Postpartum living is hard. There’s that lovely little fog you live in for the first few weeks, too tired and too stupid to care. You just live. You sniff the baby head and you glow and you fall asleep mid sentence.
And then there’s the next three weeks (i.e. RIGHT WHERE I AM) where you try to rejoin Life As You Knew It and discover you know nothing any more. Where the baby finds a routine and then changes it the next day. Where one day you start a load of laundry and then three days later you find it mildewed in the washing machine.
And then sometimes, everybody gets the plague while your husband is out of town and you just gotta shut ‘er down and survive.
You step over the giant basket of laundry in the middle of the hall, you wade through the piles of unfolded clothes in the laundry room to put another batch of puke-ridden blankets in the machine. You let the TV do the baby-sitting so you can nurse ad infinitum and try to find food in the half hour you’re unattached. You do crazy things like buy a pump even though you swore you’d never use one again, you drink ridiculous herbs to try and save a waning milk supply, and you sleep whenever you can under a pile of laundry on your bed that is no longer identifiable as clean or dirty.
I’m always prepared for the postpartum craze. It’s the random curveball that inevitably comes in the midst of the craze that gets me.
Which is why I’m so grateful for Our Village. I talk about them all the time, but it never hurts to say thank you again. Gran and Pops, who have heated up the highway to spend countless days here, doing house projects, handling laundry (Gran even hangs up tank tops, something I never bother with), and giving out hugs and kisses like gum. Usually in addition to gum.
Aunt Abbi, who has risked contamination from our plague to hold my hand this week, shoving food in my face and fighting me for baby cuddles. She got a taste of our Vortex of Adventure and now has a healthy respect for it and our ability to spread germs.
The food that shows up at the door, Mrs. Jean who helps me with Mira’s hair, the random chocolate deliveries by friends who speak my love language, and even my own children getting mama a drink of water… they sustain me.
Raising kids, having babies, whether you have 1 or 7, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It doesn’t happen alone. I can’t do it all. I can’t even brush my teeth these days. But I am awash with gratefulness for the folks that tolerate my shower-less eau de postpartum and love me anyway. They love us right on through these crazy days.
And they carry us into the new frontier ahead.
He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Psalm 91:11-12