“You can sit up now.”
I shimmy my body upright and lay eyes on my sleeping bundle in her stroller by the window. I pull the gown tight around my new postpartum body, soft and full, a version of who I once was, a version of who I will be: a temporary state.
“Everything is good. You can resume all normal activity and basically, do life as usual.”
I look at her and give a feigned smile. There is no life as usual. My life has changed forever.
She sits down on her small round swivel stool, crosses her legs, puts her hands in her lap and crosses them too. She uses her foot to scooch herself forward a few inches, looks over her glasses and asks, “And how are you?”
My baby is six weeks old and we are both healthy. We had a rough start — well, it was rough for me — she didn’t eat (wouldn’t and couldn’t, actually, we were having serious problems with breastfeeding) and was close to being hospitalized because she wasn’t gaining weight or wetting diapers. She still wasn’t sleeping well, but in general, she was being a normal newborn.
But how was I?
I was different. I was unsure. A little lonely. Out of sorts.
I was happy. I was sad. I was resentful. I was grateful.
The midwife unfolds her arms and leans forward in anticipation of my answer.
“I’m doing okay.” I nod definitely, and half smile. It’s not that I was unhappy. I just wasn’t … happy.
Can’t that be okay?
… To read the rest of this essay, where I get really honest about how adoption feels an awful lot like new motherhood, please click here.
And it’s not too soon to think about Mother’s Day – gifting the young mom(s) in your life (a friend, sister, daughter, mother of your sister’s daughter’s friend) The Magic of Motherhood, an encouraging book/love letter from moms to moms. I can almost guarantee it’ll bring a tear to your eye. (Sold at Target, Amazon, CBD … really, anywhere books are sold.)