Monday, August 15, 2011

That Catch in my Chest Again...

I go back and forth between my love of the infant all things itty-bitty Mama I need you, and my love of getting through an entire dinner- including wine and dessert- in peace. These things are completely mutually exclusive.

I realized last night that I have been so grumpy about being pregnant that I am literally 2 months away from delivering this baby- and have lost most of it focusing on what I have given up rather then what I am giving. I took care of a lovely woman at work last night who, as she clung to my arm on our way to the commode dragging her IV pole, said to me "The universe tends to look down on women, but we were given this gift that is just ours- and aren't we lucky? Men will never know what it feels like to carry our children right under our heart." My hormonal self wanted to burst into tears but my professional self kept it together.

This is my gift. The fact that for just 9 months, this baby is all mine. We are as intimately connected as two human beings can be. I feel his every move, carry his every weight, and my body literally protects him from anything that could harm his tiny body. This baby has an amazing Daddy and a sweet big Sister who can't wait to meet him and will join me in taking care of him. But for two more months, I am the only person on the planet who knows when he is awake and when he is asleep. Why am I so anxious to give that up for a cold beer on the back porch?

Everything has a season. This pregnancy with Knox is not the only thing that is passing quickly by- never to be lived again. Purslane is almost 16 months old, and needs me a little less every day. And I love her independence and the fact that she wouldn't eat a tomato if it were the last food on earth. I used to have to rock her to sleep every naptime and every bedtime- and she would stubbornly stand (or lay) there and cry until I did. She was a fantastic sleeper once she actually fell asleep, but it took her a while to pick up on the concept of "self soothing". Now I put her in her bed with a book and her sock monkey Tom, and she reads herself to sleep.

But today, she was not having it. She stood there and cried her eyes out- the kind of heaving sobs that make mothers evolutionarily want to pull their babes right back where they came from- the space under their heart. So I went into her room and picked her up, sat in the rocking chair and rocked her to sleep. Her head laid on my chest and her tears dried on my shirt. It didn't take long for her eyes to close- her eyelashes fanning out on her cheeks. And I sat there and held both my babes under my heart. This is my gift- I am so sorry I ever once complained about how I have suffered. These babes and Grant are my world.

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