Maybe you’re a runner, maybe not. Either way, you’re probably familiar with the expression “hitting the wall”. If you’ve experienced it yourself, you know that feeling of total exhaustion and complete depletion. There’s a seeming inability to keep going, but somehow you do. Turns out that feeling isn’t reserved for athletes. Mommies hit walls too.
My dear Naomi has lived up to her name. (Naomi means pleasant in Hebrew). The last month has been pleasant indeed. Such a treat watching her grow, learn and explore the world around her. And I’ve really enjoyed a balance of other fulfilling activities – my workouts, writing, play dates, visits with friends and time with hubby. Then slam! this week hit.
The days suddenly felt like an endurance event. I’d start off fueled and ready to go. Thank you oatmeal. I’d coast through the mid-morning and re-charge in the afternoon. A nap, a snack or good convo with a friend usually did it. Then things would get tough. A fellow mom calls it “the witching hour”. Once the sun went down each hour became harder to bear than the last.
What’s with this whiny squawk she’s developed? Why is she peeing twice as much? How does her tired body fight so hard to wrestle out of my arms? By evening I’d be utterly exhausted. Not sleepy exhausted, more like depleted. It was a struggle to tolerate that cry, face another soiled diaper and find the patience to soothe her to sleep. I had hit a wall.
When running a marathon, this is when for a moment, you consider quitting the race. Of course you don’t actually give up. Any real athlete knows quitting is not an option. Instead you plow forward, one foot in front of the other, until you miraculously find that second wind. A terrible feeling of guilt came over me when for a moment, I considered leaving her lying miserable in her crib. Of course, I didn’t. For me, that was not an option. Instead, I plowed forward one task at a time. Then it happened. Her beaming smile appeared like the sun from behind a cloud. I’d gotten my second wind.
As I said, this was new. My days hadn’t been this grueling in a long time. What changed? Was it Naomi. Was it me? Was I pushing too hard? Was it all just par for the course? Then daybreak came and alas, the question marks were replaced with a period. My period.
Three months and three weeks postpartum, my period is back. Aha, that explains the terrible exhaustion. According to Helen Byrne’s Be-Fit Mom site, this is a signal that my body is returning to its pre-pregnancy state. Yipee! I have to agree. I feel different. Looking in the mirror, my face looks leaner. My stomach looks smaller. Perhaps it’s purely psychologial as I am beyond eager for the change. Read: wishful thinking. Or perhaps the healthy eating and gym workouts are starting to show their effects. Whatever it is, I’ll take it. It’s like a sign held high by an encouraging onlooker. “Keep it up. You’re almost there!”