First day that doesn’t feel crazy

[written yesterday.] Today is the first day since we’ve been home that it doesn’t feel totally crazy. I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish this post, but I have to at least get it started.

First things first: This little man. Was just talking to him all morning, and his bright, bright eyes, like the eyes of some spritely tiny woodland creature, followed my every move, my ever facial expression, his tiny, tiny hands up around his bright red lips like he just couldn’t wait to hear what was next in my story. I was telling him the story of all the things we are going to do together, baby, Mama, and Papa, now and in the future—I told him about the walks in the woods we will take, the swimming in the ocean, how we’ll teach him how to cook, to read, how he will draw and play and run, how we will sing together, make up songs together, how someday we will show him other parts of the country and the world and—who knows?—maybe some day he’ll even get to go to outer space. Which is where he came from. Our little starman. He’s our little starman. We keep thanking him for choosing to come to us from outer space.

I never did like that idea that you hear, that children choose their parents. Because I had so many pregnancy losses. Did that mean that those babies decided not to choose me? That’s what it felt like. But now I don’t see it that way. The pregnancy losses didn’t mean that. But probably one of the strongest feelings I felt after he was born was that he came literally from stardust, from God, and that he chose to experience life on planet Earth as our boy. I can almost see him hanging out with God, looking at a catalogue of possible parents, and seeing us in there. And deciding, Them, I want to be with them.

The feelings we had after his birth toward him were so painfully beautiful. It hurt so much it made us gasp and sob.

It was terribly…uncomfortable. Like something heavy sitting on the stomach. Like the air getting sucked out of the room. Then hot unstoppable tears. That’s the love.

How to explain. He was—is— the most fragile, beautiful thing that has ever existed. And we must take good, good care of his precious body and soul. And there is this feeling of enormous gratitude, toward him, toward—everything!—for the gift of his being our son. And everything we see, we see through the lens of what is fragile and good. And often that hurts very much. In a good way. But it is a pain that I—we—have never felt before. We’ve felt it for each other to lesser extents. To lesser extents because we are adults and can take care of ourselves, and know that the other can take care of him/herself. But this boy depends upon us totally for his very survival. We feel inadequate some of the time, fumbling some of the time, failing and flailing some of the time, triumphant and skilled some of the time—-honored all of the time.

Little things remind us of him, even while he’s right there beside us. The day we brought him home, DH was cutting up a baby bell pepper and sobbing, because the baby bell pepper reminded him of ST, and he didn’t want to cut it.

We sang him songs, so many songs! A million made-up songs, spur of the moment. About his being a starman, about his being a tiny woodland creature. About our great, big, huge, crushing, suffocating love for him—well, we didn’t put it that way. But we were drowning in love.

Drowning in joy and love. Maybe that’s the best way to put it. Drowning. But in love.

It’s so hard to figure out how to tell the story of everything that has happened and is happening. I’m just going to keep attempting. Keep typing out what pops into my mind.

Skin-to-skin. My naked baby draped over my naked self. We breathe in rhythm together. I feel his heartbeat and he feels mine. We grow warm together. I need him, now, to get warm. We lie like that for hours at a stretch, ST sleeping, and me just holding him and dozing, but never falling fully to sleep. He sighs. He wriggles. He goes zen. He smiles and laughs in his sleep. A short, breathy laugh! He he he he, he goes, grinning.

Sometimes he opens his eyes a little bit and gazes at me. He gets caught by my gaze and fights, fights closing his eyes. It’s like he doesn’t want to break the spell between us, the bond.

In the morning, I take off his swaddle, feed, change, dress, and groom him, tell him I miss and love him a thousand times. Those little hands go up to his mouth and the woodland creature with bright eyes comes out, Os his mouth.

He hated being changed at first, but now he is calm—but only with me. I’ve figured something out, but I’m not sure what. He looks away from me when I deal with the cleaning and powdering of his stuff, almost like he is embarrassed, but I see that calm look on his face, like he trusts me and is surrendering to the vulnerability.

I sing the whole time I do anything with him. I feel like I am singing all day long! What a pleasure to sing all day long! With my little baby bird cooing and squeaking in my arms.

He is interested in the Christmas tree lights. He is curious about the entire apartment and likes me to sit him up and take him for walks around the place so he can inspect.

He is incredibly strong for a two-week-old human being. I have to be careful because I don’t realize his strength, which grows every day.

He was born at 5 pounds 12 ounces, went down to 5 and 8, and now is back up to 6 and 6 (or more by now).

Breastfeeding—he was tongue-tied—that is a story for another day. This little one has been to seemingly a thousand doctor’s appointments in such a short amount of time. ENTs, geneticists, pediatricians. Blood draws (ahhhhh), x-rays. Had his frenulum snipped under his tongue (oh my GOD was that crazy…maybe more for me than for him). I’ll tell you why all of this checking him out later. A story for another day.

The important thing is: He’s fine. He’s beautiful. He’s perfect. Everything is going to be okay.

My birth story, in keeping with this whole journey, was a mixture of extremes. Extreme goods, extreme bads. Hard to know where to start. I think I will save that for another post.

ST is stirring now…more soon as I can!

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12 Comments

  1. Beautiful!

    Reply
  2. Amazing. I love how you conveyed your emotions. As for the tongue tie, my siblings and I all had it. And my bros son also had it. It can be a genetic thing

    Reply
  3. So good to hear from you! Enjoy these precious sleepy snuggly days! Cant wait to hear more

    Reply
  4. Great post, mama. My baby was born at 5lbs 12oz too. Tiny but perfect. Congrats again. Sounds like you’re getting the hang of everything!

    Reply
  5. I love that you’re so in love. <3 Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  6. Drowning in love. This is exactly how I feel. You have put it so beautifully. Love the name ST too. xo

    Reply
  7. This is so wonderfully beautiful.

    Reply
  8. You are such a good mama. ST is a lucky babe! Drowning in joy is such an excellent way to describe the first days/weeks post partum.

    Reply
  9. I read most of this post through a veil of tears. Just so happy for you.

    Reply
  10. Oh my this is beautiful. ..I’m teary! So amazing x

    Reply
  11. Sounds like an amazing first two weeks. So happy for you!

    Reply
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