Dry nursing has got to be one of Dante's seven levels of hell.
If you have no idea what I'm even talking about... it's basically when the baby suckles at the breast but isn't actively getting any milk out. Nails on chalk board. EECCCH!!!!
If you have never experienced this... imagine a cat with a tongue made of sandpaper chewing on the tip of your nipple and humming the national anthem. Ugh.
I tend to have insomnia. It takes me a looooong time to quiet my mind and fall asleep. It's genetic, I guess. My dad has the same problem. The minute I begin to drift away.... WWAAAAAA!!!! Baby crying. He won't be comforted by anyone or anything but me.
This is a hard stage.
With Dear Son Number One, this was the age (8-9 months) at which my strength began to buckle and I began to fall into depression. By 10 months old, the black water had swallowed me. A corner of my heart fears that the water is rising.
I'm not there yet (thanks be to community and medication and a husband who is now a skilled father and my Lord who has walked me through this valley of death before).... but man, it is nipping at my heels.
What are the weapons against depression? I truly believe it often starts with admitting that those shadowy hands are tugging at your heels. If you aren't afraid to admit that to yourself, then you'll be willing to take a nap if you need it, make a freezer meal if it helps you survive the night with kids, be gentle with yourself at the gym, recognize that your irritation is not your spouse's fault, take a few more deep breaths, spend some time with a book in your hands instead of a mop... all kinds of grace and mercy in all kinds of weird little forms.
So here I am... admitting it again... My Tired is a little more than just lack of sleep. My Tired is becoming bone deep. And I am not strong. But I am brave. I know that I can survive no matter what. I know that my weakness has been used to touch hearts in the past... so I'm not afraid of it. I will strive, but if my strength fails, Beauty and Love will not.
"He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. I am well content with weaknesses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor 12:9-10
PS -- Little incredible acts of love have been lifting my spirits left and right this week.
A girlfriend just randomly gave me a shirt of her's that I was complimenting her on. (Tender love! Oh my gracious!)
Our pastor's wife knew I was going to have a long day alone with the kids, so she texted me around bedtime to make sure I was doing ok and give me the Mama-couragment. We clinked wine glasses through the inter-webs. (Solidarity is sweet!)
A friend from way back in college sent me a private message to tell me that my writing was touching her. (Ack! So kind to go out of your way to share good feelings!)
A friend at the park told me that my quirky joy was infectious. (Wow wuuut?! Cool. And weird.)
So while I am deeply tired, I'm also feeling INSANELY BLESSED. I'm glad there is space and grace for both of these feelings to exist fully in one life.