It’s my due date, and I already have an almost two week old baby girl.

I’m celebrating by changing a dozen diapers, offering up my boobs every couple of hours, trying half a dozen techniques to calm crying (with little, to no, success), and sitting and standing with an excessive amount of caution due to tears in the lady parts.

This ish is hard. Harder than I could have expected. Harder than I wanted. Harder than I would have signed up for. We’ve walked into a very harsh reality. One that is self-doubt inducing, emotionally overwhelming, relationally challenging, and worldview confounding.

In these first days as a family of three, I’ve marveled at her every feature, took thousands of pictures, cuddled her close and posted my pride on social media. But, in and out of those days, I’ve also had what one mom friend called “buyer’s remorse.” I’ve wondered out loud, “what have we done?,” and “what if I’m not wired for this ... what if I forced His hand and she’s going to pay the price for what I lack?” I’ve felt my blood pressure rise, my survival instinct flair up, at a hint of a whimper. I’ve worked hard at breathing deeply when she’s at my breast, hoping against hope that somehow I can spare her reading (and transferring) anxiety from her caregiver. I’ve struggled, tears streaming down my face, just wanting to hear my husband say all these feelings are normal and that I am a good mother, that, somehow, he’s seen me show up and impress him with my maternal instincts. And I’ve cried more, alone on the corner of the couch, when he’s remained silent. 

This is hard. She’s beautiful and precious. And I can’t help feeling like she deserves better than I’m giving her. And that’s all I’ve got right now.