"I can't. I can't do it. I can't listen to him cry anymore," I said to Ben, my voice laced with desperation. "I know he's full, and he's burped and changed, he just won't settle down."
I passed the baby off to Ben and continued, "I need to go upstairs for a few minutes."
Ben started rocking with Parker in his arms. "That's fine babe, just go."
I climbed the stairs, thinking about how I was abandoning Ben, but knowing losing my patience wouldn't help anybody. I closed the door to the bedroom, gingerly climbed onto the bed, held my stomach where my c-section incision was, and just cried.
You're not cut out for this. This is why you couldn't have a baby for so long because you aren't up for the hard part. It's been two weeks, why can't you do this already?
Negative thoughts were followed by positive ones.
It's only been two weeks. It's 3:30 in the morning and you recognized you were about to lose it - you had the sense to walk away and rest for half an hour so you're not taking out your frustration about the situation on either of those guys downstairs. You love your son and he knows that - as does Ben.
I dozed for a bit, and when I came back to the top of the stairs at 4 AM, heard Ben whisper, "babe, just go back to bed, we're fine down here."
I hesitated. It was so tempting. But wouldn't they need me?
"I have to pump at 6," I whispered back.
"Okay, then come down at 6."
"Is he okay?" I asked, worry in my voice.
"He's fine. He's sleeping."
"Are you okay?" I followed up, still not convinced.
"I'm fine babe - go sleep."
"Okay...I love you."
"Love you too."
I came down at 6 o'clock, pumped, and felt rested. Ben and I tag teamed so he went upstairs when I came down.
Sleep deprivation is an incredible thing (and it's not surprising it's used as a form of torture). It makes you think things that would never otherwise enter your mind, and kills any confidence you might have had building.
But after a little bit of sleep I was able to kiss Parker's cheek and tell him I missed him.
When he shoved his hands in his mouth while simultaneously trying to suck on the bottle I laughed and told him he was goofball instead of getting frustrated he wasn't immediately eating.
When he filled his diaper, I didn't sigh because I'd have to change him again, but instead rubbed his back and murmured, "I hope you feel better now buddy."
Yes, this parenting thing is incredible. Possibly the most incredible thing Ben and I have ever done. But I have to remember to grant myself grace - just because we wanted it doesn't mean it won't be hard. In fact, that might make it harder. In the end, of course it's worth it, but that doesn't mean we can't have bad moments in the thick of it.