It’s been months since I’ve felt inspired to write. My blog holds 3 unfinished drafts, none of which felt important enough to share with the world or even worth my time to finish. Tonight is different. I feel an incredible amount of emotion, and I just need to get out my frustration.
Nothing has brought me more joy than being a mother. I feel more happiness and love than I ever knew was possible. And when I look at Daisy and think, “how could I possibly love her anymore than I do at this very moment?,” she somehow manages to burrow her little way into my heart even more that it actually hurts. I love her so much, it physically hurts.
This isn’t to say that being a mom is all rainbows and butterflies, in fact, my patience and strength have been tested more these last few months than ever. The last few nights have been especially difficult, and I know for a fact that my lack of sleep plays a major role in my mood swings and how I perceive life in general.
I write not because I feel the need to complain or get sympathy, I just need an outlet. In the past, when I’d had a bad day, I was able to take my anger and frustration out on a run. Unfortunately, I’m not able to do that at this point (more on that in a bit), so all I have is my husband and my blog, and I really don’t want to take it out on Tad, because he had a rough day himself. Tonight, I took it out on the elliptical, which will suffice for now but will never come close to taking the place of a solid run.
Daisy has had a really hard time sleeping the past few nights. Sleeping has never been one of her strong suits, and on a rare good night, she will wake up about 3-4 times. This means I wake up and go into her room each time to nurse her back to sleep. As difficult as it sounds to do this several times a night, it’s one of the most beautiful moments that I cherish every second of, knowing this chapter in Daisy’s life will pass far too quickly. There’s a brief moment when I wake up to her little cry that I feel frustration, but as soon as I set foot in her room and see her little head peeking out of the crib with her arms stretched out, waiting for my embrace, my heart melts, and I hold very dear the closeness of holding her in my arms and being the only one that she needs at that moment.
She has really tested me these past few nights by waking up every hour, sometimes even waking again after only 30 minutes! Nothing else can be done either, she is inconsolable without my precious boob. My husband is unable to help with the night feedings, because she doesn’t take a bottle very well during the day if I’m gone and certainly won’t take one at night. Needless to say, I am beyond sleep-deprived, so much that it actually scares me sometimes. I feel like I am going to SNAP!
So here I am. Seven and a half months of sleep deprivation talking. Seven and a half months have passed since I’ve gotten more than a 4 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep (it’s usually about 2). I am. utterly. exhausted.
It’s times like these, when I’m feeling the most helpless and frustrated, that I miss running the most. My heart aches every single day that I’m not able to run, and the pain is only heightened when other aspects of my life aren’t going as smoothly as I would like. A piece of me has been taken away, stripped from my core, and it feels as though I am in mourning over the loss of a loved one.
I’ve heard other runners say, “running doesn’t define me.” Running does define me. It was my heart and soul. It was my dream and my future. It was everything to me. Without it, I don’t know how to just be. My heart has been filled with the unbelievable joy of motherhood, but I can’t help but feel an incredible void so strong and so deep that I cry as I type this.
It’s been such a struggle balancing these polar opposite emotions of joy and sadness. I am so thankful that I have been blessed with such a beautiful and healthy baby girl, and I feel guilty for wanting anything more, but I am sad that I can’t run, I am heartbroken, and as much as it hurts me to say, I feel angry with God. I always felt closest to Him during my runs and though it has been years since I’ve been to church, running was my church, where I prayed the most. I just don’t understand why He’s taken that away from me.
The time that I spend with Daisy is so priceless to me, and I cherish every second of it. She makes the agony of not being able to do what I love most bearable. Every day that passes does get a little easier to accept the things I can’t control, but it’s the moments when I see a runner pass me on the street, or when I find an awesome trail that would be perfect for a training run, the times I catch myself relishing in a daydream of some of my best runs, or hear of records being broken or runners having significant breakthroughs that hurt the most.
All I am left to do is hope. Hope for a better night’s sleep. Hope for another beautiful day with my little girl. Hope for both physical and emotional healing, Hope for the day when I can fill that void and run and be myself again. And hope for acceptance of what’s to come.