on realizing that it was good. it was really good.


i was having a latte at my favorite corner café and putting forth great effort to formulate thoughts and use written words to describe them. blame it on the dayquil i had been guzzling a few hours earlier because it just wasn't happening. nothing was making sense and i was fuzzy. surely, though, i wasn't going to waste an hour or two of alone time. so, i decided to finally do what i'd been procrastinating doing for months: organizing my photo archives.

and. oh, man. what a mistake for my ovaries. what a beautifully, absolutely spectacular mistake it was. it was like traveling through time, complete with all of the emotions that came along with each photographed experience. i went through years of our lives until finally arriving at the marlo era. (M.E.)

one of the more painful parts of my PPD was how much i don't remember of marlo's infancy. the realization of how much of those newborn months which i have no recollection of brought me to an emotional low that i've been slowly pulling myself out of. and because i don't remember much of that period of time, my mind has been left to its' own devices to recreate a picture of how bad it must have been that, as a response or in defense, my mind would rather forget it ever occurred. yesterday, as i was going through the hundreds upon hundreds of photos i'd taken of marlo as a newborn and infant, every single photo was of- dare i say it- a happy baby.

i sat in shock while i stared at the photos. i don't remember such a happy baby. i don't remember all of those devilish grins (not much has changed, i guess). i don't recall her so seemingly content in my arms. i definitely don't remember her being so small or innocent. (let's be real- she is anything but innocent now.) when i got to these particular photos of marlo, a memory came vividly rushing back to me:

joe was out of town for the first time since she'd been born. this meant that for a few days it was just me. alone. with our baby. i was still a little terrified of breaking her and, admittedly, i had yet to become comfortable in my own maternal instincts. naturally- and in true marlo fashion- she chose those few days to be uncharacteristically grouchy. i was still so clueless when it came to everything, but, for some reason that night, my instincts told me that instead of giving her a bath, that i should get in the bath with her. so, i did. and for over an hour, we smiled, cooed, nursed, and sat in awe of each other. it will always rank as one of the best hours of my life.

it was a perfect moment of my baby's infancy that no mama would ever want to forget. sadly, up until yesterday when i saw these photos of the hour in question, it was as if the hour never even existed. i had forgotten that precious hour of time when everything was right in the world; that one hour when i wasn't terrified, rather, i was confident as her mama. it was an hour when we were both so stupidly and obviously happy.

so, now, i'm thinking that maybe it wasn't as bad as i've been telling myself. maybe i was doing a pretty damn fine job of being her mama all along. hell, maybe i was even doing a great job? why not get crazy and say that maybe i still am? because i see those huge, genuine smiles throughout the entire day. every night before bed, i feel her weight sagging into me as we're swaying to "twinkle, twinkle" or "you are my sunshine." i hear her uncontrollable laughter because of the tickles that just won't quit because she's asking for "more, more, more, mama, more!" i feel her contentment. i hear and see her contagious happiness.

and i did that.

and i'm doing that.

so, just maybe, after all of this time not remembering, i can finally say that it was, in fact, really, really good.  


Kate said...

Yep. Tears. You are an amazing mama. Thank you for writing from your heart. Big love and lots of respect!


Unknown said...

Yes! It's a love that keeps growing, growing, growing and growing. You're doing a fine job mama. A fine job indeed. Hugs and kisses from Sophia and Me!

SRO said...

Yes, yes, yes. I love a bath with a newborn. You brought back so many memories for me as well. Thank you for sharing!

VelmaRose said...

Tears here, too. I felt the same way with my son Alistair.. Such a happy child and I feel like I missed so much of it because of my PPD... I am so glad every time that I read your blogs. Sometimes, yes, I cry. But they are always good tears. Either in relation or in improving my mood. You have a beautiful daughter and your writing and photography talents are beautiful, too. You, as well, as well. Thank you, again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

erin said...

love this, marlo is lucky to have you.


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