Our little man is 3 1/2 months old right now. He (usually) sleeps through the night, he just started laughing out loud, and has also started reaching for things (a very exciting thing for mommies, probably pretty lame to most others).
Right now, life is good. I love being a mom. I mean, who could complain when you get to spend all day every day with a face like this one?
I feel like I can honestly and vulnerably admit that things haven't always been so rosy. The first few weeks of Denver's life were probably the hardest weeks of my life. I had heard of postpartum depression, but didn't know much about it. Looking back, I probably didn't officially have postpartum depression, but I think I had what people call the "baby blues," a less severe moodiness that lasts only a few weeks instead of a few months.
Keep in mind, I have always wanted to be a mom. I remember in 8th grade we all wrote what we wanted to be when we grew up. I still have that piece of paper. It says, "Caitlin Shaughnessy wants to be a housewife and a mom." I never made a very good feminist.
But I somehow missed the boat on how difficult it is to have a newborn baby. Not many people talk about what can happen to your psyche when you're extremely sleep deprived. Waking up in the middle of the night at 1:30, 3:30 and 5:30 is exhausting. My entire body ached from the birth experience and learning to breastfeed. All the images I had of parenthood included parents feeling an overwhelming love for their children. However, when Denver was about a week old, I tearfully admitted to Austin that I thought I didn't love Denver enough. He just demanded so much, I was so hormonal, and I didn't have all those ooey-gooey feelings that people seem to get for their babies.
Austin looked at me and reminded me that love isn't based in feelings. Love is a choice. Love is an action. By waking up at all hours of the night, working through the pain of early breastfeeding, sacrificing my time and energy for my son, I was loving him.
During this Christmas season, I am reflecting on God's love for his children in a new way. He loves us with a self sacrificing love. He sent his Son to earth so that we might live life to the fullest. I assume He didn't always have ooey-gooey feelings for his children. People have been rebelling against their Creator since the beginning of time. Yet he chose to love us anyway.
So to wrap up a lengthy post... I learned more about true love in Denver's first few weeks of life than I had in years. Each day that goes by, motherhood gets better. His little personality is starting to show through and we have lots of fun together. Those ooey-gooey feelings are growing daily, and the way he smiles at me melts this mommy's heart.
So this Christmas, as the band Relient K puts it, "I celebrate the day, that you were born to die, so I could one day pray for you to save my life."
proof that Denver reaches for things...
thank you Jesus for our patient dog