The bound-to-be-published-soon writer Josie at Sleep is for the Weak, posted an evocative and powerful poem over the weekend, that really resonated with me...
I lie in sickly soft fluorescent glow,
numb in mind but not in bone.
Ten marathons run hard and long
in just one day and night.
My eyes are fixed on the plastic crib
for signs of life, for need. I do not know you
yet my every nerve is tuned
to each new foreign snuffle sound.
And then, a cry. I pounce
and join you in your wail as stitches pull,
looking down in shock at this strange weight
my arms have never known.
A red mouth opens wide with rage.
The blood-loss shakes me empty, cold.
This rigid, curled tight horror that you are.
My world turned inside-out.
By Josie, Sleep is for the Weak
The poem describes those first memories of her newborn baby, Kai, and the 'shock, fear, confusion and complete bewilderment at what on earth I was supposed to do with this thing that I had absolutely no understanding of.'
I have loved Miss E and Mr A since their arrival, but that love wasn't a peaceful, serene, all-encompassing love from the word go. It was a love accompanied by anger, frustration and fear. I was terrifed of spending time with these tiny beings, and was crippled by a suffocating feeling of dread at being left alone with them. Stress and anxiety were my constant companions. Six months marked a turning point, and I began to feel less afraid and more able to cope with each day. This is partly down to the routine we've settled into, which means that most of the time I can identify the reason for any upset - be it hunger, tiredness or boredom. The babies are happier to sit and play on their own without constantly needed my attention. And they are so entertaining. Most of the time they are happy babies, full of smiles, chuckles and quirky habits, likes and dislikes.
This last week I have been overwhelmed by a sudden crushing flood of love and pride for these little people. These feelings hit me just like humid air when stepping off a plane into a new, exotic country. Excitement, wonder, warmth and happiness merging together for an emotional high. I want to drink up every moment with them and have a constant urge to scoop them up and smother them with cuddles and kisses. I actually miss them when they sleep! Sure, I still have bad moments, but a smile or funny sound from one of them washes the negative feelings away instantly.
I'm beginning to feel like a real, grown-up mummy, and it's a damn good feeling.