Sweet and Low

Have you ever found something/one so beautiful they take your breath away?

7 days ago I gave birth via cesarean section to a beautiful little girl. This post is not about her, even though I could talk about her forever. This post is not about the benefits or judgements of birthing life via one way or another.This is about the process I went through to bring her here and recover. Everyone talks about the exhaustion of new parents – where is the information about the deeper emotional trudgery? The hope, the fear, the love, the beauty, the rage?

The act of creating a human and then bringing them into the world has been intimately tied into thoughts of life and death. I’ve been very sensitive to both ideas. I’m speaking of the notion that the cord is cut and that is the end of the physical connection to the life you’ve nursed so carefully and thoughtfully, day and night, for 40 weeks. Already holding this life in your dreams for days/weeks/years before you conceived her, before you held her inquisitive little body in your arms.
I’m talking about the idea that you will one day cease to exist and fear that you have given her enough time/love/information to survive beyond you. To ensure she will have a full and happy life.

It’s a hormonal mess and every day it flushes out of my system, little by little, as my memory fades to only the brighter moments. As the rawness of the experience of anesthesia gets glossed over. The trauma of touching divinity, and surviving. It makes total sense to me that women are forever changed by this process. We should talk about it more.

As the family dynamic adjusts and becomes a little less frentic and a little more  rhythmic. Just as I practiced a lot of self-forgiveness with my first born, I’m practicing a lot of self-forgiveness for learning to be an imperfect mother of two. I’m also sharing my experiences with my oldest. I am trying to help him process the new child into our lives as best I can, too, as I understand how big a transition this must be for him. He’s asking lots of questions and learning a lot about anatomy and life. At 3 years old, who knows if he’ll remember this pivotal point in our lives.

Hopefully this has been somewhat coherent – my feelings are choppy and my thoughts are half-formed and full of symbolism more than logic. Partially that’s the pain medication from being gutted. Partially that’s the protective brain fug that keeps us feeling capable of breeding multiple times.

Parenting is not for the feint of heart.


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