…and here i am writing something. i sincerely apologize for the lack of words around here. every day, i’ve meant to put something down–there is so much i want to talk about–and every day, i miss that small window of time and energy when writing a coherent thought becomes possible.
so, let me sum up the past month like this:
- a family full of sickness and back woes
house-cleaning in fits and starts
wading though enough boy clothes for 17 babies
learning how to be present with jude in her every waking hour
continuing to grow what has become about an 8 lb baby
i’m still trying to find words to describe what it has been like to transition, very quickly, from being with jude on weekday mornings and evenings, as well as weekends, to being with her all day every day. it’s not been difficult in an “i don’t know how to do this” sort of way. it’s just a new way of relating to each other, and as a person who feels compelled to chronicle everything so nothing goes forgotten…i’m still adjusting. so much happens every day. everything new all the time. words and phrases and emotions and games and it’s all so raw and messy and real and lovely. every day, my little girl is growing more and more into her own self, and already i feel the push and pull of how she separates from me, and then run backs for reassurance. this is a post unto itself. one that i vow to write soon. for now, let’s just say that my goal of being home long enough to savor our final days with jude as only child has been overwhelmingly met and exceeded.
i wanted to put something down here about the aforementioned 8 lb baby that happens to be due in 16 days. i’ve been very silent about him lately, even with myself. sure, i talk about him all the time–he’s a very obvious conversation topic–but when i think back to these final days of pregnancy with jude, i had a lot more…what was it? time? energy? to contemplate what was about to happen. sure, i wasn’t keeping up with a toddler, and i was on the threshold of becoming a mother at all, and that is a very different thing to contemplate.
honestly, my fear about giving birth this time around is a lot more concrete than that mystical fear i experienced last time. you know how “they” say mothers forget the pain of childbirth? yes, it’s true, i’d forgotten a lot of the hard moments for about two years, but now that i have constant braxton hicks contractions, as well as a grinding baby head on my cervix? i remember. i remember the firebelly of transition. i remember the long, nasty recovery. i feel it all again. of course, i also feel and remember what it was like to normalize the fire of each contraction, to go to that time-out-of-time laborland, and how i was able to simply let my mind bear witness to what my body was doing all by herself. i remember that quiet well.
and yet, i’m still afraid. more afraid than i thought i’d be.
with jude, there were prenatal classes, lots of conversations about birth plans and centering techniques. i spent hours reading other women’s birth stories. with ziggy, there have been no classes, the birth plan is agreed to be the same as last time, and i haven’t felt compelled to scour message boards for really inspiring birth stories.
i’m rambling. losing focus. it’s hard to write about this. i entered into the birthing experience with jude wanting to give her the most sacred entry possible. i knew that this experience was a rite of passage for both of us. and right now, birth doesn’t feel that way. it feels like something to get through in order get on with it already. i don’t want to shortchange my son. i don’t want my heart or body to be less open to the wonder and mystery of what it is to bring a new life into the world. i want to exhale my fear and worry and wounds from my last birthing experience. i want to hold on to all that was sacred and peace, and let him inhale it all with his first breath. that is my birthplan.
here’s his little face from our final ultrasound a week ago. his left kidney remains dilated, but it hasn’t worsened, so the dr isn’t too worried.
did i mention that we are clear for takeoff, delivery-wise? developmentally, he’s ready to be born. the countdown has begun.