little and big ones: an update

I realized the other night when I came home how huge it was, what I had done.

Not for them so much as myself. It was hard to believe I was the same person that started this blog — a woman who, aching with longing, was unable to behold a pregnant woman or tiny baby without certain anguish.

It’s not that I don’t still feel a tinge when I see how easily family building comes for others, while we worked so hard and waited so long, through so much pain and loss. Years and tears.

It’s not that I don’t miss our baby boy still, four years later. While I said that the thought of a new baby boy born on the anniversary of our son’s death didn’t consume me as it may have before, still I was more than relieved when the day passed without (yet another) birth announcement.

And it’s not that I don’t know how very lucky I am to be a mother to our beautiful daughter, who would not be with us today were it not for all that came before her.

It was the realization that I must be evolving from the woman I was then to the woman I am now. And yes, that includes finally becoming a mama myself, even if it didn’t involve giving birth or passing along our shared traits like most everyone else we know.

It was the affirmation that my experience mattered to someone other than me and my family.

The night I left our neighbors as they headed to the hospital, I came home and sighed a sense of awe, and accomplishment too. It wasn’t because I was able to help them in some small way as much as how huge that effort was for me.

As a few of you recognized in your comments, they may never have any idea what they asked of me. Or what it meant that I was able to give at all.

By the time they were admitted, she was nearly 8cm dilated. Their little boy was born a few hours later. He was perfectly healthy, though the cord was around his neck and he was whisked to the ICU. They came home that evening. When I saw their car slowly turn down our road late that night, I knew they were home safely with their newborn son, without major complications. (Those of you who know, know where my mind goes with fears that things can go horribly awry during birth, right?)

We saw them the next day. At less than seven pounds, he was teeny tiny in her arms, learning how to eat. It’s hard to remember Baby J ever being that small (I guess she wasn’t, since she was 7 lbs 10 oz at birth, but still); she is so huge now at 8.5 months.

I brought over some homemade organic lemon chicken soup, which I cooked that morning instead of doing any number of other things I should have been doing, because I figured it was the right thing to do.* I make it for us pretty regularly as comfort food (varying the ingredients sometimes to include lime and coconut milk).

It didn’t occur to me until later — after their little boy was born and the visitors started streaming in — that I would become part of their birth story. A small part, perhaps, but a part nonetheless. It was still pretty big to me.

(*I still find it interesting that just two friends brought us food when Baby J was born. Only a few people rushed to meet her too. I think people were afraid to plan or to be presumptuous because of the uncertainty of our situation. So we mostly fended for ourselves. Which honestly is how we’ve gotten through just about everything in our quest to build our family.)

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~ by luna on February 15, 2010.

10 Responses to “little and big ones: an update”

  1. It was huge – what you did. For you, and in a different way, for them. They came running to you in a time of need (as many of us do) and you were there, rock solid, despite , well , everything that they may or may not know.

    It breaks my heart to think that others don’t give expression to the significance of your birth story with baby J. It is one of the most beautiful birth stories I have heard. It is a miracle indeed how such a complicated set of circumstances could have been navigated so deftly by all involved, and led to a moment that held all the joy of a birth and so much more. How disappointing that others don’t have the eyes to see that or (hopefully) maybe just the words to say it. I always hope for more from people.

    Love to you Luna

    I would so love to stack casseroles on your doorstep!

  2. Time will tell whether to that little boy you’ll be “that nice neighbor lady” in the birth story or “Auntie Luna, who was there on the day you were born and has been here ever since.”

    Either way, your own growth is a good thing.

  3. It is huge, for all of you.

    I didn’t realize I had made this evolution myself — from “OMG, you’re pregnant, I need to go stick my head in the sand and avoid you” to something else. Not that the something else was embracing either — it’s downright fearful (as it sounds like you were, too). But it’s significantly more mellow, the edges have become less sharp.

    You’ve made a wonderful connection with these people, a connection I hope isn’t broken anytime soon for either of your sakes. Sometimes it’s painful to see what people receive when the news is good versus what we know people receive when the news is bad. Sometimes we just have to suck it up and do the right thing in both instances. Thank goodness you’re a classy person like this.

    Many hugs, Luna. And hug your own for me, wouldya?

  4. So sad that people didn’t recognize the birth of Baby J in the same way. I remember though how surprised I was when one of the ladies at our church approached me asking about the due date of Woob (don’t know even how they heard) and told us we’d be on the list for food delivery (like for 2 whole weeks! we had families bringing by food). I was so touched and speechless, but mand, did it help! But know, we remember every single person and every single dish and the caring that went into that for us, and I will guarantee you will be remembered at this special time for you neighbors. Isn’t it beautiful to see yourself on the other side?

  5. You, my friend are a bodhisattva! That is why you give without a thought to yourself. Because you can. It’s who you are. Those that have suffered and survived, give tribute to their journey by standing up in service to others. That way your suffering has been transformed from poison into medicine. What a beautiful, strong example for your daughter.

    Your daughter has brought healing and light into your life – as much as my son has brought to me. As I struggle to learn my new role, I will remember that I am transforming my karma. Not just for myself, but for others.

    It is often when you are always the strong one that people forget that we need nurturing too.

  6. Deathstar had it right, you wise and big-hearted woman.

    You are part of their tapestry.

    Now. Please pass a bowl of that soup!

  7. You did a wonderful and amazing thing. I am sad that it wasn’t the same for you with baby J. By the time we got home from Guatemala I had been gone 8 months and Maya was now almost 17 months old. WE ahd to tell people please don’t come, becasue we needed time to just be a family and for Joe to really get to see both of us.

  8. Your story (the pre and post tale of your neighbors) has amazed me . . . I have seen bits of healing in myself, too, for what it’s worth.

    BTW, your mention of that soup sounded delicious. Um, any chance you might share the recipe?!

  9. A very beautiful, but difficult evolution. You are what I strive to be, Luna.

  10. […] (See update.) […]

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