There are days like today when I look at the bookshelves in the bedroom that belongs to Andrew and me. The room is full of two beds on the floor and a crib as well. Our bedroom tells the immediate story that we are parents, and that we obviously value our sleep enough to have our children right next to us all night. But our bookshelves tell a different story. A story of hobbies collected. All the things Andrew and I would love to do and learn. When we have time. Today I stared at a few gardening and composting books near the floor as I played "beach" with Blanche and held Rosemary in my arms. I do not want to wish away this time. I love that Blanche tells me there is a baby shark in her bucket. Two actually. Then she is a baby shark and will "pretend to lick me." (She gets the licking from lions and other animals, but apparently crabs and sharks also lick) Rosemary coos in awe of her big sister. These moments are the grand ones. But what about those other things, like making art and growing plants? Will it ever feel like college again? Will Andrew always have to use every second of his time off either recovering or helping me?
Today I am laying in bed typing this on my phone. I lay in a sprawled out fashion, Rosemary nursing on and off, on and off. Blanche coughing just as frequently. That's why I'm not leaving the bed. Because I know they will both sleep way longer if I stay. When it was just me and Blanche a situation like this would have left me frustrated. Longing for coffee and a couple of hours alone. But now, I just decide to write on my phone. Sometimes laying here alone with my thoughts is a treat compared to the needs of the day.
My pregnant friend text me while I was laying here. We started talking about how weird it is to see our bodies grow and stretch with a baby growing inside. She admitted she had fears of her body changing. I replied, "And I always feel the same way! I think ugh Andrew must be grossed out by coming home to my saggy boobs and body. I am covered in milk and spit up. I am in my pjs and no make up. But then the other day he looked at me so sweetly and said 'sometimes I look at you and just can't believe you are mine.' Having your husband's children will make him love you more than he ever knew he could.
She said I made her cry. I almost made myself cry. So much of the day is me trying to survive. It sounds dramatic but it feels that way when I am just trying to do one thing at a time. Diapers, nursing, playing, lunch, nursing, nap... By naptime both girls were laying on the bed screaming. Naptime is not as smooth without tandem nursing. But I have more sanity. And I needed that. Finally, when both girls are asleep, I am able to reach out to someone who is about to be a mother. I can comfort the both of us in the truths that I know.
I posted the first picture today with part of a quote that I read yesterday. "You will never be this loved again." The second picture is one I sent my pregnant friend of my stomach at two and half months postpardum. I told her it always looks better laying down. And when I sent that picture it was so liberating. To realize that although I never love my body right after having a baby that it was still beautiful. Because that small little baby beside it was made in there. And I am powerful as a mother and woman, even if I do not match the stereotypes of our selfish culture. It led me to tell this friend, "Motherhood is the most insanely beautiful and messy thing you will ever do."
And I believe it with all my heart.