Can I tell you that I really debated sharing that letter I wrote yesterday. I have a private blog that only Greg and I can see, where I usually publish letters and personal thoughts and I almost wrote that letter there instead. I didn't want to seem like I was trying to say, "My life is perfect, my baby is perfect, my husband is perfect and this isn't even hard" because I hate when I get that vibe from other blogs I read and I don't think that helps any of us.
Sure, I've had some success with Evie by following the advice of my friends, sisters-in-law, cousins and Mom (not to mention Babywise!!) but a lot of it is just her and we struggle in other areas. For a long time I was really frustrated because Evie loved to sleep more than she liked to do almost anything else. She would fall asleep after 3 minutes of nursing and refuse to eat any more. And then she would get dehydrated and become even more tired and we would wind up at the Doctor's office (again) for the 3rd time in 3 weeks. I agree with my cousin, when she said it is hard to always know what the right thing is to do. There have been times when my instincts told me one thing and a nurse told me another and I haven't known who to listen to. I am slowing learning the answer to that question (instincts!) and trying to trust that I really do know what is best for her.
It's not always easy, but I really do love being a Mom. I love it despite the spit-up (or in Evie's case, the projectile vomit that sticks to my hair like glue), the nighttime fussiness, and the constant exhaustion (yes, I still manage to be tired, which is pathetic and I have no right). I love it despite the fact that babies cry. I try to remember that I spent a lot of time before Evie was born wishing for her to be healthy, for her to be well, for her to have mature lungs that would allow her to cry and fuss like a baby should. I spent many nights praying for a baby who could cry and I try to be happy and grateful and remember that when my prayers are being answered and she is wailing.
Rewind even further and I try to remember that I spent lots of nights praying for a baby, period. I am one of the many many women who struggled to get pregnant, and although I didn't feel comfortable writing about it at the time (at least not here), I am realizing how important it is to talk about that. For some, getting pregnant is a simple task. You ask for a baby, you receive a baby, end of story. I asked for a baby and I received humility, patience and increased faith to endure the trial of not having a baby, instead.
I learned so many things on my journey to motherhood and it wasn't always an easy road. There were times when I felt forgotten and alone and then so many others when I felt strengthened and supported by so many who traveled that road along with me. If I learned anything from the experience (besides patience and faith and more patience and more faith!) it is that the Lord gives us experiences that are difficult, in part, so that we can help others when they find themselves in similar situations. When I wanted a baby and couldn't have one, nothing made me feel better like the advice of someone who had been there or who was going through the same thing, so I hope that I can be that for someone else now that I am on the other side looking back.
I don't really know where I am going with this post, but I have just been thinking about all of this a lot lately. All of us have our own personal struggles and times where we feel like our lives aren't heading in the direction we feel they should go. We also have those moments where we realize that we are exactly where we should be. I think our trials are a blessing for so many reasons, but especially because they serve as a reminder to be happy and grateful and present in our lives when we finally come out the other side and feel good again. They serve as a reminder to appreciate those moments of peace and contentment before our next growing experience begins.
I don't have it all figured out, but I do know that this is my moment of peace and contentment after wanting a baby for so long and then wanting a healthy, full-term baby for so long. I am savoring every minute of it, regardless of the fact that it can be hard. I am remembering that this is what I prayed for all those nights and I am trying to appreciate the fact that now I am struggling with other aspects of my life, but I am no longer struggling with that. So no, my life is not perfect, nor is my baby perfect and my marriage can always be improved, but I am still grateful for all of it because it is mine.