Aiming for progress, not perfection.

"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6

Sunday, February 18, 2007

overwhelmed and unworthy.

the last five days since ellie was born have felt like one continuous day.

a wonderful, crazy, confusing, scary, exciting, amazing day.

don't get me wrong. she sleeps pretty dang well for a newborn. last night she woke up to eat at 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. that's almost unheard of.

but even if she isn't crying, i wake up throughout the night wondering when she'll need me next.

the day we brought her home from the hospital, i stood in her nursery, rocking her, and sobbed for a good 45 minutes straight.

i haven't cried for that long since then, but there's hardly an hour that passes that i don't have these overwhelming feelings of longing, fear, anticipation and 100 other things that make my throat close and my eyes well up.

it's happening now.

that day we came home i stood in her room, and thousands of things ran through my head. we'd worked so hard on her nursery, but suddenly it wasn't good enough. she deserves a palace with gold and jewels - fit for the princess that she is. every scary, sad, mean, upsetting thing that has every happened to me flooded my head, and i was devestatedly terrified that those things may happen to the most perfect baby i've ever seen. the thought of being in charge of raising her to be an adult sends a panic through me that i cannot explain. and all the while i was touching her tiny heel, so sad that i can remember just a few days ago when i could feel that heel poking me from the inside. my pregnancy is over. her birth is over. she'll never be inside me again.

and at the same time as all that, i'm sad that it won't ever be just landon and i again. i love him so much - i'm looking at him now - and i just wonder if we messed up by not spending more time alone with each other.

messed up?

what am i talked about?!?

i can't imagine my life without ellie. i kiss her lips and smell her over and over. if i keep falling in love with her like this every day, i will literally die from love.

has anyone ever died from love?

i'm on the verge, and the child is five days old.

and one more thing -- for every thing someone tells you to do regarding your child, there's someone else who is of the opposite opinion.

the result is you always feel like you're doing something wrong.

yesterday, we went with kylah and delana to ikea. in retrospect, it's probably a bad idea to take a newborn to ikea on a saturday, simply because it's mass chaos. but i was in the family bathroom (they have a little nursing area) feeding her when a lady smiled and asked me, "how old is she?" her smile faded when i said, "four days."

"what is she doing out?"

what do i say to that?

"oh, i'm hoping she catches a horrible disease and dies a terrible, ravaging death at only days old."

hello! just don't say stuff like that.

both my mom and mother-in-law told me they took their babies out just a few days after birth - they're like me, likely to go stir crazy after 24 hours without leaving the house - and we were fine. i don't know how people keep their babies inside for a month after having them. that would kill me. i'm too social or something. besides, i've heard that people who keep their babies away from people so long end up having sicker babies because they haven't been exposed to anything to built up an immunity.

well, then we went to the mall today, and someone said, "some people just don't know how to take care of themselves" when i told them how long ago i'd given birth.

i covered ellie up the rest of the trip. i didn't want anyone else to ask me how old she is, and make some comment or other.

i already feel like i can't do it. i don't need anyone else's help.

the first week of my maternity leave is almost over. i only have seven more weeks before i have to leave her for work every day. the thought makes me lose it.

i know a lot of this can be chalked up to postpartum hormones and what not, but it is very real to me.

i find myself imaging these horrible scenarios now too. pulling out in the car gives me a complete heart attack, imagining what would happen if someone hit us. we were eating at california pizza kitchen the other day, and i was terrified a waiter would drop a drink on her.

it's sort of ridiculous.

i guess the only way parents make it is to give up their children to God.

to just throw their hands up, plant their faces in the ground and say, "you have to watch over them."

otherwise, i don't know how any parent ever makes it.


ellie claire henry is the most precious, valuable thing, and the desperation i feel to try to keep her safe and happy is something this random, train-of-thought post has not come close to doing.

but all i can do is my best.

though it is far from enough, i promise, my baby ellie, to give it to you every day of your life.

you'll never know how much i love you.

it's impossible to explain.

it hurts. so much.


no_iffer said...

I absolutely love this blog. It is exactly how I think every new mother feels. Overwhelmed with love and fear. I loved how you talked about everyone having a different opinion on what you should do with your baby. I struggled SOOOOOO much with that. I doubted everything I did with Mason. I don't know why. Just trust your gut. You know your daughter better than anyone, even your parents. Ask for advice but you don't have to take it.

I also completely understand how you feel about the major change in your relationship with Landon. I was so sad for a while about the time Troy and I had "lost" as well.I remember just thinking about what life was like before...and then feeling so unbelievably guilty. Finally, we fell into the groove of things and it all came together. You will fall in love with each other more now as you fall in love with her together.
You are already an amazing mother. It is obvious in your writing. You and Landon, with help from God(so glad he is on our side in this whole parenting thing) are going to raise an amazing, beautiful princess of the King.

I am so glad that I have gotten to know you through Kylah and I can't wait to see how your family grows and changes.

Judy Cook said...

Sarah, I just read "overwhelmed and unworth" and even though Regan is 28 almost 29 I so remember those same feelings. I had tears just reading it. Just know that God gave Ellie to you and Landon, He will give the wisdom you need to raise her in the way she should go.

When Regan was 5 days old I was sitting in a County office getting food stamps because Vince had just been layed off. We were poor, but we had so much love. That's what will get you through.

I know you and I know you are doing a great job as a mother. It's all new just like any job you first start, but you'll follow your instincts and all will be fine.

God will bless you because so many people are praying for you - I am. Love, Judy Cook