Written Nov. 4, 2010
I was hoping to write one more pre-birth posting, but Baby Girl decided to make her entrance a little early--Nov. 1st, not Nov. 12th.
My initial thoughts and feelings might well take months to actually organize and write out. I feel like I need to get down at least a few.
I was not sure I was in labor. I was. And then before the fact sunk in that she was making her way, she was here. I am sure those caring for me in my great time of need--my mom, the nurses, etc.--thought time was on its regular schedule, but time seemed to me to be moving at a rapid pace. Yes, I was in pain, feeling no control, and in other circumstances, perhaps other pain, I would not have felt this way. But every time I looked at a clock, the hands had moved along again and she was coming.
Now, she is here. She was, but now she is. Her rolls and bumps and corners that I felt while she was in utero now all have distinguishable places; real elbows, real toes, real knees, real head. I can touch her, I can smell her.
But I feel as though I never got to say goodbye. As I lay in bed, I expect the right side of my belly to move. It hurts, in fact, my body hurts everywhere, but my belly does not move. I slip on the shirt I wore to the hospital. It falls lazily over my midsection. There is give where there was not.
I did not get to say goodbye and I needed to. I needed to say farewell to the foreign being, the creature that I could only imagine. Thirty-eight weeks of growth is now before me and it makes no sense, but there is a link missing between the two realities.
Say hello to the present. The gift of the now is before me. Her eyes hold generations before and they bridge the genealogy in a way I cannot express. She is me and yet new. Her eyes search mine and there is recognition, there is connection. I was nervous that "the bond" was a social suggestion--that it was a need that was really and truly only fulfilled through a time period. I was wrong. There is a new dimension to the phrase "to know and to be known" for me. I rolled over to answer her call as she lay in her bed and I knew who I was about to see and hold and smell. She is familiar even though she offers a newness to each moment.
I am saying goodbye and saying hello. I expect this process will continue for a while. It is extremely difficult. It is extremely captivating. The world outside is moving and I recognize my still-present inability to control the world or time. I am losing the fight, but yet still trying to admirably argue--slow down and let me take my time to process.
Come, let me hold you, let me nuzzle with my cheek to your soft face, let us remember together and breathe in both past and true present.