So I write about a lot of deep, dark stuff. It’s stuff that might be hard to read. It’s stuff that might make you go, “Oh! I feel so bad for her!” or even worse, “Oh! I feel so bad for her baby!”.
Thank you for your pity…because I certainly needed it for a very long time. But I wouldn’t be telling an honest tale if I didn’t include JUST how much better things have been in the last three months.
I really love this new age. 7 – 10 months is so far my favorite time. My little guy can sit, awkwardly crawl, stand up and play independently. He still goes to bed at 7PM which is just terrific. He sleeps through the night often, but when he doesn’t, he’s just up for a quick feed. And he’s got this incredible smile.
I love walking into his room in the morning. I can hear him burbling away during “crib time”, that period in the morning where we know he’s awake but let him play independently for some time. When I open the door, he looks up at me with this big nearly toothless smile and moves those chunky palms and thighs over to me. Sometimes I’m greeted by a shriek. Sometimes it’s just a goofy grin. Sometimes it’s an open mouth smile with his two, tiny bottom teeth glistening in the morning light. But I love it.
He’s just so much fun to be around.
We went on vacation to Hawaii. Of course the de facto reaction from people was: Good god, why did you take a 10 month old on a 10 hour plane ride? But it was fine. First of all, he’s at a really great age to fly with. He’s free, he thinks the plane safety guide is the most exciting thing on the planet, and he takes all of his little naps in his Ergo. Sure he shrieks at times, but we try to keep it to a minimum…and at the end of the day, he’s a baby so everyone who is bothered by it needs to build a bridge and get the f over it. Babies have to travel too.
But the vacation was awesome. We went with my in-laws, who I really love travelling with. We always have a good time, the four (and now five) of us. Plus they’re head over heels in love with the little guy, so they were extra hands to hold him when mom and dad got tired. The vacation was a family reunion (my husband has family in New Zealand and it’s roughly half way to Hawaii for everyone) so there were loads of hands to take the little guy when we needed a break.
Better than that – the little guy is just so portable. We showed him the beach, which he hated until we demonstrated that it’s more or less a giant bath tub, we took him hiking, swimming , to restaurants and so forth. We just packed him up and went.
I loved every minute of vacation. Four months ago, the idea of being with my son for 10 straight days would have nearly killed me. But it was nothing but sunshine, warmth, silly smiles and fat little hands, exploring everything.
What a long, terrible, hard road I’ve traveled. It feels so good to see a glimpse of what it’s like, enjoying being a mother.
We always joke that the little guy is still “in the red” from all the terrible things I endured during pregnancy, birth and postpartum because of perinatal depression…and he still is on some days. But what a beautiful breath of fresh air it is to sit quietly and realize how wonderful he is on some days…on most days. As time passes, I can see that the good/wonderful/amazing days are slowly increasing in prevalence and number.
Just like the tide on the Kauai northern coast, the regret…the heartbreak…the trauma…the despair…the little guy being “in the red”…is slowly being dragged further and further out to sea.
What peaceful joy that brings me.