Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's a New Day

Wow. It’s amazing what a few good nights of sleep can do! We’ve pretty much done a 180 degree turn in the past week starting with Allie switching over to formula. Yes, I stopped nursing, and although I’m still struggling to accept it and still questioning whether I made the right choice, seeing her (and me) finally at peace is helping me cope. For the past 3 months, I’ve been suffering from major sleep deprivation (among other things), and between Allie’s bottle refusal and my breast issues (I’ll spare you the details) there was little anyone else could do to give me relief. Fortunately, she took to formula like a champ, and all of her tummy issues and reflux symptoms disappeared almost instantly. On the fourth night she slept for two stretches of five hours, waking only for a quick bottle. As for me, it took just a couple restful nights for my good spirits to return in full force.

This week I am half-tempted to apologize for my recent negativity and stinky attitude, but I won’t because I am committed to sharing whatever is on my heart on any given day – good, bad, or ugly. It is my hope that those who read my not-so-happy posts will reflect on their own past or current struggles and take comfort in knowing  that no mom walks around with her head in a cloud of positivity 24/7. No matter your struggle, you are never alone, and your many messages of encouragement over the past few weeks have certainly reminded me that I am in the good company of many other moms out there who experience their own share of dark days now and then.

I used to think the ebb and flow of life from bliss to turmoil and back again meant that there was something wrong with me. Today I know that’s not the case, and when you find yourself swinging back and forth between the tides, know that there’s nothing wrong with you either. Those moments (or days or months) of turmoil are what fuels our ability to enjoy the blissful days in the first place. It’s difficult to fully appreciate joy if you have never felt sorrow; to really know peace if you are never troubled; or to truly understand God’s grace if you've never been challenged. For, without the bad we could not fully experience all that is good.

With my energy restored (well, almost anyway), I have finally been able to rediscover the joy in a midnight feeding. I can see the humor in Reese’s claim that she’s “flying to Mars” despite my full knowledge of what she’s really doing in the pantry with the door shut. And I can once again read Dr. Seuss with the kind of enthusiasm that would undoubtedly land me a starring role in Sneetches: The Movie. My routine over the past few days has been a piece of cake compared to the weeks of fussy mornings, colicky evenings, and sleepless nights, all gathered under a dark cloud of PPD.

Today I have a renewed commitment to take no precious moments for granted. I am emerging from this struggle with a stronger marriage, a deeper faith, and a mightier soul. When I reflect on the first few months of Allie’s life, it won’t be with regret over my inability to savor every moment. Rather, it will be with gratitude for the many moments I did savor, and all that I learned – about myself and the true level of my strength; about my husband and the real depths of his love and support for me; and about God and the comfort He brings when I offer up my struggles to His endless glory. There's definite truth to the saying, "the soul could have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears," and through this storm I always took comfort in knowing that the rainbow would come, bringing with it the brighter sun of a brand new day. Today is that day.

This is a Bigger Picture moment.
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  1. Amen. I'm glad you see HIs hand in seeing you through. It's hard to stop and look at the growth in the hard times, but that's often when we grow so much! Here's to a rested you!

  2. Oh I love this piece! I'm sorry you are going through a trying period, but I do love the way you've ended this. It's triumphant.