Don’t call us, we’ll call you

May 9, 2012

Flashback: My thoughts on April 2

This morning I had a conversation with two of my good friends, a conversation about new babies and first children and postpartum depression. And then quite by accident, I stumbled on this post that I never published. I wrote it on 2 April 2010 (hence the very creative title I picked) when Addison was just about 6 weeks old. I’m not exactly sure why I never published it but I suspect that there was some element of not being completely ready to discuss how I was feeling. I know I did blog about some of my experiences with PPD, but I also know there were some things that I wanted to say but I just could not bring myself to do it. Revisiting those times through conversation with a few friends over the last several months has been surprisingly healing. I’ve told them things without fear or shame (and often with laughter) that I remember feeling so horrible about at the time. I just want to hug them and tell them that we’re good people and good mothers and in the whole scheme of our lives these difficult feelings will be so fleeting and inconsequential and no reflection on whom we really are and what we are capable of. And while I’m telling them all that, I want to tell myself too.

For a little over a week now, Addison has been smiling directly at us, in response to us.  I think this actually started much earlier, but Neal says I was deceived by motherly-wishful thinking (the more I think about it, the more I believe that “motherly-wishful thinking” may be a sort of mental condition — anyone know if it’s in the DSM?).

This new turn of events has made getting her in the morning my favorite part of the day.  She will be rooting around, flailing her arms, making little frustrated squeaks, still partially asleep.  As I walk in the room and start speaking, she calms down a bit and starts to tentatively open her eyes.  By the time I’m in front of her swing looking at her, she has her eyes open and breaks into a smile.  She doesn’t stare at me for long because she still wants to make it clear that she is hungry, but she is very sweet and smiley in the first few moments of her day.

I have yet to get a picture of her wide eyed and smiling, simply because it is so adorable, I can’t pull myself away long enough to get the camera.


Speaking of beautiful moments, I used to have so many sacred thoughts and feelings about this baby girl while I was pregnant.  Impressions about her character and personality, about our pre-existing relationship, and my role as her mother.  So it’s been interesting that since she was born those have been fewer and farther between.  There is something so in-the-moment about being with a child.  When they need something, they need it now.  When they are unhappy, they want to be soothed now.  It doesn’t leave me with the kind of contemplative time to which I am so accustomed from years of bedrest and ill health.

Couple this lack of time with exhaustion and add in more mixed feelings than I could have foreseen, and this has been an interesting experiment thus far.  A lot of people talked to me about how hard the first while would be and about postpartum depression and baby blues, but I don’t remember people talking about the mixed feelings.  How you would never go back to life before her, but you will also grieve for the things that you must leave behind.

Why can we not acknowledge that we are losing things too?  Things we would want to grieve.

“Something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day.” [From this Joni Mitchell song I love.]



  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. What more can I say? Oh, I know. You are a good person. You are a good mother. And I mean it.

    Comment by v. blanchard — May 10, 2012 @ 12:44 am

  2. I would never go back to before, but some days I do grieve. Well put, Lindsay.

    Comment by Alysa — May 10, 2012 @ 2:19 am

  3. I think that losing life as it is now is what scares me the most about having a baby. This post is comforting to me. Thank you for posting!

    Comment by Kristin — May 10, 2012 @ 3:48 am

    • I have to admit your life does seem pretty awesome to me too, Kristin!

      Comment by llcall — May 10, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

  4. I think the hardest part of being a new parent is that you have no idea what is normal behavior. And the whole, “good, better, best” keeps running through my mind. Like, I’m sure what I’m doing is ok, but is it the best thing possible I could be doing for le bebe? I only seem to feel reassured when I talk to you guys! So yeah, thanks a million for guiding me through this 🙂
    Also p.s. reading that she was in a separate room in a swing is also reassuring. I recently put k in her room in her nap nanny because I felt like I was disturbing her naps when I’d be next to her on my computer. But then I was starting to worry that it was a cruel choice (listening to attachment parents really ups the second guessing) by making her sleep without her mom next to her. So….again, thank you! 🙂

    Comment by kei02003 — May 10, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

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