all—want to shout from the rooftops—is that it’s SO WORTH IT. Yeah, yeah, part of this is the antidepressants talking, and thank god I had the foresight to go on those at the first sign of trouble (a couple of days after I wrote that last post, in fact), rather than try to tough it out. It’s so nice not to be so sad, crying all over my babies every time I tried to feed, always feeling like I’m not doing enough for them. If I had advice to anyone about to have a baby, it’s to seriously consider antidepressants.

But my newfound happiness isn’t coming from my pill bottle. It’s that this really is exactly what I wanted. I love these babies so much. And so does J—watching him with them makes me love him even more than I already did. And all this love and support has poured in from family and friends, sometimes from where I least expected it. All this infusion of love into my life—it’s a heady feeling. And maybe because I went through so much to get here, I feel like I deserve it.

And then, on Mother’s Day (which I still think is a crock of shit holiday), this happened, and my heart stopped beating for a moment:

And the next day this happened:

And my heart nearly exploded.

So yeah, my back is killing me (seriously, it’s bad), and my nipples hurt, and I can only put a baby to the breast four times a day (I pump the rest of the time) and sometimes I feel like feeding G is more of a wrestling match than a joint effort, and I’m living on 5 hours of sleep a night. But all of these things are temporary—hell, they’ll last a lot less time than my journey through infertility. On the other hand, the love I’ve found—the love J and I have created—is permanent. (J often responds that he didn’t “create” these babies, but I disagree. You can “make” cookies even though you use ingredients from the grocery store, can’t you? J chose our donor, which is one half of what makes these little guys who they are.)

My yoga teacher tells us that to have a child is to forever wear your heart on the outside of your body. I’m sure that will be scary someday. But for now it’s glorious.