{ a month with Leo Grey }



Hello world, meet Leo Grey, it has been four weeks that he spent on the other side. The shortest 28 days and un-proportionally long 28 nights. Leo came three days before his due date, officially closing the marathon of me being a million months pregnant. He came at a whooping weight of 9lbs 15oz which translates to 4,508g, broke all the family records on record and a few other things but about that later.


He looked much more mature and heftier but yet very much like his older brother, he still does and I hope he will continue to cause his brother is rather awfully cute.


Sometimes, when I feed him with dimmed lights, I look down at his sleepy face and I see Simon, it takes me back in time and I cannot quite figure out which baby I am really holding, I know it sounds awful but it is rather a metaphysical experience... it is surreal, I know it is Leo but it also brings back Simon and the reality from when Simon was little, it merges both realities into one. Both babies together, both experiences at once. I guess I feel like I am becoming the mother of two, the mother of both. Is this how new mother is born? the mother of two? The new quality is added? The mothering upgrade? am I feeling the extension of my initial mothering experience, its next level? I seriously don't even know, if I am writing it down in any logical way, it is generally hard to put feelings into words and this one is so new and undigested that I am merely experimenting now with naming it...


This feeling is not the only thing that reminds me that I went through all this before. The moment I left the hospital all my worries and fears I faced having Simon, came back with a double whammy. I panicked, I was so fragile after everything my body had gone through, my hormones running havoc, all internal trembles. I remember sitting in my bed the night back nursing Leo and waves after waves of anxiety were creeping under my skin, that burning tingly feeling in your hair cuticles, the cold sweat, the goose bumps... I knew it is a horrible anxiety knocking and inviting itself over. I felt weak and defenseless and horrified it will just overwhelm me and take over my life, I was sinking in, falling into a hole...
 
 

When I get into this mode I am gone for a while, I feel stuck in a bubble while everyone else is outside. I feel like that fear I cannot fully diagnose prevents me from participating in life, I don't see the reality as reality is, I live in the world of my fears instead, and it feels very lonely and hopeless and just alienating...

I spent a whole 36 hours in this mode, until I finally somehow broke through the haze. It is a different thing every time that saves me from it, usually a simple emotion, sometimes it is love for my family, grace, but sometimes just looking at a sunrise in my bedroom window... when I am finally able to feel happy and safe, that moment is when anxiety leaves, like by a touch of the magic wand, and I am free from the bubble, I am back.

One thing about this curse of mine worth noting is that the very next day after the anxiety goes away, I am a better version of myself, I see so much good in my life and feel happy about so much of it, my heart is softened and grateful and lighter. I simply feel happy that I am back and there is nothing to be scared of. It doesn't last forever either, but it gracefully balances the moments of tremor and fear. Truly it is that the darkness has been made to complement the brightness...

With these things, we sometimes feel like we are doing it, causing it to happen and we expect ourselves to make it stop, to control it and a lot of times it is just so much stronger than us and will happen no matter what we do or think... I had thoughts like "why is it happening again? Am I not happy enough to have Leo, am I doing something wrong? Am I thinking the wrong things? My life could be so perfect right now if I didn't do THIS? Why do I always think the wrong things and make THIS happen to me?!"

But these thoughts are unfair, and make it all worse really, I know it is not me doing it and I just have to chew through it and wait it out... the real me is what comes after the clouds drift off. Guilt be gone...
 
I only had one bad panic attack so far, I am mostly managing well, I have a lot of anxiety, but it is nothing like the attacks. I know it will come back at some point, when my body gets weak and unprepared... then I want to be stronger mentally and calmer repeating my mantra that my kids are okay and will be fine with their mom just not doing so great for a day or two. Because really, it is okay, we are not perfect, I am not perfect and I need to be okay with that to be better.

But this post was supposed to be about Leo, well Leo and I together... We are always together, he seems to need the fourth trimester much more than Simon did, he nurses more often and sleeps less. He doesn't like to be away from me, much more than his older brother who could be put down anywhere and held by anyone. He is gaining plenty of weight and sometimes even will sleep for three hours if in our bed at night, but he also has a bit of a shallow latch and some issues with plugged eye ducts so we have to work on some things and just trust that everything will resolve well. Either way, Leo is a part of our family as if he was always with us, time feels relative and looped around his birth to create an infinity of our love for him, from the beginning of days till forever. Welcome to the world baby Leo, this is your crazy family, be gentle and patient with us, we love you so!

Now off to write his birth story, it is going to be a long one...

4 comments

  1. Nigdy nie czytałam czegoś tak pięknego i prawdziwego na temat macierzyństwa. Dziękuję Ci za ten wpis i za wzruszającą szczerość. Niech Wam się szczęści, macie piękną rodzinę!

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  2. This is so, so beautifully written! On another note, if the problem with his eyes persists too long (his eyes are always irritated), maybe you can swab his eyes and check if it is something else. My son had the problem with one eye for four months and all pediatricians suggested blocked tear ducts, until one suggested swabbing and it was actually something else which we then cured in five days!

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  3. Oh mamahood, what a great roller coaster right? I'm in the same situation right now. My problem is feeling like I'm not enough mama to either of my boys. David my oldest seems to need more attention making me not give my Grey so much attention, ugh.... oh but how I love those faces, and little hearts that really are happy with just having their mamas right?
    www.budusadventures.blogspot.com

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  4. Piękne, mądre i potrzebne... Pewnie w którymś momencie dam do poczytania mojemu mężowi. Marzę o dziecku, rodzinie i równocześnie straszliwie boję się tych lęków, o których tak mądrze i pięknie napisałaś.
    Tak dobrze poczuć, że nie jest się samą. Dziękuję.

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