In the early weeks after having my daughter, I was baby high. Despite the 6 inch incision in my lower abdomen, lack of sleep and bleeding nipples, I felt amazing. In fact, I felt better than amazing. I felt complete. There was not a want in my heart. The arrival of my beautiful daughter had satiated every worldly desire I had ever had. I was happy.
Fast forward two months.
Despite my best efforts at ignorance, I was beginning to become painfully aware that the incision from my cesarean was the least of my bodily issues. I no longer felt I could reasonably get away with wearing maternity clothes, but all of my pre-baby wardrobe was at least a size too small. The three hours of sleep that seemed to sustain me before, were now barely keeping me functional. I found myself bursting into tears every time my beautiful daughter would cry for me in the night. My house was disastrous. Anything that got used or taken out of a closet or drawer never got put away. Coffee tables, counters, and floors were strewn with dirty clothing, baby paraphernalia and half-empty cups of coffee. The only thing that wasn't a mess was the kitchen, but that was only because I had traded in cooking for take-out. During those first couple of months, if you looked up “hot mess” in the Urban Dictionary, you would have seen a picture of me (and I probably would have been in my pajamas).
SO, what the hell happened to the rainbows and butterflies?
Nothing really happened to them. They were still there. They were just buried under all of that other mess. Sleep deprivation was making it difficult for me to appreciate precious moments spent gazing into my daughter's eyes while she nursed. The neglected household chores had piled up so high that I was too distracted by the mess to enjoy spending time with Amelia in our house. Going out was stressful too, because for the first time in my life I actually had nothing to wear – I wasn't just saying it. I wanted things to change, but I didn't know how to make it happen. I felt stuck and more than a little bit resentful. Worse still, I felt guilty for feeling that way.
And then, she started crying.