I was beyond tired as I literally hadn't slept in going on 72 hours. My milk was not yet in. (Sorry if this is too much information.) My gorgeous little babe was hungry and she let it be known. How? She screamed. Wailed. It was, and is, a piercing sound, one that slices through all sense of peace.
I sat there. In our small purple pineapple library, trying. Trying to feed her. Trying to soothe her. And myself. The television was on. Tuned to some insipid reality program. The drapes were drawn. The room was dim. So was my outlook.
Even though this was, and is, my third go at this mothering business, I felt panic ripple through me. Grim thoughts paraded through my mind and limbs: This baby is different. She is unhappy. I'm doing something wrong. I felt my body stiffen and my confidence crumble. But I continued to try. And during stolen moments of quiet, when the only sounds were of sucking and reality television, I did it. I reminded myself. Of how lucky I am. We are. She is.
And so. Even in that dark first night, there were flashes of brightness. Fierce ones. Even as I felt myself sliding, I found my footing time and time again. Even as she cried, crooning cruelly in my exhausted ears, I heard something sweet. The sound of new life.
It has been almost two weeks since that night. And things have gotten much much better. I have managed to string together some hours of sleep. My milk has come. My baby is eating and sleeping and soothing remarkably well. Things are not perfect. They never are. But they are good. They really are.
But I wanted to write this. I needed to. I wanted to record, and remember, that first night home. Because it was so hard. It was a test, torturous at the time, and I passed. We all did. I wanted to write this, record this, remember this, because this? This is truth. Life has its lows, but we live through them. We are stronger than we think, aren't we?
Do you think there is a virtue in memorializing the tough times so we can remember - and revere - our strength as people? If you are a parent, do you remember your first night(s) home with your little one(s)?