Joy, Sadness, and Hope

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.  _DSC0220

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.20140725_172751

3 thoughts on “Joy, Sadness, and Hope

  1. Suzanne, you write very well. Perhaps this is one aspect of you that will help fill that “void”. I think, looking back from 58 years that life is a series of losses and letting go. It never gets any easier. I wish I could say it does, but it does not. We have to let go when there is no other choice. Or, let go when sometimes that is the difficult choice we have to make. Just to survive. To stop the pain. To come to acceptance. Letting go. Of our own childhood, of our children’s childhood, of jobs, of friendships, of the way things used to be, but no longer are. Of the gift of our health being assured. Of one’s parents. Of our youth. There is always a silver lining, sometimes hard to see through the fog of anger, disappointment, and pain. It is a cruel wind indeed that does not have some silver lining. Looking back, some of those losses came with gifts beyond my wildest imaginings. And, while I miss some people and joys still, I know, they have been both at a cost, and a benefit. Gifts that only God knew I would find by letting go of things I never thought I could. Lessons I could not have learned otherwise. Treasures to find that I did not even know existed for me. The threads of some things and people have remained. They keep me grounded. The losses came at a price, but sometimes, God closes windows, and opens doors. See you very soon, Love, Aunt Carol

  2. I wish I could give you a huge hug! And lend you a boob, haha! I commend you on your honesty and letting your raw emotions come through. I know I’ve taken things out on Todd a few times during our “trying to get pregnant” phase we’re in and it’s not fair. Glad you have the blog as an outlet and know that even though I don’t know you personally, I’m vested in your story and love hearing from you 🙂 If you ever need to vent, feel free to e-mail me. Hoping you get a good night’s sleep soon!!!

  3. Dearest Suzanne, thank you for your transparency in your writing and even thinking to publish it on a public blog. Wow… “oddly” enough I must say we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. What I mean by that is I too have a passion for running (although never professional but wishing I had been given the opportunity) aimed high with PR goals in my own athletic world, have made it through pregnancy and still am able to run even after…. however I’m truly having trouble “adopting” this whole new identity as a mommy. I love my baby girl, I’ve always extremely loved kids- don’t get me wrong. I believe without a doubt that each one is a precious miracle from God, straight from heaven. I actually joined the MeetUp group you started in hopes that meeting and seeing other moms happy with their new babes would lift my spirits- it took guts for me to commit to an event, just being honest. All I can say is I can’t shake these feelings of being stuck, confined and forever bound (all feelings of which I often feel ashamed to admit to anyone most of the time) towards this little creature that cries for my attention that I do endless things for and lose sleep over…. this creature called my daughter. I love her, I know I do because love isn’t an emotion- frankly it’s a decision but at times it’s all just so challenging than I thought it ever would be. Thank you for your openness, honesty, authenticity and “realness”- hard to find most of the time these days (esp. where we live). You’re recent post has inspired me to get my true feelings out, you’ve given me an avenue for healing where I can read how you feel and know I’m not alone- just in a different sense. I’m not sure if this makes any sense to you as you seem and sound very happy and enthusiastic about being a new mom. Either way, I’m feeling the need to take a risk and share, go public, come out of the closet so-to-speak. Thank you Suzanne, thank you for being you and sharing about your life in writing- you truly gave a gift. Looking forward to seeing you at future MeetUp events!

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