Each day with a newborn (with my newborn, anyway) is totally different from the last. Some days are magic. You wake up feeling surprisingly well rested, and you drink your coffee on the couch instead of in bed at what should be lunch time. You put your baby in a darling outfit, which you document in photographs, and she coos up at the camera like the little angel baby that she is. You make it out of the house (!) and wander through Target and Old Navy, which becomes a sort of artificially lit paradise, even though it's crowded and the cashier is rude and you don't even like Old Navy.
And then the next day you wake up freezing cold at a quarter past five because you're drenched in breastmilk (again). Only moments after waking there is a particular diaper changing incident in which it is necessary to catch poop in your hand. The angel baby is gone and replaced with this little red thing that screams every minute that she's not eating. Every. Minute. She spits up in your freshly washed hair, which is only freshly washed because she spit up in it yesterday. And when your husband finally comes home you can barely muster up the energy to form a complete sentence, let alone a conversation.
And somehow, in all of it, there is an abundance of grace like you've never known before. Just as in labor, there are moments (however brief) of rest. A hot bath when she finally falls asleep. Timely words of encouragement from your mom. That victorious moment when you get her to fall asleep in her crib and not your arms. When you kiss her squishy cheeks and swear she's giving you a real, genuine smile.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, everything is (more or less) okay. His mercies are new every morning, and gosh if that wasn't written for new moms.
My mom told me, smiling sympathetically as I nursed Karey for the third time that hour, that taking care of a newborn baby is probably the hardest thing I'll ever do, and I believe it. It is so hard. But those ever widening gaps in my endurance and sanity are just little doors for the Holy Spirit to tip-toe in (so as not to wake the baby, of course) and whisper, "I'm here. This is hard, but it's good. And I'm not leaving you to do it alone."
I am exhausted and frustrated and would LOVE to not wear the same pajama outfit every day. But, (honestly, to my surprise) I'm not drowning in despair. There's hope here, and lots of laughter in between the diaper blowouts and crying fits. One day the fun, joy-filled moments will far outweigh the hard ones, and for now that's all I need to know.