You’ve spent weeks replaying over and over how you would write the introduction to this entry. Would it say, “yay! You’ve made it, you’ve conquered one year with Augustine”? Or would it be more sincere, like “wow, within all that doubt – you somehow managed 12 months of keeping him alive!” Better yet, would it be sugar coated, and fabricated to make others believe that love has persevered it all and suddenly it all just felt so natural to you? Well, it was none of those things and all of those things combined. I’m still scared, most times hourly, but most certainly daily on what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and who will see it. If Augustine will see it. Does he feel it? Can I feel what he feels? We are no longer one anymore, but yet two humans navigating life together. He is trusting me, and I am trusting him. His love is beyond anything you could’ve dreamed, and more than you’ll ever need. You are so blessed to call him your son.
A Loving Mommy
I can almost breath the air that existed a year ago. That’s how vivid it is to me. I will spare you all of living through the first 6 to 8 weeks with me, but I will share the darkest and almost the most beautiful moment of my entire life. One night, who knows what hour because we were up nearly every hour, Augustine wouldn’t stop crying (hindsight I now know that the milk he was drinking was hurting his tummy). I picked him up out of his bassinet, and sat up to hold him. AJ came around to my side of the bed, there was nothing he could do, and I had no idea what to do. I was confident that THIS was the rest of my life. I sensed everything. My body that didn’t feel like my own. My emotions that I couldn’t control. And yet, I was made responsible for this little human. I felt like I failed them all. My husband was trying to be my side and I just was lost, completely lost. I laid my head on his chest with Augustine in my arms, and the sounds muffled. I cried. I had never been more scared in my life. AJ rubbed my shoulders, and in that split second, I felt the strongest love that ever existed between us, as a family. If I could bottle that emotion up, and keep it forever, I would. I still cry thinking about it.
Things changed quicker than I was prepared for. 6 short weeks later, AJ went back to work, and it was Augustine and I trying to figure it out together. God absolutely sat me in that space. I do my best thinking alone. I problem solve best when I’m alone. My best feelings, thoughts, emotions, are captured when I am alone. Augustine and I started a routine, but I was still exhausted and felt far from equipped to be a mother. It wasn’t that long before I went back to work. It made me so anxious to go back to work, but yet I was thrilled to be away from home. I just wanted to run. I missed my “old self”, I missed feeling “like myself”. While work provided some relief, so to speak, I still felt like I had a void – like I was missing something.
Things went from hard to what felt like impossible to me. Mid-December Augustine caught his first cold, and with that came a new sickness every other week (this is not an exaggeration). In combination with that, we had several visits to the doctors office with a lot of misdiagnosing of ear infections. Couple that with little to no sleep, a full time job, a frustrated wife, an exhausted and an overly worked husband – I was begging for the nightmare to be over. I say often to my intimate friends – that was the hardest time of my life. Truth be told, I think I wouldn’t have been able to get through that without some really close friends, and AJ, who were there to just listen to it all.
Somewhere around month 8, maybe a bit further on – I had this moment where I had an internal conversation with myself. Again, those moments where I am thinking to myself. Somewhere in that conversation I think I realized that I was struggling with letting go of what I was before Augustine, because I didn’t know how to be who I needed to be for Augustine. (Re-read that last sentence). I didn’t have a mom, she passed away when I was 11. I had no one to lean on, nor did I want to lean on anyone. I was angry that I had to do this on my own, or convinced myself that I was pretty alone on most days, and felt like everything was just “unfair”.
I had an epiphany. This was the void I felt. I was empty inside from trying to hold onto something that needed to be let go. And that’s exactly what I did, I let go.
I would be lying if I said that I didn’t struggle with those same feelings at times. Although, things are SO much better now, and they feel so much more natural, lighter, easier. I can’t believe I have the opportunity to have a family. What a blessing. How unbelievable that I have been chosen to be a mother. That title seems larger than myself, actually for now – I think that title is bigger than me.
While this all may seem negative up until the first year, it really wasn’t. It was trying without a doubt, but something still felt beyond gratifying to know that I had purpose and love to give to someone; my own little person. I’m so thankful for Augustine.
I’m thankful at how hard he makes me want to work. How happy I want him to be. How happy he’s made his dad. How much love he’s brought into our life. How far he’s stretched me, and most importantly – how complete I am with him.
He is the definition of love.