Jolie is one week old today.
These last seven days have been both the most wonderful and the most painful seven days of my life.
Life is wonderful because, obviously, my daughter has entered the world and everything in my life has shifted. The love I feel for her just cannot be described. She makes me happy in a way that nothing else in my life can. (And that's not to say that nothing else in my life makes me happy; what I mean is that it's a specific kind of happy that only she makes me feel.) I could watch her sleep for hours. Even seeing her sneeze or make a funny face is the most amazing thing in the world. As she is discovering life for the first time, I am rediscovering life in new ways.
Life is painful because it's been hard having to visit her in the hospital. This is the happiest I've ever been, but it's also the saddest I've ever been, and I think I've cried more this week than I have in a long time. I just miss her so much. I know she's doing well and she'll be coming home soon, but it's just really hard to come home and everything is "business as usual," but it's not, because I'm no longer pregnant, but there's no baby here either. If you think about it, I haven't been apart from her EVER, until I gave birth to her and had to leave her in the hospital. She was a part of my body, you know? And now when I look at my belly, she's no longer in there, kicking me or nudging me. But at the same time, she's not HERE, at home, in her crib either. It's a desperately sad and empty feeling. And it's been equally hard on Jimmy as well. He misses her just as much, and it's just as hard for him to say goodbye to her at the hospital as well.
Everyone has been offering their congratulations and good wishes, and we're both really grateful, but honestly, the celebratory mood is in such contrast to what we've been feeling all week. Everyone is like, "Yay! Baby!" and we're like, "No... no baby here. Just an empty house."
And it's been REALLY hard for me to hear people say things like, "WE WANT TO SEE THE BABY!" or "WE WANT TO HOLD THE BABY!" because even _I_ can't SEE my baby or HOLD my baby as much as I want to. I feel like this baby doesn't even belong to me yet, and everyone else is already making demands on her time and trying to take her away from me. So I've been feeling really agitated and angry and frustrated. I just feel like... How can you expect me to share my child with you when I haven't even taken her home yet? How can you demand my child when I can't even demand my child? All of my time with her, right now, is extremely limited, and it's VERY hard for me to keep my cool when it comes to other people wanting to take up that time right now. I mean, I'm not trying to single anyone out here, but please stop saying this to me at least until I've brought her home and gotten things settled down. Please. For the sake of my own sanity and well-being.
In addition, please stop telling me to SLEEP NOW, BECAUSE YOU WON'T GET ANY REST WHEN SHE COMES HOME, because the way I feel right now, I would rather have her home with me and never sleep again, than have to deal with being apart from her. I would make that trade IN A HEARTBEAT if it meant stopping the aching pain in my chest.
I've just been experiencing such a whirlwind of emotion this week. In between being extremely happy and extremely sad, I've had to find some sort of balance just to get business taken care of (maternity leave, gathering last minute baby things, etc.) It's hard to be business-like and efficient when my entire world has changed.
I'm sorry this is such a downer post, but I just needed to get out everything I've been feeling, because what pregnant woman ever expects to be leaving the hospital WITHOUT her child? Really, only Jimmy has known exactly how I feel this week because I haven't really been telling anyone about it. It hasn't been all storm clouds and darkness; the time I spend with Jolie makes everything better. As you can see by all the photos (and videos, if you're my Facebook friend), she's quite an amazing little girl, and she really is my sunshine. And since the doctors have said she'll be ready to come home in the next couple of days, I've been feeling less sad because now I have an actual day to look forward to (because it's absolute agony not having any solid answers). They've already started discharge procedures. So since I've heard that news, I've been feeling so much better, and am SO excited, and the things that were bothering me have been bothering me less.
So Jolie is one week old today. It's about 8:30 in the morning as I type this, and I know that at this time last Sunday, I was awake, probably sitting here at my computer, and experiencing what I know now were contractions. We were getting ready to go to my baby shower and I was frightened and in pain and totally not expecting that, less than twelve hours later, I would no longer be pregnant.
If anything, this past week has proven to me that with life, you really have to expect the unexpected. Period.