It’s been crazy, I’ve been crazy, this whole adventure is crazy and wonderful and beautiful and terrifying. While I’ve been writing my birth story, it’s slow going because I only write while she nurses, and I do it on my iPad (slow typing). So here’s some self-reflection to break the monotony of weekly updates.

She brings me such intense joy every single day. Sometimes I feel like the rest of my life was just waiting for my daughter to arrive. I’ve finally reached the point where I can do more than think about her. For a long time I felt like every beat of my heart whispered her name, and nothing else mattered. But I’ve finally started to be me again rather than just J’s mother. Just as important, I’ve started to reconnect with Papa T. I used to tell him every day that I loved him with all my heart. When J came along, that got thrown into such disarray. How could I tell him I loved him with all my heart when so much of my heart was consumed with the searing love of fresh motherhood? I struggled to give him an honest statement of my love every day, which often sounded (I’m sure) lackluster and unconvincing. Of course I still loved him, but all I could think about was her.

The answer is, of course, that one love does not displace the other. I love them both with everything that I am, and those two loves live with all the rest of the love I have, for my family and friends and pets and everyone. Perhaps strangest of all has been reconfiguring my love for myself. Always a rather spotty thing, it has been drastically revised by the addition of breastfeeding mother to the list of attributes that comprise “Me.” For the better, I think. I know I’m not a perfect mother, but I also know that there is no such thing anyway. I also know that J knows how much I love her, and that every day I do my best for her. I’m okay with being my best rather than perfect. Who is this woman I’ve become??