Three months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Eliza Marie. She came into our world with a quiet and gentle cry, and our family has been madly in love ever since. Over the last twelve weeks, we’ve welcomed her into our days and even in my most tired moments, I can’t believe that I’ve been given the privilege, again, of being called “Mommy.”
If you’ve been following along for any number of years around here, you’ll remember that when my son was born, I suffered from postpartum depression and anxiety. It took me quite a long time to see it for what it was, because the darkness came in waves, and wasn’t anything like I read or heard about in the media. It was like a fog that wouldn’t lift, and something I feared almost every day of my pregnancy with Eliza. What if it came back? Would I recognize it? What if it was worse? What if it never left?
I’m typing these words tonight as I look down at my snoozing baby girl, in complete awe of the blessing the past three months have been. I’m in tears telling you that she has been the sweetest of babies, and there has been no darkness. Of course, I’ve been exhausted–but the fog that hovered for months with the birth of our son has not shown its face for one day. For three years, I was terrified to be pregnant again. I was scared of having another c-section, dreaded nursing and “failing” again, and feared the depression that could show up in my walls. Friends, there has not been one day of darkness. Praise God.
And so tomorrow, I will head back to a job I love and coworkers who feel more like friends. My husband and I will high-five in the driveway as he prepares for a summer at home with our kids (he’s a teacher with summers off) and I will drive to my office. I’ll take a mental picture of the moment so that I can tell my girl one day what this day meant to her momma–the day I stopped trying to choose. I want her to know she doesn’t have to choose between motherhood and leadership, gentleness and strength, beauty and intellect, hospitality and adventure, accountability and freedom. She can have all of it. Every last bit.