At night, breasts aching, body pounding,
brain begging sleep and eyes burning,
I’m praying pleasejustonehourofsleep
and help me to be enough.

One week since birth and I can only pray,
the tongues of weary, ecstatic new mothers,
all of us saying in chorus,
Oh, help.
And thank you, thank you, thank you.

It’s been one week.
– it’s all too much
– it’s not enough.

Too much nursing (around the clock! for a week!).
Too much noise from everyone else.
Too much mess.
Too much selfishness.
Too much pain and tenderness….everywhere.
Too much milk and too much worry over latching.
Too many tears – usually mine.
Too many kindnesses – Jesus with skin on – all around me.

Not enough sleep.
Not enough control.
Not enough rest (one of these babies I’ll learn to rest more, I promise
but how do you ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ when there are two others
needing their Mummy just as much as – maybe more than – ever?).
Not enough of me to go around.
Not even enough fresh air.

Humbled, brought to my knees again
by how this takes all of me.

I’ve dropped tears into every crease of her,
baptizing her both in my own ferocious mother-love
and weaknesses.
Small girl needing more, I’m just
a mama who feels like she’s not enough.

But look here, heart, as she’s curled up,
boneless in her peace,
somehow full and content
with what I had to give right now.

Isn’t this a miracle?

post signature

In which I share the story of Evelynn's birth
In which a lactivist is humbled
thank you for sharing...
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  • Oh that is SO the truth. Thank you for your transparency, for your words…so eloquent.

  • pwnmom

    Motherhood is a miracle.
    Enojoy! πŸ™‚

  • Madelyn

    Oh Sarah. You’re not the only one crying….these are beautiful miraculous days (and nights!). Please know that you are surrounded by love and prayers.

  • oh how it is a miracle.
    (you know what else is? earth mama angel baby bottom spray for post-partum soreness. so very good.)

    grace and blessing, peace and healing

  • Sarah

    Thank you for this, your eloquent words are just what I needed to hear. I’m a new mommy as of April 6 and it’s been quite the ride. You were able to write what’s been on my mind.

  • Julie H

    I just discovered your blog and loved it immediately. You are a beautiful poet! May you receive grace for each day!

  • BecomingCrunchy

    My goodness I am crying right now! You captured so perfectly those feelings…that time.

    Oh thank goodness for grace…I hope you feel it all around you as you need it mama πŸ™‚

    • yes, yes. finding grace in the oddest places – that’s motherhood.

  • KathleenBasi

    And the sweetness in that picture just makes me happy this early Sunday morning. A reminder of where I’ve been, and where I’m headed.

  • yes a lovely miracle. something we simply cannot wrap our minds around. hang in there sweet mama.

  • I want you to know my posture when I say this is leaning in close with love and empathy.

    I want you to hear me and repeat after me: Grace is for mamas, too.

    Say this to yourself as often as needed.

    I was one month shy of six when my youngest sister was born, and I don’t have any memories of not receiving all that I needed from my mother. I just have happy memories of admiring her tinyness, oooohing and ahhhing over her sweet newborn faces, and just generally being thrilled at sisterdom. My mother, I’m sure, would tell a different story, but my memory is soft watercolors of family love.

    It does take all of you. Bread broken for your family, never closer to Christ than when you are being poured out. He will cover you. Let Him splash grace over you minute by minute, sweet sister.

    Grace is for mamas, too.

  • Motherhood captured so eloquently! Too much, and not enough…oh yes!

  • Mizmelly

    oh love, one. day. at. a. time…. grace for each moment. Prayers from sunny Ireland…. you are all the mama your baby needs… praying your Big Two are held a bit closer by the Spirit…

  • Everything you write makes me cry, Sarah. You and your heart are so beautiful.

  • I so love this blog….

    Truer words were never spoken….Thank you for writing this

  • Deborah L

    Oh, I have felt this. Utterly poignant words. Wow.

  • “And I can hardly breathe for the gratitude and love” – yes, as I sit here with baby Zoe just 5 weeks and so delicious snuggled up against me, I can cry all over again at the majesty and miracle of it all. Congratulations a hundred times on your precious beauty!

  • Stephanie

    You ARE enough. You are strong. You are love. You are beautiful. You are all that and more.

    P.S. I could never “sleep when the baby sleeps” either – especially after baby #2. When the baby was sleeping, I wanted to spend quality time with my oldest.

  • suzy @ scraps of starlight

    Crazy beautiful poem πŸ™‚ Welling with tearsΒ  and smiles here as one new mama to another!
    So glad to have found your lovely, refreshing blog.