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Rejuvenating Phone Call

I just got off the phone with my good friend Jennifer, mom of toddler Josh. Oh, and Josh talked to me on the phone, too. His cute little boy voice just melted my heart! I can’t wait until Calvin can speak real words.

Jen was so encouraging about the post-partum thing. It’s never taken me so long to heal from anything, and this is definitely a long time. Immune system has run a-muck with little chance to restore due to small bouts of sleep. You can only do so much with nutrition and chiropractic, sometimes you just gotta have sleep.

I got sick . . . AGAIN . . . the past couple of days with something that made my stomach not sit well. I felt like I just needed to vomit to feel better, and finally, at 2 A.M. (just before I was about to feed Calvin), I got my wish. Things were pretty much groovy after that, until the following afternoon. I knew I must still not be back to normal since I hadn’t had much of an appetite in the past 2 days (with breastfeeding, you feel like you’re eating like an NFL linebacker with ferocious hunger). Anyway, my stomach got achingly ugly again, but this time it didn’t threaten to go up. Nothing ever really came of it except I was fiercely exhausted in the morning. Usually, any little peep Calvin makes wakes me up. But, Steve assured me I was dead to the world when he got a little fussy, so he took care of him until he fell asleep (several hours later), at which point, I finally felt rested enough to get up to face the day. That brings me to this post . . .

Jen and I were discussing post-partum similarities. It takes almost half the day until I can get in a shower. Wait for the time between the NEXT feeding, and I can get in lunch or some other such meal or snack. At this point, I can at least get in 1 or 2 chores . . . seemed like I got nothing done the first month or so post-partum.

I told Jen I call it my invisible leash . . . to Calvin. All I do is nurse him . . . and bathe him . . . and change his diapers. At least now, he laughs and smiles at us (very welcome to the crying he did the first month). We take him with us when we run a few errands around town (often times I have to nurse while we’re out). We even took him on a walk around the block yesterday. I told Calvin it was the first time he was going around the block when he wasn’t upside-down!

Anyway, Jen was very encouraging about what I’m going through right now. One day, I will feel strong and healthy again . . . I won’t get sick quite so easily. I used to have a pretty resilient immune system when I was in chiropractic school, so it pretty much sucks to feel like such a sickling. One day, I’ll be able to run again, and to kick high and fast in martial arts. One day soon.


Another thing that keeps me grounded is a great book another good friend gave me for my birthday. Sacred Parenting gives tremendous perspective on the blessing/responsibility/life lesson that child-rearing brings. No matter how much I try not to get caught up in worldly things, it happens. I’m human. I want to be athletically fit (because it feels good to be healthy and strong . . . and it feels good to appear beautiful). I want to be a great chiropractor to my patients with a thriving practice (who wants to be a failure at a career?). I want to have a house and a car that has working air conditioning. But ultimately, none of those things matter. They may make me feel comfortable, but they don’t matter at all.

What matters is learning to know God through His Word . . . and serving him by putting my family before anything. With Calvin in the picture, more than ever have I learned that putting family first means taking care of a baby before taking care of myself out of sheer necessity. When people tell you that parenting teaches you selflessness and long suffering, they weren’t kidding. In fact, I don’t think those words do it justice. I think there need to be words infused with far deeper meaning to convey exactly how much you have to put someone else before you. Truly, decades from now . . . generations from now . . . my descendants won’t care or even know what I did for a career, where we lived, whether or not I liked sushi, how fast I ran a mile, or how much money was in my bank account by the time I was 40. All they’ll care about is that Steve and I raised Calvin so that he chose to continue the Garnecki line by having some children of his own. That’s the perspective I gained from Chapter 10 of Sacred Parenting. Great book. Check it out.

And, if you happen to be going through the throws of post-partumdom, call up a girlfriend who’s been there fairly recently (her kids are not yet school-age). Because her empathy and similar stories will encourage you that you are not the only woman going through this seemingly endless period of feeling achy-tired-blah-yucky-sore-flabby. I am encouraged by listening to my girlfriends who are moms to toddlers that parenting gets more fun and I’ll feel better (overall) with each passing week.


One Response

  1. I’m so glad you have girlfriends to call on. i think that’s my #1 anti-depressant in this stage of life. I also have a hypothesis that what we think is ppd is really sleep deprivation. so yes, until sweet calvin is sleeping longer at night, sleep whenever you get the chance & don’t allow yourself to feel guilty about it….shower or no shower….dinner on the table or not. 🙂 a rested mommy is a happ(ier) mommy/wife. that’s worth far more than a clean house or 3 course dinner.

    I think somewhere around 5-6mo was my real ‘breakthrough to normalcy’ after both my kids. you’ll make it. go team garnecki!

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