I get about eight hours of sleep every night, but if I wanted to sleep for ten hours there’s nothing holding me back. I have the time to make it to the gym everyday, and I don’t have to schedule it around feedings and diaper changes. When Brian and I want to go out for dinner, we just get in the car and go. Sometimes there’s the occasional delay because I can’t decide what to wear, but date nights are pretty simple.
Most of the time I manage to be pretty accepting of it all. I go through the motions, find joy in the little things, but there are always moments where everything comes to a screeching halt. It’s the second I can no longer block out the devastating realization that I gave birth almost four months ago, and my life shouldn’t be anything like this.
I want to stay up all night with a screaming baby. I want to change more diapers than I can count. I want to deal with teething, growth spurts, and colic. I don’t want my time to be my own. I want to raise my daughter. I want to hear her laugh, see her smile, and kiss her cheeks.
But a fatal birth defect took all of that away from us.
So this is my version of motherhood. It looks a lot like my life before giving birth, and yet completely different. There are more tears shed than ever before. There is more heartbreak than anyone should feel in a lifetime. It’s messy and confusing, but it’s my life.
Although the reality of it all breaks me into a million pieces, I always find a way to gather myself back together. I let myself fall apart for a moment, then I force myself to keep going. It’s the only option I have.
Step by step, one day at a time.