Archive for the ‘birth’ Tag

One Sky

Some days, everything is the same. Over and over, I have my coffee, I take my shower, and I go about my day. The same day. The errands change, the outings, the meals – but it’s all the same.

And then, a baby niece is born. A dear friend’s loved one is killed by militants on the other side of the ocean. Leaves and snowflakes fall, and my son outgrows more clothes. Grampa’s cancer spreads. A second precious baby girl is born to another dear friend, and none of it, none of this give and take makes any sense at all.

The beauty, and the horrors of the world come calling, and I can hide from neither.

I wrap my hands around a steaming cup, and wrap my heart over the hurts. One family grows and another shrinks and I cry for both.

Every day is the same, and so very different, at once. The school buses come, the rooks fly streaming by, and the wide stretching sky covers us all.


Talking Sense

“How’s it going?” Friend asks, checking in on me.
“Today’s a hard day,” I reply.
She murmurs sympathetically.
“Well, there’s going to be hard days,” she says.

There were always going to be hard days. Even the most angelic baby is hell when establishing breastfeeding. They don’t mean to be, but repeated and prolonged suctioning of two of your most sensitive body parts on almost no sleep while rebalancing nine months worth of hormones and coming off of pain medication while healing from major abdominal trauma will bring anyone to their knees.

Dearest helps me get through a good cry.
“Tomorrow will be better,” he reminds me.
“Don’t underestimate the effects of morphine withdrawal,” he wisely comments when I start sobbing over my inability to relax and sleep every time I get the precious chance. “It’s not necessarily your anxiety disorder.”

I kiss five tiny toes.
I’d tell you that I don’t know what we did to deserve this miracle child, sleeping, eating, snuggling so peacefully, except that I think that I do. We got here.
We’ll get through.

My cup runneth over

Bonhomme is a big brother: enter Hibou.

She is a delight. And other than his eyes and shoulders, she is nothing at all like her brother.

She sleeps. She eats. She settles. None of which Bonhomme did. Now, he did have the monopoly on movie star looks, I’ll give him that. Not that Hibou doesn’t hold her own, but to me, it is her demeanor that is stunning.

I finally understand how people can have siblings that are close in age, by choice. “Every baby’s different,” they kept telling me. I just thought they were lying, or forgetting, or conspiring. And even if they weren’t, what if they were wrong? Based on my experience with Bonhomme, I knew I needed my stamina and fortitude well renewed. What a wonder to have all that worry be unnecessary.

I’m sure there are many new and unexpected challenges ahead. But even today, in the midst of hormones doing their tectonic post-birth shift, Hibou gives me hope and gratitude overflowing.

We’re not out of the woods yet, I know – there’s a ways to go recovery-wise, and while there are moments of bliss, there are moments of a whole lot of other things too. But this child is a miracle through and through, no matter how long or hard the road has been to get here, or from here it wends.

Bienvenue, Hibou.

Watching and Waiting

I’ve cleaned the bathroom, packed bags for the hospital, cleaned the car seat and figured out how to thread the darn straps through, finished a jigsaw puzzle, baked cookies, caught up on my e-mails, got my son dressed, fed and off to school, defrosted chicken for dinner, brought down baby clothes that are too big for now, brought up toilet paper and paper towels and baby wipes, found the baby bath, refilled the hand soap dispenser, checked the mailbox, made breakfast, snack, tea, lunch, put clothes away… and missed a doctor’s appointment that I swore was at two, but was alas at one.

Why is it that I feel like I’ve gotten nothing done?

Is this what maternity leave will feel like – my hands and body busy in one place, my brain left somewhere in another room? Constant activity but no sense of accomplishment? What on earth does one accomplish moreso than growing a baby? You would think that I could at least acknowledge my success in that.

I am not living in the moment. I am living outside of the moment. In some foggy, Baby Brain land, where time never runs on schedule and I speak in a foreign tongue.

Baby will arrive next week. I am ready – and not. Same as Baby, I imagine. We will have to learn each other, outside-in, instead of inside-out. I will once again not believe that I could have created such a creature, carried, borne, birthed. My world, and my body, will continue to become increasingly strange, before eventually settling into something vaguely familiar.

The music of a snowstorm seeps in through the window, car tires slushing, shushing along. This could be the last storm of the season, winter too waiting for the arrival of something new. Perhaps this sound will forever mean hope to me, now. A melting, messy, quiet-loud, soothing hope, one that grows with each trickling hour.

Come, Baby, into this waiting space. It is waiting for you.