Six months. My baby daughter is halfway to one year at the launch of this blog. I won’t get into how, logistically speaking, impossible this feels since I JUST pushed her out of my vagina three weeks ago, because, frankly, that’s another topic for another day. A post I’ll title, “How Having a Baby Proves Time is Stacked And Other Science Things I Don’t Fully Understand but Completely Buy Into.” There was a time 4 months ago (also two seconds ago…remember the whole time is stacked thing?) when I could not give thought to what a 6 month-old baby would be like. I was unable to process advice regarding any period of time beyond the few weeks that lie ahead of me because it all felt like light years away. I was baffled when a mom or dad so far removed from my current postpartum reality would even attempt to throw me a rope. Didn’t they remember what it was like? Telling a brand new mom-to-a-newborn to just “hang in there” because “it gets better around 6 months” is pointless. You cannot process 6 months postpartum at 3 weeks postpartum. At least not the first time around. It’s interesting how time works in those early days after a person exits your person.
You see, it’s stacked. Everything is referred to in weeks. Baby is “weeks” old (even if they’re months old). Pediatrician/midwife appointments are “weekly” for a little while. Suddenly you’re okay with eating foods that are only a few “weeks” past the expiration date. No? I found that my capacity to receive/comprehend/reciprocate language at a functional adult human level temporarily mirrored that of an adolescent turkey the first few weeks after having my baby when the topic of conversation pertained to anything other than her or her present stage.
That being said, here we are. SIX MONTHS later. And you know what? It wasn’t light years to get here like I once thought it would be. There are not oceans between me and the now moms-of-newborns, and I’m not on “the other side” of anything. Looking back on these last 6 months is proving to be impossible without doing so through rose-colored lenses. I don’t dread nightfall anymore. Anxiety does not set in around 5:00pm right after the second episode of Family Feud like it once did. (Sometimes I even enjoy the night feedings now. Can I say that?) When you’re in the early post-baby fog, it’s hard to remember anything other than the fog. It’s hard to see past it and confidence that it will clear is hard to come by, despite others telling you it will. But likewise, when you’re in the clear, it’s hard to remember that it was ever really that hard. I don’t know if that is a symptom of PTSD or simply a blessing from above, but looking back on the black hole that was the first 6 months of our new lives, I am not feeling traumatized. I am feeling awakened. The importance of my life has expanded exponentially, and everything that sucks up my time and energy is up for re-evaluation.