February 13th, 2009
My little guy is one year old in two days. I cannot believe how fast it has gone. One year ago today I was lying on my bed reading and felt a flood of water between my legs. My husband was on the phone to Mike Schwartz and I yelled out, “hon, I think my water just broke”. And that was the beginning of a two and a half day labor, which in hindsight I was pretty equipped for (having studied hypnobirthing for the months leading up to it). I breathed my way through it all.
I remember my friend writing me beforehand saying, “Just do the ‘breath of fire’. don’t worry, you’ll know what that means when the time comes.” and I really did. long. slow. inhalations. and exhalations. I was one of those calm laborers who tend to baffle the nurses (why is she not showing signs of pain?). We do not use the “P” word in hypnobirthing, (in favour of re-directing the concept of childbirth being painful, and shaping it into something else entirely.) Even through all the complications we had. I felt so powerful, especially at the end where you need it most. and when they placed my little guy on my chest, cord still pumping with blood, it was the best thing in the world.
what an amazing trip it has been. for all my friends who are having babies right now you are in for the ride of your life! I know this is totally cryptic, but I you really cannot know anything about it until you are in the midst of it. It will push you to all the places you need to go and more. It will throw you so far out of your comfort zone you won’t know what to do, and you might flail and thrash about a bit. and then it will bring you to a new place of comfort that you didn’t know about and you will be amazed at this new person in your life. once a day you will look at him and think “where did you come from?” and “how lucky and I to get to hang out with you all the time?” and then sometimes not like that. there are times where I feel like a total failure at it all (in the middle of the night when someone wakes and wants to play and you feel bathed in frustration). and then sometimes even minutes later you are calm and peaceful again.
you will feel at times like a god, and at others a total hack. you will be humbled beyond belief, all the life skills you have acquired are useless in this new world and you have to learn new ones. and there are new skills to learned every single step along the way. every single step.
so many things have surprised me on this journey, too many to write here. I had thought it would be more graceful somehow, that I would be able to soothe my babe with the touch of my hand or the sound of my voice, (all mom’s are snickering at this). I had pictured my babe playing happily in his crib while I worked for a couple of hours, (laugh away). I had no idea how much work it is, and sometimes I still struggle with what feels like the total loss of “down time”, (it seems like a few minutes at the end of the day when he falls asleep. will I ever feel that deep relaxation again?) it feels a bit like i am always bracing, always on edge preparing for another injury. today he closed a cupboard on his finger. yesterday he flipped backwards off of the laundry basket. I’ve been tempted to get a helmet for him so I can relax a bit.
but I would not trade any of it. not a minute. I will say again that it is the greatest thing I have ever done. I get excited to see my guy if I am away from him for even an hour. I don’t feel like writing does any justice to the experience. there is no way to put any of it into words adequately.
I am off to get some sun in California (and eat my weight in mexican food). please send me some “baby has a good time on the plane” energy. failing that I would like some “seating next to some other parents who aren’t annoyed” energy.
I would like to be like this meandering line, with no direction, just flitting about from place to place. noticing the view. let it all just be as it is.