Friday, May 2, 2014

ring of fire

The first six weeks of life with a newborn are called the “ring of fire” because you are going through the hardest part, the Mount Everest of parenting, as I like to say because I like to compare most big challenges to Everest.

So you have this brand new helpless creature in your home that you need to keep alive. My two babies have been of the variety who want to be held round the clock and cry when you put them down. I am not sure if there are babies that don’t mind being put down, but basically you have your hands full 24/7 and it hard to cook, much less eat or shower. Then the cherry on top is that you have to wake the baby every three to four hours to feed them in those crucial first 6 weeks, so you are super sleep deprived, catching a few winks here and there. The common suggestion is “sleep when they sleep”, but when they sleep is when you are trying to get a few things done, which is impossible, thus the ring of fire. Live through this, my friends. We did it.

Alas, we made it through our ring of fire this week, but things did not get particularly better because our son is an eating machine and wakes every 3-4 hours to be fed without our prompting. I am not complaining. I am thrilled to be doing it.

The more interesting part for me is how the whole universe gets involved, messing with my entire life, the way your life might flash before you at the time of death. Birth is no different. My mommy issues are up, my daddy issues, my birth story, my fears of intimacy and commitment, my maternal instincts, all of my core wounds have burst open, every cell is in a revolution to fix the past and improve the future, heal and reveal. Crazy how it works, how when you are in your greatest challenges, more challenges get heaped on you. And on top of that my hormones are insane just from being next to this little guy. Everything is upside down, wild, unpredictable, alive!!!!!!!!! Ring of fire indeed. I say bring it on. I dare you.

Having a newborn is brilliant: magical, hilarious, miraculous, exhausting, fascinating, boring, inspiring, challenging, fun, love-filled, almost undoable, fantastic really, just like a good life, but with higher stakes. Amp it up!

Much gratitude, y’all

love is a burning thing...

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