Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Where to begin? Where to begin to describe the emotions-- the awe, the relief, the rawness, the exhaustion, the overwhelming newness and love coursing through my body during the last three weeks since our son’s birth? How to describe the love I feel, the fierce protective, we belong to each other forever kind of love, the I can’t believe you are here love, the who are you love, the where did you come from and what will we have to teach each other kind of love, the I can’t believe I have a baby, and you are this baby, this perfect, miraculous, incredible, adorable baby and I am so grateful that you are here, we are healthy, and the three of us now form a family kind of love.
How can a love like this arrive so swiftly, so completely, so immensely with no reserve? “Emotionally hijacked,” the nurse from New Zealand said, that’s what happens to us when our children are born, and this phrase stuck out to me through the sleep-deprived, drug-laced fog of the three days I spent at the hospital. Yes, my heart has been hijacked, sucked out from within my former self, fueled by my tears, my hormones, and the sweet soft whimpers you make in your sleep.
Cedar. I love the noises you make—the grunts and the sighs, the ravenous gasping and rooting, the soft dolphin clicking, and the steady persistent wail when nothing but the milk of mama’s breast will do. I love the relationship we already have formed, the way my voice and the sight and smell of my breast placed in front of your face will calm you, how together we complete a bond that no one else can fill. I may complain of sore nipples, poor sleep, and constant feeding, but beneath it all, I am happy—no, overjoyed—to be this nourishment for you. For you, my sweet baby, for you.
Who will you grow to be? What are you here to do in this life? How will we learn and grow together? You have arrived, and our life has changed, and we knew this would happen, yet nothing we read or did could prepare us for what it feels like, to hold you in our arms, to stare at you as you sleep, to marvel at this immense mystery called life and the way it arrives in our world.
Cedar. You came from my body. I grew an organ to feed you. I felt and watched your rolling movements in my belly for months, and now I watch you as you make these same movements here in mama’s outside world, and my brain stretches to comprehend this transition. You were in there, apart from us yet with us, moving and hiccupping and kicking and dreaming, a little aquatic creature who is now learning to live on land and in air, exposed to this world and all of its elements with only mama and papa to protect you, to wrap you up warm and wipe your bum dry and keep you as safe as we can.
Cedar. We have been waiting for you, and now you are here, healthy and whole, and I bow down and give thanks for this blessing. I know you are the perfect child for me, whoever you are and have yet to become. You who have already claimed me, seized the pulse of my heart.