My amazing, inquisitive, bright, hilarious, impatient, defiant, gorgeous and sweet 1 1/2 year old girl - today is a landmark occasion in your (also amazing, inquisitive, bright, hilarious, impatient, defiant, gorgeous and sweet) mama's life. Yesterday morning I took my last dose of medication to treat the postpartum depression that clouded the first weeks of your life.
The dark days are still unbelievably sharp in my mind, and I unconsciously recall them often as I shake my head and wonder how those feelings are possible. During those days, and even on some after I felt better, I was content to let others do the "work" of tending to you. To change your diapers, feed you, even play with you - it was impossible to summon the strength, smiles and energy necessary to do it myself.
For the past two nights, I had to stay in the city after work and didn't get to snuggle with you. And I ached to be here tonight, and looked forward to the all too quick hour after I get home from work when we play, dance, read and sing together. That feeling - to want to be the one to do the "work" - is one that I could not have fathomed feeling 18 months ago.
So this morning I woke up, and didn't take any medication for the first time in a year and a half. I feel amazing. I feel like me - and like the mother I always knew I would be. I raced home to be with you tonight, and you raced to meet me at the door when I got here, yelling "hiiiiiiiii Mama!" I sat talking with Dina about how hyper you were all day, and then you and I sat and read about twelve books before The Dada got home, at which point you told him to put on a shirt (you say this to him every night when he gets home, we think because he always changes first thing, but it is amazing nonetheless) and he sat and read with us too. Then he had to go out, and I got to put you to bed all by myself (this is one of The Dada's favorite tasks and times with you, along with being able to be the one to get you in the morning, so I treasure the times I get to do this!)
We put on your pajamas, and brushed your teeth, and said good night to all the animals, and you asked if we could sing. This is a newer thing with you, the desire to sing songs with us and have us sing for you. I love letting you finish the lines of songs, and love even more when you belt out and sing entire songs to us, like Twinkle Twinkle, ABCs or My Bonnie.
As we sat in your glider, you snuggled into my chest sucking your thumb and waiting for me to begin, I was filled with ease, and awe at the love that I felt for you. The feeling overwhelms me often, and can bring me to (happy!) tears in an instant. But I stayed strong, and sang "The Love of My Life," the song that most reminds me of my happy pregnancy, and the relative calm of the hospital before the storm that followed, for me. I sang about half of the song and stopped for some reason, when you looked up at me and said, "My yife?" I was floored - I asked if you wanted me to keep singing Love of My Life, and you said yes, and when I got to the line "You're the love of my..." I stopped, and you took your thumb out and finished, "yife." and I bawled, while still somehow getting through the rest of the verse (with a little help from you).
Moments like that take my breath away, and are ones I will always cherish - and this one, on this day - to know that I am back to ME, and you are the amazing you that you are - I can't even explain to you how much that meant to me.
You continue to surprise me with your wit, charm and intelligence, and are slowly but surely becoming a more feisty, opinionated and strong girl. It is amazing to watch, even more amazing to experience, and the most amazing to feel.
I am so grateful for the help I was able to get when I needed it - for the therapist I found to talk to, for the family that helped us all, for The Dada who blew away any expectations I had of him as a father, and even for the medication that brought me out of the darkness and back towards the light. But while I have been coming through that tunnel of darkness, I still haven't felt 100% like myself. I have been close, but not totally me, until today.
I am beyond ecstatic to finally be basking in the light at the end of the tunnel.
I love you, more than you can ever know, baby girl!