I’m starting to see glimpses of it – the dream.
The fog in my head has lifted just enough that I can look at Freya and marvel at the fact that she is here. I can laugh at her antics now. Tickle her tiny toes, and kiss her round cheeks. I sing and bounce and rock her and feel involved and not as if the world is ending any second.
On New Year’s day Jo took Freya for two hours and I spent them at Starbucks writing down my birth story, words pouring out of me as fast as they could. I cried at the hard parts, silently and while hiding behind my chocolate milk foam cup, but mostly I was glad to have it written down. I will eventually share it, but for now it’s mine. I’m hoarding the experience, rethinking it still, my mind touching it and reshaping it every day.
It’s been seven weeks. My body has recovered enough that my milk production is finally improving. We still need to give Freya donor milk, but we might be able to stop it soon. I feel both scared and overjoyed at the thought. Seven weeks of struggle without knowing whether it would work out have left their mark, and I am hesitant to hope too much, even though it seems like it might just work out.
And yes, it’s hard still, it all is. I carry her, I hold her, I feed her. The worst is the crying, I hate seeing her so desperately unhappy even if only for a bit. And the endless nights, the weight of baby on top of me making me feel as if I am sinking into the mattress, as if I am drowning under the heaviness of her.
But I can see the dream, the dream of who I wanted to be as a mum. I want to be a good mother to her so badly it hurts. I am trying to be. Every day, in every way.
It’s starting to take shape in my mind when I carry her in the wrap. When we finally dust off the reusable nappies. When she smiles at me, her eyes bright and delighted. This is what I wanted. This is what I longed for, so very much. And she’s here! She really is.