Today I wept. Not sad tears but my-heart-is-full, going-to-burst with happiness tears. I was given a gift during a stinky circumstance that I thought I’d never get.
Laura fell sound asleep, as peaceful as can be…in my arms.
I probably need to explain myself a little bit. When Laura was a newborn and my postpartum depression and anxiety hit like a hurricane, I literally couldn’t snuggle my baby girl. The feeling of anxiety that I felt, the disconnect was so great that to simply say I couldn’t hold her or rock her to sleep doesn’t do it justice. Probably the only two people in the world who understand specifically what I’m talking about are Matt and my mom. Laura cuddled on my mom about ten times more than she did me for the first four months of her life.
There is just one single picture of her sleeping on me…and sadly I don’t have a real memory of it. The memory-annihilating fogginess of depression has clouded over so much of those first four or five months that the only way I have any even slight recollection of Laura’s life is by the thousands of pictures I’d taken. My heart has an ache and huge void because of how PPD robbed me of those precious moments with my little newborn. I’ve cried so many tears over worrying that she and I wouldn’t bond well or that I’d harmed her by not being able to be fully present with her.
When I was pregnant I dreamed of snuggling that sweet little newborn baby girl. All the stories I’d heard from other moms about how amazing cuddling with a new baby is, all the pictures I’d seen of other new moms glowing as they held their babes day and night…I didn’t get any of that. Instead I got a rapid heartbeat, head-to-toe sweating, stomach-churning nausea…sheer terror and total overwhelming disconnect.
I’ve been sad for far too long thinking I’d missed my chance to create that bond where my baby would only be satisfied in MY arms. Well, today I got that moment.
Laura is fighting a cold and was running a fever today and the only way she was calm and comforted was…by Mommy holding her. She cried for me…she wanted just me. I didn’t have to do anything other than pick her up. My eyes are welling up with tears just thinking about it.
Not only did my sweet little love snuggle, cuddle, and want only me…she fell sleep in my arms for over an hour! It was the most amazing gift that I never, ever thought I’d get. After all the postpartum depression and anxiety took from me…God gave me this beautiful moment.