Hello from Newborn Land. I'm waving and blowing kisses, so thankful for all the loving comments that you have sent my way. I feel surrounded by love from so many places. Thank you.
I'm waving because Newborn Land is like an untethered island, and it drifts in a sometimes pleasant, sometimes stormy sea. Everyone else (everyone who is not in Newborn Land) is on the mainland, walking around as normal, but I am up and down and sometimes falling, sometimes gaining my feet, sometimes just rolling with the waves.
We are home, in Pai. There were a couple of crazy days as we got everything ready for our return home. And our return was clumsy, though we were full of good intentions. We arrived at 10:00 at night and there were tears from tired kids and then I had a full meltdown. I had overdone it, getting ready to leave Chiang Mai, and I could feel the strain.
But things looked better in the morning. I woke up to find breakfast from my beautiful Chinua beside me.
I've been in bed now for a few days, taking care of nothing but the sweetness that is my newborn son.
For mothers in Newborn Land I heartily recommend a full week in bed if possible. There is so much going on in our healing bodies, with hormones making emotions rise and fall. It's wonderful to find your rhythm with your new baby, to have time to sort out sleep from waking and nursing. If you can fill your floating island with things you love, like good books and chocolate, or movies and herbal tea, you'll balance the new and unfamiliar.
I find that I need these things, because the hormones hit me hard. The world seems like a strange and scary place at times, and I fold over into tears, hiding behind my hands. It's hard for me because I have the memory of years of anxiety and depression, and it feels scary to have these giant emotions cascade over me. But I know this is different, this is temporary. It's all part of the adventure path of a new child in my arms, and the fogginess will lift.
In these moments, love is strong, almost too strong. Love becomes worry, worry about my other kids, worry about my mom (who will be with us for the next few weeks) worry about our home, our life. Then I blink and see that everyone's fine, actually. Everyone is happy and running around and only I am sitting in such a strange and new place, seeing beautiful things through a lens of sadness.
Then, between bouts of crying, heaven is visiting me. This small baby is such an incredible gift.
He's a tiny radiant bit of sweetness. He's so alert and laid back. He zones in so quickly when he hears a new sound, or one of our voices. I bought Karen Peris's solo album, and I've been playing it all morning. He listens with such intensity and I can tell that he loves it. Basically, he's amazing.
I love how much the other kids love him. They worry over him if he cries. Solo especially offers me bits of advice on how I can help him stop. "He wants milk!" he shouts. When Isaac is quiet, Solo tells him things. "Your mama is holding you," he says. Or, "Baby, when I was a baby, I was a golden baby," (referring to the color of his skin- we've been talking a lot about each kid and all their different shades and what color we think Isaac will be- probably like Kid A or Leafy) or, "You came after me." He has a special raspy quiet voice he uses for being near the baby.
Leafy is madly in love. He adores Isaac and hates being away from him. And the love just seems to spill over and touch everything. Kid A has given me multiple voluntary hugs (!) and Solo has not once told me he doesn't like kisses, (!) even when I kiss him again and again and again.
I think we're getting along pretty well in Newborn Land. Even if beautiful things always seem somehow washed in sadness.