The Three Week Wall

“Peace.  It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

This week I hit the wall.

Sleep deprivation, cranky moments (both mine and those of my son), nursing, changing identity, all caught up with me in what we will now call… “black Wednesday.” I pretty much cried the entire day. Phoenix cried maybe half the day. John probably wanted to cry, but didn’t. By 7:00pm I called my midwife and got some needed advice. She said I was having a “jangly” day. Where everything was “jangling” my nerves and nervous system. What I needed was a reset.

Handing the baby to John, I made some chamomile tea and took it into the bathroom, where I ran the HOTTEST bath ever. (Now that I’m not pregnant, no more concern about temperature!) I put Lavender, Rose and Roman Chamomile essential oils in some Epsom Salts and poured those in. I put on a Classical Piano CD, and I lit a candle. Still crying, I dropped into the water and let it all go. All my wanting to be the perfect mother, my thoughts that I am somehow already contributing to my son’s future need for therapy, my wanting to prove to my partner that I am the earth mother sexy goddess AND supreme baby whisperer of all time, my thinking that I can keep it all together, my thinking that I’ll never have it all together again, my thinking that my baby is so tiny and perfect and too pure for this world, my thinking that my baby is cranky and colicy and I will never sleep again, my thinking that this motherhood thing was a crazy thing to do, my thinking that it’s the only thing worth doing in life,… all these thoughts I let melt with the lavender and rose and swirl away into the bathwater. Chopin’s Nocturne, with it’s sweet melancholy sound crept into my heart and I allowed myself to not be a mother or a wife or a business owner or anything, but to just be a woman in the bathtub, with a lot of feelings. I brought my mind to the basics, sweet smell, nice music, nice hot water. Breathe in, breathe out. This too shall pass. Both the unbelievable sweetness of this newborn, and the crazy moments of difficulty of these first weeks, all will pass all too quickly.  One breath in, one breath out. Candle, music, lavender, water, breath.

Strangely, when I came out of the bathroom, it felt like hours had passed.  I missed my men.  I couldn’t wait to see my baby again. I came upon them in the sunroom, John had been doing some baby massage on Phoenix (who immediately calmed down when I gave him to his Dad) and both seemed content and happy. “Are you sure you had a full reset, honey?” John asked me, “You were only gone for 15 minutes.”

“I missed you guys,” was all I could say.

Still a little jangly, a little tender around the edges, but ready to be a mother again, I snuggled up with my baby, and knew we were on the other side of the Three Week Wall.