All the guilt.
All the shame.
All the feelings.
How could I have wanted this so bad and still want this so badly but have these feelings?
These hard feelings…
How could I possibly need a break?
Have a right to a break?
Take a break?
I remember the head of the baby home going through a large manila envelope of papers about Agnes with me the day we took her home. Daddy played with baby girl at that table with the vinyl tablecloth and I sat with the lady as she filled me with all the info. She told me that Agnes was sleeping through the night, every night. I remember walking out to our car with Agnes, putting her in the car seat, and riding in the back with her when we took her home.
I remember rocking her (well I didn’t yet have a rocking chair so it was more of a bouncing/swaying action standing up) to sleep and laying our sweet girl in her crib. I remember that she didn’t stay asleep through the night. I remember picking her up out of her crib because she was violently rocking herself, wrapping my arms around her and swaying and bouncing till she fell back asleep.
We had prayed for this baby girl for years and now she was here.
I wanted to do the very best everything for her.
She was tiny.
She was frail.
She was starved for attention and love.
I was determined to be the very best mama I could be for my daughter.
Night after night I would rock Agnes completely asleep before laying her in her bed…and then I would repeat this rocking completely asleep action 2-5 more times in the night…and I would bottle feed my hungry girl late in the night/wee early hours in the morning, because she was so small and needed the extra care and love from mama (and food, girlfriend was TINY).
My mama came to visit a few months in and bought us a rocking chair. This made the longer nights a little easier when baby girl got up a lot, a chair is a lot more comfortable than standing when you are super tired.
It didn’t take a super long time for Agnes to stop violently rocking herself in her crib at night, she adjusted to mama rocking her instead and grew to prefer that. This made my heart happy and I truly think all those rocking sprees really bonded us quickly…to this day we enjoy the precious seconds we have together in our rocking chair all cozied up. Wanting to do best by my girl I rocked her (and I still rock her every night and every day before naps) lots and lots and lots, even when it meant I was losing lots of sleep. God showed me I could give myself a little grace and some sleep too, and I
learned am learning to sleep train her and let her cry it out sometimes.
It wasn’t just the sleep situation…our girl came home tiny and frail…she still is tiny, but frail she is not
strong-willed she is…she was so underweight and feeding her became a round the clock task I tasked myself with. I let her eat anything she would eat, I tried forcing her to eat, I made a selection of things for her to try at every meal time, I let her make a huge mess as long as something was going in that precious little mouth. I obsessed over how many calories she was getting and read formula labels (in Hungarian) like a crazy woman trying to find the highest fat/highest calorie goodness for my girl. Putting weight on my wild little toddler is still a challenge, one that I am daily seeking the Lord about and trusting Him with.
Life didn’t stop when Agnes came home.
Thanks to her tininess and my sweet moby wrap, I carried Agnes everywhere…she was strapped to my front, all snuggled in and ready for adventure with Mama.
We went to Youth Group on Friday nights. We went to church. We visited the school. We sight saw with guests from out of town.
I never left Agnes with anyone. Daddy did take her upstairs to Bubby’s (Jon’s) apartment on Tuesday nights while I held my ladies Bible study each week for an hour and a half. Besides those Tuesdays and a couple 15 minute walks to the grocery store alone, those first few months I was with my girl all day everyday.
Being with her is something I always dreamed of and wanted. I didn’t want to separate from her…actually I still find it hard to truly slip away from time to time (like, my sweet friend has offered to babysit anytime FOR FREE and I have taken her up on it like maybe 3 times).
Somewhere in my mind I came up with this idea that being the best mama for my baby means I NEVER LEAVE HER, I DON’T ACCEPT HELP FROM ANYONE, I DO ALL THE MAJOR CARE RELATED THINGS FOR HER (meaning diapers, baths, feeding, medicines, bedtimes…).
I think the truth is that “judgey sinner McSinner Pants” in me had taken such root that I was NEVER going to be one of “those” moms.
Part three of this post coming soon!