February 3, 2016
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My husband and I have relatively frequent conversations regarding the misery of the first three months of newborn life. Part of these conversations consists of him mentioning the challenge of having two blessed cherubs vying for our affections…or at least a meal… I approach this near transition with a similar stoicism that served me well expecting and slogging through the first months of our first. No argument, the beginning is lousy on many levels, mostly akin to sleep deprivation. But, how do I explain to my husband that the misery after our daughter is born will feel much more tolerable and even oddly invigorating than these months of pregnancy?
I’d say that fortune blessed me with another easy pregnancy, but it’s never quite so easy. My assertion expressing my obligation to minimize the hardships because so many have it worse. My relationship with my daughter is an interesting thing that I can process more fully now that the experience is a repetition. Pregnancy is surely miraculous and the closeness I’m developing with my tenant so strange. But, the toll on my body nurturing this miracle is constant and inescapable. The virtue of understanding the full process and timeline is my only relief in some moments.
I could describe at length the various symptoms that illustrate the annoying encumbrance pregnancy is on my life, but there is one specific experience worth the characters for this post. Fatigue seems like such a paltry way to describe it, yet other descriptors aren’t appropriate expressions either. On a basic level I’m tired; the same unrelenting sleepiness that one would expect from months of restless sleep. But, even when I’ve clocked sufficient hours at night with nothing noteworthy interfering, soon after I awaken I can feel the heaviness in my lids that never alleviates other than fleeting seconds of distraction.
Fatigue, however, is a versatile beast, as sleepiness only characterizes the least troubling of its many faces. Perhaps best represented as walking through body deep water while carrying a burdensome load, but the liquid does not share the effort as expected. Every trudge is a slow plod of heavy motion that persists so long the previous ease of movement becomes a nostalgia whose incarnation seems forever lost. But, with familiarity as my guide, I will reacquaint with the self I remember from so many months ago. It will be the dark early hours of morning when I’m holding my daughter during those harsh initial months, but I will smile and this time almost will be forgotten.