Oh dear! Has it really been that long?
I have been in such a fog these last few weeks. First it was the sleep deprivation....who am I kidding, it is still the sleep deprivation....then depression kicked in. That awful sort of depression that feels tied to everything and nothing in particular. The kind you know has some physiological basis to it (lack of sleep perhaps) but also seems tied to every loose string in your quickly unraveling psyche.
Oh and then? I got the swine flu. And my husband had multiple trips for work scheduled and I had to somehow manage to nurse myself back to health while caring for an extremely active and adventurous 8 month old little boy. Nothing like being kicked when you are down.
Then my husband came home and he got the flu. And things have been pretty bleak if you can imagine.
Also, we moved ourselves (and everything else from upstairs) from our bedroom upstairs to our downstairs dining room so that our floors upstairs could be done. Currently we sleep in our dining room and Zane sleeps in the guest room. We are living a cramped and cluttered existence for a few weeks.
One saving grace, thank God, is that Zane has not shown any major flu symptoms other than a little congestion and a slight cough. I am praying this continues.
In the thick of this chaos and confusion we have been slowly teaching Zane about sleeping. And we've made some significant progress. He has slept through the night (anywhere from 5 to 9 hours straight) multiple times in the last few weeks which while not consistent is nearly a miracle in our books. He also has learned how to fall back asleep on his own when he awakens and I can hear him doing this (without tears) a few times every night. He still needs us to come in at least once or twice a night (sometimes much more on a rough night) to help him fall back asleep when he can't do it on his own, which we are much happier to do now that it isn't every hour on the hour. He is taking regular naps and he is going to bed much earlier in the evening. Things seem to be improving bit by bit.
This season has taught me so much about the fragile balance I walk in mothering. Every piece of mothering is tied to some thing else inside of me. Lack of sleep, desperation, being so needed so constantly.....brings me to the brink of my own humanity, my own woundedness, the places in me that long for a type of mothering I did not always receive when I was small and needy. Teaching my son to sleep, moving him in his own room, listening to him wake briefly and quickly go back to sleep without my help.....brings up my own ambivalence about letting him grow up, letting him get big and strong, letting him go. In the midst of this, I have learned something amazing about my strength, my inherent goodness, my ability to give so much more than I thought I had to give, my ability to endure and struggle for the good of another. I feel like these past few months, and especially this recent difficult season, have forced change in me so deep and thorough that the very marrow in my bones is no longer the same.
I am a mother now.
I am changed.
Nothing will ever be the same.
And that is, at times, both terrifying and thoroughly incredibly redemptive.