The Ugly Cry.
I hadn't seen the ol' Ugly Cry in a while but as I am learning both from those who have gone before me and from my own experience there is nothing like parenthood, er motherhood to bring out the Ugly Cry.
It happened to me a few weeks ago. Baby Parker was napping and Honey and I were just talking about being parents and how much our life has changed. We started reminiscing about when Parker was a newborn. We talked about our 2-week-stay at the Children's Hospital in the NICU and then... I felt it... creeping up... the Ugly Cry.
It took hold of me and I started crying, pretty suddenly. Before I knew it the Ugly Cry grabbed me and I started shaking and sobbing. Unable to speak in words that sound anything like the English language.
Of course Honey was so sweet and tender but at the same time he had no idea what had happened. Why was I crying? He knows I'm not a frequent crier and he was concerned.
A part of me woke up that afternoon. A part of me had not fully processed what happened during those tiny small moments after Parker was born.
Of course Parker is fine now, we're all fine now, but when I look at my healthy, bouncing, baby boy and I recall the tiny little baby, the baby with what looked like hundreds of tubes and wires coming out of him in that infant hospital bed... I just can't believe it.
I can't believe that THAT baby, that little tiny baby, the one who sounded like a kitten when he cried, that baby...is THIS baby. Is this SAME baby.
We are so blessed. So very blessed.
During the time that we moved to the NICU and lived with tiny Baby Parker for two weeks, I had my emotional moments FOR SURE but I also had what Honey and I refer to as mission-focus. I was very focused on the doctor's words, their action plan to get us home, meeting each milestone, keeping diligent records, while at the same time amazed at our sweet baby and the fact that we were parents, that I was a mother. I was cradling, nursing, and loving on my newborn. But to put it simply, it was a lot.
My mom even asked me once, long after Parker's birth, how did I do it. How did I get through that experience with (what looker to her like) such strength? I took that as a compliment, that I appeared to have strength (me?) through the toughest trial of my life.
You know how when you're IN something you can't always SEE it? That's what happened to me. I was in the middle of it all and I was certainly scared and emotional but once it was done and we were released, our new life started and I went right along with it. Which I think was a very healthy thing to do.
But somewhere deep inside me there was a mommy scared to death, relying on nothing but the words of the doctors, her husbands tight embrace, her new found love for a child she just met and her unwavering faith.
And that mommy needed to cry. The Ugly Cry.
And with my husband holding me on the couch, letting me cry, it actually wasn't ugly at all.
And when that baby woke up from his nap, we held him and played with him and laughed. And I might have cried a bit more. But they were tears of joy. My beautiful family. My healthy baby.
And I decided sometimes it's ok to have an Ugly Cry. Sometimes in it's own way, it makes life a little bit prettier.