Sunshine Through the Rain

Annie Maffeo

“The storm once again came into our home when we discovered our adorable little peanut had colic. With that, the normal chaos of newbornhood flew out the window. Ben spent his time living in a diaper and linen swaddle. Between spit up and poops, we spent more time taking his onesies off than anything else. We lived in an apartment with the opposite of cross breeze and the worst air conditioning you could imagine, and while we survived the late May storm that had brought us our son, the summer weather once again showed us the sunshine and warmth.”Annie Carroll Maffeo

Working Through Motherhood

By Annie Carroll Maffeo

Quiet down with sunshine. (Photo by Annie Maffeo.)

Quiet down with sunshine. (Photo by Annie Maffeo.)

Annie Carroll Maffeo

BATAVIA Illinois—(Weekly Hubris)—April 2019—Ben came into this world in a storm. The day before I went into labor, it was 80 degrees and sunny out but, then, in classic Midwest style, the barometer and the temperature dropped drastically, bringing with it a 40-degree decline and rain. By the time we moved into our room post labor, it was cloudy and rainy and a blatant reminder that we lived in the Midwest in Chicago. It may seem like an old wives’ tale but, the day he was born, ten other women checked into the hospital and gave birth, which many seasoned and wise Labor and Delivery nurses would attribute to the drastic weather change.

When we checked out of the hospital, as I watched my husband struggle desperately with the car seat and stood in the hallway holding this tiny little bundle of something in my arms, the sun was once again shining. People walked by us and commented on how cute Ben was. He sat, content in my arms, taking in the warmth of the sun coming through the hospital windows and doors.

The storm once again came into our home when we discovered our adorable little peanut had colic. With that the normal chaos of newbornhood flew out the window. Ben spent his time living in a diaper and linen swaddle. Between spit up and poops, we spent more time taking his onesies off than anything else. We lived in an apartment with the opposite of cross breeze and the worst air conditioning you could imagine, and while we survived the late May storm that had brought us our son, the summer weather once again showed us the sunshine and warmth.

Walking with my guy (Photo by Annie Maffeo.)

Walking with my guy. (Photo by Annie Maffeo.)

I had heard that having a baby in the spring was a treat. You could go for walks without the burden of pounds of clothing, blankets, hats, mittens, and all the accessories you need to take a newborn out in the harsh Chicago weather.

But as I struggled with my yet undiagnosed postpartum anxiety, I could not will myself to leave the house very easily. We did go for walks, but they were fraught with fear for me. But my little boy, he was truly a boy of summer. When he was sad or upset and couldn’t tell us what was wrong or that his tummy hurt, we would walk to the safety of our apartment balcony. The minute we stepped outside, he would quiet. His cry would stop instantly. The sounds of spring, the birds chirping, seemed to soothe his little soul. I have many a picture of him, cradle cap, dry skin, and eyes closed to the sunlight, with the slight baby smile that is brought on by either gas or contentedness, all on the balcony awash in the warmth of the spring and summer.

Each year that we move into a blossoming spring, I now see the true joy in his eyes when we can finally return to the refuge of being outside. Now that the weather has broken a bit and we can go outside without the impediments of snow and freezing temperatures, he asks to go for a walk every day. He takes my hand and tries to lead me to the door, asking very sincerely, “Walk?” The beauty of this question is that I can now answer yes when he asks. I take his little hand and, after looking out the window to see what the weather is like, I simply get him dressed and say yes, let’s go for a walk. We have so much to explore still.

Annie Maffeo

About Annie Maffeo

Annie Carroll Maffeo is many things while she is blow drying her hair in the morning and creating made-up scenarios but, once her hair is dry, she is a mother to a not-yet-two-year-old son and a wife to her husband Mike. Her university major, Political Science, enabled her to pursue her passion for politics (at heated family dinner discussions) but, as she chose to forgo law school, she eventually found her calling in the unusual world of trade shows. Now a director at a trade show association management company, Maffeo travels around the country for work and can tell anyone what city is the best fit for a specific event. After her son was born, Maffeo realized that she was suffering from a pretty overwhelming case of post-partum anxiety and started a blog blog as part of her therapy and to help bring awareness to the many issues women face while trying to balance this thing we call motherhood. (Author Photo: self-portrait; Banner Image: Mike Maffeo)
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